The Bernards Township Board of Education is aware that during the school year, religious holidays may fall on school days. The Board wishes to work with our students and their families in accordance with applicable law to allow students to participate in observance of these holidays. It is therefore the policy of the Board to permit students an excused absence for observance of a religious holiday. In order for an absence to be considered excused, parents or guardians must provide the student’s school with a written excuse explaining that the absence is due to the observance of a religious holiday. The absence may be excused only if it is taken on the actual date of the holiday in question. And in cases of multiple days of observance, in accordance with NJ school attendance regulations, only one day may be counted as excused. The remaining day(s) must be marked as an absence.
The Board is also aware that tests, academic competitions and deadlines may be scheduled on religious holidays. In these situations, the Board has a policy of providing the student a reasonable accommodation, so that the academic activity will not interfere with their religious observance. This means that the teacher or the school will reschedule the test date for any student who is out on the actual exam day, due to a religious holiday. For academic competitions, where students are eligible for awards, alternative arrangements will be made to allow the student to take part in the competition. Similarly, when assignment due dates correspond with a religious holiday, teachers will provide an accommodation regarding such deadlines.
Please take special note that when an accommodation is needed, it is the student’s and parent’s responsibility to inform the school that they will be observing a religious holiday. A written note, signed by a parent or guardian, requesting an accommodation, must be provided to the school or teacher prior to the religious holiday, in order for the school to make the requested accommodation. Under such circumstances, new test dates, dates of competitions and other deadlines will be set by the staff member having responsibility for the activity in question.