By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt County School Board added an additional school closing to the current 2022-23 calendar and made changes the 2023-24 school calendar at March’s regular meeting last week at the Administrative Offices in Fincastle.
Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Russ proposed adding a “red day” for the school division to close on Monday, April 10. The Friday before, county schools are closed on Good Friday. This additional day of closing is due to the odd winter weather this season keeping school doors open, as opposed to the occasional closure due to snow/bad weather sweeping through the county.
“When we build our school calendar, we strive each year to build that calendar with 180 school days,” Russ noted. “There are no ‘snow days’ on the calendar. Some people think there are snow days built in there— ‘they didn’t use any, so they’ll have to be given back.’ That is not the case. However, I also realize that our teachers, our administrators, our faculty and staff and, especially, our students have been nonstop since winter break… I’m just going to speak bluntly and honestly. I believe our teachers, our students, our admin have deserved a day. Normally, we can bank on missing (a day of school due to) a snow day here or there. That hasn’t been the case (this year).”
Russ noted that he understands that making this change will force parents to make plans for the April 10 closing, but thought giving a month’s notice is sufficient.
Additionally, the School Board approved two changes to the BCPS 2023-24 school calendar. The changes included moving a parent/teacher conference day from October 9 to October 16 and changing March 5 from a regular school day to a teacher workday (due to primary elections taking place in schools).
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