BOE Discusses Calendar Changes
The Wetzel County Board of Education is anticipating keeping the 2015-2016 school calendar similar to this year’s, according to Interim Superintendent Jay Yeager.
On March 2, during a special public hearing held at Paden City High School for discussion of the calendar, Interim Superintendent Jay Yeager gave a brief recap concerning the origins of the mandated calendar restrictions. He stated that the calendar regulations came from Senate Bill 359 from the 2013 legislative session. “This bill was passed, and this is why we have the regulations. The first year was the 2013-2014 school year. However the legislation passed so late, so they did not have time to implement it. They implemented it this year.”
Yeager stated that it does not matter whether students have to go “from July 1 to June 30, you have to have 180 days.” In the past, counties would have 180 days scheduled but couldn’t always get them in. “Delays and early dismissals have to be made up,” Yeager added. “If we have a two-hour delay or an early dismissal from school, that time out of the classroom must be made up.”
Yeager noted that schools can accrue time by having extra minutes throughout the day. “If you exceed those amounts, you can bank that time . . . That’s why we started nine minuets earlier, so we could have that accrued time, so we could have two-hour delays and staff development and faculty senate.”
“Assembly and school-wide events must be made up. Does that mean you haven’t have a fun thing? No, it just means you have to have accrued time to be able to do that. Academic activities are fine, as that is an instructional event.”
Yeager noted that two public meetings are required to discuss the school calendar. “This is the first one,” he noted. “There are two held a year, and we are having one Thursday at Valley High School. The board is trying to travel around to all areas of the county.”
Also, required by the state, is faculty senate, which must be scheduled once every 45 days on a non-instructional day.
For 200-day employment, there are 180 days of instruction, eight holidays (including Election Day), six out-of-school environment days, and six non-instructional days that can be used for Curriculum Development, Preparation, Continuing Education, Parent-Teacher Conference, Professional Meetings, Make-up Days, and Faculty Senate.
Yeager also explained that Wetzel County’s school calendar has to be similar to the calendars of Ritchie, Tyler, Pleasants, and Marion counties, because of students who attend MOVTI (Mid-Ohio Valley Technical Institute) and Marion High School Career Center.
Yeager stated that Wetzel County Schools is anticipating starting school in August after Town and Country Days, and “ending around the first of June.” Yeager stated that schools would have breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, as well as a spring break. “It’s the same type of calendar with what we’ve had this past year.”
During the meeting, the board did vote to use March 6, March 20, and March 27, formerly Outside School Environment (OS) days as Instructional Days, to replace Jan. 6, Jan. 7, and Jan. 8, which were all snow days. Yeager stated there are still four days for students to makeup. He added that Pleasants, Ritchie, and Tyler counties are all going to school during spring break. “The majority of principals are recommending that we go to school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and spring break would be Thursday, Friday, and the Monday after (Easter). If the board is agreeable to that, that would be good,” Yeager noted. Wetzel County’s spring break was scheduled for the week of March 29.
Board Vice President Bob Patterson noted that this would help with the MOVTI calendar. Yeager added that if there are no more snow days, the last day for students would be June 3. June 4 would be a Continuing Education (CE) day, and teachers’ last day would be June 5.
At Monday’s meeting the board took no action on using spring break as make-up days, as it must be placed on the agenda first.
In another matter, it was announced that a street drug awareness program will be held at New Martinsville School March 10, 6 p.m. in Room 105.
Also, another drug awareness program will be held at Magnolia High School April 9, noon to 1:30 p.m.