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PWCS: The snow days kerfluffle

March 7th, 2014

bus in snow

Prince William County Schools continue to agonize over making up snow days.  So far, the kids have missed 12 full days and have gone in 2 hour delay 5 times.  The delays don’t have to be made up.

At this point, Superintendent Walts is recommending tacking time on to the end of the year. This measure seems pointless and a tremendous waste of time.  SOL testing is over.  No one wants to be there.  No learning takes place.

What really needs to happen is the governor needs to give an executive order that forgives excess snow days.  Gasp!  Shock!  What about the lost instructional time?  The horror of it all!

Many years Prince William County Schools has extra days of instructional time.  Those days aren’t shaved off.  I expect over a ten year period, the schools are ahead of the game as far as instructional days go.  Any time tacked on to the end of the year are a waste of time and money.  I have yet to see the teacher that could be knowledge into a kid’s head on June 20th.

If all else fails, The superintendent needs to toss that Easter Monday holiday.  That’s a travel time day anyway.  It would be the least disruptive of all the Spring break days.  Secondly, Memorial Day could also be sacrificed.  There you have it.  Two days recaptured.

Tacking on days at the end seems totally unproductive.  Adding to the school day seems like a better approach.  If all else fails, PWCS should just apply for the waiver.  I am not sure how it works but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Come on, Governor McAuliffe, just forgive the days this year.



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  1. March 7th, 2014 at 07:52 | #1

    Last year, Darling Daughter’s middle school had exams. And THEN had 10 more days of school, getting out June 15th.

    That is downright idiotic.

  2. Emma
    March 7th, 2014 at 12:34 | #3

    I think all of this supports the argument for year-round school.

  3. blue
    March 7th, 2014 at 13:11 | #4


    Interesting idea Emma, but I don’t think the parents support it.

    Officially, how many hours are in a teacher work year today? Most salaried and certainly all other government employees on salary have a 2080 hour year.

  4. ed myers
    March 7th, 2014 at 13:25 | #5

    Start school 30 minutes early and add 5 minutes to every class. Pretty simple.

    Purchase a conference call-in service and next year have the teachers teach class from home on snow days. Kids call in and use webex to see the teacher’s computer. It won’t be as efficient and requires kids to have high speed internet (who doesn’t these days) but it will keep the kids education moving forward. When snow is expected the teachers should give 2 days worth of homework to be done if school is cancelled.

  5. March 7th, 2014 at 14:58 | #6

    I don’t ever remember having “spring break” in high or middle school. That was something for college…..which I can’t take advantage of either, darn it…..

    Yet….the kids will have spring break in April. They should use THOSE days.

  6. Emma
    March 7th, 2014 at 16:03 | #7

    Virginia law requires 180 days, or 990 hours of instruction time. Is it possible that a kindergarten teacher, for example, spends an additional 1,090 hours per year preparing for class, conducting conferences and attending school events?

  7. Lyssa
    March 7th, 2014 at 17:34 | #8

    Some schools give out snow day assignments – private and public. Guess people would be up at arms about that too? Why do we worry about quality when so many just complain about extra effort?

  8. Lyssa
    March 7th, 2014 at 17:35 | #9

    Emma :
    Virginia law requires 180 days, or 990 hours of instruction time. Is it possible that a kindergarten teacher, for example, spends an additional 1,090 hours per year preparing for class, conducting conferences and attending school events?

    Of course! But we in the US only value people who make money.

  9. Emma
    March 7th, 2014 at 17:42 | #10

    Then I went into the wrong career. Someone should have briefed me sooner.

  10. Lyssa
    March 7th, 2014 at 19:29 | #11

    Some of us sure did. But some of the moneymakers have looked at me with envy on occasion. Service is better for the soul. And they know it after a while….money is nice of course! but it doesn’t fill the core completely.

  11. George S. Harris
    March 8th, 2014 at 00:29 | #12

    I thought the governor was able to forgive time lost due to snow days? Is that incorrect or is it only so many days?

  12. March 8th, 2014 at 18:34 | #14

    I’m in school right now to become a teacher.

    I have a calling.

    A calling for summer vacation.

    I’ve been annoyed ever since I became an adult that I didn’t have the summer off.

    • March 9th, 2014 at 04:42 | #15

      You need the time off to take classes or to teach summer school to supplement your income.

  13. March 10th, 2014 at 15:57 | #17

    Heh….starting pay for Henrico….$40K. The only time I’ve made more than that is being deployed to Kuwait and got haz duty pay and tax free income. And that was merely 42K. I worked as an armored car driver/messenger for 5 years and made 31.5, including overtime, at the most after 50 hours a week.

    I’ll take that 40K and be happy….

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