Snow daze at the Fairfax schools
By Virginia Fitz Shea
Fairfax County must emerge from its snow daze and make a reasonable effort to make up lost teaching hours after the recent storms.
The Feb. 24 Metro article “Md. schools get a break on making up snow days” cited a Fairfax County proposal to add half an hour to the school day. However, Fairfax Superintendent Jack D. Dale has since changed his recommendation and now advocates making April 12 a regular school day and adding three days to the end of the school year, then asking for a state waiver for those three days.
This proposal for a waiver would fall short of the Code of Virginia requirement to “include evidence of efforts that have been made by the school division to reschedule as many days as possible and certification by the division superintendent and chairman of the local school board that every reasonable effort for making up lost teaching days or teaching hours was exhausted before requesting a waiver of this requirement.”
The Fairfax County school board should follow the Arlington County board’s example and temporarily suspend the weekly early dismissals of most elementary school students. Fairfax and Arlington are the only districts in the Washington metropolitan area that dismiss most elementary school students two hours early once a week. These early dismissals do not serve the needs of the students, particularly in a year when they have already missed 10 days of school.
The writer is a member of the leadership team of the Fairfax Education Coalition.
| March 2, 2010; 7:21 PM ET
Categories: Fairfax County, HotTopic, schools
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