2014-2015 List of Religious Holidays Permitting Pupil Absence From School

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Adoption Resolution
June 4, 2014

RESOLUTION
The List of Religious Holidays Permitting Student Absence from School

WHEREAS, according to N.J.S.A. 18A:36-14 through 16 and N.J.A.C. 6A:32-8.3(j), regarding student absence from school because of religious holidays, the Commissioner of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Education, is charged with the responsibility of prescribing such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of the law; and

WHEREAS, the law provides that:

  1. Any student absent from school because of a religious holiday may not be deprived of any   award or of eligibility or opportunity to compete for any award because of such absence;
  2. Students who miss a test or examination because of absence on a religious holiday must be given the right to take an alternate test or examination;
  3. To be entitled to the privileges set forth above, the student must present a written excuse signed by a parent or person standing in place of a parent;
  4. Any absence because of a religious holiday must be recorded in the school register or in any group or class attendance record as an excused absence;
  5. Such absence must not be recorded on any transcript or application or employment form or on any similar form; and
  6. The Commissioner, with the approval of the State Board of Education, is required to:

(a) prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this act; and
(b) prepare a list of religious holidays on which it shall be mandatory to excuse a student.  The list, however, is to be a minimum list.  Boards of education, at their discretion, may add other days to the list for the schools of their districts; and

WHEREAS, although the New Jersey Department of Education makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the dates using the lunar, Gregorian and Julian calendars; and

WHEREAS, dates within this resolution may not be fixed before the State Board adopts the annual calendar and may require additional revision; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, the State Board of Education permits the Commissioner of Education, after annual adoption by the State Board of Education, to revise the dates provided in list of religious holidays.

WHEREAS, the district board of education has the right to add any bona fide religious holiday to the list for its own schools; now therefore be it,

RESOLVED that the State Board of Education adopts the following list of religious holidays for the 2014-2015 school year:

