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Proposed 2016-17 School Calendar Includes Additional Day Off for Thanksgiving

| December 4, 2014 | 0 Comments | Education

schoolbusPrince William County Schools staff presented the proposed 2015-2016 school calendar to the School Board Wednesday night.

While the committee did not recommend a two-week winter break for students and staff, the proposed calendar did offer three days off for the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 25-26).

“This has becoming a trend locally with the majority of the surrounding jurisdictions giving the full day off,” Dr. Jennifer Coyne Cassata Director, Office of Accountability, said.

Attendance before Thanksgiving break is typically the lowest of the year; approximately 30 percent of students are absent on the half-day before the holiday.

The calendar opens county schools Sept. 8, 2015 and ends the school year for students June 23, 2016. June 24 will be a workday for teachers.

Due to the “Kings Dominion Law,” state schools cannot open to students prior to Labor Day.

“I would say to parents, if this is something that concerns you, if you are not happy with us starting as late as Sept. 8, if you would like to see us start earlier or have the option to start earlier, I say, contact your state senator; contact your delegate,” Gainesville District School Board Member Alyson Satterwhite said. “We’d like to have control of our start date. As you can see now, this is a one-week impact that really affects our lives.”

Key dates on the proposed annual calendar include:

  • Oct. 12 – Division-wide Professional Learning Day
  • Nov. 2 – Elementary Teacher Workday and Middle School/High School Teacher Workday/Conference Day/Professional Development (closed for students)
  • Nov. 3 – Elementary Parent Conference Day and Middle School/High School Teacher Workday/Conference Day/Professional Development (closed for students)
  • Nov. 11 –Veterans Day Holiday
  • Nov. 25 – 27 – Thanksgiving Break for Students and Teachers (Nov. 26-27 for all employees)
  • Dec. 23 – Jan. 1 – Winter Break (Students return Jan. 4.)
  • Jan. 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
  • Jan. 29 – Conference Day (1/2 day for Elementary Schools)
  • Feb. 1– Teacher Workday (ES/MS/HS Closed)
  • Feb. 15 – Presidents’ Day Holiday
  • March 21 ‐ 28 – Spring Break for Students/Teachers (March 24‐25 – All Employees)
  • April 18 – Teacher Workday (Closed for students)
  • May 30 – Memorial Day Holiday
  • June 23 – Last Day of School

Cassata said the proposed calendar standardizes the school year at 182 days at all levels.

The 25 members calendar committee includes parents, students, teachers, principals, employee association representatives, Student Learning and Accountability representatives and human resources representatives.

The School Board will vote on the school calendar proposal at a future meeting

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