Newport News Public Schools adjusts school hours to recover time missed during Florence prep

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – After closing for four days to prepare for the potential effects from Hurricane Florence, Newport News Public Schools will adjust school operating hours to make up for missed instructional time.

Starting on Monday, October 1, 10 additional minutes will be added to the end of each school day for the rest of the school year.

Additionally, Wednesday, December 19 will be a full school day for all students and staff. That day was originally scheduled to be a half-day for students.

The revised school schedule will maintain NNPS’ focus on instructional time, provides “banked” hours in the event of future inclement weather closings and retains winter break and spring break for families and staff.

NNPS has provided answers to a few frequently asked questions regarding the instructional recovery plan, which you can view below:

Q: Does missed instructional time have to be made up since Governor Northam declared a state of emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation for Zone A?

A: Yes, NNPS students must recover the missed instructional time. Section 22.1-98 of the Code of Virginia states that the Virginia Board of Education may waive the requirement that school divisions provide additional instructional days or hours to compensate for school closings resulting from a declared state of emergency. In order to receive a waiver, the school division must include evidence of efforts that have been made to reschedule as many days or hours as possible and certify that every “reasonable effort” was made to recover the missed instructional days or hours before requesting the waiver.

Q: What will happen if there is another weather related closing?

A: The 10-minute extended school day accounts for the four days of missed instruction and provides “banked” hours in case NNPS has additional inclement weather closings. The revised school schedule maintains winter break and spring break for students and staff.

Q: Will employees be paid for the time the school division was closed due to the impending storm? 

A: All full-time employees will receive their expected salary for the four days missed due to Hurricane Florence (Twelve-month full-time employees missed three days of work). For payroll purposes, the division will consider the days missed as “paid leave.”  Employees who had approved leave (for example sick or vacation leave) during these four days are not being charged for the previously approved leave.

Q: Will employees who were required to work while the division was closed receive extra pay for the hours worked?

A: In accordance to School Board Policy GBC – Staff Wages and Salaries, “employees will receive their regular pay and non-exempt employees will receive additional straight-time pay for each hour of actual work.”

Q:  Will employees be paid extra for the additional 10 minutes that will be added to the student day beginning October 1?

A: No. Adding 10 additional minutes to the student day falls within the staff day for the vast majority of our employees. While this may slightly extend the workday for instructional assistants, media assistants, student support assistants and interpreters, the 10 additional minutes added to each day is less than the four workdays missed September 11-14, 2018.

Q: What is the new dismissal time for my school?

A: Beginning Monday, October 1, ten (10) minutes will be added to the end of the school day.

  • Middle schools and high schools that currently dismiss at 2:05 p.m. will dismiss at 2:15 p.m.
  • Elementary schools and middle schools that dismiss at 2:55 p.m. will dismiss at 3:05 p.m.
  • Elementary schools that dismiss at 3:40 p.m. will dismiss at 3:50 p.m.
  • Early Childhood Centers and P.E.E.P. dismissal schedules will also be extended by ten minutes.