2014-2015 School-Year Observance
July 2014
July 9 Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha'i)
July 11 Asalha Puja Day (Buddhist)
July 13-15 Ulambana/Obon (Buddhist)
July 24 Laylat as-Qadr (Islam)*
July 29 Eid al Fitr (Islam)*
August 2014
August 1 Fast in Honor of the Holy Mother of Lord Jesus (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
August 1 Lammas (Christian and Wicca)
August 5 Tisha B'Av (Jewish)
August 6 Transfiguration of the Lord (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
August 10 Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)*
August 15 Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Christian)
Dormition of the Theotokos (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
August 18 Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)*
August 29 Ganesha Chaturthi (Hindu)*
September 2014
September 1 Ecclesiastical Year begins (Orthodox Christian)
September 7 His Holiness Sakya Trizin's Birthday (Buddhist)
September 8 Nativity of Mary (Christian)
Nativity of the Theotokos (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
September 14 The Elevation of the Holy Cross (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
September 21 Mabon (Wicca)
September 25-26 Feast of Trumpets (Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God)
Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)
September 25-October 3 Navaratri (Hindu)*
October 2014
October 3 Hajj Day (Islam)*
Duserra (Hindu)*
October 4 Yom Kippur (Jewish)
October 4 Day of Atonement (Christian, Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God)
Eid al Adha (Islam)*
October 8-15 Sukkot (Jewish); Feast of Tabernacles (Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God)
October 16 Last Great Day (Church of God, Philadelphia Church of God)
October 17 Simcat Torah (Jewish)
October 16-17 Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)
October 20 Birth of B'ab (Baha'i)
Installation of the Scriptures as Guru Granth (Sikh)
October 23 Diwali (Hindu, Jain and Sikh)*
October 25 Al Hijra – 1st Muharram (Islam)*
November 2014
November 1 All Saints' Day (Christian)
Samhain-Beltane (Wicca)
November 2 All Souls' Day (Christian)
November 12 Birth of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i)
November 15 Advent/Nativity Fast begins (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
November 17 Guru Nanak Dev Sahib Birthday (Sikh)
November 21 The Presentation of the Theotokos to the Temple (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
November 24 Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom (Sikh)
November 26 Day of Covenant (Baha'i)
November 28 Ascension of 'Abdu'l Baha (Baha'i)
December 2014
November 30 First Sunday of Advent (Christian)
December 8 Bodhi Day (Buddhist)
Immaculate Conception (Christian)
December 16-24 Hanukkah (Jewish)
December 21 Yule (Wicca and Christian)
December 25 Christmas (Christian)
The Nativity of Christ (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
December 26 Zarathosht Diso (Zoroastrian)
January 2015
January 1 Gantan-sai (Shinto)
January 3 Mawlid an Nabi (Islam)*
January 5 Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib (Sikh)
January 6 Feast of Epiphany (Christian [and Eastern Orthodox Christian])
Feast of Theophany (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
Nativity of Christ (Armenian Orthodox)
January 7 Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)
January 13 Maghi (Sikh)
January 14 Makar Sankranti (Hindu)*
January 18 World Religion Day (Baha'i)
January 24 Vasant Panchami (Hindu)*
February 2015
February 2 The Presentation of Our Lord to the Temple (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
Imbolic-Candlemas (Wicca and Christian)
February 4 Tu B'shvat (Jewish)
February 15 Nirvana Day (Buddhist)
February 17 Shrove Tuesday (Christian)
Maha Shivaratri (Hindu)*
February 18 Ash Wednesday (Christian)
February 19 Chinese New Year (Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist)
February 23 Clean Monday (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
February 26 through March 1 Intercalary Days (Baha'i)
March 2015
March 5 Purim (Jewish)
March 6 Hola Mohalla (Sikh)
Holi (Hindu)*
March 18 L. Ron Hubbard's Birthday (Church of Scientology)
March 20 Ostara (Wicca)
March 21 Nowruz (Zoroastrian)
Naw Ruz (Baha'i)
Chandramana Yugadi (Hindu)*
March 25 The Annunciation/The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (Eastern Orthodox Christian; Christian)
March 26 Khordad Sal (Zoroastrian)
March 28 Rami Navami (Hindu)*
March 29 Palm Sunday (Christian)
April 2015
April 2 Holy Thursday (Christian)
Mahavir Jayanti (Jain)
April 3 Holy Friday (Christian)
April 4 Lazarus Saturday (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
First Day of Unleavened Bread (Church of God)
Theravadin New Year (Buddhist)
Hanuman Jayanti (Hindu)*
April 4-10 Days of Unleavened Bread (Philadelphia Church of God)
April 4-11 Pesach (Jewish)
April 5 Easter (Christian)
Palm Sunday (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
April 6 Easter Monday (Christian)
April 8 Buddha's Birthday (Buddhist)
April 9 Holy Thursday (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
April 10 Holy Friday (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
Last Day of Unleavened Bread (Church of God)
April 12 Pascha (Easter) (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
April 13 Bright Monday (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
Baisakhi (Sikh)
April 14 Passover (Philadelphia Church of God)
April 14 Souramana Yugadi (Hindu)*
April 15 Lord's Evening Meal (Christian, Jehovah's Witness)
April 21 First Day of Ridvan (Baha'i)
April 23 Yom Ha'Azmaut (Jewish)
April 25 The 11th Panchen Lama's Birthday (Buddhist)
April 29 Ninth Day of Ridvan (Baha'i)
May 2015
May 1 Beltane (Wicca)
May 2 Twelfth Day of Ridvan (Baha'i)
May 4 Buddha Day – Visakha Puja (Buddhist)
May 7 Lag B'Omer (Jewish)
May 13 Lailat al Miraj (Islam)*
May 14 Ascension of Our Lord (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
May 23 Declaration of the Bab (Baha'i)
May 24 Pentecost (Christian)
May 24-25 Shavuot (Jewish)
May 29 Ascension of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i)
May 31 Pentecost (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
June 2015
June 1 Lailat al Bara'ah (Islam)*
June 8 Fast of the Holy Apostles (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
June 16 Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib (Sikh)
June 18 Ramadan (Islam)*
June 21 Litha (Wicca)
June 30 Synaxis of the 12 Apostles (Eastern Orthodox Christian)

*Approximate date based on lunar calendar.

[** Disclaimer:  New Jersey Department of Education has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the dates. The information has been verified through the use of various sources and some dates may vary due to the lunar, Gregorian and Julian calendars.]


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David C. Hespe, Acting Comissioner
Acting Secretary, NJ State Board of Education

Arcelio Aponte, President
NJ State Board of Education