Academic Calendar July 2024 To June 2025

Manassas School Board considering changes to next year’s school calendar

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The Manassas City School Board is considering potential changes to next year’s academic calendar to help give teachers time to adjust to and complete new required training as part of the Virginia Literacy Act.

There are a number of required trainings teachers must complete for new standards set by the Virginia Department of Education as part of the Virginia Literacy Act.

“We are making this proposal to put our school division in a better position to meet training demands associated with recent updates to the Virginia Literacy Act and the approval of both new math and language arts standards that will need to be implemented next year,” said Ed Stephenson, director of instruction for the school division.

Next school year, all kindergarten through sixth-grade teachers will be implementing a new literacy program, benchmark advanced and intervention program as part of the Virginia Literacy Act, according to Katy Keegan, the director of professional learning.

All kindergarten through third-grade teachers will be utilizing reading plans for identified students, which is a process they will need to be trained on, Keegan said.

Additionally, all kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers will be required to complete a Canvas course on the science of reading.

There are also new standards that will be implemented for both English language arts and math.

“This will take considerable time for teachers to unpack all of the new standards and adjust instruction and assessments to ensure they are aligned to the new standards. Our goal is to fulfill the requirements of the VLA while continuing to move forward with the priority areas that have been identified within our strategic plan,” Keegan said.

Keegan said that while the high school level does not technically fall under the Virginia Literacy Act, there are still the new English Language Arts and math standards that will need to be addressed for those grades.

The school division provided the School Board a list of recommendations for the 2024-2025 school calendar to help teachers in meeting the new standards and created two calendar options that encompass those recommendations.

The list of recommendations is as follows:

Label all student holidays except parent-teacher conferences as professional days

Add a day for new teacher academy (July 26)

Shift certain student holidays to align with existing holidays on the calendar

Shift existing early release days to Wednesdays for consistency and planning purposes

Add four early release days on Oct. 23, March 12, May 14 and students’ last day to give staff more time to engage in professional learning but within their contract

Move parent-teacher conferences to Nov. 4 and Feb. 12

Both options presented by the school division — options A and B — contain all of the above recommendations.

The two options diverge in a few key ways. While option A keeps the first parent-teacher conferences now proposed to happen on Nov. 4 as an early release day for students, option B would make that parent-teacher day a full day to allow more flexibility in scheduling conferences with families.

That would make Nov. 4 a student holiday and option B also proposes to make Nov. 5 a student and teacher holiday because of the presidential election. Option B also proposes an extended winter break, making it two full weeks.

All of the changes in the second option also means the school division would need to add three more days at the end of the school year, making the last day of school for students June 4 rather than May 30. The last day of school for teachers would move to June 5.

School Board Vice Chair Lisa Stevens said the reason the school division needs to amend the calendar to create more time for teachers to catch up to the new standards is because there will be no grace period in teaching the new material and standards.

Typically, Stevens said, when the Virginia Department of Education updates any standards, school divisions are given a grace period in which teachers can work in the old standards while they unpack the new standards. That is not the case for the latest standards update.

The School Board will make a decision on the academic calendar revision at its April 23 meeting. School Board members encouraged members of the public to weigh in and offer their opinions on the topic before the board takes a vote.

“Now is the time to spread the word. Let people know that we have two choices and that we are seeking feedback. So if people have thoughts about one of these two plans, we are very interested in hearing it,” said School Board member Jill Spall.

Split Year Calendars / (July to June) - PDF templates
Split Year Calendars / (July to June) – PDF templates
July  - June  Large Art Poster - Deluxe Wall Academic Calendar
July – June Large Art Poster – Deluxe Wall Academic Calendar
Split Year Calendars / (July to June) - PDF templates
Split Year Calendars / (July to June) – PDF templates