马里兰哈维郡 Lunar New Year 公校放假倡议大事记

Howard County Chinese Parents Group (HCCPG)

08-27-2015


2014年8月15日至20日: 

钱臻 (Jenny Qian) 提议由HCCPG成员参与HCPSS Calendar Planning Committee,目标是把春节变为公校假日。Calendar Committee的会议有六次,讨论并制定2015年-2016年的公校校历。数位家长表示可以去一部份Committee meeting。但由于Committee Chairwoman,Caryn Lasser要求必须全部会议都要参加,才能成为Committee成员。据理力争未果后,陈林峰 (Linfeng Chen) 和钱臻先后提交了申请表格并表示可参加全部六次会议(后又增加一次)。陈林峰被选入具有投票权的Calendar Committee成员。

2014 年8月24日 (Sun): 

HCCPG发起人徐菁召集有兴趣参与的家长一起讨论计划。与会者成立了Lunar New Year Committee。制定了三点策略:第一,不提其它族裔或宗教的节日;第二,只争取把Lunar New Year 和公校的Professional Learning Day 结合在一起,以取得多方认同;第三,将其它5个中国传统节日列在校历的information box 里。据此,由陈林峰起草,多位成员修改的proposal出台了。请参看附件二。

2014 年8月26日 (Tue.): 

第一次HCPSS 2015-16 Academic Calendar Committee Meeting ,陈林峰作为正式成员,钱臻作为列席人员参加了会议。Committee的成员们对有华人参加此会议表示了吃惊和欢迎!并说从来没有华人参加过这类会议,以为华人没有什么需求。会议之后,陈林峰向Caryn Lasser提交了proposal. Caryn Lasser通过电话向陈林峰表示此proposal不会被批准。

2014 年9月3日(Wed.),9月9日(Tue.),9月17日(Wed.),9月22日(Mon.)
几次会议中,陈林峰多次提出HCCPG的提议,将proposal发送给每个委员,并在会后同列席会议的吴旻一起与多位calendar committee 成员沟通, 取得了他们的支持。

2014年9月30日 (Tue.):

因事先得知这天将讨论2月份的休假日,8位中国及韩国家长前去列席会议。会议中,获Howard County Educator Association(教师工会)成员兼Centennial High 老师,Ms. Bernadette C. Bechta,和Cultural Proficiency Specialist,Ms.Razia F. Kosi的特别帮助,支持我们这一提议。最终2016年二月份的Professional Learning Day 放到Lunar New Year(02/08/2016)这一天的提议以17:5高票通过。而将其它中国节日列在校历上的提议未加讨论,理由是这个应由Public Information Office决定,不在calendar committee的权限范围内。华人参加人员有徐菁,陈林峰,钱臻,吴旻,苑迎东(Emily Yuan),庞明,并有两位韩裔家长和一位白人家长来支持我们的提议。

2014年9月-10月:

鉴于我们在calendar committee上极为不顺利的过程,LNY committee决定要继续advocate,以防止事情发生逆转。因此,陈林峰向Superintendent,Dr. Foose多次发email表示诉求并要求见面。同时联络了韩国家长也给Dr. Foose发了邮件。

2014年10月12日:

HCCPG组织中国家庭参加了由PTAC主办的BOE候选人见面会,大约有四十多人参加,是到会群体中人数最多的。会中我们向每一位候选人提问他们是否支持春节放假的提案。

2014年10月

HCCPG 向每一个BOE候选人发送问卷,提问他们是否支持春节放假的提案,及其他与中国社区相关的问题。8个候选人中共有5人发回了问卷。

2014年10月20日:

徐菁,陈林峰和苑迎东应Howard County Educator Association (教师工会)之邀参加了与部分BOE候选人的座谈。此次座谈是教师工会专门为HCCPG准备的。目的是帮助我们更多地了解候选人的情况和立场。根据问卷,见面会及座谈会上的回答,LNY Committee向中国家庭建议了四位候选人。

