Upcoming Dates & Celebrations
Need Translation? | ¿Necesita traducción? | Precisa de tradução?
ENGLISH: Need translation? Just click "Translate" at the top of your screen!
ESPAÑOL: ¿Necesita traducción? Haga clic en "Translate" (traducir) en la parte superior de la pantalla.
PORTUGUÊS: Precisa de tradução? Clique em “Translate” (traduzir) no topo da tela!
This is the fourth of ten Smore newsletters to be distributed this school year with the goal of sharing District calendar dates, school-related appreciation days, national recognition celebrations, and if applicable, related community events. All dates are posted to the Calendar Page of the FPS Website.
These Date Driven Smores and their contents are a work in progress. There is a group of community members working behind the scenes to help identify dates, the explanations of importance, and how we as a District approach them. If you'd like to submit a holiday or celebration acknowledgement for the 2024 - 2025 calendar OR if you'd like to submit a photo showing how your family honors any of the shared traditions or holidays, please complete the Cultural Calendar Form.
Stay tuned for the December "DNA" which will contain good news from around the district! The google form where Staff have traditionally submitted entries is now trilingual and accessible to the broader community: Share Your Good News!
DISTRICT CALENDAR DATES
Operational dates listed within each month of the Annual District Calendar
Dec. 6 - FHS Collaboration Day (1pm dismissal at Framingham High only)
Dec. 7 - Elementary, Middle, and High School Early Release (Professional Development)
Dec. 7 - No Homework (also known as Family, Friends, and Neighbor Day)
Dec. 25 - 29: No School (Winter Recess)
Normally we insert community events alongside the explanation or educational content surrounding the relevant date - but given the timing of these upcoming events, we created a dedicated section!
City of Framingham Tree Lighting
ABOUT THE EVENT: Mayor Sisitsky is proud to announce the City's 32nd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Block Party. This longstanding tradition invites the entire Framingham community to come out and enjoy the City's tree lighting, a visit from Santa Claus, free hot cocoa and treats, the Framingham Public Library's bookmobile, a Story Walk, a Girl Scout sing-along, and much more.
WHEN: Friday, December 1, 2023 from 5:00PM - 7:30PM
WHERE: Framingham City Hall, City Hall Plaza & Union Ave (150 Concord Street)
PARKING: Parking is available at the Memorial Building, the main Framingham Public Library, Danforth Building, and the Pearl Street Garage. There will be handicap-accessible parking at the Memorial Building.
QUESTIONS? For any questions regarding this event, please call the Mayor's Office at (508) 532-5401 or visit the Website: Framingham Tree Lighting
FHS Holiday Marketplace
ABOUT THE EVENT: The FHS entryway, hallway to the gym, and the gymnasium are lined with local vendors selling unique crafts, specialty items, Flyers gear, and more! Refreshments are available as well. $5 Admission (Students and Children Free)
WHEN: Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 10am - 3pm
WHERE: Framingham High School (115 A Street, Framingham)
Charter Review Committee - Community Forum
VOICE. OUR FUTURE.
ABOUT THE EVENT: Framingham’s City Charter–the instructional manual on how the City operates– is going through its first review. The Charter Review Committee is actively reaching out to the community for input and is inviting you to attend an open house, where you can share your insights, and collaborate with fellow residents to envision a brighter Framingham.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 5, from 6pm - 8pm
WHERE: Harmony Grove Elementary School (Spanish and Portuguese Interpreters will be present!)
Flyers After School: One Framingham - Community Day
ABOUT THE EVENT: The after school students from Cameron, Fuller, and Walsh have worked passionately as part of the 21st Century program, where they explored the essential questions: "What unifies us as human beings? How do universal languages reveal our shared experiences and shape our responsibilities as storytellers?" They've delved into the world of art, music, sports, and cuisine to express our common threads and cultural diversities.
WHEN: Saturday, December, 16, 2023 from 10:00am to 2:30pm
WHERE: Fuller Middle School (DOOR 15 - Parking lot and Auditorium door)
Here's a sneak peek at what our students have prepared:
-Artworks in Unity: Vibrant murals showcase artworks from various cultures, celebrating the universal language of creativity.
-Harmony in Diversity: A curated playlist of music that reflects our students' rich identities and heritages, accompanied by videos of them preparing traditional dishes and podcasts sharing diverse culinary stories.
-Culinary Connections: A multi-lingual recipe book that serves as a testament to the diverse backgrounds of our students, featuring the best recipes representing their heritage.
