The Olympia School District is an increasingly diverse community, and we have students with different home languages and family traditions.
As part of the district’s work related to the board-approved Student Outcomes, specifically Outcome 1, Indicator 1, we annually provide employees with resources of various interfaith celebrations, as well as holidays and observances. Student Outcome 1 states “Our Students Will: Be Compassionate and Kind.” Indicator 1 states our students will “Be aware of and appreciate one’s similarities and differences with others.” The OSD District Improvement Plan also identifies staff will be provided “a list of religious/cultural observances throughout the year with notations of when to be mindful of fasting periods or other events.”
Schools are not being asked to celebrate or recognize religious events. Rather, these resources are designed to make staff aware of interfaith calendar events and observances so you can be mindful and understanding throughout the year. Please keep the dates included in the resources below in mind as you schedule school events to avoid conflicts.
One of the newest and most comprehensive resources shared with us is a “Diversity Calendar” published by Cultures Connecting in Seattle.
The 2022-23 calendar includes notations of observances with fasting periods and/or days that work or school should be suspended, and provides direct links to information about each observance. In the opening page of the calendar, the Mission Statement reads: “The purpose of this calendar is to address and support the diversity of students, staff, and families in K-12 education settings and beyond. We recognize that by increasing our understanding of diverse cultures, group experiences, traditions, values and beliefs, we can enhance our relationships with one another and hence, create culturally responsive environments where everyone feels valued and respected.” Download the PDF for easy reference throughout the school year.
Other resources include:
- Key Dates – April 2022 issue of OnCall, published by the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA). This annual calendar lists a combination of special months and weeks, as well as holidays and some interfaith celebrations. View 2022-23 Key Dates for School Calendars
- OSPI website: Common Religious and U.S. Public Holiday Calendars
- Top Gale Professional Growth e-Library resources related to inclusive environments and practices:
- Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (2015)
- An RTI Guide to Improving the Performance of African American Students(2015)
- Culturally Proficient Inclusive Schools: All Means ALL (2018)
- Becoming the Educator They Need: Strategies, Mindsets, and Beliefs for Supporting Male Black and Latino Students(2019)
- Leading an Inclusive School: Access and Success for All Students(2017)
- Inclusion Strategies and Interventions(2021)
- It’s OK to Say “They”: Tips for Educator Allies of Transgender and Nonbinary Students(2020)
- For support with these titles, access more information about the Gale e-Library
Remember you can always return to the staff blog at any future date to access these resources. We will continue to update this list as we become aware of new resources.