2014年11月 4日:

LNY Committee建议的候选人中有两人当选:Cindy Vaillancourt和Bess Altwerger。

2014 年11月 10日:

由HCCPG发起的网上Petition正式启动,网址为:http://tinyurl.com/p2zpe6x

2014 年11月 13日-12月14日:

由中国家长及孩子自愿组织了征集签字的活动。签字地点包括哈维中文学校,哥伦比亚中文学校,图书馆。有些家长甚至将签名单带到了YMCA,上班的地方和其它活动的地点。一个多月,我们一共征集了1400多份签名,包括700多份网上签的和700多份现场签的。

2014 年11月 20日: 

Dr. Foose向BOE提交的年历中采纳了我们的提案,即将LNY与PLD合并。但有两位BOE成员Ann De Lacy和Patrick B. Mikulis对此表达了不支持的意见。

2014 年12月 7日:

HCPSS到哈维中文学校办讲座,议题涉及校历及农历新年和G/T项目。这是哈维公校系统的相关负责人员专门就校历的制定过程为我们华裔作出的介绍。

2014 年12月15日:

HCCPG组织了会员参加BOE听证会。至少七八十人参加,占与会人员的绝大多数。八位家长和八位孩子做了听证,并提交了相关的Petition签名等文件,正式表达了我们的诉求,展示了中国人社区的整体力量.

2015年1月 15日:

BOE正式以5:4投票通过Dr.Foose提交的校历,另列各族裔的宗教和文化节日。The board approved Superintendent Renee Foose's 2015-16 school calendar and added the stipulation that staff remove all names of religious holidays from the date boxes.


Lunar New Year Committee成员名单(以加入日期为序):

徐菁,陈林峰,吴旻,钱臻,王敬山,赵佳彬(后因故退出),苑迎东,庞明,SelenaChoo, Amy Feng

春节庆祝委员会成员名单:赖君,李志凌,桂君

提出建议和帮助的人员名单:赵佳彬,唐梅,蒋晔,李黛(Diane Li)

特别致谢:哈维中文学校董事会及家长会


附件一: 相关新闻报道:

美华商报 , 10/10/2014, “哈维郡中国家长会正在争取将春节作为假日放入公立学校2015-2016的
年历中”http://www.joomag.com/magazine/20141010/0199284001412969843?page=11 

Baltimore Sun, 10/13/2014Howard PTA forum provides access to BOE candidateshttp://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-pta-forum-1016-20141013-story.html

美华商报, 11/14/2014, “请大家签名支持!将农历新年加入哈维郡公立学校系统校历”http://www.joomag.com/magazine/%E7%BE%8E%E5%8D%8E%E5%95%86%E6%8A%A520141114/0240910001415976628?page=8

美华商报, 12/5/2014, “请助我们一臂之力!关于争取将中国农历新年加入哈维郡公立学校系统校历的最新进展”http://www.joomag.com/magazine/%E7%BE%8E%E5%8D%8E%E5%95%86%E6%8A%A520141205/0987016001417821778?page= 10 

Washington Post 12/16/2014 
Howard County schools consider Lunar New Year and Muslim holiday requests

Baltimore Sun, 1/15/2015 日
Howard school board votes to alter listings of religious holidays
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-hcpss-school-calendar-0122-20150116-story.html

相关BOE录像网址:

11/20/2014 Proposed Calendar Presented to BOE http://hcpsstv.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=1070

12/15/2014 Calendar Planning Public Hearing http://hcpsstv.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=1077

1/15/2015 BOE Discussed and Voted on 2015-2016 Calendarhttp://hcpsstv.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=1079

