Chesapeake, Va. – Chesapeake school board members decided Tuesday night to add six minutes to each school day, which averages out to adding about a minute and a half per block.
The added time makes up for the two days lost last week during another round of winter weather.
A decision that makes parents like Pamela Sullivan very happy compared to Virginia Beach’s makeup plan.
“It doesn’t seem to me that it’s a very effective option for students to learn on a Saturday when they are used to having that as a day off,” Sullivan says.
Also unlike Virginia Beach, Chesapeake school board members vote on the best option.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the superintendent offered up several ideas for consideration.
But, when it comes down to it, Chairman Christie Craig says it’s what the people want.
“We all Facebooked and put text messages out there to see which option would be the best and, overwhelmingly, the added minutes to the end of the day was the one that got the most votes,” Craig explains.
Chesapeake Schools also give themselves a bit of a buffer.
Several years ago, board members voted to add eight minutes to the end of the day after Hurricane Isabelle shutdown schools for 11 days.
Those eight minutes were never taken off the school day.
As a result, the district doesn’t have to make up as much time as other cities.
“Those eight minutes added a couple days. Now, if we didn’t have to use them then they would just be lost but it’s nice to have,” Craig says.
The six minute longer school day begins next Monday, March 17, and ends with the last day of school in June.
For high school Sophomore, Colleen Sullivan, that means she still has Saturdays for friends and dance class.
“I love having like a social life out of school,” Sullivan says.
On the other hand, another parent who didn’t want to go on camera told NewsChannel 3 she doesn’t see how adding six minutes is effective in making up two full days of lost curriculum. While she does believe that option is more convenient, she says she didn’t really have a preference regarding what the school board would choose to do.