Schools explain snow days and make-up days

Report It/Karl O'Fire
Report It/Karl O'Fire

HAMPTON ROADS, Va (WAVY) — Most school systems in and around Hampton Roads canceled school multiple days because of snow. WAVY.com wanted to know what happens when they exceed their calendars’ built-in snow days or don’t have any.

WAVY.com spoke with spokespeople for several local school districts and universities. They all say their decisions to delay or close are based primarily on safety.

Virginia Beach Public Schools had no snow days built into its calendar this year. That means students will have to make up any missed time — most likely on teacher work days. The first one of those available will be March 28.

Spokesman Jeff Barba said district leaders look at the forecast and their transportation director goes out to see what bus routes are looking like before they make the call. They also talk to city officials about their progress in clearing streets, and speak with other school districts about what they’re doing.

Norfolk had two days set aside for winter weather and used both of them last week. They have set up the following plan to make up this week’s three snow days:

  • Extend Feb. 14 to a full instructional day (it was an early release day)
  • Hold classes on Feb. 17, President’s Day
  • Monday and Tuesday will be half days for high school students to finish exams. Second semester will begin Wednesday.

Isle of Wight schools also had two days set aside for winter weather and used both of them last week, but they had already begun to make up last week’s snow days on Monday and Tuesday of this week, which would have been teacher work days.

If you click here you’ll see the many make-up scenarios IOW schools have posted for making up the other snow days.

Suffolk schools had two days built into the calendar, and will make up missed instructional time on the following days:

  • Feb. 7 (parent-teacher conferences can be scheduled on an individual basis)
  • Feb. 17 (President’s Day)
  • March 4 (Professional Development Day canceled)
  • May 26 (Memorial Day)

Hampton schools planned on three snow days for the year, Newport News schools had just one, and Chesapeake schools had two built-in snow days.

According to the Hampton City Schools website, students will make up days missed due to the snow on Feb. 17 and April 21. The report cards for the second nine weeks will be distributed on Feb. 7. The NMSI Advanced Placement Student Study Sessions scheduled for Feb. 1 were cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Also in Hampton, the Choice Middle School application was extended to Feb. 7. Open Houses were rescheduled as follows:

  • Andrews PreK-8 will be held Tuesday, Feb. 4, 5-6 p.m.
  • Jones Middle will be held Wednesday, Feb. 5, 6-7 p.m.
  • Lindsay Middle will be held Monday, Feb. 3, 6-7 p.m.

There will be a regular make up day for Newport News Public Schools on Feb. 17 for students and staff. Report cards are set to be distributed on Feb. 7.

Dare County students will add at least two days to the end of the school year — June 11 and 12 — to make up for the snow days.

Currituck County Schools have scheduled three make up days, but are still figuring out if that will be enough to cover the instructional hours missed over the last two weeks. The following days are scheduled to make up for the recent snow days:

  • February 24
  • March 28
  • June 12 (early release)
  • JPK Early College only: Feb. 24, March 14, May 27

James City County Schools don’t have snow days built into their calendar, but they’re still covered to meet the the state’s requirement for in-session hours. Spokeswoman Besty Overkamp-Smith provided this explanation:

We have a longer school day than mandated by the state so while we don’t have snow days built into our calendar we do have banked hours. Currently, we do not have any make-up days, but if we are out tomorrow we will have to look at possibly scheduling one. We have more banked hours for MS & HS, but fewer for ES. We’re required to have 990 hours or 180 days.

Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University and Regent University all closed Thursday. William and Mary’s classes continued as scheduled because their maintenance crews had already cleared pathways and roads on campus.

Hampton University initially called for students to be on a delay until 11 a.m., but Thursday morning did a reassessment and sent out email and social media alerts to students that they’d decided to cancel classes. University Spokeswoman Yuri Milligan sent this statement to WAVY.com:

Hampton University closely monitors the weather forecasts and travel conditions on and off campus. The Hampton University Chief of Police and Facilities Manager assess the campus and local area and offer a report to the appropriate administrator. The administrative council discusses the assessment and makes the decision about the closing and delay of the University.

Today the decision to cancel classes and offer liberal leave to employees was made because the campus roads and sidewalks were cleared and safe for travel, however; there were many secondary and neighborhood roads not cleared in Hampton Roads. The safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is our chief concern during extreme weather conditions.

In North Carolina, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools’ website states a make up day scheduled for Feb. 1 was cancelled due to road conditions. Make up days are scheduled for Feb. 17, March 28, and April 18 (2 hour early release).

Not all school systems and local universities have decided when they will make up missed class time because of the snow.

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