NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Teachers in Norfolk will soon be getting extra days off, as well as uninterrupted planning days and additional pay for substituting in another teachers’ classroom during planning periods.

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“First and foremost, I would like our teachers to know that we hear them. We hear them loud and clear,” said Superintendent Dr. Sharon Byrdsong. “Attracting and retaining highly qualified and effective teachers remains a top priority for NPS, as well as our commitment to provide a division-wide culture of caring.”

On Wednesday, the school board approved Dr. Byrdsong’s recommendation to provide additional days off for teachers and staff and unencumbered planning days for teachers.

In addition, teachers who substitute in other teachers’ classrooms during their planning time or who provide instructional coverage for students when a classroom of students must be divided among teachers will be compensated.

“We know our teachers and other staff are managing additional work and stress as we uphold the General Assembly’s requirement to provide full-time, in person instruction during the continuing pandemic,” said Board Chairwoman Dr. Adale Martin.

The board voted to:

  • Extend Thanksgiving break and the Memorial Day holiday weekend. NPS will be closed on November 24 and May 27.
  • Change three scheduled early release days on January 13, February 17, and March 17 to full student learning days.
  • Change January 14, February 18, and March 18 to full, unencumbered teacher workdays with students not reporting to school.
    • Teachers are allowed to work remotely or at school on those full, unencumbered teacher workdays.
  • Change April 18 from an asynchronous virtual learning day for students to a full, unencumbered teacher workday with no asynchronous virtual learning requirements

“We know that these changes to the academic calendar may require our families to adjust their own schedules,” Superintendent Byrdsong continued. “We appreciate the understanding of our parents/guardians as we continue to support the well-being of our teachers and staff.”

School buildings will also be closed during winter and spring breaks. During these times, 12-month employees assigned to schools will have the option of taking vacation leave if they choose not to work during these breaks.

Norfolk Public Schools will also provide discretionary funds to all schools to support mental health activities for teachers and staff, as well as professional development and training opportunities focused on classroom management and student discipline.

Additionally, part-time clerical assistants will be hired to support school nurses with paperwork and other clerical duties.

Families can find full updated calendars online.