Email: Snow Days and the School Budget

I hope I am not jinxing anything, but hopefully we have now seen the end of winter weather and weather related school closures for this school year.   The weather closures have been tough on the school system, our students and parents.   As of right now to make up missed instructional time we are continuing with the plan published on the 2013-2014 school calendar.  To make up days missed the calendar has us extend into summer for two days (June 16th and 17th).   With the latest closures we have some additional time to make up that we will have to make some decisions on.

There is a lot discussion on social media and otherwise about state waivers to allow us to not have to make up all of the time missed.   The state code does not favor localities in obtaining waivers because it requires counties to exhaust every effort to make up missed time before a waiver will be granted.   I believe we can still apply for the waivers and hopefully the state will take pity and forgive us some of the time that we have missed.

On Tuesday evening (March 11th) the School Board will hold a regular meeting beginning at 7 PM.   I, and other members of the Board, have asked to have a discussion about snow days on the agenda.   Staff has assured us we will have that discussion on the agenda and they will review all of our options with us, to include process for applying for a state waiver.   If you have thoughts and comments about the days missed due to weather and how best to deal with them I would strongly suggest you attend our meeting and speak during the citizen comment time.   You will have three minutes to address the School Board on any topic you wish.  If you are not able to attend the meeting you can send me any questions or comments.  I will be sure to address your questions and comments with our staff.

The School Board has also been working through the fiscal year 2015 budget.  On Saturday, March 1st we held a work session in which we discussed the budget priorities set out by the Superintendent’s recommended budget.  We have another work session before our regular meeting on Tuesday in which we will continue to work on the budget.   There will also be a public information presentation on the budget during the regular meeting on Tuesday.   Hopefully we can get the school budget ready for presentation to the Board of Supervisors, and begin working with them to fund our priorities.   The School Board still has a priority on addressing teacher and other employee salaries.  We all agree we need to improve our salary scales to continue to attract top talent and retain teachers long term.  

Please be sure to follow Stafford County Schools on Facebook or visit the website at to stay abreast of any decisions we make regarding make up days for the days we missed due to weather.   I will also be sure to publish information on my Facebook page and my website

Let’s hope this winter comes to end soon and spring comes in to spoil us with sunshine and warm weather.  


UPDATE: article on options and how districts are dealing with snow days

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@scotthirons tweeted this page. 2014-03-05 20:49:28 -0500
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