Time to Weigh in: School Board Considers 2018-2019 Calendar Options

Loudouners, you may soon be hearing from your School Board representatives.

Over the next two weeks, they want to know what parents, students and teachers want in a school calendar. The board is scheduled to adopt a calendar for the 2018-2019 academic year at its Nov. 14 meeting.

Board members were presented with three initial options at their meeting Tuesday. One, dubbed Option B, was immediately taken off the table because it would move spring break ahead two weeks, so it would no longer align with other area school systems. “It would put us in conflict with a lot of other nearby counties and make it difficult for families who work in other counties,” Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles) said.

The last two on the table are Option A and Option C. Both would start the school year on Thursday, Aug. 23; teachers would start eight days earlier on Aug. 15. Both calendars on the table would also have spring break April 15-19. The one difference between the two options is winter break: Option A would provide a shorter winter break, from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1, and Option C would add one more weekday to that break to stretch it from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1. To make up for that additional day off in January, the last day of the school year in Option C would be June 7. The last day in Option A would be June 6.

See the details of the calendar options here.

School Board members also asked staff members to come back to the next board meeting with a third option that avoids starting the school year on a Thursday.

Debbie Rose (Algonkian) and Beth Huck (At Large) said they received a slew of emails from families earlier this year who were upset about the Thursday start. “I had people angry with me–really angry–because it was an early start and a Thursday start,” Huck said.

Instead of gleaning feedback about the calendar options through a survey, School Board members said they will solicit input through their social media outlets since the difference between Option A and C is just the longer winter break.

dnadler@loudounnow.com
twitter.com/danielle_nadler

One thought on “Time to Weigh in: School Board Considers 2018-2019 Calendar Options

  • 2017-10-26 at 9:14 am
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    I just love the doublespeak of these duplicitous school board members. Jeff Morse says Option B was taken off the table because having a spring break that didn’t align with neighboring counties would be a “hardship” on families. Say WHAT?!! This is nonsense. From a business perspective, companies would prefer having their employees space out spring break vacations. Jeff knows this. What he didn’t say was that he was protecting teachers of neighboring districts who live in Loudoun. These few individuals would have their kids on spring break when they had to teach. And vice versa. Because Jeff’s spouse is a teacher, he looks out for the interests of teachers. But Jeff didn’t want to tell you that. He wanted the public to believe he had the interests of everyone in mind. Maybe this is also why Jeff and Hornberger and Turgeon are asking the legislature to eliminate the reqt that they tell the public they have conflicts when they give their teacher spouses a huge raise. Nothing is transparent in LCPS. All public communications are based on deceipt.

    Second, last year the calendar options included having professional development days at the beginning of the school year. This is more convenient for parents who wouldn’t have to find childcare during random days in the middle of the school year. Instead, they could extend their summer childcare plans for an additional week. But this year, and largely because 4 of the school board members have spouses in LCPS , the prof dev days were spread throughout the year. While these board members care about not inconveniencing their teacher friends who work in Fairfax, they could care less that the overwhelming majority of the public now has to either take vacation on 6 random days throughout the year to watch their kids or scramble for some ad hoc childcare. They only care about themselves personally. We need board members who look out for the public’s interest.

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