School calendar issues: exploring options to make up time

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WDTV)-- School is back in session and counties are working to make up for the missed days. As for parents, many said they are happy to see this day come.

"They were used to sleeping in for a little while, so it was a little bit hard to get them up, but they did really well. My daughter is excited, she wanted to get back to school," said Jason Morgan.

Each county creates their own calendar, so the State Board will be working with each individual county to explore options. In Marion County, education officials are working to make a fair decision for both students and parents.

"We are going to make up the number of days that we feel would give students an opportunity to receive that additional instruction, but we are also trying to not interfere with family plans," said Price.

As for a set date of when school will get out, that is still up in the air. The Marion County Board of Education hopes to present a plan in the coming days. They are also taking input from schools within the county.

"Our schools are in session everyday well over the minimum required minutes, so we have built up quite a bank of accumulated extra time. We are going to review using some of that to offset some of those days," said Price.

Price also said seniors will not have to go longer into the year and graduation will not change.

"They will not be required to make up any days after graduation. Once they have their diploma, good luck to them," said Price.

In Harrison County, spring break is still scheduled and will not change. Dr, Mark Manchin said he is working with the State Superintendent, as well.

Manchin said it is still unpredictable when students will get out of school, depending on future snow days, but he expects students to be out by sometime in early June.

State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine issued the following statement Tuesday, saying he is pleased that students will be returning to class on Wednesday:

"It truly is a great day for education in West Virginia. I am pleased that our students, teachers and service personnel will return to school on Wednesday, March 7 following action taken by Governor Justice and the West Virginia legislature. I know our teachers and service personnel look forward to returning to complete another successful school year.

"At the direction of Governor Justice, I will immediately begin working with our State Board of Education to explore all possible avenues for local districts to make up the instructional time that has been lost throughout the last nine days. My staff and I will work with each of our counties to identify every opportunity to maximize meaningful instruction while also minimizing disruption to students and families. We are committed to providing timely technical assistance to each individual county to innovatively restructure their calendars and to find additional flexibility within their local attendance policies to better accommodate the needs of families."

"I anticipate each county will communicate promptly with parents and students concerning any changes to the current school calendar."