BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – School division leaders in Botetourt County say the decision to have early dismissal on Wednesdays will help teachers and other faculty members have more time to address the challenges this year has created.
“I don’t want to say that our teachers are burned out, but they’re taking a lot on them,” Communications Specialist Michael Moser said.
The school day ending early one day a week means teachers will spend the afternoon planning and catching up on work.
Many teachers and faculty members are taking on extra work because of a lack of substitutes.
“At the end of the workday, our teachers have worked without break and without that planning period to really keep their students all on track and progressing through the curriculum, you know, they’re, they’re needing some extra support and time to take care of this,” Moser said.
But Botetourt County is not alone. James Fedderman is the president of the Virginia Education Association and he says this is a problem throughout the Commonwealth and the country.
“I would say being overwhelmed, is an understatement at this point,” Virginia Education Association President James Fedderman said.
Fedderman believes teachers need to have a seat at the table in order for their voices to be heard.
“Many of them are neglecting self-care and when they cannot be 100% within themselves it’s almost impossible to do the job effectively in the classroom,” Fedderman said.
In the short term, Botetourt school leaders hope this minor change will make a big difference for the people overseeing their student’s education.
“This is just a small token for the division to show them that their efforts and their work is greatly appreciated and that we want to support,” Moser said.
This change is set to begin starting October 20. Each school will send out individual announcements about after-school activities and sports.