CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Chesterfield County Schools is a proposing a new school calendar for the 2021-2022 school year that would shift the first day of school two weeks before Labor Day.
With the proposed change, the district would open on August 23, 2021, and end June 3, 2022. Bellwood and Falling Creek elementary schools would not be affected.
The district wanted to change the calendar for the 2020-2021 school year, but Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said families and staff thought it was too quick of a turnaround.
“We are bringing this proposal forward now, nearly 16 months in advance, because we want to provide families and staff members with enough time to prepare for this change,” said Daugherty.
According to the district, benefits of a pre-Labor Day start include:
- Fewer instructional weeks after end-of-year testing, state-mandated tests
- More instructional weeks prior to winter exams/MAP testing and AP/International Baccalauereate exams
- Dual-enrollment college schedules better align with the school division start
- August sports startup and school start date align
Last year, the General Assembly gave school districts the power to start school before Labor Day if they want to. 8News spoke with Chesterfield parents about whether the district should start school before the holiday.
“I’m actually sort of excited about it,” said Krissy Hamlett, a mother of two. “It makes a lot of sense to have the academic testing and sports calendars all in alignment. It does give students a couple more weeks before that testing needs to be done to study and review.”
Hamlett also noted the weather as a big plus.
“The two weeks we get back in June will just be great because the last couple weeks of August are just kind of miserable, too hot to really do anything,” she said.
No parents who spoke with 8News wanted to speak out against the proposal, however several commented on social media saying schools always started after Labor Day, don’t mess with it, and adding that people are still on vacation at the end of August.
The school board will take this up at their May 12th work session. Comments about the proposed change can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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