CHS will be required to make up four school days due to weather issues from the most recent hurricane. There are many different opinions about them. Parents, teachers, and students have wanted to let us know theirs.
“Not necessary,” Mrs. Ward, mom of two kids, said. “These days were already given to us at the beginning of the school year, and there were things I’d already planned for the days we were going to be off.”
Ward admitted that there would be less of a hassle finding a babysitter, because her daycare center follows the PPS schedule, but she was really looking forward to spending time with her children.
Ward also said that she believes they made up the days this way because they are probably going to add time to the school day to make up for the future snow days. “I mean, in that sense, yes, this is probably the most ideal way of doing it. It’s still pretty crappy, because now we don’t get those days off, but it’s o.k.,” she said.
“So far it seems like a pretty good idea,” said English teacher Mrs. Stopper.
Stopper admits that she wanted to have those half days we had hoped for, but she also thinks it has worked out quite well that instead of adding entire days they decided to extend the ones that we were already coming to the school. “I probably would have added full days without even realizing this was an option,” she said.
Mrs. Moody, both a teacher and coach, said the days are going to affect some of the holidays she had planned for December. “I liked it better how they extended school year last year,” she said, “but I understand that if we have snow days, we need to make those up as well.” Moody admits that she would rather not make these days up, even though she understands that they have to be made up.
However, many other high schools in Suffolk have decided not to make these days up because they don’t really think they are necessary. Would this have made our students happier? How essential do they think these days are? Ajah, a senior at CHS, and Tyrique, in his junior year, said they both felt the make up days were unnecessary. “Since it was like the second week and we were still doing reviews. I didn’t feel it was really necessary,” Tyrique says.
Principal Millaci says that because the Portsmouth Public School calendar only had 1 make-up day built in, that it was necessary for us to make up the days missed. He said we were lucky to have a number of early release days we could use rather than using full days.
Some school districts choose to do virtual days to make up for missed time. Virtual days are when work is assigned to students at home on their school-provided computer and those students have to work a certain number of hours to fulfill the hours they would’ve been in school.
Millaci thought that PPS should consider using this alternative to make up days instead. He thinks that virtual days are an excellent idea for our school district to consider in the future, although there would be many things to put into consideration. “1. Only high school students have Chromebooks, so how would our middle school and elementary school students make up days? 2. Not all students in PPS have reliable internet access at home. How would they access online content on virtual days? Is this equitable for all students?” he asked.
Millaci said that although we enjoy days off, when weather events happen, we still have to mind that the state requires a certain amount of time in school and that make up days are inevitable.
Photo By: Maria Ruiz