Graduation Could Be Pushed Back Under New Bridgewater-Raritan Calendar

March 19, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — While planning the 2025-2026 Bridgewater-Raritan school calendar some challenges have arisen prompting a lengthy discussion at the recent Board of Education meeting over winter break and inclement weather days.

Two draft calendars for the 2025-2026 school year were presented to the Board at the March 12 meeting. Both include, for the first time, the observation of the Muslim holiday of Eid on March 20.

“I am ecstatic that Eid is on the calendar. It’s something that a large portion of the community has been advocating for for quite some time,” said Board member Stacey Friedlander.

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Draft 6 of the calendar proposes students and staff return to school following Winter Recess on Friday, Jan. 2, 2026, with a graduation date of Thursday, June 18, 2026.

“We presented draft 6 to the committee and after feedback from the committee and suggestions from the committee we created draft 7,” said Superintendent Robert Beers.

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The concerns from the committee were that students and staff would not return to school on Jan. 2, 2025.

“It is silly to have students and staff come back on Jan. 2 and if people are on vacation they’re not coming back for a Friday so the second version of the calendar is certainly more palatable,” said Friedlander.

Draft 7 instead extends Winter Recess to include Friday, Jan. 2, 2026, as a day off. This would then push graduation to Friday, June 19, 2026.

Additionally, Friedlander shared concerns over the slated excessive snow/inclement weather days for Feb. 17 and March 20 of 2026 which would impact Lunar New Year and Eid. These days would only be used if all of the school’s snow days are used.

“I understand that we are in an impossible circumstance here because we do want to represent our diverse community,” said Friedlander, who added that she wanted to make sure that students who observe those holidays and choose to stay home aren’t missing any tests, quizzes, major projects, or assessments.

“I just want to be sensitive and make sure if we are going to use those two days as the inclement weather days, the takeback days, that we make sure that those students who would be observing Lunar New Year or Eid on that year in 2026 are protected.”

“The challenge I can tell you with the 25-26 calendar .. is every single holiday happens during the week. And Christmas is on a Thursday which provides one of the longest winter breaks,” said Beers.

Beers also floated around the idea of starting school earlier than Labor Day. In the end, the Board voted to table the calendar to explore further options.

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“I would love for us to go back to the table to look at that just to protect those holidays,” said Friedlander.

See the two proposed calendars below:

2025-2026 School Calendar by Alexis Tarrazi on Scribd


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