Holidays Intact For Divisions

Posted: March 27, 2013

HARRISONBURG — Students in local schools may not have been dreaming of a white spring break.


But at least the flurries that littered the streets with snow Monday — or the storm in early March that dumped up to 2 feet of snow on the Valley — won’t mess with their plans for some R & R.


“Our families make preparations and have family time during this week and it is late notice in my estimation [to cancel that],” said Rockingham County Schools Superintendent Carol Fenn. “I am glad that we are able to keep spring break intact.”


Aside from converting some early release days to full days for students, calendars will likely remain unchanged, local school administrators said Tuesday.


Because of snow, Harrisonburg has canceled school six times, while Rockingham and Shenandoah County public schools both missed 10 days as a result of snow and wintry weather. Several hours also were knocked off division calendars due to delays and early releases.


Schools in all three divisions were canceled Monday as flakes continued to fall throughout the day, leading to accumulations of at least 6 inches in the Valley.


All three also had delayed openings Tuesday.


Because schools build snow days into their school calendars, they don’t anticipate being unable to meet a Virginia Department of Education requirement that the school year include 990 hours of instruction.


“We will certainly want to continue our school day schedule because it serves us well when we get in crunches like this,” Fenn said.


Harrisonburg City Schools Superintendent Scott Kizner said the division was “seeking clarification” on a separate VDOE requirement about class time needed for students to earn credits, but he did not anticipate any calendar changes.


Shenandoah County Schools Superintendent B. Keith Rowland said at this point, the missed days would not change his division’s schedule for the rest of the year.


In Rockingham County, Fenn said some additional instructional time was added voluntarily this week at the request of teachers in preparation for Standards of Learning tests.


“We had missed a lot of time and our teachers want our students to feel very prepared,” she said.


With no looming threats that the white stuff will create dangerous road conditions again this spring, school calendars may become more consistent.


But with Monday’s snowfall — which fell four days into spring — still fresh on roofs and roads, Fenn’s learned not to rule out the unexpected.


“You never know,” she said.


Contact Emily Sharrer at 574-6286 or  or Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or

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