CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Wednesday marked day four of no school in Kanawha County due to the water crisis.

Superintendent Dr. Ron Duerring had hoped to have students back in class no later than Tuesday or Wednesday. That has already come and gone. There’s still no timeline when the school system will get the green light to open the doors. Schools will closed again in Kanawha County Thursday.

Part of the problem is there are still schools in red zones. They can’t begin the clean-up process because they don’t have sterile water. They need to flush their pipes and then scrub down their kitchens and cafeterias, rewash all utensils and trays and sanitize appliances. Then the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department has to come in and inspect the school. It’s time consuming.

File photo

Superintendent Ron Duerring

Dr. Duerring said they were able to switch Wednesday for a day in February when only teachers were to report. As for the other three days, he said they’ll work it out so students get as close to the required 180-days of instructional time.

“I think it’s possible. We do have some days built in the calendar to make up lost instructional days. There are some of those left,” the superintendent said.

He added if they end up lacking the days the teachers will pick up the slack.

“We’ll work very hard to make up the work with our students academically. We may have to pace a little bit faster.”

He said the last thing schools want to do is rush the clean-up process. He said it’s critical it’s done properly. With new information coming out hour by hour, he said it’s hard to predict what tomorrow will hold.

“There’s just a lot of news that needs to be looked at before we can make that decision.”

Kanawha County’s school year got underway August 9. The last scheduled day of class is set for May 16.

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  • stophating

    I haven't been following school cancellations in the area, but gather from other posts that teachers (and probably service personnel) have been working. How does Duerring intend to have 180 day of instruction if teachers have already worked for a week without students?

  • Marie Slater

    I feel it is not right my son was to make it up when it not the kids fault for the water or bad weather

    • Mac

      So what if your employer decides to not pay you your full wages on payday because you were unable to make it to work because of either the water problem or bad weather. In order to recoup that money you'll have to make up your work days or work extra hours to see that paycheck. Now, do you understand?

  • Rhonda Smith

    My understanding if it was declared a state of emergency then the children are exempt from making up instructional days. Would like to review the department of education policy on this situation. Is the policy available for parents to review?

    • michael

      From what i understand that under a state of emergency you dont have to make them up its up to the BOE.

  • judy stuck

    We will not be sending our children to school this week even if they are open. Too many issues still involved with water system to entrust our childrens safety to the same people who are saying our water is safe, when it clearly is still making people sick.

  • Etta McCormick

    I thought since the situation was a state of emergency .. The kids are not required to make these lost days up.. Ie .. Taking regular schedule days off from them.

  • Teacher

    Teachers are being required to work while the students are out during the water crisis. I have no problem working, because it is my job. However, if teachers keep working while students are out teachers will have worked the number of days in their contract and if students are required to make the time up at the end of the year, then what? People say, well they will just take spring break. Okay, if I work those days then I will be off even earlier at the end of the year, because again I've worked the number of days in my contract. If students are off much longer while teachers are working this will occur.

    • Terry

      We have all made sacrifices throughout this mess, granted, some more than others. Suck it up, buttercup and work. Complaints like this is why people hate the teacher's union and are usually against pay raises.

  • shawn

    To my understanding if we were declared a state of emergency then the students do no have to make up these days. Is this correct?

  • Richard L.

    Comrade Duerring has no say in when the schools will open up. This call will be made by Dr. Phares.

  • K Sue

    I am under the impression that since there has been an official State of Emergency declared that school days missed due to the SoE are "exempt" from the missed days make up rules. I am indifferent either way as I don't have vacation planned.

  • mary litton

    not right was not r faught to even try to make it up bring the teaher in so they can get payed

  • Just Asking

    I've always wondered, what makes 180 the magic number? I understand it is mandated by law, but what says students have to be in class 180 days per school term in order to be adequately educated?

    • I say

      It's more to do with the working days of the teachers than how many educational days the students get. The Union has a HUGE say in how many school days there are per year.

  • Rose

    Someone needs to tell Mr. Duerring that he CAN"T make the teachers report on the no student days and then make the teachers work the make-up days! If Kanawha County plans on making up any missed days, they can't make the teachers report on the days school is called off.

    • Janice

      You'll do what you're told to do, mister!

    • Richard L.

      If you are a teacher I have some cheese to go with that whine

  • northforkfisher

    This a very sad situation, as always, the kids pay the price. Speeding up the pace is nice, but the realization is all kids don't learn at the same pace.

  • Mike

    If the Dr. Duerring and the school board who insist on making the teachers teach their latest and greatest ideas (not really) instead of letting them teach the basics that have worked for decades, they could teach more and at a faster pace. My wife is a teacher and is constantly slowed down by the latest and greatest ideas directed by the Board of Education.

  • Walsingham

    My understanding is that since this is a federal emergency, these days can be excused. After all of this mess, the worst thing the schools could do is interrupt working families Easter and vacation plans.

    • Morgantown

      I don't agree. I know it's been tough, but the kids need to be in school. Maybe they should tack those 4 days onto the end of the year or cancel spring break. Their education is infinetely more important than vacation...

      • andrew

        I think adding the days to the end of the year is okay, but I don't think there is a reason to cancel our spring break. Considering this will be the first time I have left the state since 2011 and my sister already has the place we are staying reserved, it would really bother me. Also there will be people a lot more upset than me, if they cancel our spring break it will just be more of a hassle for everyone.

      • andrew

        I would be okay with days at the end of the year. But, there is no reason to cancel our spring break.

      • shawn

        Education is important but I don't think four days will hurt or help the students. Just my opinion.

      • Walsingham

        I appreciate your point. It just seems that 180 instructional days is somewhat arbitrary. Would four additional days of class at the end of the year actually lead to any significant learning gains?

        • Janice

          Studies show that the more the children are in school, the more they learn. So, 180 is better than 179, 178, etc., etc.

          • jhill

            @do nothing Not true. Finals are scheduled up to the next-to-last school day, with the last day reserved for students who were absent during a testing day to make up finals. The last week is filled with reviews and tests.

          • do nothing

            The schools and teachers do nothing the last week and a half of school anyway. Maybe they should actually teach until the last day. No spring break would be too hard on the kids.

      • Jephre

        Canceling or shortening spring break is an easy fix for this situation.

        • I'm honest at least

          And who pays the deposit lost on a vacation that a person has planned?

          • I'm honest at least

            That's funny richard .....I will be more than happy to answer that. Late 30's and have worked for everything I have. No lawsuits involved.

          • Richard L.

            @ I might be honest, you are the type who would file a bogus lawsuit.

          • I'm honest at least

            For Richard how about uhhh no...... I would say most adults would not be willing to "deal with it" this cat is pretty fond of a dollar.

          • Richard L.

            Tough! deal with it