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School year nearing end in parts of West Virginia

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School year nearing end in parts of West Virginia
By Shauna Johnson, MetroNews

The 2015-2016 school year will be coming to a close before Memorial Day in some of West Virginia’s public schools.

By June 10, students in all 55 county systems will be on summer vacation, according to updated school calendar information from the state Department of Education.

Despite missing nine instructional days, schools in Tucker County will be the first in West Virginia to end the year. The last day for students in Tucker County is Tuesday.

Braxton County and Wayne County students will follow a day later.

On Thursday, the school year ends for students in Gilmer County, Mingo County and Ohio County.

It’s a change from the previous school year when schools in parts of West Virginia remained open until late June 2015 as school systems tried to meet the state law requirement for 180 separate days of school instruction following a tough winter.

The 2014-2015 school year was the first year the requirement was mandated in the Mountain State.

In June 2015, official recorded attendance numbers dipped as low as 66 percent, though some systems unofficially reported far worse attendance rates.

At that time, Dr. Michael Martirano, state superintendent of schools, said county school officials would have to better construct their individual school calendars to allow for any necessary makeup days due to weather or other emergencies.

“We have to make certain that we’re building calendars that have flexibility in there,” Martirano said at the close of the last school year.

This year, Greenbrier County students missed more school days than those in any other county with 12 instructional days canceled. Greenbrier County was the first county school system in West Virginia to begin the year, back on Aug. 6, 2015, and will end the year on June 7, 2016.

The other counties missing ten or more days of school and their ending dates are Barbour, June 2; Fayette, May 31; Lewis, June 6; Mercer, June 6; Monroe, June 7; Nicholas, June 8; Preston, June 1; Raleigh, June 2 and Summers, June 1.

Students in Brooke County missed the fewest number of instructional days at two. The school year that started there on Aug. 20, 2015 closes for students on Friday, May 27, 2016.

Clay County will be the last school system to end the year on June 10. Students have three additional days to make up following an alleged threat aimed at Clay County Middle School that lead to school cancellations in early May.

The average number of days missed per county was 7.1, the data from the Department of Education indicated.

The 2013 education reform law, which included the mandate for 180 instructional days, allows county school years to continue through June 30, if necessary, for makeup days.