By Elaine Blaisdell
KEYSER, W.Va. — No comments were made Tuesday during a Mineral County Board of Education public hearing on the superintendent’s proposals for the 2014-2015 school calendar.
There are two sample calendars — one with students returning to school Aug. 7 and a projected finish date of May 20, 2015. The other sample has students returning to school Aug. 14 and a projected finish date of May 27, 2015. Neither sample has been decided on and a decision won’t be made until after a second public hearing.
West Virginia schools are required to be in session for 180 days. When the next school year begins, a new state law takes effect that will require all days missed to be made up later in the year, Superintendent Rob Woy said.
The next board public hearing on the calendar proposals will be April 1 and a decision on the calendar won’t be made until a future board meeting. The earliest a decision could be made is during the April 15 meeting, said Denise Bruno, executive secretary to the superintendent. May 1 is the deadline for all counties to submit calendars to the West Virginia Department of Education for the 2014-2015 year.
The policy approved in December by the state Board of Education allows counties to establish year-round school calendars “if the community thinks a balanced schedule is the most appropriate for its students,” the department said in a news release.
Many of the 184 comments submitted during a 30-day public comment period on the state’s policy opposed a year-round school calendar, according to The Associated Press. The policy does not eliminate school trips, another concern voiced in public comments.
An additional change requires most faculty senates to meet on noninstructional days so that classes will not be canceled for professional development.
The changes in the policy stem from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s education reform bill that was passed by the Legislature.