Schools delay start of new year because of storm

PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - Summer break will last a little longer for some area students thanks to the storm. Prince George County has postponed the start of the new school year by a week.

Seven year old Michael Gibbs is a rising 2nd grader. He enjoys reading and gym class.

Michael can't wait for the new school year to get going. But he and every other student in the county will start the school year later than scheduled.

The school year was supposed to start September 6th. Now, classes will begin on the 12th. Michael's mom, Angela Gibbs, calls it a costly change.

"Now I have to find another week of daycare for my son which will cost time and money," said Gibbs.

The school district says delaying school is necessary because of the storm. Many folks are without power. Others have up-rooted trees in their yard.

"It will give families a chance to get their lives back together and get students prepared for school," said Superintendent of Schools, Renee Williams.

Because of the damage done by Hurricane Irene many of schools in the county are not ready for students to return. Right now, 6 of the 9 schools in the county are without power and one school is being used for emergency shelter.

Williams says the missed school days will not need to be made up.

"Our school days are longer than what's required by the state. So if we have to, we call them bank days, we can use that time to off-set the late start," she added.

Michael says he'll use the extra week to play. His mother says they'll figure out a way to make it work.

"It is what it is and we'll just go with it," said Gibbs.

NBC12 checked with other local districts to see if they were delaying the start of the school year because of Irene. Hanover, Henrico, Hopewell and Richmond plan to open to students as scheduled on Tuesday. New Kent County and Petersburg schools will decide on Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.