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Another Northern Virginia School System To Close For Inauguration Day

by @ 2:08 pm on December 4, 2008. Filed under Inauguration Day 2009, Prince William County, Washington DC

Riley at Virginia Virtucon posts a memo from Prince William County Schools Associate Superintendent Keith Imon

TO: All PWCS Staff
FR: Keith Imon, Associate Superintendent for Communications and Technology Services
RE: School Board Changes January 20 School Schedule

Dear Colleagues:

As a result of School Board action at its meeting on Wednesday, December 3, this years Prince William County Public School calendar has been revised. January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day) will now be a school holiday for all students and staff. In exchange, Presidents Day, which falls this year on February 16, will be a regular school day. This calendar adjustment will be in effect every four years on Inauguration Day effective January 2009.

All schools and School Division offices are closed on Monday, January 19, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and on Tuesday, January 20, for Inauguration Day.

More information will be forthcoming on elementary level parent/teacher conferences and the high school testing schedule.

Thank you.

As I noted when the issue of school closures on January 20th came up shortly after Election Day, closing schools in the District, or in places like Arlington and Alexandria that are close enough to the District that roads, and thus school bus routes, are likely to be impacted by the anticipated crowds, makes sense.

It makes little sense to close schools in a county located 30 minutes away from downtown, as Riley notes:

I’m sorry, but I remember watching presidential inaugurations when I was in grade school — Ronald Reagan in 1981 when I was in 6th grade and Jimmy Carter in 1977 when I was in 2nd grade. Teachers turned on the TVs in our classrooms so we could watch the event and they used it as an opportunity to teach about U.S. history and government.

(…)

Now, PWC students (and those in any other school districts that are doing the same) will not have that educational experience. How many kids will actually go to the event and learn something vs. how many will simply now have a four-day weekend?

My guess is not very many, especially now that they’ve been given a four-day weekend only three weeks after Christmas.

As for the kids going downtown, well officials are already discouraging people from bringing kids so I don’t think that’s very likely.

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