How FCPS Develops Its School Year Calendar
Feedback from a variety of sources is considered as the school calendar is developed
In an annual planning process, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) uses input from the community to develop the calendar for the following year. We are sharing our framework for creating the calendar below to ensure transparency, as we work to build a calendar that is inclusive and equitable.
Guided by Law, Policy, and Leadership
We will follow the law.
- The calendar must have a secular reason to establish a holiday, such as a significant amount of student absences that would impact operations. View a summary of absences on religious observances and holidays.
- All Virginia school divisions must provide 180 days or 990 hours of instruction.
...and the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) guidance.
- In 2021, VDOE recommended that school divisions establish a Calendar Feedback Committee with broad representation.
- This committee should include staff, students, parents, community members, religious leaders from a variety of traditions (such as Christian, Judaism, Muslim, and Hindu), a diverse group of leaders of cultural institutions, legal representation, and community leaders.
- FCPS will also solicit community feedback via a Calendar Survey and a Calendar Development Webinar.
We consider the superintendent’s priorities.
- FCPS’ superintendent is focused on our students receiving the high-quality instruction necessary for students to be successful.
- Ensuring a sufficient amount of qualified staff are in our classrooms throughout the school year, and that teachers have opportunities to extend and deepen their learning through professional development, are also critical to student success.
We listen to Fairfax County School Board members.
- Each of our 12 School Board members shares what they believe are the most important considerations for the school calendar. The Board also has final approval on the calendar.
Another consideration is alignment with surrounding jurisdictions.
- With many FCPS employees living outside of Fairfax County, we recognize the need to align our calendar with surrounding counties, when possible, to avoid impacting operations.
Input from Many Voices
With the above in mind, a Calendar Survey will be created for parents, employees, and middle and high school students. Student voice is an important part of this process! All community members will be able to participate in a Calendar Development Webinar in the fall.
The Calendar Feedback Committee will share their thoughts on what the calendar should look like during two committee meetings.
FCPS leadership will consider all of the feedback--from the committee as well as from parents, staff, students, and other Fairfax County residents--against the directives above, then create draft calendars for the School Board to consider.
The School Board votes to approve the school year calendar. That calendar will be in effect July 1 to June 30.
Please note that dates are subject to change.
October 10-24: Calendar Survey will be open.
October 19: Calendar Webinar held for families and staff.
October 25 and 27: Calendar Feedback Committee meetings.
October 31: Calendar developed by staff.
November 22: Calendar presentation posted to Boarddocs.
December 1: Calendar discussed as new business at School Board meeting.
December 13: School Board work session presentation.
December 15: School Board vote on draft calendar options.