Developing the VBCPS calendar is a lengthy and thoughtful process that takes months to finalize. The coordination and development of the calendar the responsibility of the Department of School Leadership. During the development process, input is requested from staff and parents prior to approval by the School Board.
Is there a minimum number of teaching days required by the state?
Yes. In accordance with state law, Section 22.1-98 of the Code of Virginia, all school divisions, must have at least 180 teaching days or 990 teaching hours in any school year.
If the state requires a minimum number of 180 instructional days, why does VBCPS have a 183-day calendar?
VBCPS values increased instructional time. During its April 17, 2001 meeting, the School Board adopted a 183-day calendar. Increasing the calendar by three days was intended to improve opportunities for students. Since the 2001-2002 school year, the School Board has adopted subsequent school calendars with 183 instructional days.
Since state law requires only 180 instructional days are the extra three days used for make-up days due to inclement weather?
No. The three additional days in the school calendar are not intended to be used as make-up days due to inclement weather. Again, VBCPS values increased instructional time and is committed to a calendar that goes beyond the minimum, therefore, there will be a corresponding commitment to make up days missed.
Why can't you just extend the school year to makeup for days missed due to inclement weather?
The need to reserve high school graduation ceremony dates at the Virginia Beach Conference Center far in advance prevents this option. High school graduation dates must be scheduled at the Virginia Beach Conference Center five years in advance. It is difficult, if not impossible, to reschedule graduation during one of the center’s busiest seasons. (High school auditoriums are not used because of space limitations.)
Since the school division is unable to extend the school year, is there a possibility of starting school prior to Labor Day?
In accordance with state law (Section 22.1 79.1 of the Code of Virginia) public schools are prohibited from starting school prior to Labor Day. The Virginia Board of Education only makes exceptions to this in cases where a school division has been closed an average of eight days per year during any five of the last 10 years because of severe weather conditions, energy shortages, power failures or other emergencies.
What is the timeline for the development of a school calendar?
Developing and finalizing the school calendar takes approximately six months from start to finish. From January through May the steps involved in this process include: 1) Review calendar to identify holidays that will impact the school year calendar; 2) Verify new legislation in the General Assembly that may impact the school calendar; 3) Develop calendar committee to provide input on draft calendar; and 4) Present calendar recommended by Calendar Committee to Superintendent and subsequently, to the School Board for review and adoption.
Who serves on the Calendar Committee?
The Calendar Committee is comprised of parents, teachers, school administrators and several central office administrators, with classroom teachers having the largest representation on the committee.