Dr. Tony Brads told the school board on Dec. 12, ” We have two calendars for 2014-15 in the works. One of the calendars is for a pre Labor Day opening and the other is a post Labor Day start.” The reason is the lack of enough snow days to fit the state requirement, though a waiver had been issued for western counties by the VDOE and the General Assemble in the past two years.
The waiver is based on the worst five years of ten and Botetourt does not have five really bad years in the past ten for snow or weather related closings to qualify for a pre Labor Day opening without a waiver.
Brads reminded the board that the tourism business has a heavy lobby in Richmond that supports after Labor Day school openings.
Hope however is on the horizon. Brads told the board. ” Sen. Steve Newman our Senator in the General Assembly, plans to sponsor a bill letting the waiver become permanent for the inclement weather scenario.” They hope that a companion bill will be introduced in the House of Delegates.
No one in the room could recall a time when Botetourt County public schools had started after Labor Day. Michael Beahm of the Valley District believed it was in the early 1960s.