Fairfax County School Board votes to get rid of half-day Mondays

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP/WJLA) - The Fairfax County school board has voted to eliminate half-day Mondays that have been in place for decades and will add 13 days to the school year.

The board voted 10-1 late Thursday to approve the changes as part of an overhaul of the academic calendar. Adding days to the school year is intended to eliminate the need to make up snow days at the end of the year.

Half-day Mondays have been in place since the 1970s in Fairfax County -- but families have argued for years that the schedule creates a difficult daycare situation for working parents.

The idea for half-days came about to allow for more planning time for teachers. But through the years, it's the teachers that have grown more frustrated.

"I think Fairfax County actually has to do away with so much planning time...We have meetings..." explains teacher Nikita Wiehl.

The Teachers Federation has approved the change – and a recent survey shows that 80-percent of families are also in favor of the change.

The new plan would help increase instructional time. Superintendent Karen Garza has said the changes will also increase planning time for teachers.