PWCS Will Extend Labor Day Weekend Without Adding School Day

| March 21, 2019 | 0 Comments | Education

The Virginia General Assembly has voted to allow Virginia Schools to start before Labor Day without a waiver, if they include a four-day weekend for Labor Day.

The governor is expected to sign the bill into law on Mar. 26.

Virginia operates under that “Kings Dominion Law” that states that schools cannot not start before Labor Day without being granted a waiver.

Prince William Public Schools received a waiver to start before Labor Day this coming year, since the school division often incurs multiple weather-related closings. The first day of school is scheduled for Aug. 26.

In a presentation before the school board, Mar. 20, Dr. Jennifer Cassata, Director of the Office of Accountability, recommended a modified calendar in which Friday Aug. 30 of Labor Day weekend would now be a holiday.

Cassata said that because the school division included 181 days in their calendar rather than 180, there was no reason to tack on an additional day of school.

PWCS will still provide a two-week winter break extending from December 2019 through January 2020. The division will keep June 12 as its last day of school before summer break.

After the governor makes it official, the board can approve at their next meeting and the calendar will be posted on the website.

“This is wonderful news” said Gainesville school board representative Alyson Satterwhite. She noted that her board and various other boards across the state have lobbied for years for an early start date.

School divisions prefer an early start date as it allows for more preparation before standardized tests, which occur in May or earlier.

Virginia State lawmakers had concerns that the early end to the summer vacation season would cost the state tourism revenue.

The new compromise appeals to both parties.

Satterwhite said it was a relief that they would no longer need to fight for the issue. “Giving up the one day on our calendar is totally worth it.”

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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