School Board Adopts a Calendar for Three School Years; Supports a Culture of Academic Excellence, Equity and Opportunity
The Fairfax County School Board has approved a school calendar for the next three years that continues its commitment to academic excellence, equity, and opportunity, recognizing the diversity of our students and community, while also continuing to support the growth and professional development of our teachers and staff.
The final approved calendar was developed using input from the community before winter break and feedback on four draft calendars in January and February. It includes a two-week winter break and a spring break that is aligned with surrounding school divisions--both aspects that the community indicated as being important.
This is the first time that the School Board has approved a calendar for three years. The decision was guided by community input regarding a need to plan well in advance, and in recognition that this year’s calendar was delivered later than desired.
The first day of the 2023-24 school year will be August 21, while the last day will be June 12. Cultural observances and holidays have been adjusted for future calendars depending on whether they fall on a weekday or weekend.
“This calendar takes the needs of our students, staff, and families into consideration. Approving the calendar for the next three years allows our community to plan ahead. It also keeps our focus on high-quality teaching and learning, and continued access to academic opportunities and supports for all students,” said Dr. Michelle C. Reid, Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools.
More than 78,000 parents/caregivers, employees, students, and community members provided input early in the calendar development process by participating in a Calendar Survey, while more than 37,000 people submitted feedback on the four draft calendar options presented over the course of the last month.
“While no calendar will ever accommodate everyone, we have tried to come as close as possible. We listened to the community both at the input and feedback stages of the process and have worked hard to reflect community voice,” said School Board Chair Rachna Sizemore Heizer.
The approved school year calendar features:
- Approved for the 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26 school years.
- 180 days of instruction to maximize permitted instructional time.
- 15 professional workdays for teachers and staff to ensure the most highly-qualified instructional staff are serving our students and to allow staff time to close out each quarter.
- Recognition of key community cultural observances or religious holidays.
- A start date that allows for almost two full weeks of instruction before the Labor Day holiday - school divisions that start before Labor Day are required to take both the Friday and Monday of the Labor Day holiday weekend as student holidays.
- A two-week winter break.
- A spring break that is aligned with surrounding counties and school divisions, as many FCPS employees live outside of Fairfax County.
Creation of the school year calendar was guided by a framework that clearly outlines criteria FCPS must consider when developing a calendar. Factors include federal, state and Virginia Department of Education guidance; the superintendent’s priorities as well as the School Board’s; student and staff absentee data; and surrounding jurisdictions’ calendars.
In addition to the School Board’s calendar vote, the Board approved an amendment directing the superintendent to develop a draft calendar policy for the Board’s consideration prior to any future calendar discussion. The policy will include, but is not limited to, factors that are considered, how they will be determined, and how they will be prioritized.
For more information, please contact the Office of Communication and Community Relations at [email protected].