Students’ final week of classes cut short

The Prince William County School Board has set June 19 as the last day of school.

On that day schools will let out two hours early.

The board extended the school day by 30 minutes in March to make up the time lost for snow days this winter. The extension, however, gave schools more hours than required.

The Virginia Department of Education requires that students attend school 180 days or 990 hours of instructional time.

The extra 30 minutes would have added 4.5 hours to the elementary school day by June 20. Middle school students would have gone 1,119 hours and high-schoolers 1,075.5 hours.

The middle and high schools have a higher accumulation of hours because teacher-planning time is built into the day, said Holly Hess, the school division’s director of planning and assessment.

On June 19, high school students are scheduled to take exams and will be released at 11:30 a.m. Middle school students will go home at 12:15 p.m. and elementary students at 1 p.m.

The last day of kindergarten will be June 18. Principals will have authority to check teachers out on June 19 or 20, according to a press release from the school system.

Megan Link, Prince William Education Association president, told the board Wednesday that day-care schedules, after-school activities and church commitments were affected by the 30-minute extension.

Link received a mass of e-mails from teachers on the subject.

“I’m pleased that the board acknowledged that this has been a difficult year for everybody,” Link said Thursday.