School districts in the valley are hammering out how to make up all their snow days.
In Staunton, school leaders are trying to figure out how they'll tack on an extra 20 minutes to school days for the remainder of the academic year. The Staunton School Board voted Tuesday night to extend the school days and have class on Memorial Day. Members considered many other options, but public input and review - they decided this route would be least disruptive. But not everyone agrees.
After considering different solutions, administrators decided to extend classroom time by 20 minutes each day from March 24 to June 6.
“And our school board just felt like this was the best decision for our community and for our school system,” said Staunton Superintendent Linda Reviea.
Adjusting bus routes, bell schedules and afterschool activities will be a headache. But Reviea says this option ended up being more favorable than lopping off spring break, adding days at the end of the year or the very unpopular idea of Saturday sessions.
"The school board wanted to be supportive of instruction, but also try to be as minimally disruptive to everyone's lives, be it employees, students, families. Many employees as well as families plan for vacations and holidays over spring break,” Reviea said.
Augusta County will cut out three days from spring break. Waynesboro school leaders say their calendar is in good shape for now. But in Staunton, not all parents and caretakers like the changes.
"Twenty minutes doesn't seem like a lot, but it can be for some people,” said Elizabeth Gleaves, whose younger sisters are students at Lee High School.
Gleaves feels this policy could place a huge burden on transportation and conflict with work schedules.
"A lot of parents and grandparents, siblings, that kind of stuff, some students, they've given, 'OK, I can be at work at 3:30 because I get out of school at 2:50.' And now everyone's schedule has to be kind of re-shifted,” Gleaves said.
Concerned parents and caretakers in Staunton can expect students to go home Tuesday with a more complete picture of how this will all play out. The superintendent says the schools will distribute letters and post information to the district's website.
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