-Play Together: An interactive game or sports session designed for community engagement
SOCIAL CELEBRATIONS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
As we move into the month of December, the trending events and holiday acknowledgements listed below will begin to pop-up on social media. Here is a little information about the upcoming dates and what they mean.
December 2nd: Special Education Day
Special Education Day is celebrated on December 2nd to commemorate the signing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) into law on this day in 1975. IDEA granted access to children with special needs to free and quality public education. The act has been revised several times but it continues to be the foundation for special education in the U.S.
This is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of our Special Education students, their families, our teachers and administrators, and also to recognize opportunities for continued improvement in the future.
A Historical Timeline
1972: U.S. District Court lawsuit Mills vs. the Board of Education. During this case, the denial of publicly funded education for special children, including those with learning disabilities, was ruled unlawful.
November 29, 1975: Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 was approved and passed by President Gerald Ford. The Act was the country’s first official law addressing special education.
1986: The law was revised to include more support for parents and educators and to advance education plans.
1990: The name of this landmark act changed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA.
Over the years, clauses have been added to address issues and ensure that the standards of education for special children are on par with the overall educational system. IDEA not only established the rights of children with learning disabilities, but laid the groundwork for teachers and families to work together, and ensure there are services and resources available for support. Special Education Day started in 2005 — on IDEA’s 30th anniversary.
December 4th - 8th: National Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek)
CSEdWeek is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field. The theme for this year's CSEdWeek focuses on the Impacts of Computing. “Impacts of Computing” refers to the positive and negative effects on various aspects of our lives, including education, privacy, security, and accessibility.
More Information: https://www.csedweek.org/
December 7th - 15th: Hanukkah
Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, falls on different days each calendar year, though always in late November to mid-December because Jewish holidays are determined by moon cycles. Hanukkah is an eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly candle lighting, special prayers and fried foods. The candles are held in menorahs and convey warmth, comfort, and the remembrance of a miracle where oil that should have lasted one day, and then burned for eight. Since the Chanukah miracle involved oil, it is customary to eat foods fried in oil. Two favorites are the potato latke (pancake), garnished with applesauce or sour cream, and the jelly-filled sufganya (doughnut). There are also gifts, songs, games, and family gatherings. To wish someone well on Hanukkah, you can say, "Happy Hanukkah".
December 21st: First Day of Winter
The winter solstice, or astronomical first day of winter for us, happens on Wednesday, December 21, 2022!
What happens at the winter solstice?
Winter is a season of cold, dark days, though a silver lining for many children, the potential for lots of snow to sled on! The winter solstice marks the exact moment when half of Earth is tilted the farthest away from the sun. It usually happens on December 21 or 22, at the exact same second around the world.
Because less sunlight reaches Earth, the winter solstice is also the day of the year with the least amount of daytime, known as the shortest day of the year. But the good news is that every day after the winter solstice will be a little longer, until we reach the day with the most hours of daylight (that's the summer solstice and we can circle back to that in June!)
In short, although the winter solstice gives way to the start of winter, it also means the return of more sunlight. It only gets brighter from here!
December 25th: Christmas
Celebrated on December 25th, Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. It is a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe was the son of God. For most people, it takes place every year on 25 December – the day that the Roman Catholic Church chose to mark Jesus’ birthday. Some Greek Orthodox Christians and those in other countries, like Russia, the Ukraine and Romania, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th.
Many families have unique traditions for Christmas eve, the day before Christmas, and Christmas day. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, hanging stockings, singing Christmas songs, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25th, Christmas Day, has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. Looking to wish someone well this Christmas? A simple "Merry Christmas" will do!
December 26th - January 1st: Kwanzaa (or Kwanza)
Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration of life that takes place annually between December 26th to January 1st. Introduced in 1966, the week-long festival started as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home and is observed with candle lighting ceremonies, feasts, and reflections on past struggles and future hopes. This festival was created for African-Americans as a response to the commercialism of Christmas, but also as an opportunity for Black Americans to reaffirm their roots and strengthen their bonds in a time of racial unrest. A secular holiday, some would say Kwanzaa has similarities with Thanksgiving in the United States or the Yam Festival in Ghana and Nigeria. The word "kwanza" is a KiSwahili (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) word meaning "first."
Five common sets of values are central to the activities of the week: ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment, and celebration.
The seven principles (nguzo saba) of Kwanzaa utilize Kiswahili words and are signified by seven candles: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani)