Fairfax County School Board Adopts 2018-19 Standard School Year Calendar

News Release
December 15, 2017

The Fairfax County School Board has adopted the standard school year calendar for the 2018-19 school year, which starts school for students on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, and ends the school year on Thursday, June 13, 2019. 

The calendar provides a three-day break for Thanksgiving—November 21-23, 2018. Winter break for students is scheduled from December 24, 2018, through January 4, 2019, and spring break is scheduled for the week of April 15-19, 2019.  Instructional personnel are required to begin work on Friday, August 17, 2018 with the flexibility to work remotely on that date. A total of seven teacher workdays, four school planning days, and three staff development days are included in the 2018-19 calendar.

The 2018 – 2019 Standard School Year Calendar was developed with a focus on instruction and learning time for students, as well as improved professional development opportunities for staff. While teaching and learning was the priority, a multitude of factors were considered and balanced during the development of the calendar. A calendar committee was formed this year to assist in the development of the calendar. The committee was composed of representatives from a variety of internal and external constituent groups. It included representatives of VOICE, FCCPTA, FCPS teacher and staff associations, testing services, curriculum and instruction, professional development and student activities.

Virginia law requires schools districts to provide 180 days or 990 hours of classroom instruction each school year and the proposed 2018-19 calendar is 180 days. FCPS has additional hours built into the school year calendar, not days.  However, FCPS reverts to the 990 hour calendar only if the 180 day requirement is not met because of severe weather conditions or other emergency situations. FCPS exceeds the 990 hour state requirement because of the length of the student day. The additional time (hours) is converted to “days” that can be used in the event of inclement weather, and allows FCPS to keep in compliance with State law. 

FCPS currently qualifies through the 2019-20 school year for a waiver from the Virginia Department of Education to begin the school year prior to Labor Day. This waiver is granted if a division misses an average of eight days per year during any five of the last 10 years due to weather conditions or other emergency situations.

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For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200.