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Monday, February 27, 2017

The school year won't end early

Remember snow? This was Annandale in February 2014. 
Since it’s been an unseasonably mild winter with no now and thus no school closures due to bad weather – at least, so far – does that mean the school year could end earlier in the June? The answer from Fairfax County Public Schools is “no.”

Here’s how FCPS explains it: “Virginia law requires school districts to provide 180 days or 990 hours of classroom instruction each school year. FCPS reverts to the 990-hour calendar only if the 180-day requirement is not met because of severe weather conditions or other emergency situations.”

FCPS used to have a 183-day school year with the three extra days to be used for snow and other emergencies. Once the three snow days were used, additional days had to be added to the end of the school year to meet the state requirement.

In 2014-15, the school board adopted a 180-day calendar, “which exceeds the 990-hour state requirement because of the length of the student day,” FCPS states. “The additional time (hours) is converted to ‘days’ that can be used in the event of inclement weather. An advantage of the built-in hours is that days do not need to be added on at the end of the year, as was done in years past, when too many snow days were used.”

“There is no means for days to be given back at the end of the year because those additional ‘days’ are simply the excess time beyond 990 hours and, if the days were given back, FCPS would fall short of the required 180-day school year,” FCPS continues. “In addition, teacher contracts (mostly 194 days in length) are based on a 7.5-hour day and are tied to the number of school days per year with teacher workdays included.”


  1. FCPS is riduclous with all these extra days they our given to the kids. They have been playing games with the calendar and most month he has two Mondays off a month. FCPS threw in all these "Student Holidays" and "2 hour early". Those mess up not only the school schedule but the sports and extra activities that are held at schools. Keeping the kids in school to almost the end of June is ridiculous. I know they are starting a week early this year which I do not agree with either. They can fix the calendar so the kids get out in the second week of June. I think the FCPS School Board must not have children in the schools you can tell they are not thinking outside of their box. Of the 12 School Board members only 5 currently have students in FCPS.

  2. With the budget crisis that the county is under, saving 13 schools days worth of transportation costs, utilities, hourly salaries, etc should be a priority. Their methodology doesn't make a lot of sense. Days vs. hours, really?

  3. Teaching students is FCPS' priority.