Chesterfield School Board seeks input on proposed 2021-22 school calendar

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Chesterfield County Public Schools would shift to a pre-Labor Day start beginning with the 2021-22 school year, according to a draft calendar scheduled to be presented to the School Board during its May 12 work session.

As allowed by changes to state law within the past year, Chesterfield County schools would open two weeks prior to Labor Day, be closed for a four-day weekend to recognize Labor Day and end two weeks earlier than normal, according to the proposal. Traditional schools would start on Aug. 23, 2021 and end on June 3, 2022. (Pending School Board approval, Bellwood and Falling Creek elementary schools would remain on a year-round schedule for the 2021-22 school year.)

“During the approval cycle for the 2020-21 school calendar, families and staff members expressed the desire to delay moving to a pre-Labor Day-start calendar until the 2021-22 school year based on plans they had already made for this coming summer,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty said. “We are bringing this proposal forward now, nearly 16 months in advance, because we want to provide families and staff members with enough time to prepare for this change.”

There are no changes to the already-approved 2020-21 school year at this time. School division leaders continue to await guidance and guidelines for reopening schools for the coming academic year.

Benefits of a pre-Labor Day start include:

  • Fewer instructional weeks remain after end-of-year, state-mandated tests
  • Added instructional weeks prior to winter exams/MAP testing
  • Dual-enrollment college schedules align better with school division start
  • Added instructional weeks prior to AP/International Baccalaureate exams
  • August athletics startup and school start dates align

“This proposed change will help maximize instruction time available prior to end-of-year testing,” Dr. Daugherty said. “Our teachers will have more time to deliver the required curriculum before assessing students’ proficiency and growth. This change benefits everyone from an instructional standpoint.”

The proposed calendar for the 2021-22 school year also meets state requirements of 990 hours of instruction at the elementary school level, 560 hours of middle school instruction in the four core subject areas, and 140 hours for a standard credit at the high school level.

The proposed 2021-22 school year calendar and the proposed 2021-22 year-round school calendar for Bellwood and Falling Creek elementary schools can be found under the May 12 meeting section at

Comments about the proposed 2021-22 calendars can be sent to [email protected]

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