There was much in the way of landmark legislation that came from the 2013 West Virginia Legislature. Most initiatives have been implemented but there remains one very important piece of legislation that still is to be implemented the school calendar.
On the horizon, there are many changes that will be forthcoming beginning with the 2014-15 school year. All students will now be required to attend school for 180 days. This means that each day cancelled for inclement weather must be made up. In the past the employment term for employees had been a detriment to this. In the past the 200-day employment term for school employees had to be completed within 43 weeks of the start of the term. Now this has been lengthened to 48 weeks, thus gaining about 25 additional days that are to be used to ensure students attend school for the required 180 days.
In the past early dismissals and delays were not made up. As long as the students attended school that day, it was counted as an instructional day. Now the time lost to delays and early dismissals must be made up. County school systems must come up with a plan for accomplishing this.
Each county is required to hold two public meetings for the purpose of gathering input relative to the school calendar and the new requirements. Keep watching the Wetzel Chronicle for the official public notice of these meetings. A meeting will be held on Feb. 25 at Hundred High School, in the auditorium. The second meeting will be held on March 11 at Magnolia High School, in the auditorium. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m.
There will no longer be ISE (Instructional Support and Enhancement Days) as have been held in the past. There have always been five such days. In the past Faculty Senate meetings have been held on these days. With the new requirements, Faculty Senate must be held once every 45 days, but it must be done on a non-instructional day. If held on an instructional day, the lost time must be made up by students and staff.
Wetzel County Schools' calendar must be submitted to the West Virginia Department of Education by May 1.
Wetzel County Schools is seeking information relative to a potential calendar. A survey is available on homepage to the county website. The link for the survey is www.surveymonkey.com/s/WetzelCountySchools2014. The survey results, along with input from the two public meetings, will be considered by the Calendar Committee in the development of the 2014-15 calendar.