Recently the official academic year calendar for next year (2015-2016) came out. The calendar is very similar in many ways to this year’s calendar but there were some major changes; the fall study day was removed and classes will be held on Yom Kippur (the holiest day in the Jewish calendar).
This change was made for a number of reasons. First, the 2015 holidays fell in such a way that caused Skidmore to have a late start to the semester and an early end. “This required us to add an additional Wednesday and Friday in order to ensure compliance with New York State contact hour requirements,” said Bill Lewis, the chair of the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP).
To add an additional Friday to the calendar, the fall study day was removed. To add the additional Wednesday to the calendar, the decision was made to hold classes on Yom Kippur. “We made this change [holding classes on Yom Kippur] with much more reluctance than we did the change to study break. This is because, unlike the study day change, the loss of Yom Kippur will differentially impact members of our community who wish to spend this holiday with family and or with their religious community,” said Lewis.
Had these changes not been made to the calendar, then students would not have been able to leave until as late as Dec. 24. “These decisions were made as a last resort and only after all other options were evaluated by CEPP and by the Administration,” said Lewis.