School Year 2020-21 Calendar

On February 6, 2020, the School Board approved the 2020-21 School Year Calendar.  This calendar includes a pre-Labor Day start and aligns APS with surrounding jurisdictions.

Please note:
If families have already made plans that they cannot change for the week prior to Labor Day, they should reach out to the principal at their school to inform them and obtain prior approval for absences.  Information about absences is in Policy Implementation Procedure J-5.1.30 PIP-1 Attendance.

Important dates in this calendar:

  • First day for students – August 31, 2020
  • Friday, September 4 and Monday, September 7 are student holidays
  • Monday, October 12, 2020 is a student holiday and staff professional learning day
  • Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is a student holiday and teacher grade preparation day (election day)
  • November 11, 2020 is the Veterans Day holiday for students and staff
  • Wednesday-Friday, November 25-27, 2020 are student holidays for thanksgiving
  • December 21, 2020 – January 1, 2021 is the winter break holiday
  • January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day is a student attendance day
  • Spring Break is March 29 – April 2, 2021
  • The last day of school for High School is June 16, 2021
  • The last day of school for Elementary and Middle School is June 18, 2021
  • High School Graduation is June 18, 2021

Development of the 2021-2022 calendar will begin in April, 2020.  APS family members are included through nomination by the County Council of PTAs.

(Prior to Feb 6, 2020:)

We reviewed survey data collected from the community.  The following documents were shared with the Calendar Committee to interpret feedback from the community as we revised the drafts to develop the Superintendent’s Proposed Calendar.

Summary of Responses to Calendar Survey 

APS 2020-2021 Calendar Questionnaire Results


This calendar draft was developed with a start prior to Labor Day. In the initial stages of the draft, August 31 was the first day of school, but further refinement required pulling that date back to August 27.

This calendar draft was developed with our historical start the day after Labor Day. Because Labor Day is so late in 2020 (Sept 8), the last day of school is much later than usual.

This calendar draft was developed as a result of input from a staff working group, working to develop an APS calendar that approximates the same dates as the Fairfax County Public Schools adopted calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does each draft calendar option have a two-week winter break?
In previous years, stakeholder input demonstrated strong support for a two-week winter break, allowing families time to travel and allowing students and staff sufficient time to recharge. All three drafts maintained this, given that our neighboring jurisdictions who have approved calendars have also adopted a two-week winter break.

Why does high school end earlier than elementary and middle school?
Elementary and Middle school students each miss a full day of school twice per year for parent-teacher conferences. Thus, they attend school for two additional days.

Why does OPTION THREE have the first day of school two weeks earlier than normal?
When developing our draft options, we review the approved calendars of our neighboring jurisdictions. This draft is one which closely mirrors the Fairfax County Public Schools calendar, with a similar start and end date. While this is a much earlier than normal start, it does permit our students to access some of the same camps and enrichment opportunities available to students in our neighboring jurisdictions.

Will the final calendar be one of these three options?
It is possible that through the feedback process, suggestions that are reviewed will be used to adjust any or all three of the calendars. As a result, the calendar recommended by the Superintendent to the School Board may look the same as one of these drafts, or it may look different while being based on one of the three drafts as a starting point.

When will a decision be made regarding the calendar?
Feb. 6, 2020. Community input received is now being incorporated into input from the calendar committee and Executive Leadership Team to revise the proposed calendar. The Superintendent’s recommended calendar will be presented to the APS School Board for information at their January 23, 2020 meeting, and for action at their February 6, 2020 meeting. Information regarding the Superintendent’s proposed calendar will be shared when it is available.