Around New England

Quincy School Committee Considering Adding Lunar New Year, Keeping Good Friday As Holidays

March 22, 2024

Members of the Quincy School Committee are mulling whether to add Lunar New Year as a school holiday next school year.

Quincy has a large number of Asian students who celebrate Lunar New Year, which occurs sometime between January 21 and February 19, and a large number of families have asked school officials to make it a school holiday.

On Lunar New Year in February 2024, 41 percent of students at North Quincy High School were absent, clerk Laura Owens said during the school committee’s Policy Subcommittee meeting on March 13.

“I enjoy having Christmas off with my family, and I know that this is very important for a large percentage of our students and our families, so I support adding Lunar New Year in,” school committee member Courtney Perdios said during the policy subcommittee meeting March 13.

But some school committee members noted that a majority of respondents to a recent survey don’t want any changes in the calendar.

The school committee’s policy subcommittee voted 3-0 on March 13 to recommend a calendar that makes no changes, meaning keeping Good Friday as a holiday and not adding Lunar New Year as a holiday.

On March 20, all the school committee members discussed the calendar. One, Emily Lebo, said she opposes adding Lunar New Year as a holiday because she worries about elevating one group over another

“But every time you put one group in – except for Good Friday, which I would like to get rid of – I don’t see us having a holiday that somebody else has mandated that reflects one culture, above any other culture. I mean you could say Christmas does, but that’s a state holiday, a federal holiday,” Lebo said.

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, who chairs the school committee, said he supports adding Lunar New Year as a holiday because it’s so important to a large number of students and parents in the school system.

“I would not be supporting the taking away of Good Friday, from my perspective. That is one that has respected the Christian culture for many, many years,” Mayor Thomas Koch said March 20.

The Quincy School Committee may vote on the calendar for the 2024-2025 school year as early as Wednesday, April 10.


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