Officials extend school days, school year for Prince William students - INSIDENOVA.COM: Education

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Officials extend school days, school year for Prince William students

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Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:32 pm

School days will be 10 minutes longer and spring break one day shorter as a result of the plan the Prince William School Board approved Wednesday to make up for school time lost to snowy weather this year.

The good news? If there are no additional days lost to bad weather, the last day of school will be Thursday, June 19 instead of Friday, June 20. Also students might be released early in the last day, but that has yet to be determined.

School will be in session on Monday, April 21, which had been the last day of Spring Break.

School members unanimously approved the plan.

The board reached its decision after an extended debate about the ramifications of having school on Monday, April 21.

Starting March 31 and running through June 18 the school day will be 10 minutes longer to make up for 13 days lost to inclement weather this year.

Standards of Learning tests would be pushed back so that the last day of testing would be June 13.

Associate Superintendent Tim Healey said the snow days and six two-hour delays amounts to a total loss of three weeks of school.

School officials took a lot of heat from parents after a decision to limit elementary school recess to 10 minutes instead of 15 to make up for instructional time lost to snow days. The limited recess will remain through the rest of the school year.

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  • gingin posted at 8:31 pm on Fri, Mar 21, 2014.

    gingin Posts: 17

    Its a shame that once again we have no reasons given as to why one way or another make up times were decided. But many of the choices make no sense. Adding only 10 minutes which means possibly two minutes a class is just ridiculous. Make up instruction can not happen in two minutes. SO what have we taught our children but the law says we must have so many hours and this is a way it looks good on paper. Shame on the state for allowing this to be used as a way around the mandatory hours. Of course we cant forget the that all who are absent on the make ups days wlll be excused so once again we are following the law but showing how you can get around it. Great lesson we are teaching our kids.
    Adding days at the end are at least giving students the chance to have instruction till the end with exams now being extended and is actually going to make up for missed instruction.
    But the ones who are really hurt are the seniors who will get just the 10 minutes since they will have graduated when the extra days are added. Of course if they attend the two make up days that will help them but its ok if they dont.
    I guess since no reason was given why only 10 minutes was added one can only conclude that it might interfere with practice swim times if a whole 1/2 hour was added.
    I wonder if there is another day off will the time be added to be 12 minutes? I hope people will comment on what exactly they have learned in those extra 10 minutes a day or 2 minutes a class period. Wonder if recess will be allowed to get a minute or two of make up time for elementary?
    Just remember kids an education is very important and hope those 10 minutes help you catch up.

  • TrGarcia75 posted at 3:04 pm on Fri, Mar 21, 2014.

    TrGarcia75 Posts: 121

    Right on InPWCsince69!!!

    As for gvdad it was one day because wind chill factor was supposed to be closed to -20. Do not tell me we are in the situation we are because of that.... There has been 15 days and several delays. That decision did not cause this!!!

  • InPWCsince69 posted at 10:41 pm on Thu, Mar 20, 2014.

    InPWCsince69 Posts: 146

    Instead of making the snide ridiculous comments that the majority of you make, do you have any possible alternative suggestions and solutions?

    Most people seem to just want to vent and see their name in print.

    The school board is doing what they feel is right, I do believe they are out of touch, cater to the loudest voices and try to appease everyone yet end up upsetting most people.

    We need a board that is willing to make hard choices, willing to live with the consequences and not bending because the constituency is crying.

    A friend of mine today said "OK, I guess the kids will just have two more minutes to pack up before class change", so be it. The board is fulfilling seat time, learning will not be impacted positively or negatively.

    SOL testing dates are the things that need to be changed, not for ES or MS kids but for HS. PWCPS School board get off your behinds and make this happen with VDOE.

    The Superintendent for High schools needs to do his job to help the what is best for the student..or world class is just a joke! Hey Mickey!

  • gvdad posted at 8:15 pm on Thu, Mar 20, 2014.

    gvdad Posts: 155

    not a good decision, IMO but like MikeO stated, this is a direct consequence of poor decision making. I hope they seriously reconsider the criteria they use to close schools because this year is a perfect example of why you don't close schools because it's chilly. If that were the case, I would still be in middle school because we would have stayed home from November until April.

  • justjoe posted at 2:22 pm on Thu, Mar 20, 2014.

    justjoe Posts: 47

    What a ridiculous notion. I see the PWC School Board, Schools and many parents could care less about the quality of the education provided to the children of PWC. How does one make up a day of missed instruction 10 minutes at a time?

  • MikeO posted at 11:59 am on Thu, Mar 20, 2014.

    MikeO Posts: 3

    I kind of laugh at all the folks upset about this. What did you think would happen? This is nothing new. I saw this coming when they closed schools because it was cold outside... no precipitation, just cold.
    The school system has extended the school year in the past, it has extended school days in the past, and it has taken away holidays in the past.
    I know of some school districts (such as in NC) where they have been adding Saturdays to the week instead. Six days a week.

  • ThinkB4USpeak posted at 8:02 am on Thu, Mar 20, 2014.

    ThinkB4USpeak Posts: 46

    This seems kind of stupid to me... Why take away a day of Spring Break when the last day of school could just be on that Friday instead of Thursday? Some people already have their Spring Break plans made out and ready so I'm sure many students are going to miss that day of school anyway. It just doesn't make much sense in my opinion.

  • local-scum posted at 12:18 am on Thu, Mar 20, 2014.

    local-scum Posts: 13

    Oops, Never mind that was three weeks of instruction time. But I'm sure they missed out on a little bit.

  • local-scum posted at 12:15 am on Thu, Mar 20, 2014.

    local-scum Posts: 13

    Substitutes lost out on three weeks of possible work. Their pay is by day, and when they last extended a day 30 minutes they only increased the daily 3 bucks.