General Calendar Questions

How is the school division's calendar developed?

A calendar committee, which includes administrator, teachers, staff, students, and families meets several times a year to develop a draft calendar for the division. The committee takes into consideration state law, regional programs shared with other peninsula school divisions, and other factors affecting the calendar. The committee's recommendation is given to the division superintendent and senior staff, who present it to the School Board for final approval.

When is the calendar finalized?

Typically, the School Board approves a calendar for the following school year in April. However, in April 2023, the School Board approved several key dates and parameters for the 2024-25 school year to assist families and staff with planning. Those parameters include:

  • A 180-day instructional calendar
  • First Day: Monday, August 26, 2024
  • Winter Break: Monday, December 23, 2024 through Friday, January 3, 2025
  • Spring Break: Monday, April 7 through Friday, April 11, 2025

Why does the school year begin prior to Labor Day?

Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, the division elected to start the school year in order to maximize instructional opportunities to address possible COVID-19 learning slide, increase instructional alignment for students in AP, IB and special programs, and to increase instructional time alignment for SOL based courses with testing in March and May.

Why does this year's student calendar only have 178 student days?

The Code of Virginia requires that annual school division calendars have 180 student instructional days or 990 instructional hours per school year. Additionally, high school credit bearing courses are required to have at least 140 instructional hours per course, per year. With the flexibility in these requirements, the division opted for a student calendar of 178 school days, but continues to exceed the required 990 instructional hours. Annually, the division pulls together a committee of stakeholders to review the student calendar and identify priorities for the upcoming school year. The committee's priorities this year included:

  • a 10 day Winter Break for students (to include 3 weekends)
  • ending the school year four days earlier if we start 4 days earlier
  • maintain a teacher workday following Winter Break
  • provide a teacher workday after each quarter
  • alignment of federal and regional calendars

It is important to note that not all priorities are able to be met on an annual basis.

What happens if we have weather or other related closures?

As the division's 2023-34 calendar must meet the 990 instructional hours requirements, make-up days will be determined at the discretion of the Superintendent using a combination of banked time, holidays and teacher workdays.

Why is Veterans Day no longer a student holiday?

The calendar committee identified multiple objectives for the development of the 2023-24 school calendar. To achieve these objectives, and meet state requirements regarding instructional days and hour requirements, Veterans and Columbus Days were scheduled as regular school days.

Why was there a reduction in the number of early release days for the 2023-24 school year?

In order to meet the priorities of the calendar committee while also meeting the Code of Virginia instructional hour requirements, it was necessary to reduce the number of early dismissal days. Additionally, response from families during calendar surveys indicated that early dismissals can cause a disruption to child care needs.

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