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AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Parents, teachers and school board officials on the 10-member ad hoc diversity committee made finishing touches Monday on their recommendations that will serve as a template for approaching diversity in the classroom and in the district office. “It really boils down to fairness,” said Herman Zayon, a parent on the committee. With most school calendars traditionally observing Christian holidays, there hasn’t been much consideration given to holy days observed by other religions, an insensitivity that the committee says is time to change. When Hart High School planned a homecoming vote this year, for example, the day first fell on Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days in the Jewish religion. The vote was later rescheduled when school officials realized the date’s significance. But scheduling conflicts like that that aren’t uncommon in schools, said Steve Herskovitz, a parent on the committee. He said exams are sometimes scheduled the day after a Jewish holy day when students should be celebrating their faith and instead are studying for school. SANTA CLARITA – Yom Kippur, Ramadan and other religious observances should be considered for days off when establishing the school-year calendar. That’s one of the many suggestions that a diversity committee will make to the William S. Hart Union High School District board at its next meeting, Nov. 2. The recommendations come nearly a year to the day after some families first confronted the board about what they claimed are racism and discrimination in the district and community. After the Nov. 3, 2004, face-off, the board established the diversity committee to identify programs and strategies that will include the district’s staff and 20,000 students. “You don’t schedule votes on that day,” Herskovitz said. “You don’t schedule tests on that day.” But simply telling students about the importance of some holy and culturally observed days isn’t enough without an explanation of the significance and history of them, committee members said. They agreed that students’ curriculum should include multicultural education and will recommend it to the board. Sometimes teachers have taught traditional history classes that focus on achievements of white Americans, for example, and have referred students to a sidebar to learn about the African-American influence on the subject, said Greg Lee, district diversity coordinator. Lee said the emphasis now in education is to integrate more cultures into daily lessons. The committee will also recommend that to the board. “If you want people to value all those extra contributions, you can’t say, Do this for extra credit,” Lee said. While she was waiting for another meeting to start at the district Monday night, Brittany Holmes considered the student makeup of Academy of the Canyons, a high school campus at College of the Canyons where the senior attends school. The 17-year-old student body president hasn’t seen any racial or religious conflicts at her school and said preparations are under way for a cultural month, in which different heritages will be explained each day. Holmes said the program will teach students about their differences and similarities. “A lot of racial things come from not understanding,” Holmes said. “So if we can help people understand, maybe there will be less of a problem.” Sue Doyle,(661) 257-5254 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!