Fairfax County School Board Approves SY 2021-22 Calendar
Calendar Designed to Recognize, Respect, and Honor the Plurality of Religious and Cultural Observances
Dear FCPS Community,
Last night, the Fairfax County School Board approved a calendar for the 2021-22 school year that is designed to recognize, respect, and honor the plurality of religious and cultural observances in Fairfax County.
The calendar recognizes a diverse range of 15 religious and cultural observances including Eid al-Adha, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Día de los Muertos, Diwali, Bodhi Day, Three Kings Day/Epiphany, Orthodox Christmas, Orthodox Epiphany, Lunar New Year, Ramadan, Good Friday, Theravada, Orthodox Good Friday/Last Night of Passover and Eid al-Fitr - all religious and cultural observances where Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has seen above-average absences over the last five years. It also decouples Good Friday from Spring Break.
FCPS will update two regulations to include language preventing the scheduling of tests, quizzes, or field trips on any of the 15 identified religious or cultural days of observance. Tests and quizzes will be given prior to any of the 15 days, so that students will not be expected to study on these days. Schools will no longer schedule graduation, homecoming, or any FCPS-scheduled athletic events on those dates. Employees are permitted to make up 16 hours of any time they miss for religious or cultural observances. Religious and cultural observance leave will no longer be denied.
The calendar sets the first day of school as Monday, August 23, 2021, and the last day of school as Friday, June 10, 2022. The approved calendar includes a three-day Thanksgiving break (November 24-26, 2021), a two-week winter break (December 20, 2021 to December 31, 2021), and a one-week spring break (April 4-8, 2022).
We acknowledge that while this has been a challenging discussion, FCPS is committed to equity for all of its students and staff. Moving forward, FCPS will establish a calendar development process that allows the School Board to identify clear criteria and priorities for the calendar; defines the roles of staff, Board, and community members; and creates a robust community engagement process that outlines how and where feedback will be solicited and shared with the Board.
We want you to know that we are committed to ensuring that equity is at the heart of everything we do in FCPS and that it will always form the basis of any decision we make within FCPS going forward. Read the press release.
Scott S. Brabrand, Superintendent
Fairfax County Public Schools