It’s not quite a snow day, but students will get the day off, nonetheless.
All Prince William County schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 3, also known as “Super Tuesday,” when Virginia voters will head to the polls to participate in the Democratic presidential primary election.
The Prince William County School Board made the decision after receiving several emails from community members concerned about the voting interfering with the regular school day, Chairman Dr. Babur Lateef said Monday.
The day will be a holiday for students and a “virtual workday” for school division employees, Lateef said.
“I was okay with it partly because we haven’t had many snow days,” Lateef said after the school division posted the news on its website Monday afternoon. “I think that’s a reasonable suggestion.”
Lateef said the board took a poll on the issue via email and will conduct a formal vote during the board’s next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 19.
Lateef said other Northern Virginia school divisions are also considering calling school off on March 3 for the primary election.
Most of Prince William’s schools are polling sites, and students never have school on major election days. But the school division does not automatically declare primary election days to be school holidays.
Still, primaries can pose a challenge for schools when it comes to parking and security. Lateef said the school division gets numerous complaints about voters not being able to find parking spaces in school parking lots when school is in session on election days.
It’s even a problem when students have the day off for Election Day but schools use the day for teacher workdays or parent-student conferences.
It’s likely that the Nov. 3 Election Day will be an official state holiday and that all public schools will be closed as a result. Legislation to do just that – by swapping Election Day for the Lee-Jackson Day holiday – has already passed both houses of the Virginia General Assembly.
“Nearly every PWCS school and center is being used as a polling place, and this closure will ensure adequate parking and minimal disruptions for both voters and schools,” said a school division announcement posted Monday, Feb. 10 about the March 3 day off for students.
Although school won’t be in session, schools will still offer their school age child care programs on Tuesday, March 3. The all-day programs will include breakfast, lunch and snack.
Field trips and after-school activities will be canceled, the announcement said.