Students will start the 2015-16 school year earlier than they’re used to in Prince William County.
The school board voted unanimously Wednesday to adopted a school calendar that includes a pre-Labor Day opening. Students will show up for classes on August 31, 2015, a change from the usual September start date.
The decision also means Prince William County Schools will have a full two weeks for winter break and an earlier last day of school on June 17, 2016. A spokesperson says the change will also give teachers more classroom time before testing.
Prince William County was eligible for a waiver from Virginia’s so-called “Kings Dominion law”. In 1986, the General Assembly passed legislation prohibiting school districts from starting class before Labor Day. The rule gave the state’s tourism industry, and particularly theme parks, more time to see large crowds. Prince William County qualified for the waiver, because it has averaged a significant number of snow days used over the past 10 years.
Other northern Virginia school districts that don’t request a waiver will likely start on September 8, 2015.