I am a retired Baltimore County teacher who vividly recalls the difficulties associated with open schools on the High Holy Days (“Baltimore County considers keeping schools open on Jewish holidays,” Oct. 4).
First, a large number of substitutes are Jewish, significantly reducing availability. It was often necessary to book well over a year in advance.
We (and I say “we” because I'm still an educator) emphasize the importance of daily attendance, even though these are excused student absences.
Writing substitute plans is an arduous task in itself. Because the holidays are early in the fall, classroom routines are still being established, making it much more difficult for subs to manage the students effectively. Most important, the teacher cannot create appropriate plans without knowing the abilities and needs of the class.
I sincerely hope that the board considers the above and decides to benefit both students and teachers by keeping schools closed on these days.
Sheri L. Blum
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