This is a message from the SMC faculty regarding missing classes for the holidays.

Dear Students,

As we begin the Fall semester, please keep in mind that many of you will be missing school for the Jewish Holidays over the next few months.

It is your responsibility to notify your teachers about the dates you will be absent.  Please let them know ASAP!  Be respectful as you approach your teachers, and be sure to ask how you can make up the work you will be missing.

All faculty have just received the following email:

As we begin a new academic year, it is the College’s desire to provide guidance in regards to the District policy on Religious Holidays.

Board Policy 5530 states the following:  In accordance with Education Code sections 262 and 76121, the District policy is to ensure that programs and activities are free from discrimination based on religion.

The principal points for students observing religious holidays indicate that they:

·        May be required to make up work but may not be penalized for absences on the holiday

·        Must be allowed to reschedule tests or examinations at an alternative time that will not impose an undue hardship

·        Should not be penalized for missing the test for religious reasons by losing the opportunity to drop the lowest score on an exam

·        Must be allowed additional time to complete assignments or turn in work that affects their grades and that would otherwise be due on the holiday.

Please do NOT take advantage of your teachers by misrepresenting dates that you will be absent and using the Jewish Holidays as an excuse.  Every year I have faculty contacting me to verify religious dates since they know I observe all of the holidays. It is very embarrassing when I have to inform the faculty that a student has told them something incorrectly. 

Remember, even though you have a right to these days off, you do not have the right to take advantage of the faculty. 

I wish you all a successful Fall Semester.

Feel free to contact me if you are met with any resistance from faculty or need advice on how to speak to your teachers. 

Vicki Rothman, MS

Faculty Leader, Career Services Center

Santa Monica College