Cabell County is moving forward with plans for a possible balanced calendar to begin the 2014-2015 school year.
Cabell County Schools spokesman Jedd Flowers said the county is going to start a conversation with the community regarding school all year-round.
“We’re going to go out and have some community meetings, discuss what we are looking at and get all their input, concerns, questions and try to address those,” said Flowers.
For about a year now, school leaders have been contemplating the idea for a balanced calendar partly because the county has such a high poverty rate with 57 percent of students living at or below poverty.
Flowers said a balanced calendar would be very beneficial to these students.
“It helps them fill the gap or reduce the summer learning loss that occurs during the summer months,” said Flowers.
A balanced calendar does not necessarily mean school year-round because it’s the same amount of contract days, just spread out more evenly throughout the year.
“Typically there is a four to six week summer break and then there are intersessions after every nine weeks, two to three weeks each one,” said Flowers.
There would be a total of three intersessions and one summer break in the year.
Flowers adds that a further benefit to the calendar would be that each intersession could provide more opportunities for learning.
“There are a lot of opportunities where maybe churches could do special programs or the YMCA, the Art Museum, all those different things could enrich students during those intersession times as well,” said Flowers.
Flowers adds that the intersessions could also be an opportunity for kids who are struggling or falling behind to take an extra course to help them catch up.
Over the next several months the Cabell County Board of Education plans to hold numerous public meetings at county schools to better inform the public about the calendar and also get feedback from parents and staff.
Flowers said a three month summer break might not be the best option for kids and that’s what this is all about, what’s best for the kids.
If everything goes well with the public meetings, the board could take a vote towards the end of the school year on whether or not to proceed.