School   Calendar
Mid August School Start in 2018 - 2019
by Jim Hopkins, school board member
image missing In the Orange County School Board meeting on June 26, 2017, the Calendar Committee presented a draft school calendar for the 2018 -2019 school years.  It was presented a year in advance because the first day of school is proposed to be Monday August 13, 2018.  Please be aware this recommendation does not affect the up coming school year.  The first day of school in 2017 will be on Monday August 28.

Starting public schools in early or mid August has been a growing trend in Virginia for the last ten years.  Five years ago, the school board discussed opening the school year in early August but at that time the school board decided to maintain our current schedule.

In the 2018-2019 school year, both Culpeper and Spotsylvania county school systems will be starting in early or mid August.  Most of our other adjacent counties are currently starting the school year earlier than Orange County.

The decision by our adjacent counties does affect Orange because we interact with these school systems.  The most obvious interaction would be our high school sports program. Orange County has only one high school, therefore our sport competitions are with high schools in surrounding counties.  If the school systems have similar school calendars, it enhances our ability to schedule these activities.

Interaction between counties also affects our academic program.   The Orange County School System participates in several regional programs that involve surrounding counties.   The Piedmont Regional Education Program is a public regional program designed to meet the needs of special education students.   The Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School is a program for academically advanced students in high school.   Both these programs involve schools in other counties and if the participating schools have similar calendars, it is advantageous for the teachers and students.

For the reasons stated above, I am inclined to support the draft calendar for the 2018-2019 school year.