Virginia Beach schools will dismiss 2 hours early some Wednesdays to help “June-tired” teachers

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Virginia Beach teachers are already “June-tired,” school board members and administrators discussed at Tuesday night’s meeting.

That’s why staff recommended the institution of seven 2-hour early dismissals on select Wednesdays over the next three months, which the board passed with a 9-1 vote that evening.

These early dismissals are intended to carve out additional planning time for teachers to address what many of them “feel is an unsustainable workload,” said Eugene Soltner, the division’s chief schools officer.

“They’re June-tired, is what we’re hearing,” board member Beverly Anderson said.

Superintendent Aaron Spence also announced the creation of a Nov. 24 holiday for all students and staff, to aid with the effort.

Kathleen Slinde, president of the Virginia Beach Education Association, underscored the burden staff shortages has created for teachers this school year during public comments.

“It kind of reminds me of that episode (of “I Love Lucy”) where she’s working on that candy assembly line, and she can’t keep up,” Slinde said. “That episode was hilarious, right? But the idea of never being able to complete a task on time when it’s your job is disheartening and demoralizing.”

Wednesdays were selected to help teachers get through the week, school administrators said.

Jessica Owens initially questioned the selection of Wednesdays, citing concerns that parents may not be able to accommodate early dismissal in the middle of the week.

Laura Hughes took issue with the early dismissals depriving students of instruction time, and voted against the early dismissals. Victoria Manning was absent.

Julianna Morano, julianna.morano@virginiamedia.com

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