Let the make-up days begin!

After a streak of four consecutive snow days, Charlottesville City Schools– which re-opened Thursday, February 11 with a two-hour delay– has scheduled its make-up days beginning next week. While City students were slated to be out of school for Presidents Day on Monday, February 15, and for a teacher workday Tuesday, February 16, both days are now regular school days. In addition, on Friday, March 12, Friday, April 2, and Friday June 11, school will now be in session. According to City Schools spokesperson Cass Cannon, if any other snowstorms cancel school, Memorial Day, May 31, is next on the make-up day hit-list. Albemarle County– which has been in session for just four hours of the last two weeks– has yet to announce its make-up plans.


yepper, the best is yet to come. If I heard the school system's call/recording right just now, just one more snow day and the makeup day will cut into the Memorial Day weekend. :)

I think it's a pretty safe bet there will be more snow days this year.

STAB is also making up days...school will now be held on Good Friday, as well as two other days in the spring, but the most distressing change is the cancellation of Field Day :(

As I said before, I don't live in Ch'ville or in Albemarle, BUT I do live in Nelson County. Come 2/12/10, our county has missed 10 school days in a row. There are days buildt into the school calander for inclement weather. Years ago, there were more days put into the calander for this reason, but our area hasn't had a really bad winter in a number of years so those days were slowly taken away over the years. I'm in the same boat with the rest of ya'll. The school board should do better

I wouldn't worry too much about presidents bemoaning ungrateful children attending school on THEIR DAY --another storm on the way

Make up days are fine, but should be scheduled with a little forethought. You don't mess up parents plans for a three day holiday weekend. Just another stupid move by the City of Charlottesville.

re: "Make up days are fine, but should be scheduled with a little forethought. You don’t mess up parents plans for a three day holiday weekend. Just another stupid move by the City of Charlottesville."

I disagree completely. They should be as aggressive as possible to make up these days to not disrupt people's summer vacations and spring breaks. President's Day is hardly high on the list of family holidays.

Then don't go........How about Memorial Day, and perhaps teach the kids something they should know about- instead how to "shop"!

Not sure any child should feel "cheated" when they are in school on a Saturday. Do they feel "cheated" when they are not in school on a Wednesday?

Actually, in order to get ahead, perhaps the parents should consider spending a little time with them going over some current lessons- then they can say they at least tried.

Hoo, April 2nd for the city schools I'm not just talking about city schools. It's different for each county/district.

Gah, scratch above remark.

April 2nd is not listed as a makeup day for Charlottesville City Schools.

Each county/city is different. My children have lost 3 days of their spring break. Am I upset about it? NO. They need to make it up however they can.

Over It, from what I can tell, they have already taken ALL of the teacher workdays that were scheduled. Can you tell me which teacher workdays they haven't touched yet, because I don't see on the schedule which ones they've left in place.

Gasbag, get a grip. Foresite?? What is more important school or vacation. As a parent you need to decide what is more important. For Albemarle to sit down and determine a vacation over education is ridiculous.

Your suggestion is a tad late. I wish we could

have had year round school from 1999 to 2010. :)

It would end the problem of all of these overpaid teachers, plus our children would be better off and ready to take their place at the forefront of scientific leadership in our new technological age.

Year round school. It's time.

I hear ya, Bill! JUst send the kids to school Tuesday morning with a handwritten note that they were too sick to attend school on Monday!

Other than that, I don't even feel the need to explain to them why my daughter won't be in class on Monday.

I would highly doubt that teachers in Virginia or nationally are overpaid, especially considering salary caps and opportunities for advancement.although perhaps there are teachers that perform poorly and are not worth their salary. I am also little taken aback by the fact that that this clearly highlights the failure of our educational system. The scrambling of school board and superintendents to make up days is clearly to provide more time to teach content of the SOL test, a curriculum which is completely devoid of any development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. If our kids were actually learning and growing into citizens that could think about problems, I doubt missing instruction days would severely lower their scores. Students who were actually actively learning would theoretically have a knowledge based composed of their cumulative years in school, not just a single grade level.

shempdaddy, excellent reply!

