The Labor Day traditionally marks the last day of long summer recess for school students in Arlington, Virginia. The day after, therefore, the little ones always know that their schools will be expecting them to return. That, however, could no longer be the case next year as Arlington Public Schools (APS) now mulls a change to their calendar.

Receiving the final say on designing school calendars from Virginia General Assembly earlier this year, APS has prepared three proposals and put them to a vote in an online survey. Two of those three new potential calendars stipulate the start of the school year 2020-21 before the Labor Day – one on August 25th and the other on August 27th. According to those two calendars, the last day of the school will be on June 15th and June 17th, respectively. 

The third school calendar proposal, on the other hand, retains the tradition, placing the first day of school for students on the day after Labor Day on September 8th. It also shows the last day of school on June 25th.

None of the three options entails any change to the length of winter and spring breaks. So, the students will continue to enjoy a 10-day winter break and a five-day spring break, regardless. 

The voting will continue through November 22nd and the responses will help shape the final recommendations that will be presented for the School Board’s approval in January.

Online Voting: Easy to Use

Once clicking on the survey’s link, users first select their language and then indicate if they are an APS staff, student, parent of a student or a community member. They later have the chance to review all the three calendars and mark how they feel about each one. The online system also allows users to insert a final note on their choices.

Neighboring Fairfax has recently adopted a new school calendar, according to which the schools will start on August 25th – prior to Labor Day – and end on June 15th next year. 

Labor Day honors the American labor movement and its struggle to improve workers’ rights in the U.S. Beginning from the late 19th century, all states in the country have gradually recognized it as a public holiday. It is celebrated on the first Monday of September, as opposed to more common worker’s day celebrations on May 1st in Europe and elsewhere.

This year, Labor Day in the U.S. was on September 12th. The current school calendar kicked off the school year for students on September 3rd. There will, accordingly, be a winter break between December 23rd- January 3rd as well as a spring break between April 6th-10th. The last day of school for high school students will be on June 17th. The elementary and middle schoolers, however, will have their last day at school on June 19th.