Policy 6230 – Ceremonies and Observances

The Superintendent of Schools shall be empowered to provide for proper observance of such events as are necessary in accordance with law, tradition, and practice.

The District recognizes that one of its educational goals is to advance the student’s knowledge and appreciation of the role that religious heritage has played in the social, cultural and historical development of civilization.

In choosing holiday activities designed to foster appreciation of diversity, teachers should assume diversity exists among their students and consider the social, emotional and cognitive development of their students. If any chosen holiday has religious significance for some, care should be taken that the activities do not require students to celebrate the holiday, express assent to a particular belief system or participate in ceremonies traditionally performed in faith communities.

Any school activity that relates to holidays associated with religion shall have a secular educational purpose, shall not advance or inhibit religion, shall avoid excessive entanglement with religion, and shall not violate the Wisconsin Constitution’s prohibition of religious or sectarian instruction.


  • Wisconsin Statutes
    • Sections 118.02 Special observance days
    • 118.025 Arbor day observance
    • 118.06 Flag and pledge of allegiance
    • 118.13 Student discrimination prohibited
    • 120.13(1) Board power to do all things reasonable for the cause of education
    • 895.20 Legal holidays
    • 895.22 Wisconsin family month
  • Wisconsin Constitution
  • Article X, Section 3 Sectarian instruction in public schools prohibited


  • 5110, Equal Educational Opportunities
  • 5341, Released Time for Religious Instruction
  • 6110, Instructional Program Mission and Beliefs
  • 6232, Prayers in the Classrooms
  • 6810, Teaching about Controversial Issues

ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS:6231, Staff Guidelines for Holiday/Religious Observances in the Schools

AFFIRMED: September 24, 1991


  • August 22, 1995
  • January 29, 2002

Rule 6230 – Guidelines for Ceremonies and Observances

  1. Proper observance of special observation days shall be held in District schools as specified in the Wisconsin Statutes.
  2. A United States flag shall be displayed from a flag staff on each school ground during the hours of each school day, and during the hours from sunrise to sunset on all legal holidays.
  3. The United States flag shall be flown at half-staff at all schools by presidential proclamation or governor, as provided in the National Flag Code and as detailed in public law. All District schools shall offer the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem in grades one to 12 each school day. No student shall be compelled, against the student’s objections or those of the student’s parent(s)/guardian, to recite the pledge or sing the anthem.
  4. Traditional holidays of various cultural groups may be appropriately observed in the School District.
  5. School-sponsored observance of religious holidays with a devotional exercise or acts of worship is prohibited.
  6. Acknowledgment of, and teaching about, religious holidays is allowed through such activities as drama, literature or other curricular areas.
  7. No student shall be required to participate in holiday activities contrary to the student’s religious convictions nor should any student be involuntarily singled out or otherwise stigmatized because of his/her religious convictions.