As Salam Alaykum,
As our Student Leadership and Advocacy Project continues full-force — stay tuned for updates on our training programs! — we wanted to reach out to you about key accommodation needs on the horizon.
This year both Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr will be falling during the school year, and despite steps in the right direction to recognize Eid in school calendars, much remains to be done to make sure fasting students have appropriate accommodations. Therefore, it is crucial that teachers and other school staff are educated on Ramadan and the needs of the students and families — a welcoming room to spend lunch period, care with scheduling meetings, additional time for assignments and accommodations for PE/athletes, to name a few. In an effort to help close this knowledge gap and educate those who may not be familiar with the when, why, and how Muslims fast, CAIR-Philadelphia has prepared resources specifically tailored for educators and administration.
Our material can break down some context on common terms Muslims use, as well as on school implications and ideas around how to best accommodate the needs of Muslim students during this time.
Parents and educators should also be aware that accommodations may need to be made for the 3rd to 8th graders who will be taking the PSSAs. This year, the PSSA testing window will be from April 25th to May 13th, 2022. This means that students in these grades may be fasting during testing and that Eid Al-Fitr will be falling not only while students are in school but also in the middle of the testing period.
At CAIR-Philadelphia we have been in touch with Pennsylvania Department of Education on PSSAs and we are happy to report that appropriate accommodations are in place.
The estimation dates for Eid Al-Fitr are May 2nd/3rd, the good news is that there is some flexibility for when a student can test. According to the Division of Assessment and Accountability at Pennsylvania’s Department of Education, no student should be required to test on any given day. To accommodate this, there is a make-up period at the end of the testing window. Districts have the flexibility to select the time frame/days to complete the testing. Therefore, it is important that parents/caregivers speak up and reach out to the school/district to either a) ensure that they do not schedule testing on the day of Eid or b) seek accommodations for students to make up the test on an alternative date.
We are also aware that AP exams may also fall on Eid Al-Fitr and have been in touch with College Board to ensure 1) accommodations and clear communication for an alternative day are in place and 2) College Board moves the May 2 deadlines that are currently in place regarding a few important steps.
If you have any questions, need further assistance, or run into any problems when requesting accommodations, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we are building a learning environment where each student can be fully confident in their Muslim identity and be a strong advocate.
Youth Leadership and Advocacy Projects Coordinator