SUTTON, W.Va. — The new Braxton County school year began Tuesday less than two months after the the last one ended.

Braxton County School Superintendent David Dilly said a difficult winter pushed last year’s calender to the second week of June before the year was over. He said residents voted to start the new year earlier to give plenty of time for snow days.

“The public actually outbid our teachers this year,” Dilly said. “I think it was a direct result of the weather we had. They voted to start (Tuesday) and here we are.”

Braxton and Wayne counties both started Tuesday, earlier than any of the 55 counties. Cabell County schools open Wednesday. Beginning this school year, school districts in West Virginia are required to complete 180 instructional days even if it takes until June 30 to get them in.

Superintendent Dilly said starting early allows his county to get the first semester completed before Christmas break and the calendar provides a full-week off at Thanksgiving and for Spring Break.

Dilly said the biggest obstacle about starting less than two months after the last day of school was the maintenance projects.

“We kind of looked at our schedule and made sure we got the big items taken care of first. Some of the little items may have to wait until (Thanksgiving or Christmas break).”

There are eight schools in Braxton County and all are air-conditioned.

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  • Tom

    This is wrong. Many family's take their vacations in August. Bright side is this county Board of Education can be replaced in the next election. Bet no one took their summer vacation away when they were in school.

  • Teach

    Thank You WVU999! Well stated, but you forgot one important point.

    Teachers are willing to work 180 days but the ONLY reason they can not get to school is because of road conditions! Taxpayers are being cheated by the DOH! It's their job and they are not doing it. Everyone else in the workforce must go to work and they do, so teachers should too.

    This state doesn't even purchase enough salt for the roads. We live in the mountain state and we get snow! CLEAN THE ROADS! NO EXCEPTIONS!!! We are teaching kids to stay in the house when we have an inch of snow. Watch T.V., eat chips, drink pop all day. Cancelling school is teaching students when things get a little difficult sit on the couch or stay in bed! LOL! What a joke! At least if they go to school, they can exercise and eat healthy. 20+ snow days - Uncalled for! The DOH better step up to the plate and do their job and the governor better make sure it gets done.

    Around 75% of WV teachers were told you won't make much money being a teacher in WV, but you will have your summers off, have good insurance, and a good retirement. What a joke! LOL! Some teachers will not go down without a fight over all-year round school. That's like hiring people and telling them they will never have to work the graveyard shift.

    School should not begin until the day after labor day and end memorial day. It use to be that way and our state never suffered from this schedule. Teachers get summer jobs to help supplement their salaries. It allows students opportunities to work and attend summer camps.

    This state can't even find enough teachers now to teach and it's not going to get any better. Why get a masters degree and make nothing and have the WV state dept. telling you what to do???

    180 days! The WV state dept. requires students to take the big test. It took 5 weeks out of the regular instructional year. The test was administered on-line and scores will not be back until late September! Why?? Technology should have sped scores up!!

    Hoppy - we are asking you to question the DOH why the roads are not being cleared enough for school to take place across the state during our traditional calendar. Teachers will teach- just have the DOH to make it possible for the kids to get there..

    It's sad! It's summer and the state is going to suffer financial losses at state parks, pools, and amusement parks because of school being in session! What a joke! Some will probably ditch school and go to the pool but NO they are the ones that work there! SAD!!

    Let's save money and eliminate RESA and MANY other positions at the state dept.. Send these folks to the school system and maybe we could make a difference by reducing class size by having more teachers. But that would make tooo much sense, but I forgot many of those people don't even have a teaching degree. LOL!!!

    This state can make a difference by getting out and voting!!! Hit the polls this fall!!!!

  • Braxton Male

    I voted in this straw poll that mr dilly refers to ... No oversite at all could of been santa claus and voted.. Who knows how the vote was.Doesn't mention a few weeks after Thanksgiving week break there is a long christmas break .Mr.Dilly
    Is a dilly in more ways than one

    • DillyDally

      Amen!!!!! Just ask the folks in Tucker County where he came from.

  • Questions

    180 full days of school but nothing changes on teaching the students. The student with perfect attendance should have straight A's. And the student who misses a day will be left behind. Why grade papers. Just take attendance and call it a day!!!! Sarcasm.

    • susanf1218

      Yep. Because we all know that the most important aspect of education is getting in that magic number of 180 days!

  • wvu999

    For centuries US students were some of the highest achieving students in the world going to school from Labor Day to Memorial Day.

    The number of days isnt the key. The keys are instruction, attendance, parental involvement, and home life.

    WV students will be tested for several weeks throughout this year. Too much instructional time is lost to testing....... If you were a farmer and your livelihood depended on fat pigs would you weigh them every day or feed them everyday? Well we weigh kids with meaningless tests and dont feed them instruction.

    Also, until students come to school prepared to learn and wanting to learn then we will continue to see this decline in achievement.