附件二:Proposal on 2015-2016 Academic Calendar 

Submitted by the Howard County Chinese Parents Group

8/28/2014

Howard County, home to 304,580 people located between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, is a community experiencing growth in its diversity. In the past fourteen years, the Asian community has become more visible. The County saw a significant increase in Asian population from 7.7% to 16.2%. Among them, more than half have an East or Southeast Asian origin, including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese who share similar cultural heritage. From a 2013 estimate, the population of four subgroups (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, or CKVF in short hereafter) is around 28,000, which is nearly 10% of the overall population in the Howard County (see Table 1). These families form a vital group of taxpayers contributing to the County’s economy through property tax, income and sales tax as well as through their work benefiting the County and the State. Because of a younger median age, the share of Asian students in the Howard County among the public school enrollment shall be even bigger. The school academic calendar needs to reflect the increased diversity. Therefore, Howard County Chinese Parents Group proposes the following two items to the HCPSS Academic Calendar Planning Committee to recognize major East/Southeast Asian holidays.

Table 1.

Item 1: Mark the six most important East/Southeast Asian Holidays in the information block. 

The six holidays sorted by dates in a calendar year are Lunar New Year, Lantern Festival, Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-autumn Festival, and Double Ninth Festival. More information regarding the holidays can be found through the Wikipedia as listed in the Reference section.

Item 2: Combine Professional Learning Day with Lunar New Year on Feb. 8 in the 2015-2016 Calendar. 

HCCPG proposes the Lunar New Year to be combined with Professional Learning Day on the calendar. Specifically for 2016, the Lunar New Year is on February 8, 2016. This is a day celebrated by about 10% of the current Howard County residents and over 20% of the world’s population, following a tradition for over three thousands of years. The Calendar Committee can designate one professional learning day on the same date. In this way, the arrangement accommodates both needs of the people who do celebrate and of the people who do not.

Rationale: The traditional holiday has been commonly celebrated by Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese worldwide for thousands of years (as early as 14th century B.C.), and also by Japanese before its merging with the Western new year celebration in 1870. The holiday has been traditionally celebrated over a period of at least 15 days. The public holiday period lasts 7 consecutive days in the mainland China and typically 3 days for Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea; Vietnam has 3 official holiday days and often celebrates for one month. 

The Lunar New Year to East Asian is as important as Christmas and widely celebrated by people with East and Southeast Asian origins, no matter where they are. Globally, the total population who celebrates the holiday exceeds 20% of the world population. Many Chinese in the Howard County take one day off to celebrate the Lunar New Year. While some Chinese choose to work during the day for work ethics consideration when carrying out teamwork with non-Chinese colleagues, they celebrate the holiday in the evening or make up in the weekend with family and friends in the community. The Chinese weekend schools in the Howard County, which enroll over a thousand K-12 students, observe the Lunar New Year by closing the school and hosting major celebration galas (and they also close on another traditional holiday of the Mid-Autumn Festival in the fall). Every year, like many in the major metropolitans in U.S., the Chinese communities in the Maryland/Virginia/DC metro area have multiple large celebration activities, such as Spring Festival Galas and Chinese School Performances in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The Asian supermarkets, such as the Great Wall Supermarket, Lotte Supermarket, Super H-Mart, and Grand Mart always prepare special foods and gifts for this holiday celebration. 

As mentioned earlier, there is a significant presence of East/Southeast Asian population in the Howard County, and its percentage is still growing in the County. It is time to recognize the holiday in the school calendar and increase the awareness of this important holiday. 
We believe this effort does not only benefit the East Asian families but also benefit the whole HCPSS community. Under globalization and our diversified society, it is very crucial that the kids and their families develop cultural sensitiveness and fluency. This is also a good way for the school system to outreach the Asian families which have untapped valuable resources in our community.

References:

1. Lunar New Year:

2. Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as Moon Festival for a celebration of harvest and thanksgiving)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival

3. Qingming Festival (celebrate the arrival of spring and commemorate of ancestors)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qingming_Festival

5. Double Ninth Festival (celebrated since 25 AD; elderly appreciation and ancestor commemoration)



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