Snow days are what everyone is talking about since our first one happened on January 5. When the 2016-17 school calendar was released, some questions were brought up. Some people thought that it was a new schedule, when in reality, it is essentially the same. The difference is that the snow days aren’t built in.
They made this schedule so if there were no snow days, the approval for a shortened school year wouldn’t have to go through the school board. “It’s just easier. It’s all about safety.” said Mr. Hawkins, assistant principal. “The student’s safety is our main concern.”
“The Commonwealth of Virginia requires us to have 180 days or 990 school hours, in order for us to receive important funds” said Mr. Hawkins. In order to get the hours, they used to take away parent-teacher conferences, early dismissals, and some teacher work days. They have also lengthened the day in the past, and even looked at school on Saturdays. “After taking out lunch, high school has 395 minutes a day, elementary has 390, and middle school has 410.” Back in the 2003-2004 school year, they had to lengthen the school day by 20 minutes due to so much unfavorable weather.
There are many urban legends about snow days. One is that if the students eat lunch, it’s counted as a day. According to Mr. Hawkins, “Eating lunch does not make it an automatic school day. It just means that you ate lunch. It’s all about hours or days.The reason why we serve lunch is because it’s already made.” Another legend is if the governor declares a state of emergency we don’t have to make the school day up. This is a false statement. Again it’s all about the number of hours students attend school.
As of right now, the last day of school is June 5. After the first 5 snow days, which will add the days June 5-10, we make up everyday two snow days. But don’t worry seniors, graduation will still be on June 3.