The Cabell County Board of Education meets Tuesday night and on its agenda will be further discussion on the balanced calendar issue.
Cabell County School Superintendent William Smith says this will be the first detailed discussion since the education reform bill was signed into law. The county was holding off on talking about a balanced calendar until state lawmakers finished their work. Cabell County held public meetings on the possibility of a balanced calendar last year.
Superintendent Smith says implementation of such a calendar, also referred to by some as year round school, likely wouldn’t happen until the 2015-2016 school year. He says there’s still a lot of consider.
The education reform law has language in it regarding school calendars but it appears it needs some work.
“We just got notification from the state superintendent that those discussions are going to happen over the next couple of months to get some guidelines from the state department on how we develop calendars,” Smith said. “So we really can’t do much with an absolute calendar until that happens.”
Smith says the public meetings brought out opponents and proponents to a balanced calendar. Smith believes it can work.
“It’s a good idea and if it’s handled well I think students will see achievement increases. We have some information from Tennessee that’s going to be very helpful about how they started and what they found to be the most effective pieces of it,” Smith said.
Cabell County 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.
The proposed plan would have a total of three inter-sessions and one summer break in the year.