Alexandria, VA

Alexandria City Public Schools reiterated in a School Board meeting last Friday (May 15) that the upcoming school year won’t start before Labor Day (Sept. 7) but the next school year likely will.

In a memo to the board, Chief Human Resources Officer Stephen Wilkins said that Calendar Committee recommended the 2021-2022 school year start at on Aug. 28. School officials warned, however, that this could change depending on the long-term impact of COVID-19.

“We may be revisiting the 2021-2022 calendar again,” Hutchings said. “It may look completely different than what we have presented… With everything that’s happening with the pandemic, calendars for this year and next year could look different.”

The school district said earlier that the state legislature’s change to the requirement that schools start after Labor Day — colloquially known as the King’s Dominion Rule — came too late to give families enough time to plan for the schedule change in the 2020-2021 school year.

While officials said Alexandria is not alone in pushing back plans to start before Labor Day until the 2021-2022 school year, the school system shouldn’t fall behind other jurisdictions moving to a pre-Labor Day start to ensure that Alexandria students have as much academic time as students in other regional jurisdictions.

“We reviewed the calendars for our region,” Wilkins said. “Many jurisdictions have a pre-Labor Day start. Our concern was to align our calendars with our neighbors.”

The School Board is scheduled to vote on the calendar recommendation in one of its meetings later this month.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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