VIRGINIA BEACH -- Several people were at the school board meeting Tuesday night, hoping board members would reconsider Saturday make-up days.
A handful of people spoke before the board, requesting that the board override the Superintendent's decision and come up with an alternative plan.
'I understand all the inconvenience. I truly do,' said Dr. Sheila Magula.
The superintendent spoke for the first time on camera about the decision.
'While people were out playing in the snow, our principals were meeting. We were looking at every student activity that was going to be going on we had on the calendar,' Magula told 13News Now. 'Our principals were in meetings during the snow days trying to make a decision. I asked, 'What do you prefer? What do you want?' and they said, 'We can't decide. You decide,' and we did that.
One mother at the meeting told the board the designated make-up days discriminate against the Jewish faith which has services on Saturday.
Another parent said the make-up sessions are detrimental to families and teachers who are being forced to rearrange their schedules to accommodate the weekend classes.
One teacher who spoke before the board said it's not about time, but the quality of teaching while children are there.
Board member Emma ('Em') Davis reminded people, 'Our calendar this year indicated that Saturdays would be used to make-up snow days if necessary.'
Only 78% of students attended the Saturday make-up session on February 15, according to VBCPS records.
Despite the numerous pleas, the board voted 7-3 Tuesday to keep Saturday make-up days in place.
Board member Joel McDonald, who brought the resolution that would have gotten rid of the make-up days, said, 'I'm really happy we had the discussion. I think that's what people were really looking for, and, if nothing else, that's why I brought this forward was to say, 'We need to talk about this.''
Board members agreed to revisit the way the calendar is planned and to see what can be done to build in more flexibility should make-up days for inclement weather be needed.