Fairfax County School Board Considers Pre-Labor Day Start for 2017-18 Year

After racking up multiple snow days due to January's harsh winter storm, Fairfax County schools could push up the start date for the 2017-2018 school year. 

The Fairfax County School Board is considering starting school before Labor Day now that the school district qualifies to waive the state's post-Labor Day requirement, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) announced Tuesday. 

Typically, schools in Virginia start classes the week after the final summer holiday, complying with a state code known as the "Kings Dominion Law." The 1986 legislation grants students an extra weekend of vacation to boost local tourism and amusement park business in Virginia, as well as keep teen employees working through the end of summer. 

However, Virginia's Board of Education offers an opt-out option if a school district is closed for an average of eight days per year during five of the past 10 years. 

Fairfax County has averaged 8.4 missed days due to adverse weather conditions and other emergencies for five of the past 10 years, FCPS said Tuesday. 

However, a later start date is not a done deal. The school board will discuss the matter further during a future work session, and will ask for feedback from parents, faculty and community members before taking a vote. 

FCSP will maintain its post-Labor Day start date for the 2016-2017 school year. Classes will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 6 this fall.

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