Albemarle County Schools Will Be Open on All Four Make-Up Days

Schools Now Will Be Open February 15, April 1, and June 6-7 as a Result of Four Days Missed Due to Winter Storm

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Last week’s winter storm and its aftermath resulted in all Albemarle County public schools being closed the past four school days, triggering the use of the division’s four make-up days on the school calendar. Schools now will be in session on Monday, February 15; Friday, April 1; and Monday and Tuesday, June 6 and 7.

Originally, February 15 and June 7 were to be professional development days, and June 6 was on the calendar as a teacher work day. Schools also were to be closed on April 1, which was designated as a green work day, on which staff were encouraged to telecommute.

All schools will remain closed from Monday, April 4, through Friday, April 8, for spring break.

The school division’s deputy superintendent, Dr. Matthew Haas, said no further calendar adjustments for school closures are expected this school year. “The state requires a minimum of 990 instructional hours by each school division, and our school calendar exceeds that by the equivalent of nine schools days,” he said.

Additionally, other provisions in the state’s school calendar requirements mean that Albemarle County Public Schools would not need to add any further school days to the calendar, unless schools were closed an additional 13 days for weather or emergencies between now and the end of the school year.

“We wanted to preserve some lost instructional time, which was the basis for designating four make-up days,” Dr. Haas said. “One of the strengths of our calendar process continues to be the input we receive from our community. In previous years, for example, school weather closures have led to reductions in the time allotted for spring break. The public responses to our online calendar surveys clearly favor protecting designated vacation time for our families,” he added.

Among the agenda items for the School Board’s work session tomorrow night is information on the proposed school calendar for 2016-17. An approval of the new calendar is expected next month. Approximately 2,000 community responses were received earlier this year on next year’s calendar and contributed to the choices being proposed tomorrow evening. A follow-up survey in the past week generated another 1,600 responses from parents, school staff, and students in secondary schools.

“Among the most widely expressed opinions in this most recent survey was support for the school division to maintain the two-week winter break we have provided in the past few years. It’s clear our community values a healthy balance during the school year between instructional and family time,” Dr. Haas said.