Dear Parents, Staff, Students and GCPS Community:
The school board met this past Tuesday night to consider proposals for how we will address the 16 missed days of school and ensure maximum delivery of instruction. The Board approved a plan that involves the following two significant revisions to our current schedule and calendar:
- Extend the current school year by 5 additional days, making the last day of school for students Friday, June 6.
- Beginning Monday, March 17th, all elementary schools will begin at 8:20 and dismiss at 3:15. This will be a permanent change. These adjustments may require new routines for afternoon pick-up. Each principal will communicate details with families.
These two changes will enable us to meet the Virginia minimum requirement of 990 instructional hours in all five schools. More importantly, this will provide all of our students with the instructional time they need to support deeper learning and prepare for spring testing.
These two changes will impact the spring testing and marking period dates accordingly:
- The SOL spring testing window and high school level course exams will be moved one week later. GHS and GMS will notify respective parents about specific details.
- Marking Periods will be adjusted as follows:
Last Day of MP3: Friday, March 28
Report Cards Printed: Tuesday, April 1
Report Cards Home: Wednesday, April 2
We are finalizing details for graduation and are considering waiving the last week of school for seniors. We will send a special letter to seniors and their families once all determinations have been made. Graduation will remain the weekend of May 30th but may move by a day or two for reasons unrelated to these calendar revisions.
I realize adjustments to the calendar are inconvenient and unpopular. We have already begun considering the suggestions we will offer the Calendar Committee to develop future calendars that could potentially accommodate significant numbers of absences without this much disruption.
As we adhere to the tenets of our newly adopted strategic plan, our decisions must align to our values and our goals. As a school community we have committed ourselves to excellence and honor and we must maximize our students’ opportunities for learning and comply with the authority of the Virginia Code. I am confident that these revisions, while difficult to implement, will support our efforts to maximize the potential of every learner.
Thank you for your continued partnership.