Schools in Kanawha County will be starting a week earlier next year.
At Thursday night’s Kanawha County Board of Education meeting members approved a school calendar which calls for the first day of school to be Aug.9, the earliest start date in the county’s history.
Board President Pete Thaw didn’t like the proposal and was one of those who voted against it.
“I know there’s great supposed education advantages to ending of the semester before Christmas, I don’t get it,” said Thaw. “I think there is great physical disadvantages to putting children in school in the first week in August because they are going to be subjected to very high heat.”
Thaw said he doesn’t think there is anything good about cutting into family vacation time in August with starting earlier.
Another option the board was considering was to have school start a week later than normal, which Thaw preferred over the option they voted on.
Thaw said the reason for starting school earlier is so teachers can have exams and projects completed before the Christmas break started rather than after.
The approved proposal of starting school the first week in August came with a stipulation that Thaw intends to see happen.
“All the schools have to be inspected one week before we open to see if the air conditioning is working,” said Thaw.
The proposal passed by a vote of 3-2. Thaw said he would have preferred a proposal calling for school to start two weeks later.
A bill passed the state legislature two years ago that gives counties more flexibility when it comes to their school calendars in hopes of giving them more time to meet the required 180 days of school.