Area High Schools Finding Creative Ways to Fill Extra Days

South Lakes High School Mural painting. Tasting foods of the world. Basketball (outdoors). Dance off. Field Trip to Lincoln Summer Cottage. College essay workshop. Kickball.

These are a few of the more than 45 choices South Lakes High School underclassmen will have when they attend school June 23 and 24.

The partial days, along with June 25, were tacked on to the school year because Fairfax County Public Schools used 11 snow days in 2013-14.  While several snow days are built into the school calendar, once the allotted days are used, the schools must make up the days.

The FCPS school board is considering eliminating early release Mondays for elementary school students as a longterm solution to the “snow days problem.” Rather than requiring students to attend 180 days, the system could opt, under state law, to have children in school 990 hours. The new system would have greater flexibility on snow days.

If the school board votes the hourly calendar into effect, it could change as early as next year.

That does not help 2013-14, though, where administrators must fill up the extra days even after teacher grade books have been completed.

SLHS Principal Kim Retzer says the administration is  “excited that so many staff volunteered to offer our students a variety of learning experiences on June 23 and 24.

“We know many families have already made plans, so we are expecting a smaller number of students attending those days. At this point we are planning for several hundred [students].”

Many students will skip those final days, though. SLHS says if they are not coming, just send a note and it will be an excused absence.

If the SLHS student is going to attend, they need to sign up for their mini course by June 16. See the complete list of offerings on the school’s website.

Over at Herndon High, students will have a seminar/field day on June 23 and 24.

“This day will include a motivational speaker in the auditorium, meaningful breakout sessions around topics such as cyberbullying, college and career readiness, SAT/ACT prep, honors/AP information and Kids At Hope updates,” principal William Bates wrote in an email to HHS parents. “Students will end the morning with a field day and opportunities for service learning.”

Herndon administrators also understand that people already have plans for that week, snow days or not.

“Families are encouraged NOT to alter vacation, camp, or summer enrichment plans in order to attend our June 24 and June 25 activity days,” Bates said in his message. “These will be excused absences.”

Will your high school students stay or play? Take our poll or tell us in the comments.

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