Modifications to 2021-22 school day and calendar

Recognizing that 2021-22 is not an “ordinary” school year, and that students and staff are experiencing additional stress and anxiety because of the pandemic, the School Board approved two important school day and calendar modifications in October. The moves are designed to foster more academic enrichment, individualized attention, flexibility and social-emotional health:

  • Reviving a modified in-school version of “Wellness Wednesdays.” Teachers have the flexibility and resources within the instructional day to meet students’ individual academic needs and prioritize social-emotional lessons and activities during class meetings and advisory blocks. In conversations with students, they regularly say they found the 2020-21 Wellness Wednesdays a valuable way to address stress and academic challenges.
  • Adding two early-release Fridays on Nov. 19 and Dec. 10, and, if days allotted for inclement weather are not used by Feb. 1, converting that “banked instructional time” to days off for students and staff. Creating days off on these four Fridays — March 11, April 1, May 27 and June 17 — provides more down time for students and staff. Note: If June 17 — currently a half day for students — is converted to a full day off, then Thursday, June 16 would become the last day of school for students.

The adopted 2021-22 calendar seeks to accomplish a variety of ends, including a post-Labor-Day start; planning, clerical and professional learning time for teachers; and more opportunities to observe religious holidays in an increasingly diversifying community.

The Board had considered an option with a pre-Labor Day start, but in order to facilitate continuity during a time of great change, opted for a traditional start date instead. The Board will continue to consider a pre-Labor Day start for future school years, and coordinate with other school divisions in the Richmond area.

Creating the best calendar for a school year requires a great deal of coordination and communication. Thank you to everyone who participated in the process, including citizens who provided input, and the HCPS Calendar Committee.

A month-by-month look at the 2021-22 calendar

July 2021

  • July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Offices closed
  • July 5: Schools closed for Independence Day holiday

August 2021

  • Aug. 6,13, 20: Offices closed
  • Aug. 23-27: New Teacher Academy
  • Aug. 30-31: Teacher work week*/Professional learning and clerical days

September 2021

  • Sept. 1-3: Teacher work week*/Professional learning and clerical days
  • Sept. 6: Schools closed for Labor Day holiday
  • Sept. 7: Student holiday – Rosh Hashanah/Teacher professional learning/Clerical day
  • Sept. 8: First day of school
  • Sept. 16: Student holiday – Yom Kippur/Teacher professional learning/Clerical day

October 2021

  • Oct. 11: Student holiday/Staff professional learning day

November 2021

  • Nov. 2: Student holiday – Election Day/Teacher professional learning/Clerical day
  • Nov. 4: Student holiday – Diwali/Teacher professional learning/Clerical day
  • Nov. 4: Parent/Student/Teacher conferences
  • Nov. 19 – Student half day/Staff clerical day
  • Nov. 24-26: Schools/offices closed – Thanksgiving holiday

December 2021

  • Dec 10 – Student half day/Staff clerical day
  • Dec. 20-31: Schools closed for Winter Break
  • Dec. 22-31: Division offices closed for Winter Break
  • Dec. 25: Christmas

January 2022

  • Jan. 3: Schools reopen following Winter Break
  • Jan. 17: Schools closed for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
  • Jan. 26: Student half day/Staff clerical day

February 2022

  • Feb. 21: Student half day/Staff professional learning day

March 2022

  • March 11- Schools closed*

April 2022

  • April 1 – Schools closed*
  • April 4-8: Schools closed for Spring Break
  • April 17: Easter
  • April 18: Student holiday/Teacher professional learning/Clerical day
  • April 18: Kindergarten registration

May 2022

  • May 3: Student holiday – Eid al-Fitr/Teacher professional learning/Clerical day
  • May 27: Schools closed*
  • May 30: Schools closed for Memorial Day holiday

June 2022

  • June 16: Student half day/Last day of school*
  • June 17: Schools closed*
  • June 20: Schools/offices closed for Juneteenth (observed)
  • June 24: Offices closed

* If banked instructional time is not needed for inclement weather

Looking for future calendars?

How the calendar is made

How does a school calendar come together? First, a committee made up of representatives of metro-Richmond-area school divisions discusses dates for Winter Break, Spring Break, first semester and the end of the year in order to align for consistency. An HCPS committee made up of teachers, administrators, parents and high school students makes initial recommendations to the School Board in fall. Members of the public provide input on the proposal(s), and school division staff make updates based on that feedback. After HCPS staff members present a final draft or drafts to the School Board, the Board approves a final calendar.