    There isnt any more discipline in the schools and a vast majority of the funding that does see the schools goes to the special education population. I personally witnessed 3 students that didnt know they were in this world have one teacher, two aides, a PT, OT, Speech, and other services given to them almost daily. Its sad, but we have to give all of our students resources.

    Lastly, when our WVDE and WVBOE really wants to fix the problem they will. Everyone with any knowledge knows we have a funding issue in this state. Too many BOE employees in the counties, too many administrators, too many non instructional staff. The only way to make a decent wage in education is to get as far away from teaching students as possible.

    Everyone who is anyone knows how to easily fix this problem they just dont want to step on some important toes to do it.

    180 actual days is a joke.... go to the Town Center Mall any day and see how many kids are in there. Go to the WV Boys and Girls state basketball tournament. Yeah schools will be open 180 days but there wont be close to 180 days of instruction when you factor in testing, trips and all of that.

    • susanf1218

      Excellent observations and points. I agree w/you 100%. Whether you start school in August or September makes no difference if the quality or the focus of the education isn't meeting the needs. This is just another step in the direction of implementing year round school, which is the current fad in education. Funny thing is, WV is as usual behind the curve - other states have tried the "balanced calendar" or year round school and found it to be no more effective than the traditional calendar and have, in fact, gone back to the traditional schedule. But, stubborn WV has to try it for themselves and somehow expect a different outcome.

    • Tracyo64

      The testing issue comes down to 1 thing...Suckling at the gov't tit.
      The students are primarily taught what they need to know to pass the standardized tests so that the schools can get federal dollars next year. No better than a welfare bum who's more worried about filling out the papers for their welfare check than filling out a job application.

      • Tom

        When Government gets involved the outcome is always bad.

    • griff

      well said

    • Jephre

      You're right about the funding issue - might be a good time to address the possibility of consolidating some county BOEs. How on earth can a small state like WV justify having 55 county school boards?

      • ViennaGuy

        If you think it's bad here, take a look at Ohio - 88 counties with over 600(!) school districts, some of them barely afloat financially due to declining tax revenues ... and yet the steadfastly refuse to consolidate. West Virginia is actually pretty efficient in comparison.

        That being said, I do think that there should be some collaborative consolidation of county school district back-end functions to achieve cost savings through economies of scale. The problem is that county school boards don't want to "give up their power."

      • Mac

        Because County tax payers want THEIR money to go to THEIR schools, and not to be shared with another school district (county) whose tax base would be lower. That's called inequity!

        • Aaron

          Why Can't they consolidate the elections on school board issues? Problem Solved.

  • CaptainQ

    Well, I hope Hoppy Kercheval is satisfied!

    After years and years of Hoppy harping about having 'butts in seats' (his words, not mine) for 180 days each school year on the air, the legislature finally made it mandatory. The legislature even took the further steps to no longer count 'half days' and '2 hours delay/early dismissal days' as part of the count towards 180 days of school. As a result, school systems like Braxton are starting their school year earlier than ever. Hoppy argued with those people, like me, who said it's about the 'quality' of education moreso than the 'quantity.'

    Bottom line, if Hoppy is right, then with all WV schools having 180 days of education this coming year, overall student achievement will improve! I'll reserve judgment on the 'butts in seats' concept until the school evaluations are in for the current school year. If student achievement scores are up, then Hoppy was 100% correct! If student achievement either doesn't change or it goes DOWN, then I will expect Mr. Kercheval to publicly admit he was WRONG on this issue.

    The clock is ticking, we shall see...

    • The bookman


      I don't think anyone has stated that 180 days will turn our system around. But I do think there should be some level of accountability. Why not 180? If we are going to create a school calendar, and it is to be standard across the state in criteria, picking a finite number is reasonable. If we have snow days, we include a plan to make them up. How can that be a bad thing?

    • Aaron

      If you want to see improvements in test scores go to school for 210 days out of the year.

      • susanf1218

        Boy, you just want to make everyone's life miserable, don't you?? Expect people to work for next to nothing and continue working until you die. AND take summer vacation away from kids. What a Grinch!!

    • ViennaGuy

      180 days has long been mandatory, even when I was in West Virginia public schools in the 1970s and 1980s. The difference this time around is that the state school board has given the counties more flexibility in meeting the 180-day requirement, resulting in schools opening earlier.

      • CaptainQ

        True, ViennaGuy, but apparently now, according to the new law, instead of the state 'looking the other way' at counties who fail to get the required 180 days, these counties will be facing some sort of swift, Draconian action. Maybe the state will pull some funding away from 'offending' counties or something like that. Who knows? It must be something REALLY drastic if counties like Braxton are starting school so much earlier than before.

        • ViennaGuy

          Maybe too, the calendar could be shortened by cutting out some of the fluff like "Outside the School Environment Days" ... nah, that would require the Legislature to do something constructive.