Religious absence letter template for your student

Dear TBS Parents,
With the High Holy days falling during the school week this year, it is very important to let your child’s teacher(s) and school office know in advance that they will be absent for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Below is a template letter you can use to inform your children’s teachers and school office. For elementary through high school students, we recommend sending a copy to each of your student’s teachers and the school principal. In addition, for students involved in extracurricular activities (e.g. sports teams, band/cheer, etc.), you should also send a copy to the sponsor, teacher, or coach. It’s best to send separate letters for each child, unless you happen to have multiple children in the same teacher’s classroom. College students should contact their professors/instructors directly, as far in advance as possible to make appropriate arrangements if necessary.
If you have any further questions or receive any push-back from your school, please contact me and I will be happy to assist.

Shanah Tovah,
Rabbi Heidi Cohen

To: <Teacher Name> and/or <SCHOOL Attendance Office>

Date: <Date of Letter>

Subject: <Student Name> absent for Jewish High Holy Days (September 30 and October 9)

Good Morning,

I am writing to give you advance notice and awareness of the Jewish High Holy Days coming up at the beginning of the school year (see dates above), so that you can take this into consideration when scheduling major classroom and/or school events, mandatory programs, important examinations, project due dates, etc. I also want to advise you of my student’s absences to observe these important holidays.

You may have noted that the dates are different than last year. That’s because the Jewish High Holy Days occur on a rotating schedule due to the Jewish use of a lunar calendar. This year, Jews across the globe will be observing the Jewish High Holy Days on the following dates:

* Rosh Hashanah: Sunday evening, September 29th through Monday evening, September 30th

* Yom Kippur: Tuesday evening, October 8th through Wednesday evening, October 9th

To participate in these important holidays my child, <CHILD’S First/Last NAME>, (and possibly other students) will therefore be absent from school on these dates:

  • Monday, September 30th
  • Wednesday, October 9th

If there are any assignments that are due close to these dates that my student can receive and start work on ahead of time, or be granted due date extensions, it would be most appreciated. My child will be spending all day in services at the synagogue both of those days (including the previous night), so <HE/SHE> won’t have any time to do makeup work during these days. I would appreciate it if <HE/SHE> could therefore have extra time turn in any makeup work from those days.

For your reference, note that excused absences due to religious observance, as well as appropriate accommodations to make up missed work, are specifically allowed per the California Education Code:

  • Section 48205(a)(7)
  • Section 48205(b)

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or would like to discuss in more detail. Thank you.

Sincerely,

<Signature>

<PARENT NAME>

<PARENT PHONE and/or EMAIL ADDRESS>

Parent of: (STUDENT NAME AND GRADE)

If you have any further questions or receive any push-back from your school, please contact me and I will be happy to assist.

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