It's only September but this year's school calendar was the first topic of discussion at Wednesday night's Board of Education meeting.
During public comment, Durham resident Barbara Infeld told the board that she felt slighted over the district's decision to schedule parent conferences during the Passover holiday in March.
"There is a significant conflict for the very few of us who are Jewish within the school with the conferences," Infeld said. "The fact that the first one is being held the Tuesday of Passover, which means there's no way we can attend."
Infeld, a parent of two students at John Lyman Elementary School, said she would be unable to make the parent conferences on March 26 or 27, the latter because she teaches religious school.
When Infeld called Region 13 to complain about the issue she says she received "terrible communication."
Superintendent Susan Viccaro responded to Infeld's concern by telling her that an administrator, who is Jewish, was involved in the decision to schedule one of the conferences on the Passover holiday.
"We actually talked about that as an administrative team and we had the advice from our Jewish colleague who said I think this will be okay if we can make accomodations, which we assured him we could," Viccaro said.
Infeld said the district typically schedules parent conferences on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but said her "gut feeling" was that the district scheduled the conferences on Tuesday to avoid having them fall on the Thursday before Good Friday, another religious holiday.
"My complaint right now is that it was specifically scheduled on a Jewish holiday, with no communication with anyone," she said.
"You're impacting an extreme minority, an extreme minority. However as an extreme minority, I am feeling very neglected, very not recognized and that my children are not being recognized for their religious diversity in this community."
Viccaro said the district has always tried to be accomodating.
She said she understood Infeld's concern and together with board members agreed to take a closer look at parent conference scheduling and to address inviduals who need to reschedule conferences.