Attendance numbers released for VBPS Saturday make up day

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The preliminary numbers are in for that controversial Saturday school day in Virginia Beach.

The first of three make up days scheduled on Saturdays for Virginia Beach Public Schools (VBPS) was this past weekend, and the district reports lower attendance than the regularly scheduled school day the day before. District-wide, the district says attendance was at 78 percent on Saturday, but around 97 percent on Friday. In total, there were 55,239 students in attendance Saturday and 13,646 absent.

The breakdown by age groups is as follows:

  • Elementary schools attendance was at 78 percent Saturday and 97 percent Friday.
  • Middle schools saw an attendance of 81 percent Saturday and 97 percent Friday.
  • High schools saw an attendance of 69 percent Saturday and 96 percent Friday.

WAVY.com also wanted to know about staff attendance — Virginia Beach Schools say they had 726 substitutes on Saturday, and 418 of them were for teachers. On Friday, the school district hired 751 substitutes.

Jeff Barba with VBPS told WAVY.com the attendance numbers are preliminary, and the school division is going to run another report Monday night to make sure there are no discrepancies. If the second report is any different than the one released Monday afternoon, they will release the new numbers Tuesday.

But before all those numbers were released to the public, one school board member sent out a resolution, challenging the Saturday make up days decision.Joel McDonald

“I feel like this is a discussion the Board needs to have, and, if nothing else, I think think this [resolution] will facilitate that,” Board Member Joel McDonald told WAVY.com.

On his Facebook page, McDonald shared a resolution he sent to his school board colleagues Monday morning, calling for the remaining Saturday makeup days to be cancelled and the discussion about next year’s school calendar to be reopened.

Document: McDonald’s resolution

“I’m not making the argument that we should have less instructional time or that instructional time is not valued — that’s not my argument at all,” McDonald told WAVY.com.

Joel McDonald FB postMcDonald explained that VBPS already meet the required 180 days without the makeup time. He wants to add the issue to Tuesday’s City Council agenda, and hopes for a vote in March.

“From those I spoke to, there’s definitely an agreement that we need to have the discussion,” McDonald said.

A school-by-school breakdown of attendance is available by clicking here. And a chart detailing the number of substitutes hired by job classification is available by clicking here.

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