FAQ

What goes into the school calendar?

  • One hundred eighty days or 990 hours of instruction. - At FCCPS we start by going by days because of Short Wednesdays, yet we do exceed the hour requirement
  • Currently, we start after Labor Day, and end, when possible by June 15
  • Teacher workdays before and during the school year
    • Professional Days - 9 (6 before school starts, three during the school year)
    • Professional Development Days - 5 (2 before school starts and three during the school year)
  • Faculty Flex Days - 6
  • Make-Up Days - 5 days built into the Calendar. As soon as we lose a day, we revert to hours and have several days we can absorb before hitting the makeup days.
  • Grading windows and student mini-breaks
  • Holidays and breaks for families
  • New Teacher Orientation - new teachers generally arrive one week before the return of all teachers.

What values does it reflect?

  • Values of the community. Schools should be a reflection of their community.
  • We want to ensure our students get as many days as needed to meet the code.
  • Our teachers get time to develop and plan for the coming school year and during the school year.
  • Students and teachers need breaks.

What is the contract length for teachers, administrators, etc.?

  • Most teachers are on a 200-day contract and are required to be present for 194 - they get 6 Flex Days to go to summer conferences, summer planning, etc.
  • Administrators are 11-month or 12-month depending on the position
  • Some staff are on 200-day contracts and then are provided a per diem to work an extra additional month in the summer.

How has a decision traditionally been made about the school calendar?

  • Ad Hoc Calendar committee developed in the fall - appointed by PEAC representatives and includes FCCPS leadership. Chief Academic Officer (CAO) is the lead for this work.
  • Ad Hoc Calendar committee reviews start and end dates, holidays, vacations, teacher workdays, quarter balance, etc.
  • Ad Hoc Calendar committee helps develop and reviews sample schedule(s)
  • Sample schedule(s) the sent to FCCPS staff as a survey for feedback
  • Feedback results shared with FCCPS
  • The Superintendent accepts schedule schedule
  • The Calendar is then shared and voted on by the School Board
  • The timing of the process is typically October-December
  • The Clerk of the School Board is involved as well

Explanation of the new Virginia Legislation regarding the starting of school:

Per SB 1005 and HB 1652: Each local school board is “to set the school calendar so that the first day students are required to attend school is no earlier than 14 days before Labor Day unless the Board of Education waives such requirement for good cause.”

The law had previously required school boards to set their calendars so that the first day of student attendance was after Labor Day (absent the Board of Education waiving that requirement for good cause). The new code language requires school boards that set the first day of school before Labor Day to “close each school in the school division from the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day through Labor Day.”

Range of possibilities to include Pre and Post Labor Day Options

For the 2020-21 school year, Labor Day falls on Monday, September 7, 2020, therefore

  • We can still start the day after Labor Day - Tuesday, September 8, 2020
  • The earlier the school year could start is Monday, August 24, 2020 - 14 days before Labor Day
    • For pre-Labor Day start, the first day of school could be as early as August 24 or as late as September 3.  Under the revised law, schools must close on Friday, September 4, 2020, and Monday, September 7, 2020 (Labor Day)
    • If school starts before Labor Day, the school year would likely end earlier - but not necessarily one day earlier for each day that we start earlier. We still need to build out the calendar with the workday, professional days, holidays, etc.
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