About

What are the best schedules for schools? What policies promote student health and wellness? These and other education topics are covered in this blog. In 2014 we sponsored a petition to the Fairfax County School Board to stop Monday early dismissals and provide more recess time.

On June 26, 2014, the Fairfax County School Board voted 10-1 to implement full-day Mondays for all elementary schools starting in September 2014. Students are no longer dismissed 2.5 hours early on Monday afternoons. The uniform elementary day increases instructional time and allows for at least 20 minutes of daily recess for children.

School systems should minimize early dismissals of students. It is foolish to have weekly early dismissals, a practice that was initiated in Fairfax County, Virginia, 40 years ago.  Going back to the primary source–the school board minutes of 1971, it is significant to see that the school board never actually voted to have weekly early dismissals in all elementary schools.  It is clear that parents were not given a chance to question this poorly conceived “decision.”

Editor – Virginia Fitz Shea

Virginia SheaWhen my two children attended school, I spent time as both a volunteer and an advocate for reform. In 1995 I ran (unsuccessfully) in the first Fairfax County School Board election with the motto: “Improve the School Day, Vote for Ginger Shea.”  For a few years I didn’t follow developments closely, but started commenting again in 2006 when the Standards of Accreditation were revised.  I started Full Schooldays in 2011.

I am also working on several projects dealing with 17th Century English history. When not writing and doing research, I enjoy sailing on the Chesapeake Bay with my family.