I have the calendar laying here somewhere, but you have added a few things I didn't even know were in it.

Four days will make all the difference in the
so-called "Education" of the students? Rubbish.

Another snow storm? GREAT! I just got my power back after being off for 4 days. I keep telling the kids to "think of it as camping...really ruffing it camping!". No lights, no water, no bathroom. What did we ever do before electricity, indoor plumbing and heat pumps? I admit it...we're SPOILED!!! LOL

gasbag: are you in city or county schools?

Let me start by saying I don't live in Albemarle county or the city of Ch'ville. I lived in Ch'ville until I was 13 at which time I moved to the county.

I can remember having to go to school on a Saturday as a make up day. I didn't like it then and I'm sure the kids of today wouldn't like it either BUT it is a solution for make up days. Being a parent, I understand the whole "family 3 day weekend". We enjoy those holidays that allow us to head to the lake for a long weekend. I personally think a Saturday here or there as a make up day would be a good solution. I realize that kids won't want to go, teachers won't want to work on a Saturday and bus drivers won't like it either...but on the upside, you would still have your 3 day weekend. This is just my opinion and I hope I don't step on anyone's toes. My kids are 9 and 12. If they have to make up a day on the weekend, then so be it. The good out weighs the bad.


Try Catch Up Day.

Monday, my family had one dr visit followed by dental planned for kids.

The only 'special' item on our menu was MAYBE if time permitted, a trip to the mall, IF we didn't have any housework left before school started back.

Shempdaddy, well said!

Developing critical thinking and problem solving skills? Bah! Those need to take a back seat to interpersonal relationship building and diversity acceptance. Why would kids need to solve problems if everyone just got along?

city school parent....you took the words right out of my mouth. The kids need to make up their missed days, but not at the expense of taking away a national holiday. Take one of the MANY teacher workdays that are posted.

I have been following comments on articles like this since late 2009 and it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who think teachers are overpaid, lazy, and that education is hardly valuable. Does everyone understand what will happen with this country as our citizens get dumb and dumber?! The lack of education within a country almost always correlates to its well-being. We need to spend MORE money on education (though certainly needs to be spent efficiently and with reason). The kids today will be the ones caring for us tomorrow. I for one can only hope that the country incentivizes today's youth to go into teaching. We need smart people to go into education with a love for teaching children that realize there is a real ceiling to their salaries. In the case of Albemarle County you've got teachers now going on 3 years without a 1 cent raise and threats of furloughs, etc. It's time to turn back the clock and start teaching critically, where kids can deduce answers for themselves without the benefit of Google. Most of you have probably not seen the movie Idiocracy (Mike Judge of King of the Hill and Beavis/Butthead fame), but I suggest you watch it. Terrible movie, but the premise of a Idiotic country is not that many decades off if we don't fix the problems within our education system soon.

I'm with Gasbag, the make up days are necessary, but the short notice is not cool at all. We only found out this afternoon that the kids are going to school on Monday. Since I tend to use the Monday holidays to schedule appointments with the dentist, orthodontist, etc., I'm scrambling.

I'll be interested to see how many kids are actually in school on the first Friday of Spring Break. By this point, the families that are going out of town have planned their travel plans and can't change their Friday flights.

But, I suppose this is better than going to school an extra week in June. Plus, when I was a kid in Roanoke in the 80s, we had one winter where we lost so many days that we got no spring break AND we had to do some make up days on Saturdays.

I wish the County would hurry up and announce (a) school on Friday, and (b) makeup school day on Monday.

city this year. county next year.
Gasbag is bi-jurisdictional.

When schools publish their calendars, usually they will post which days, in order, will be used as snow days. You can find the calendars online.


It's all there!

