FCPS requests assistance in calendar selection

FCPS requests assistance in calendar selection

Andrew Banocy, Editor-in-Chief

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) continues their selection process for next school year’s calendar through the month of February. A recent mass email outlined the process for the selection to students. Four calendars are listed, those being Blue, Orange, Green, and Purple. These calendars are all similar in structure, but with slight changes to things like break lengths and number of instructional days through the whole of the year. When a calendar is eventually decided upon, it will remain in effect for the next three school years at FCPS.


The guidelines for the calendar making process include a multitude of circumstances set by the county and the superintendent that must be inevitably met by the decided upon calendar format. These include a one week spring break just before Easter to accommodate religious and similar precedents, a three day Thanksgiving break, a day off for Veterans Day, along with all calendars besides Purple having the same number of professional development days (the Purple Calendar contains three more). 


The following information outlines the four calendars so that students and their families can make the most informed decision that the county has to offer through their propositions.


The Blue Calendar

The Blue Calendar would see students and staff returning for their first day two weeks before Labor Day for 180 instructional days until the school year ends on June 14, 2024. This calendar includes a two week winter break as FCPS has implemented in the majority of past years, and the quarter lengths are six, five, eight, and seven “full 5-day instructional weeks” pending any days off for holidays or development days.


The Orange Calendar

The Orange Calendar also determines schooling to begin two weeks prior to Labor Day with 180 instructional days and the 6/5/8/7 week quarter format. However, there is a slight change between the Blue and Orange Calendars, as Orange would shorten the county’s winter break by three days, and similarly the end date of the school year, this being bumped up three days to June 11, 2024.


The Green Calendar

The Green Calendar adds a slight edge to student’s summer break, with the year beginning only one week before Labor Day and ending approximately a week later than the Blue Calendar on June 20, 2024. The quarter lengths in terms of full instructional weeks are listed as six weeks for the first three quarters and seven for the final one, and the 180 instructional days remains a constant factor that FCPS deems important to learning standards. Similar to the Orange Calendar, there is a shortened winter break by three days.


The Purple Calendar

Once again starting two weeks prior to Labor day, the Purple Calendar contains 177 instructional days and the 6/6/6/7 week quarters seen in the Green Calendar which adds up to a concluding date of June 13, 2024. This calendar re-establishes the two week winter break from mid-December to early January and with less instructional time and more teacher work days, this calendar appears to be the favorite among staff and students alike.


FCPS has requested as much feedback as possible from their students, staff, and families, and have included a form with all calendar options and the availability for those groups to include their feedback to the county. You can provide your feedback here until January 31st at 1:00PM: FCPS Calendar Survey.


Similarly, FCPS has disclosed the agenda and minutes of their most recent calendar meeting, a copy of which can be found at this link: Calendar Discussions.


Finally, more can be learned of the calendar brainstorming, drafting, deciding, and implementation process on the FCPS website through the following link: FCPS Calendar Process.