"Kings Dominion Law" keeps Virginia kids out of school until after Labor Day

Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:57 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Virginia prohibits city and county school districts from starting class before Labor Day, thanks to a 1986 law designed to give an extra week’s worth of busy crowds to the state’s tourism industry, especially theme parks like Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens. Despite many attempts by some legislators to allow local school systems to set their own calendars, the law survives, largely thanks to regular donations from amusement park operators, giving the statute its nickname of the “Kings Dominion Law.”

Read more from The Washingtonian.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 10:27 AM

If the kids forget what they learned after two weeks off, did they really learn it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 11:30 AM

Exactly. The school isn't worried about long-term retention (or "learning", as it's called). They're just worried about keeping their test scores high.

Brandon | Facebook

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 12:40 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yes, exactly.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 3:04 PM
James Whitmore's avatar

And there's this... B is the new C. Tests are dumbed down, extra-credit is widely given, etc. that most student are getting B's. And parents have learned to expect it. In the 1960's C was average.

Do we want to take the thread down this road? Discuss.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014 6:47 PM

July 31st was the 1st day her in Sou. Ind., right across from Louisville. Already halfway through first semester. Last day was May 30th. Next year it's full year-round, June/July included in our plus one other district. 'Brain Drain' is very real and the missus and I endorse year-round, too much is at stake. Still get two weeks each spring and fall breaks, plus Christmas currently, next year will extend semester length and factor a two week summer break. 94% is an A.

Last edited by Brian Whitworth, Wednesday, August 27, 2014 6:48 PM

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 7:15 PM
Gemini's avatar

Maybe we were ahead of the curve, but we always started circa August 23.

This is one of those issues that seems to bother everyone but me. Kids are going to be in school x number of days. When they start and when they end essentially comes down to how many holidays, breaks, and staff professional days are in between.

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 7:36 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Brian Whitworth said:

'Brain Drain' is very real and the missus and I endorse year-round, too much is at stake.

I tend to be of the belief that formal education is just one element in the creation of a well-rounded, useful, decent, productive human being.

Interestingly, I'd use the 'too much is at stake' line as an argument against year-round schooling.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 9:08 PM
rollergator's avatar

If we teach too many "test elements," and not enough creative problem-solving, what do we gain? If kids are chock full o' facts, but can't work with others, can they really be useful as employees? Where will the next Elon Musk come from?

We really need to start thinking in terms of the problems facing today's youth, and worry more about making sure they have the tools to address the issues that we will leave behind when we're gone...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 9:14 PM
Jeff's avatar

rollergator said:

Where will the next Elon Musk come from?

South Africa, obviously, by way of Canada.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 10:13 PM

Before I would support extending the school year I would want to see more priority/focus given to the time already spent in school. Without more priority/focus, a longer school year won't really improve education. Similarly "increase spending" isn't the answer either.

Thursday, August 28, 2014 10:14 AM

180 days is usually cited for kids being in school here in IN, although technically its an accumulation # of hours in the classroom. With year-round the number of days increases, but the school days length does not (so we're told), the 'extra' time allowing supposedly for more time spent on core subjects, and the retention/inclusion of 'peripheries' such as Art, Music, PE, Computers (keyboarding actually), Civics and Nature courses through the week. 'Authoring' is a new one in the middle grades... how to write convincingly (and in cursive).

I guess I should go back and read the whole article but when did the VA kids get out last year? Cheers

Last edited by Brian Whitworth, Thursday, August 28, 2014 10:15 AM
Friday, August 29, 2014 5:41 PM

I just got back from KD the crowds were light

Friday, August 29, 2014 11:50 PM


When I was in college, "authoring" was the term for creating interactive media...basically combining media and some form of scripting that wasn't really programming to build the finished product. Later the term was applied to the mastering process for DVDs.

Are interactive media still "authored"? Or have other terms replaced that one? And will I ever need to use my HyperCard and SuperPILOT skills again?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____


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