The city publishes a calendar that lists the days that will be taken back in the event of snow. What the school has done is take days that are not listed. As a parent that believes that our kids are not in school long enough compared to the rest of the 'developed' world I firmly believe that every last minute should be made up. The school system should stick with the dates published since parents have been notified since March of last year that if enough snow days are taken the kids could be in a week longer during summer and there is no excuse for planning vacation during days that could be utilized as make up days. But for parents to be furhter disrupted by the school taking days that were not listed, shame on the school system! And to further compound it by threaten to take back of all days Memorial day, a national holiday...is just not right. Take the summer its too long anyway!!! Help Families save money by spending less on expensive summer camps!

n2smilz, I think you have touched on the real problem here. Nothing is done the "old way" any longer. Everybody seems to have a better idea nowadays, like this newfangled "let's do holidays rather than work on Saturdays!"

God save the Commonwealth if an administrator, teacher or bus driver ever has to work on a Saturday.

I may be wrong, but I thought after so many days the school system wrote them off. Of course this is the last resort...after all teacher workdays, holidays, spring break, and 2 or 3 days added at the school year. I'm sure things have changed since I was a kid and as I said, I may be wrong.

It is a very poor, hastily made decision without apparent opportunity for input. The schools agree on a calendar, with public input, in February prior to the next school year. This calendar had been published and sent to parents, with snow make up days set up in order. That calendar was completely ignored and at the last minute, as if panicked, CCS makes a decision to throw out the calendar that had been used for planning by parents since the beginning of the year to make it up as they go--very poor work on the part of leadership. If they want to change the way things are done next time, by all means, now is the time to determine that. To change the rules in mid-stream will mean that parents who could not change plans this weekend will pull their children from school and you don't want to contemplate the absentee rate for Memorial Day, defeating some of the purpose of makeup days.

They had seven built in makeup days agreed upon and communicated to all. They have not even used all of those yet. Rather than sticking to those dates, they instead chose to change at least two of those(for now) with almost no notice. They can do better and they should.

bottom line: if you would prefer to preserve a three-day weekend in the middle of school year and send kids to school on Saturdays, then you are more concerned with your family vacation plans than with education. Any teacher will tell you that teaching kids on a Saturday is nearly completely non-productive; the kids are totally squirrelly, and it's a day on the books rather than an actually productive day of learning. (Days in mid-June would feel the largely the same.)

Taking back President's Day, by contrast, to our kids will NOT feel like a cheat (the way Saturday school would feel), and they will be far more disposed to behave like it's a real school day and therefore learn things. Sure, the school system maybe changed their stated plan, but if the result is a better educational situation, then what are you REALLY complaining about?

I agree that interpersonal skills and a wider cultural view are also devalued in the modern curriculum. When I talk about about problem solving and critical thinking, I mean to point out that life is full of problems and issues, that includes interpersonal skills, but also goes beyond to include everything else we encounter in the world too. Even the simplest of designs deserves a little bit of thinking in context, looking at a problem in different ways,and looking at pro and cons. Which I think is necessary for success with relationships and communication.

As a high school teacher, I'm a little ashamed of some of the comments left by teachers on news websites... that the days after SOL's are "babysitting days", and students saying, "I just won't come." Parents are upset of the short notice. We have to be flexible in this unusual situation. Teachers were to work anyway, so it isn't a "national holiday." Education is in a crisis in this country, and teachers, parents, and students like this are why. When we don't support our school systems to do what's best for the kids (get these days made up before SOL's so our students can do better..., and we can get on with summer)we send a message to our students that school is secondary, and we teachers who teach meaning lessons after SOL's and continue to collect grades until the last day, have to deal with this "I don't care" mentality that gets passed from parent to student. Maybe this is why my job is so hard. This is a frustrating situation for all involved. Education has been on the back burner for a long time, but if you plan to not send your student to school on those days, students will have the work to make up... unless of course, they have a baby-sitter for a teacher.

Year round school. It's time.

Ditto to HS Teacher too!

Teachers think they can make a case to prove they are underpaid. Cops think they can make a case to prove they are underpaid. Firemen think they can make a case to prove how they are underpaid. Just about any government employee can make a case that they are underpaid.

People need to stop whining about their jobs and salary. The private sector is suffering too. People have gone years without a raise. People have been laid off after 20 and 30 years on a job. The economy is NOT improving.

