Baltimore City Schools apologized to students, families and staff Thursday afternoon for scheduling parent-teacher conferences on Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur, considered the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, begins this year at sundown Oct. 4 and ends at sundown Oct. 5. Observance of the Day of Atonement involves fasting and attending services.
“We apologize for any harm caused by the unfortunate scheduling of parent-teacher conferences during Yom Kippur,” Baltimore City Schools said in the statement posted on Twitter. “We are reviewing future scheduling events to avoid conflicts with other religious observances to the greatest extent possible.”
The district said schools would provide alternative days for parents to meet with teachers and that athletic games set for Oct. 5 would be rescheduled.
As of Thursday night, a Baltimore City Schools online calendar describes Oct. 5 as an “early release day” for parent conferences. An additional calendar item says “observance day; modified after-school activities; no testing may occur.”
Baltimore County Schools are closed for students on the holiday with a staff professional development day scheduled, according to an online calendar that lists Oct. 5 as “Yom Kippur.”