We are in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan and and we wanted to share the ways in which we endeavor to support our students during this time. At Francis Parker, we hope to foster an inclusive environment where every student feels respected and supported in the practice of their faith.

Ramadan, a sacred month for Muslims worldwide, is a time of reflection, prayer, fasting, and community bonding. It’s a period in which our Muslim students may observe fasting from dawn till dusk, engage in additional prayers, and participate in charitable activities.

Recognizing the significance of Ramadan, Francis Parker is committed to ensuring that our Muslim students have the necessary support and accommodations to fully participate in their religious observances while maintaining their academic responsibilities. Here’s how we’re supporting our students during this sacred time:

Spaces for Prayer
On the Goshen Campus, students, with faculty and staff support, have created a space for prayer. The School has communicated with all our Muslim students, letting them know where they can go for prayers if they desire to do so, and teachers have been notified about when and where prayers will be held.

At the High School, our Sacred Space is a room dedicated to matters of religious and spiritual reflection, which is open to Francis Parker community believers and nonbelievers alike. The Sacred Space has times posted year round for Muslim prayers, including, of course, during Ramadan. Observant students are welcome to excuse themselves from class as they prefer in order to pray in the Sacred Space.

The Sacred Space Committee also helps coordinate Morning Meeting poems and student presentations related to Islamic prayer and to Ramadan specifically. This year, a Ramadan Mubarak banner was hung near the Sacred Space door to emphasize both the importance and celebratory nature of the observance of the holy month.

Educational Resources
We believe in the importance of education and awareness about different cultural and religious practices. Our faculty integrates discussions on Ramadan across various subjects at Goshen, including our monthly Compassionate Conversation sheet in Lower School, and within the Abrahamic Religions Unit in 6th grade Social Studies classes. This approach fosters understanding and appreciation among students.

At the High School, our 10th grade history classes began their Islam unit on the first day of Ramadan. We will spend the next several weeks learning about early Islamic history, reading from the Qur’an, and exploring Islamic art and architecture.

Cultural Celebrations
Throughout the month of Ramadan, we organize cultural events and activities to celebrate the diversity of our community. These events provide opportunities for students of all backgrounds to learn about Ramadan, its traditions, and its significance. The High School began Ramadan with a brief presentation and poem during Morning Meeting by a student. We also shared with all students about the free Iftar dinner to which the community was invited last week, sponsored by the local Muslim Americans for Compassion organization. Culture Club in the Middle School has been creating crafts connected to Ramadan and the Lower School group, Mega Common Ground, will be hosting a Ramadan program on Tuesday, March 26 with the help of family members from our school community. If you would like to be involved, please reach out to Lindsy Serrano.

Emotional Support
We understand that fasting and participating in religious activities can be emotionally demanding for students. Our counselors are available to provide support to students who may need it during this time and are proactively checking in with our students.

By actively supporting our Muslim students during Ramadan, we reaffirm our commitment to inclusion and belonging and respect for all faiths. We believe that by embracing and celebrating our differences, we create a richer and more vibrant learning environment for everyone. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to our DEIB Directors, Dr. TuNice Cole at the High School and Lindsy Serrano in Goshen.