June 11, Virginia’s primary day, will now be a student holiday and staff clerical day


Henrico, Va. March 14, 2019 – In response to community and staff concerns about safety, the Henrico School Board voted at its Thursday work session to make June 11 a student holiday and staff clerical day. Virginia’s primary elections will take place that day, and many HCPS schools serve as polling places.

Because members of the public need easy access to school facilities to visit polling places in gyms, auditoriums and other school common areas, schools are not able to screen visitors with the same thoroughness they would employ during a regular school day. Some parents, staff and community members have raised concerns about the public polling access.

The change will not require further changes to the school year, because the school division has enough time built into the calendar to accommodate the added holiday. Some schools may need to adjust their exam schedules, however, as well as certain ceremonies and events. Students and families can expect further information from their schools as plans are adjusted.

The holiday does not affect June 11 graduation exercises, which will take place as scheduled for Deep Run, Douglas Freeman and Mills Godwin high schools.

The change to the calendar was made after a February effort to move the state’s primary day was unsuccessful during the General Assembly’s session.

Q: What do you mean by “concerns about safety”?

A: Many Henrico schools are used as polling places. On voting days, the general public must have easy access to the polls, which are often located in gymnasiums, auditoriums or other common areas. Staff members, parents and community members have continued to raise concerns about safety because we are unable to screen visitors the way we normally would on a non-voting day. We believe that the best way to address these concerns is to make Tuesday, June 11, a student holiday and staff clerical day.

QDo you have enough “banked instructional time” to do this?

A: Yes! While we had several weather-related closings and delays this year, we do not anticipate falling below Virginia’s minimum number of instructional hours for the year.

Q: Why now? Didn’t you know about elections earlier than this?

A: This year’s school calendar was approved back in December of 2017. At that time, primary elections for June 2019 had not yet been scheduled. Also, just last month we were following a proposal in the General Assembly to move the June primary elections to a day when students would not be in school, but that proposal ultimately failed.

Q: What about final exams?

A: Schools will adjust their exam schedule, which may include exams being given on Monday, June 10. Specific information will come from your student’s school and/or teachers.

Q: What about school awards programs and ceremonies?

A: Schools may need to reschedule certain events. Specific information will come from your school’s principal.

Q: What does “clerical day” mean, again?

A: Clerical days are work days that allow teachers and staff to complete grades, plans, paperwork and other necessary tasks on a flexible schedule.

Q: What about high school graduations on June 11?

A: The change does not impact the June 11 graduation ceremonies of Deep Run, Freeman and Godwin high schools, which will take place at the Siegel Center as scheduled.

Q: What about elections during the 2019-2020 school year?

A: There are no changes to the 2019-20 school calendar (next school year) at this time. We will revisit primary elections in the year 2020 at a later date.

Q: Where can I go to review calendar information for the current school year as well as next school year?

A: Visit our calendar page: https://henricoschools.us/calendars/

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