The Fairfax County School Board approved a master calendar change last Thursday that will provide a uniform length elementary school day and eliminate the shortened Monday schedule beginning in September 2014. This change will increase instructional time for students and will allow for 20 minutes of daily recess. In addition, the change will guarantee dedicated planning time for elementary teachers totaling 300 minutes per week.
The change also solves the challenge of meeting the annual 990 instructional hour requirement in state law, which Fairfax County Public Schools does not meet under the current shortened Monday schedule. Instead, FCPS has met the state requirement of a 180-day calendar, which resulted in sometimes having to add days to the end of the school year to make up missed days due to inclement weather. The new uniform elementary schedule will eliminate making up inclement weather days at the end of the school year if fewer than 13 days are missed.