Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS
 
 
 

Public gives input

Randolph BOE hosts forum on school calendar

January 23, 2014
By Beth Christian Broschart Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

ELKINS - Both Randolph County school officials and the public had questions Wednesday during a public meeting designed to garner feedback on the 2014-2015 school calendar.

Many questions revolved around the new state legislation requiring that students receive 180 instructional days in the classroom per school year.

"All missed instructional days must be made up, including two-hour delays and early dismissals," Superintendent of Schools Terry George said during the meeting at Elkins High School.

"The local boards must approve their calendar, then submit it to the West Virginia Department of Education for approval."

By Beth Christian Broschart

Staff Writer

ELKINS - Both Randolph County school officials and the public had questions Wednesday during a public meeting designed to garner feedback on the 2014-2015 school calendar.

Many questions revolved around the new state legislation requiring that students receive 180 instructional days in the classroom per school year.

"All missed instructional days must be made up, including two-hour delays and early dismissals," Superintendent of Schools Terry George said during the meeting at Elkins High School.

"The local boards must approve their calendar, then submit it to the West Virginia Department of Education for approval."

Board of Education member Harvey Taylor asked about students leaving school early for extra-curricular activities.

"Currently, as the bill sets, extra curricular trips that require students to leave prior to the completion of the school day will have to stop." George said. "That time would have to be made up."

Elkins resident and former teacher Richard Varchetto said the legislators have taken too much away from the students.

"I encourage parents to speak to their elected officials," Varchetto said. "Remember, you can get rid of those making these decisions not by bullets, but by ballots."

A crowd of about 40 attended the meeting to ask questions and offer suggestions for the school calendar.

Wednesday's meeting, and another slated for 6 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Tygarts Valley High School cafeteria, were set by the Randolph County Board of Education to gather opinions in devising a calendar with student needs in mind.

On Wednesday, George first told those in attendance he wanted to put a couple of misconceptions about the calendar to rest.

"We will not be having year-round school in Randolph County. The bill does not require that."

George said that at least five school systems in West Virginia will have year-round school, but the Randolph County schools calendar will remain, as much as possible, a traditional calendar such as it has been in the past.

The Randolph BOE has offered an online calendar survey that has had nearly 1,300 hits so far. The survey offers takers the chance to comment on five items - what date they think school should begin, how important it is that school is closed the entire week of Thanksgiving, how satisfied folks are with the schools' current winter break, information about spring break and whether make-up days should be built in or added into the calendar.

George said 54 percent of those completing the survey voted for Aug. 14 as the first day of school for students.

"Nearly 49 percent said having the entire week of Thanksgiving off from school was extremely important," George said, "and 84 percent of folks indicated they are satisfied with the schools' current winter break of Christmas Eve through New Year's Day, and 54 percent said they thought spring break should be a long weekend to include Good Friday and the Monday following Easter."

In the final survey question, 75 percent of those responding said they felt make-up instructional time should be built into the school's calendar.

George said statistically, since 2009, Randolph County schools have missed about 17 days a year because of inclement weather.

"So you can see, there will be days that will need to be made up," he said.

George said the Randolph County School Calendar Committee has not yet begun meeting.

"They will use the feedback from the surveys and the two public meetings," George said. "Then the calendar committee can sit down, we hope, to develop two draft calendars by Feb. 7. Those drafts are then submitted to the staff for their input, and (staff will) submit them to the state department for their review. The local board of education will have the final say on the calendar that will be utilized."

 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web