Changes made to Fairfax County Public Schools’ 2019-2020 Calendar


The Fairfax County Public School 2019 – 2020 calendar.

Sid Ram, Social Media Manager

In an article published recently by Mclean High School’s Newspaper, the Highlander, it was made known that Fairfax County Public Schools had removed a majority of three-hour early releases from the 2019-2020 school year in addition to several other changes to the school calendar.

The Fairfax County School Board held meetings over the summer of 2018 to assemble the new calendar. The most significant change to come out of the meeting was the elimination of three-hour early releases from the calendar.

Three-hour early release days are currently used by school staff for professional development. According to a survey conducted by the school board, however, parents did not find early release days convenient to their schedules.

Three hour early releases not only allowed for staff members to get training but also for them to meet with others and plan for their classes. Eliminating them may disrupt this time for teachers.

“When we have those early dismissals, they’ve been a nice blend of [both] FCPS or school directed time and teacher directed time,” Jefferson Principal Ann Bonitatibus said.

With this being said, there will be one early release day in the 2019-2020 school year. Tentatively, the last day of school will have a three-hour early dismissal.

To compensate for the removal of three-hour early release days, the school board approved the addition of two snow days to the existing 18 and two student holidays to the existing 10. This will bring the total built-in snow days to 20, and the total student holidays to 12.

During the same meeting, there was a small discussion about the start date of the school years after 2020. FCPS currently has a waiver that expires in 2020, which allows it to start before labor day. When this waiver expires, FCPS will once again have to start a week into September. However, this may not be a problem, because there is currently a bill in the Virginia General Assembly which seeks to allow school districts to set their own start dates.