Mathews board holds Town Hall meeting

Charlie Koenig - Posted on Mar 06, 2019 - 01:52 PM

In a sparsely attended Mathews School Board Town Hall meeting Tuesday night, school board members fielded questions about the timing of this year’s Spring Break and the division’s participation as an owner of public broadcasting station WHRO.

With only about five people in attendance aside from school board members and staff, the meeting in the Mathews High School media center was a short one, lasting only a half hour.

Gwynn resident Judy Rowe started the program by asking why this year’s Spring Break (which is scheduled for April 1-5) was not held until Easter, which falls on April 21 this year.

Superintendent of Schools Nancy Welch said that each year a survey goes out while the calendar is being developed. This year, there was a desire expressed to hold Spring Break on the first week of April and to coincide with neighboring school divisions, many of whom also have that week off. School board chairman John Priest added that in developing a schedule another concern is not to hold any athletic events that week, if at all possible. Welch pointed out that students and staff will also have off Easter Monday, April 22, following the Easter holiday.

Mike Beavers of Port Haywood asked the board to explain the ownership of WHRO. Priest said that WHRO is the only public broadcasting station in the United States owned by the area schools. Founded by Virginia Beach Public Schools as Home Room One (hence the WHRO call letters), the station is collaboratively owned by 20 school divisions in Eastern Virginia, with an application for a 21st school division under consideration, he said.