Pre-Labor Day Openings

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School Calendar

The 2019 General Assembly passed new legislation amending provisions in the Code of Virginia regarding the setting of school calendars and the first day that students may be required to attend school: HB 1652, SB 1005, and HB 2041. Accordingly, it will no longer be necessary for school divisions to seek waivers to begin the school year prior to Labor Day, except for certain divisions providing year-round instructional programs.

Effective July 1, 2019, § 22.1-79.1 of the Code of Virginia, provides:

  • All school divisions in Virginia may set the school calendar such that the first day students are required to attend is up to 14 days before Labor Day. Those divisions beginning school prior to Labor Day must close each school in the school division from the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day through Labor Day.
  • Divisions granted a waiver to open prior to Labor Day for the 2018-2019 school year may begin school earlier than 14 days before Labor Day, but must close the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day through Labor Day.
  • Divisions granted a waiver to open prior to Labor Day for the 2011-2012 school year may begin school earlier than 14 days before Labor Day, and are not required to close the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day.

The 2011-2012 school year is referenced in accordance with flexibility provided by the General Assembly in the 2012 Appropriation Act, Item 139.A.17, which was carried forward in each subsequent Appropriation Act until 2019.

School Division Pre-Labor Day Waivers

This section reflects the Virginia Department of Education’s record of school division waivers to open prior to Labor Day for the 2011-2012 and 2018-2019 school years.

The following school divisions did not receive a waiver for 2018-2019 and did not receive a waiver for 2011-2012

  • Accomack County
  • Charles City County
  • Chesapeake City
  • Colonial Beach
  • Colonial Heights City
  • Dinwiddie County
  • Essex County
  • Falls Church City
  • Franklin City
  • Fredericksburg
  • Gloucester County
  • Greensville County
  • Hampton City
  • Hanover County
  • Henrico County
  • Hopewell City
  • Isle of Wight County
  • King and Queen County
  • King William County
  • Lancaster County
  • Mathews County
  • Middlesex County
  • New Kent County
  • Newport News City
  • Norfolk City
  • Northampton County
  • Northumberland County
  • Petersburg City
  • Poquoson City
  • Portsmouth City
  • Powhatan County
  • Prince George County
  • Richmond County
  • Salem City
  • Southampton County
  • Stafford
  • Suffolk City
  • Surry County
  • Sussex County
  • Virginia Beach City
  • West Point
  • Westmoreland County
  • Williamsburg-James City County
  • York County

The following school divisions received a waiver for 2018-2019, but did not receive a waiver for 2011-2012

  • Brunswick County
  • Caroline County
  • Chesterfield County
  • Fairfax County
  • King George County
  • Manassas City
  • Manassas Park City
  • Mecklenburg County
  • Orange County
  • Prince William County
  • Shenandoah County

The following school divisions received a waiver for 2011-2012

  • Albemarle County
  • Alexandria City
  • Alleghany County
  • Amelia County
  • Amherst County
  • Appomattox County
  • Arlington County
  • Augusta County
  • Bath County
  • Bedford County
  • Bland County
  • Botetourt County
  • Bristol City
  • Buchanan County
  • Buckingham County
  • Buena Vista City
  • Campbell County
  • Carroll County
  • Charlotte County
  • Charlottesville City
  • Clarke County
  • Covington City
  • Craig County
  • Culpeper County
  • Cumberland County
  • Danville City
  • Dickenson County
  • Fauquier County
  • Floyd County
  • Fluvanna County
  • Franklin County
  • Frederick County
  • Galax City
  • Giles County
  • Goochland County
  • Grayson County
  • Greene County
  • Halifax County
  • Harrisonburg City
  • Henry County
  • Highland County
  • Lee County
  • Lexington City
  • Loudoun County
  • Louisa County
  • Lunenburg County
  • Lynchburg City
  • Madison County
  • Martinsville City
  • Montgomery County
  • Nelson County
  • Norton City
  • Nottoway County
  • Page County
  • Patrick County
  • Pittsylvania County
  • Prince Edward County
  • Pulaski County
  • Radford City
  • Rappahannock County
  • Richmond City
  • Roanoke City
  • Roanoke County
  • Rockbridge County
  • Rockingham County
  • Russell County
  • Scott County
  • Smyth County
  • Spotsylvania County
  • Staunton City
  • Tazewell County
  • Warren County
  • Washington County
  • Waynesboro City
  • Winchester City
  • Wise County
  • Wythe County

Year-Round School

For divisions providing year-round instructional programs, the Board of Education may waive the requirements in § 22.1-79.1 of the Code of Virginia for the year-round school(s). In accordance with § 22.1-79.1(B), the local school board must certify that the school division is providing its students, in the school year for which the waiver is sought, with instructional programs that are offered on a year-round basis in one or more of its schools. This waiver applies only to the school calendar for those schools where such year-round instructional programs are offered.

This certification is submitted as part of the annual Standards of Quality (SOQ) Compliance Data Collection for the upcoming school year. Refer to SOQ Compliance Data Collection for additional information on this process.

Effective with the 2020-2021 school year, school divisions beginning a year-round instructional program will submit their certification for the initial year as part of the SOQ Compliance Data Collection – such requests will no longer be brought before the Board of Education. Please see the Guidelines for Considering and Approving Requests for Year-Round Instructional Program Waivers Pursuant to § 22.1-79.1 for more information.

Please contact the Policy Office with any questions at or (804) 225-2092.