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Next winter’s school term could end by winter break

Tuesday, Dec. 17 | By Mark Grandstaff | Google+
Next year, Fauquier's school superintendent wants the first term to end by winter break.

At the Dec. 16 meeting of the Fauquier County School Board, Dr. David Jeck, division superintendent, recommended a new school calendar for school year 2014-2015. Initially two calendar proposals were under consideration, one that mirrored the calendar model the school division currently uses and another that ends the first term by winter break.

Over the past month the school division sought input from parents and employees regarding their preference between the two calendar proposals. Calendar A proved to be more popular by slightly better than a 3 to 1 ratio, according to a release from Fauquier County Public Schools.

The intent of ending the term before winter break is two-fold: many educators and citizens have often complained about the fragmentation of the month of January in the current calendar model; students are out of school for two holidays, two teacher work days and two half days within the month. Secondly, winter break provided a natural point of closure for planning, teaching and learning.

After input from teacher and parent groups, the original Calendar A was revised in order to alleviate concerns about the timing of Parent-Teacher Conferences. In addition, wording was added regarding make-up days under the newer calendar model:

Monday, Nov. 3 is changed from a full day to a half day of school, coupled with Parent-Teacher Conferences from 1-8 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 4 (Election Day) becomes an at-home Teacher Work Day.
The second-term Parent-Teacher Conference date is changed from Monday, April 6 to Tuesday, March 24.
Spring break is reduced from six to five days: March 30-31 and April 1-3. Holidays for 12-month employees are Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3.
Monday, April 6 becomes a regular school day.

This text is added at the bottom of the calendar: Makeup Days: The first five days missed due to inclement weather are covered by banked time and do not have to be made up. The next five days missed will be added to the end of the year in this order: June 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Fauquier County citizens may contact their School Board member with comments regarding the recommended calendar prior to the Board’s January 13, 2014, meeting. The Board will likely approve a school year 2014-2015 calendar in January or February 2014.

Recommended Fauquier calendar for school year 2014-2015

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