VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — At a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night, the Virginia Beach School Board voted down a member’s resolution that challenged the decision to make up snow days on Saturdays.
On Monday, Virginia Beach school board member Joel McDonald posted a resolution on his Facebook page, calling for the remaining Saturday makeup days to be cancelled and the discussion about next year’s school calendar to be reopened.
“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 on Monday.
McDonald’s resolution was voted down 7-3 by school board members Tuesday night. That means the two remaining Saturday make up days will be held as scheduled on March 29 and April 26.
“We have heard from our community regarding the current make up schedule while there are many who support making up all days scheduled for this school year, there were many more who did not,” McDonald added.
Tuesday’s meeting was packed, and many upset teachers and parents showed their support of McDonald’s resolution and let Virginia Beach Schools Superintendent Dr. Sheila Magula know how they felt about her decision.
“We do not believe that forcing our children and teachers to sit in a classroom for three days will impact their SOL scores any more than the decline in moral or to repeat lessons for absent students will,” one parent said.
School officials say almost 16,000 students were absent this past Saturday. Only 77 percent of the students were in class, down 20 percent from a normally scheduled day.
10 On Your Side has asked to talk with Magula several times since she scheduled the make up dayss. Finally, Tuesday night we got a our chance. Magula told us she answered reporters’ questions through email, but never told us why she wouldn’t go on camera before now.
“I understand all the inconvenience that this decision brought about, including my own,” Magula said. “I truly do, but we made a decision based on quality instructional time prior to high stakes assessments.”