For years, Mondays in Fairfax County have meant half-days for elementary school students and their teachers. The Fairfax County School Board is revisiting what the school week might look like for students, parents and teachers if that changes in the next few years.
Currently, students in kindergarten through sixth grade attend half-days on Mondays; the other half of the school day is reserved for teacher planning hours. According to Fairfax County School Board Member Jane Strauss, shortened Mondays were established in Fairfax County in the 1970s with the goal of providing teachers needed planning time without increasing hours and labor costs.
But some parents in the area — especially those that work — find the half-days on Mondays to be lost learning time, or an inconvenience.
Many Patch readers, like Rachel Hatcher McQuillen, support keeping shortened Mondays so teachers have time to work.
“I support the teachers. If they need the time to keep providing quality instruction to my child and receive valuable training then I can deal with the inconvenience of finding a few extra hours of care a week,” McQuillen said on Fairfax City Patch’s Facebook page.
Some readers, however, wonder about the time being used to plan. Reader Helen Kmak Bogad writes, “Something’s wrong if they need all those hours to plan, every week!”
Do you think FCPS should keep shortened Mondays so teachers have the opportunity to plan? Or, do you support returning to full-day Mondays? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Erica R. Hendry and Ethan Levine contributed reporting to this story.