If anybody recalls recent local history, the city and county have been very proud of the fact that they haven't had to lay off any employees yet. Even that is subject to change shortly.

Just be glad you have a job and an income for as long as you do. Schools, cop shoppes and fire department nationwide have already resorted to layoffs. It will catch up in this area sooner or later. If you saw the paper today, revenue in Charlottesville and Albemarle County continues to go down while the revenue in places like Greene and Louisa keep going up.

I think that everyone should have to teach 24 + kids in 5 classes ....kids that don't want to be in your class, are hormonal, hyped up on sugar (only sugar if we're lucky) and texting on their cell phones....for a whole week at least once in their life before they can say that teachers are overpaid. Oh and don't forget that you just can't teach, they must also LEARN, you must grade papers at home (on average 15 hours a week), give benchmarks and analyze the data, help students before school, after school and at lunch, plan your lessons (research based instructional strategies that are motivating and interesting to your students), contact parents regularly, AND still be a caring, compassionate person. Overpaid... really... .... overpaid... you've got to be kidding. Come give it a try... its the hardest, best job ever...even if some don't appreciate us. But overpaid.... do you want a future? I'm not overpaid... my job is priceless. (Hint, hint.... last time I'm looking at "the hook" comments)

"For some reason, the spring break scheduled for the first week of April, is not even being considered. I do not know why, nor do I understand the logic of it. Why pray do tell, are we going to get these kids back into the groove, and then break for another week?"

Because, Old School, rich parents have made plans for ski trips and will be royally P.O'd if their plans are disrupted. Education comes second to recreation.

You be correct, Hoolarious. My public school child will be on the Wintergreen slopes on Monday. This was planned a month ago.

As far as Albemarle County is concerned, they need to look back to history. As a student in Albemarle county, from 1969-1981, this winter was the kind of winters we were accustomed to. We all knew that if we had extensive snow days, there would be no spring break. For some reason, the spring break scheduled for the first week of April, is not even being considered. I do not know why, nor do I understand the logic of it. Why pray do tell, are we going to get these kids back into the groove, and then break for another week? I can recall having to go to school on Saturdays to make up the time. Why is that impossible now? Experience, logic and good old common sense tells us that those days in June will be physical bodies taking up space, to be fed lunch in order to receive money from the federal teat. It will accomplish little else. Neither the teachers nor the students will have their mind in the game. It seems only logical to utilize the spring break in April, and the other posted days, and get these kids into summer. Of course, that the old school way of doing things. Back when the schools actually worked.

"Education comes second to recreation."

I'm glad we agree, gasbag.

Over It, according to the Hook, "in addition, on Friday, March 12, Friday, April 2, and Friday June 11, school will now be in session." So they say April 2 IS listed as a makeup day. So that teacher workday is gone. And duh, everyone is aware that city and county are different. I'm just asking someone to show me which teacher workdays have been left sacrosanct. None, is what I'm seeing. Those are the first to go back when snow days pile up.

You write, "They need to make it up however they can," but earlier you wrote "but not at the expense of taking away a national holiday." Make up your mind. Me, I don't mind seeing President's Day, Memorial Day, OR spring break go by the board. I would prefer those days to be school days before eating into summer break. Why? Because I believe that those days will actually feel to kids like REAL school days, since they are right there in the middle of the part of the year when kids already expect to be in school. Saturdays and summer days, by contrast, feel to any kid like NOT a real school day. Hence, I think more serious learning will get done on taken-back holidays/spring break days than will get done on June 23rd or on a Saturday. Choose the days that are in the flow of the middle of the school year, rather than tacking on days in the summer or on Saturdays.

I don't think the school systems should be making educational decisions in these extraordinary circumstances based on someone's flight departure for Italy or wherever. Or a family's plan to observe the precious national Memorial Day holiday by remembering our fallen soldiers while they barbecue and water-ski at the lake.

city this year. county next year.

School on Saturday is not an option for Jewish students and Seventh-
Day Adventists.