Today I sent an email to an official in the Virginia Department of Education stating that it was incorrect to assert that Fairfax County has a standard school day of 5 ½ hours a day. As previously reported, Richard A. Moniuszko, the deputy superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools, told me that Fairfax County did not have to worry about the section of the state regulations that requires a school day of at least 5 ½ instructional hours because that only applies if a school division chooses to use the 990 hour option to determine the length of the school year.
Knowing that he was mistaken, I asked for clarification from the Virginia Department of Education. Yesterday I received an email from Anne Wescott, assistant superintendent for policy and communications for VDOE. “I have reviewed the information you provided and I have spoken with Dr. Moniuszko about your questions,” she wrote. “Fairfax County Public Schools has a school calendar of 183 instructional days, and a standard school day of 5 ½ hours a day, which is in compliance with the Standards of Accreditation.”
I believe she was misinformed, so I sent an email attempting to explain the situation in Fairfax County. Here are excerpts from the three emails about my inquiry to the Virginia Department of Education: [Read more...]