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School Board Approves Shortened School Year

Members unanimously vote to end 2011-12 school year two days earlier than scheduled

Though Fairfax County Public Schools students missed out on the chance to enjoy snow days during this year's mild winter, they will be granted a couple more days of summer vacation.

The school board voted unanimously to set Friday, June 15 as the last day of school for students, shortening the school year by two days. June 18 and 19, previously the last two days of school, will now function as teacher work days.

"I believe that converting June 18 and 19 to teacher work days will be a better use of those two days," member Ilryong Moon (At-large) said. "They will provide the teachers with much needed time to complete end-of-the-year assignments, school improvement planning, teacher planning and collaborative team planning and any other workload relief that can be accomplished."

Kimberly Adams, Fairfax Education Association vice president, told the board during the community input portion of the meeting her group was concerned the two work days will be used to pile more work on teachers rather than allow them extra time to complete the already heavy load typically crammed into one day at the end of the year.

"Changing the school calendar to convert two student days to two teacher work days at the end of the year is a great idea," she said. "... However, this found time should not mean piling on more data analysis and top-down management structures on our teachers. The professional educators in our system know what needs to be done to properly wrap up their school year. Having more time means that many teachers will actually be able to complete all their assigned tasks during contract hours ..."

In response to Adams' remarks, member Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill district) asked Superintendent Jack Dale to address teachers' concerns about how the time will be used.

"We've actually been working internally to prepare a memo to all the principals to try and have all the grassroots stuff that support teachers in a lot of the matters she was describing," said Dale, who added FCPS will expect teachers to take working conditions survey at some point in the next three days.

FCPS canceled classes once in the 2011-12 school year after ravaged much of the county in early September.

The schedule for graduation ceremonies remains the same. For the full schedule, click here.


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