VIRGINIA BEACH -- More than 5,000 miles separate Virginia Beach from Sochi, site of the Winter Olympic Games.
As athletes competed in Russia Saturday, studnets at John B. Dey Elementary School drew inspiration from the world-away games.
"We really wanted our children to be excited to come today," said Principal Beth Bianchi. "The temptation to sit home and eat waffles in front of the TV could overcome coming to school."
Saturday was a class day for the school and every other public school in Virginia Beach. It was the first make-up day scheduled for the weekend to recoup instructional time lost because of recent snow.
"We've had really great attendance today. We've had maybe a few more absences than normal, but, actually, but most of our absences were very legitimate reasons," explained Bianchi.
"It tears a lot of families apart because they have a tough decision," said Jeffrey Feld who is Jewish and who kept his children home Saturday.
"The Sabbath is supposed to have a reflection on religion as well as spend family time, and by going to school on Saturday, it didn't really allow us to celebrate our holiday the proper way," Feld told 13News Now.
"To put it on Saturdays, they're not being sensitive to family needs," said Trenace Riggs, President of the Virginia Beach Education Association.
Riggs said the superintendent should drop the remaining make-up days scheduled for Saturdays in March and April.
"We already have that time that's needed, that's required by the State," Riggs said.
The school division said it will have attendance numbers for the day on Monday.