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Later start times for Fairfax County High Schools

After several years of studies commissioned to the Children’s National Health System, the Fairfax County School Board voted yesterday to implement later start times for high school students.

Sleeping lion

Everybody needs their precious sleep

Later start times for high schools means earlier start times for middle schools

The new strategy will cost over $4M to implement and it will flip-flop the middle school schedules with the high school schedules.  Fairfax County Middle schools will now have earlier bell schedules (around 7:30am), and High schools will now have bell schedules starting at around 8:15 am.

This is one of a couple of recent changes favored by FCPS parents

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Fairfax County Schools calendar 2014-2015 (with a few good surprises)

A few weeks ago, the Board for the Fairfax County Public Schools voted to implement a new master calendar.  We had mentioned it on our Full Day Mondays post.

The new FCPS school Calendar includes several student holidays

The new FCPS school Calendar includes several student holidays (click image to download)

At the time, the Board had made the decision to implement Full Day Mondays.

However, there seem to have been a lot of push-back from teachers and school personnel regarding the lack of teacher planning time with the new schedule.

Teachers pushed back for the lack of planning time

The teachers seem to have made a strong case for their lost planning time with the new schedule, so the Board analyzed the situation and voted to adjust the master calendar to allow for enough teacher planning time throughout the year.

What does this mean to you?

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Why many FCPS school assignments are incorrect

Last week, one of our readers asked a very important question.  She wanted to understand why it was that a home for sale that she really liked had “funky” school assignments.

Home for Sale in Woodson HS boundary

Home for Sale in Woodson HS boundary

In her particular situation, the house that she was considering was in the Woodson High School boundary (she used the Home by School interactive app* to find it).

Once she found the house, she double-checked the schools on the home listing with the official boundary system at the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) website [1].

She double-checked the official FCPS school assignments

When she confirmed what the official FCPS school assignments were for that house, she found that while the assigned high school was Woodson, and the middle school was Frost MS (in the Woodson Pyramid),  the elementary school was not in the Woodson Pyramid.

Instead, the elementary school assigned to that house belonged to the Fairfax Pyramid.

Our reader was, rightfully, confused and wondered what that meant in the long run

  • Could it be that the assignments were incorrect?
  • Or perhaps that the middle and high schools would be re-assigned in the future to the Fairfax Pyramid?

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Last chance to vote for Full Day Mondays for Fairfax County Schools

Not too long ago, we wrote about the 3 Reasons Why Loudoun County Schools are better than Fairfax County Schools [1].

Vote before June 23rd, 2014

Vote before June 23rd, 2014

In the article, we described how Molly’s family (our clients), had chosen to live in Loudoun County because of one main reason:

  • Full Day Mondays

Since Molly and Dan work full time, they could really see the benefit to having a consistent schedule all week long for their son, Ike, which they couldn’t get if he attended Fairfax County Public Schools.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) currently offers half-day Mondays

All Elementary schools in Fairfax County currently have a shortened school day on Mondays.

For example, the schedule for Wolftrap Elementary School:

  • Monday:  8:40 am to 12:50pm,
  • Tuesday – Friday:  8:40 am to 3:20 pm

For many families, the shortened schedule on Mondays represents a logistical problem, especially when both parents work outside the home.

The good news is that the School Board for Fairfax County is considering changing the schedule to allow for full day Mondays possibly starting as early as the fall of 2014. Continue Reading…

Best Fairfax County Schools: The VIP Awards

Jason and his family are moving to Fairfax County this coming school year, and Jason’s parents want to make sure that he attends the best schools in Fairfax County and is as challenged as possible throughout his school experience.

Kids earn Academic Performance Awards

Virginia Schools also earn Academic Performance Awards

Jason is currently in elementary school, so his parents want to make sure that he has the opportunity to go to a top elementary school, in a couple of years attend a top middle school, and further down the road a top high school.

For this, they would like to know which are the best schools in Fairfax County, VA.  And they figured that the Virginia Department of Education would have a list of its best schools, and specifically for their needs, the best ones in Fairfax County.

Which are the best schools in Virginia?

Continue Reading…

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