CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Members of the Harrison County Board of Education are publicly opposing a proposal from the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission to open up more time in the summer for high school sports practices.

With the proposal, school principals would have the option of authorizing additional practice times for most other summer weeks with the only exception being the week of July 4.  Currently, such athletic practices are limited to a three week period.

“Those that say that it’s not enough time, well, when’s enough enough?” asked David Sturm, president of the Harrison County Board of Education, on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“I think Harrison County, particularly, would be in support of continuing the three week period, but when we talk about an entire summer, I think the cons outweigh the pros.”

Sturm cited academic programs that are available in the summer, band camps and family vacations along with logistical and financial issues that, he said, would be created by adding more weeks to schedules for school practices.

The opposition vote from the Harrison County Board of Education, earlier this week, was unanimous.

“I think it’s important that kids have an opportunity to be kids and do the things that we’ve traditionally done in the summer,” said Sturm who was, on Thursday, preparing to notify the SSAC and state Board of Education of the decision.

A public comment period on the WVSSAC’s proposal continues.

The state Board of Education could take a vote on the proposal later this year.  If it’s approved, the new rules would be in effect for the 2015-2016 school year.

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  • teach

    Excuse me for saying Mark Manchin was coming home but he can live in Marion Co. and be superintendent for Harrison Co. but don't think that Mrs. Gayle Manchin won't push for all year school. Hopefully the citizens will be able to decide if all year round school is right for Harrison Co. The State Dept. doesn't need to hide behind SSAC. If they continue to call all these snow days the kids won't get to practice anyway because they will be sitting in a classroom. The governor had Sen. Kessler to introduce the Ed. Bill that states students will get 180 days of instruction because they feel the taxpayers are being cheated. No teacher would disagree with working 180 days, but the superintendent makes the call to cancel school. We are willing to work our traditional school calendar start late August finish early June. Maybe the taxpayers are being cheated by the WV Dept. of Highways as well, because the only reason we are not going to school is because of road conditions. Also the taxpayers need to put a stop to consolidation because many good athletes don't get to play when it's one big school and many don't get the scholarships that possibly could in a smaller schools. Anyway a good coach is going to make every effort to get recruiters to look at their athletes without practicing all summer. As taxpayers, we should really be upset with how the counties, state, and federal gov. has let our schools fall down around our students. They haven't done anything in the past 25 years to maintain our schools except to get 13 million dollars to consolidate 2 little elem. schools within the state but 13 million could have been shared to repair many schools in 1 county instead of building new. We are losing our small community families and athletes.

  • teach

    Excuse me for saying that Harrison co. was Mark Manchin's home - it's his neighboring co. ! But don't think that Mrs. Gayle Manchin won't encourage all year round school. I hope Harrison Co. will let their community have a say in their up coming calendar hearings. The problem is that too many snow days are being called. The law states that students will receive 180 days of instruction and no teacher will dispute that fact, but we don't have any say in the call for a snow day - only the superintendent. Maybe the taxpayers are being cheated by the Dept. Highways as well, because the only reason we can't go to school is because of road conditions. Your children aren't even going to be able to play or practice if we are forced to attend school all summer. Also consolidation is killing young athletes to their right to shine at small schools, because large schools only have one team and even some of the best players aren't getting to play or even getting the opportunity for sports scholarships. Why haven't counties repaired our schools over the last years? They are letting them run down beyond repair then they are forced to consolidate. Why isn't our tax dollars keeping our schools repaired? People need to be asking county boards of education these questions. 13.5 million could have repaired many schools in one county instead of consolidating only 2 small elem. schools in one county. What a waste of taxpayers dollars!!!!!

  • Mason County Contrarian

    Dadgum federal government.

  • peleliu

    For every minute of summer practice time has to be matched by the same amount of academic time after practice. By doing this one will find out what coaches and players are serious.

  • Mr Bullsnip

    I don't have a dog in this fight now,but when my boys was in school they loved playing sports all the time. If it was not football then it was wrestling after wrestling season take a week off then back to lifting for football. To this day they still workout 6 days a week. If nothing else it gets the kids in to a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits that last a life time.

  • JimJim

    Coaches will get an additional month salary. Can counties afford that??? Can the spring sports teams practice in the summer before? More money for the coaches and more expense to the Board. Not a good idea at all!

  • RPP

    Will the day ever come when we worry more about academics than athletics?

    • Jason

      Yes. The day the average American pays $300 to watch science projects on tv instead of the NFL Sunday ticket. It is our society and I don't see it changing anytime soon.

  • birdie

    Maybe this is why RCB never got turf on the football field from the gas well royalties, Sturm stating financial reason how much more money do they need before giving back to the kids. Seems the money is always going to his part of the county Summer vacations, didn't they just pass teachers start August 11, student first day 14th. Lot of families go in mid August on vacations. Least parent will know were there kids are let them practice.

  • some people

    I understand some of your concerns about practicing all summer. I think the three weeks puts a strain on kids physically. They have to choose between sports more also. My opinion is that spreading out the workouts would be a lot better. Ie... Wvu spring football has 15 practices but its spread out over 5 weeks. 15 days of cramming is worse than a nicely planned 15 workout summer with adequate rest and recovery in between. Also anyone wanting to work individually could put in extra time if they wanted.

  • jcsmith

    Right or wrong but kids with the most skills in soccer or basketball are playing year round with travel teams right now and the kids seam to love it.

  • Yes

    Finally, some common sense in a state of confusion.

  • a concerned educator

    I'm glad that the board of education in Harrison County opposed the proposal. Students need a break from school and athletics, and some students have to work to save money for college or even to help support their family. I am also afraid that there will be pressure from some (not all) coaches for kids to practice all of the time, as well as pressure to pick one sport over another. Teenagers need to have time to enjoy adolescence. They will have many years to HAVE to work year round.

  • teach

    The only reason it's being pushed by the SSAC is because the WV STATE DEPT. of EDUCATION wants all year round school. Is it a coincidence that Mark Manchin is heading to Harrison County???? It may be his home but will he be in favor of all year round school - maybe Harrison County Citizens should ask what their new superintendent wants??? It may be interesting!!!

    • The bookman

      Enough of the conspiracy. Manchin is from Marion County, and they just rejected the SSAC proposal regarding summer sports practices. Harrison dances to the beat of their own drum, and they have a great school system to be proud of from where I stand. (I am not a resident). If they decide to go year round, it will be because they as a community believe it is in their best interest. I don't think there is another county in the state that considers the input from so many communities in the formulation of policy than Harrison.

  • Shadow

    It would be nice if they would let the school gyms open for leagues or general use during the Summer time. If the kids wanted to improve their skills they would be able.

  • Ken

    This hasn't even passed the SSAC yet. It's just a proposal. Typical self important Harrison county BS. It's not like any big sports county cares what those AA schools do anyway. Harrison county schools have plenty of issues to deal with more important than this.

    • Wirerowe

      The board of the WVSSAC approved the proposed change and sent it to the State Board of Education for final approval. Harrison County which does not always have the best reputation in the sanity department in this case is the sanest person in the room. The State Department should follow their lead and vote down this bad policy change.

      • scott

        agreed. vote it down!

    • Wow

      Ken, the SSAC can't pass a rule, the state BOE does that. The SSAC just makes rule proposals. Sounds like you have some sour grapes. Perhaps you have taken a few beatings at the hands of Bridgeport??? Some kids live on farms or have summer jobs, so whats it your business what Harrison county does.

    • The bookman

      Leadership, pass it on!