Pre-Labor Day Opening Waivers
According to the Code of Virginia, local school boards must establish school calendars so that the first day students attend school begins after Labor Day. However, the Board of Education may waive this requirement based on one of the “good cause” options of § 22.1-79.1 of the Code of Virginia:
- Being closed an average of eight days per year during any five of the last 10 years because of severe weather conditions, energy shortages, power failures, or other emergency situations
- Being entirely surrounded by a school division with a pre-Labor Day opening and wishes to open its schools on the same date.
- Providing instructional programs in partnership with another school division that already qualifies for a waiver. (Applies to only the opening dates for those schools in the division dependent upon one or more schools outside the division.)
- Providing students with an experimental or innovative program – including instructional programs offered on a year-round basis – that requires an earlier opening date and has been approved by VDOE as meeting Board of Education regulations. This option requires a formal approval process and Board of Education action via application below.
The 2014 Appropriation Act also grants automatic waivers for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years to divisions certified to have a pre-Labor Day opening during the 2011-2012 school year.
All school divisions must certify annually that they meet one of the criteria above for a pre-Labor Day opening waiver or that they will not open prior to Labor Day. Please see Superintendent’s Memo 171-14 for additional information on the 2014-2015 certification process for pre-Labor Day openings.
- Guidelines for Considering and Approving Requests for Pre-Labor Day Openings (PDF) – approved by the Board of Education March 28, 2013
- Form: Request for Waiver of Certain Accrediting Standards and/or Approval of an Innovative or Experimental Program (Word)
- 2015-2016 Map of Virginia School Division Openings and Waiver Status (PDF)
- Annual SOQ and Non-Standards Data Collection (PDF) – including how to certify pre-Labor Day openings (PDF)