Policies and Regulations NEPN Code: IMD


School Observances and Ceremonies

Observance of Religious and Secular Holidays
The practice of the Sioux Falls School District shall be as follows:

  1. Several holidays throughout the year which may have either or both a religious and a secular basis may be observed in the public schools. If observed in the classroom, the historical and contemporary values and the origin of religious/secular holidays must be explained in an unbiased and objective manner without sectarian indoctrination.
  2. Music, art, literature, and drama having religious themes or basis are permitted as part of the curriculum for school-sponsored activities and programs if presented in a prudent and objective manner and as a traditional part of the cultural and religious/secular heritage of the particular holiday.
  3. The use of religious/secular symbols such as a cross, menorah, crescent, Star of David, crèche, symbols of Native American religions, or other symbols that are part of a religious or secular holiday is permitted as a teaching aid or resource provided such symbols are displayed as an example of the cultural and religious/secular heritage of the holiday and are temporary in nature. Included, but not limited to, Christmas, Easter, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, Eid Al-Fitr, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, St. Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving, and Halloween.
  4. The District's calendar should be prepared so as to minimize conflicts with religious holidays of all faiths.

Dedications and Commencements
The practice of the Sioux Falls School District shall be as follows:

  1. A dedication or commencement ceremony shall not contain prayers authorized, approved, or sponsored by the District or any of its representatives.
  2. Because a baccalaureate service is traditionally religious in nature, it shall not be sponsored by the District.


Related Policies:

IHAL Religion in the Schools and at School Activities
JJAB/JJAB-R Limited Open Forum in Middle Schools and High Schools (6-12)
KF/KF-R Community Use of School Facilities
KI Visitors to Schools


Policy   Board Action
Adopted: 01-08-01 29761
Amended: 05-27-08 35062
Amended: 04-09-12 36336
Reviewed: 02-13-17 37688