Could the School Year Start Before Labor Day for students in Virginia? Yes, if the bill repealing the “King’s Dominion” law passes the General Assembly.
In Virginia the schedule a school district follows is established at the district level, which means that each school district selects the schedule its students and teachers follow, with the exception of when classes start. Currently 77 of the 132 school districts in Virginia have waivers that allow them to start classes before Labor Day. Prince William, Loudoun, Stafford, Manassas City, Manassas Park, and Fairfax do not have waivers and must start classes the day after Labor Day. Fauquier County does have a waiver and classes there typically start the week before Labor Day.
Teachers and education advocates generally support the repeal, but some businesses that are tourism dependent oppose it because of lost revenues during that last vacation week.
The SOLs are administered based on a schedule set by the VA Department of Education, so what effect this will have on those exams and the dead time at the end of the year is unknown. It may mean that the SOLs continue to be administered the last couple of weeks in May or that the SOLs are administered a week earlier. That decision will be made by the VA DOE and will affect how much instructional time we have before the SOLs and how much dead time we have after them for sidewalk chalk day, bubble soap day, movie and pizza day, etc…
This is a General Assembly issue, so if you have an opinion on the subject, you may want to contact your state Delegate and / or Senator. Here’s a link to the “Who’s My Legislator“ function on the Virginia General Assembly’s web site to help you find your representatives and their contact information.