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FCPS Approves 2017-18 Calendar With August Start Date

by Jennifer van der Kleut — December 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm 10 Comments

FCPS Buses/Credit: FCPSIt’s official: The first day of school in Fairfax County next year will fall in August, marking the first time in decades that area schools will start before Labor Day.

The Fairfax County School Board approved the calendar for the 2017-18 school year this week, with school starting on Monday, Aug. 28, and ending earlier than usual, on Friday, June 15.

Although the law in Virginia — called the “Kings Dominion Rule” — mandates that school should start after Labor Day, Fairfax County Public Schools applied for a waiver from the commonwealth. FCPS was informed in February that it could get the waiver until at least the 2019-20 school year because the district had canceled school an average of at least eight days per year in at least five of the past 10 years due to inclement weather.

In the 2013-14 school year, FCPS was forced to add three days to the end of the school year due to missing more than the maximum number of school days allowed, Washington Post reported.

Following that school year, discussions began about starting the instructional calendar earlier. This past spring, the district polled families to gauge their support for moving the first day of school into August.

Parents who participated in the survey were fairly evenly split, 52 to 47 percent, between those in favor of and those opposed to the earlier start date, respectively. More than 60 percent of responding FCPS staff said they favored the change.

Outgoing FCPS Superintendent Karan Garza had long advocated for the change as well.

“These changes are being made to provide more instructional time before winter break, enhanced flexibility to help students and school staff members meet college application deadlines, and to end the school year earlier in June,” FCPS officials said Thursday.

The 2017-18 school year will include a full two weeks off in winter, letting out Dec. 18, 2017 and resuming on Jan. 2, 2018.

The full 2017-18 calendar is on the district’s website.

Photo via Fairfax County Public Schools 

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  • Greg

    And, just how much did this cost the broker-than-dead-broke Hillary school system?

    For a one-week earlier start? #smfh

    • Mike M

      If only they got their meals tax! Then they could begin year round and be the cat’s meow at the next Education Association conference. Awards would follow. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

      But with the brilliant scheme, they can at least justify their next budget increase request.

      • ah

        Does Dogwood still do year round?

    • BlindedByScience

      This is the hidden cost of the consequences of climate change, and it won’t be the first.

      • ah

        Lol

      • House

        but it’s still chilly early to late June in area community pools.

        This was just another case of KG trying to make FFX co “status quo.” There was something that made the county schools pretty desirable – to students, parents, and teachers, prior to Gaza. She managed to strip away every single thing that made FFX different (dare I say good) and then she bails.

    • ah

      But then they will get out a week earlier in the summer.

  • Sam

    So how do they have more time before Christmas break if you’re also starting Christmas break 1 week earlier? Who did that math?

    Why are they getting two full weeks off? Christmas and New Years are on a Monday next year.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Hey, Garza. Can I get a gift reciept with this present, please? I don’t think it’s my size, so I’d like to exchange it for something more comfortable.

  • Umbreon211

    So 1 month early and august is in summer, SOMEONE PAY THE COOLER BILLS BECAUSE THE HEAT IS GONNA BE UNBEARABLE UNTIL FALL

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