MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Changes to the school calendar will be the primary agenda item during Tuesday’s Monongalia County Board of Education meeting, as the school system looks for ways to make up the nine instructional days missed during the statewide work stoppage.
While State Superintendent Steven Paine recommended that counties use their spring break to make up those days, Monongalia County BOE President Dr. Barbara Parsons said that’s a tough call for Mon County.
“We have a big university here, so we have the calendar for the university and the calendar for the school system,” Parsons said. “We really have to take things into consideration, so I can’t say what we’re going to do with spring break. Spring break is obviously is a big deal in Mon County.”
Currently, Monongalia County Schools still has makeup snow days built into the calendar, one Arctic Academy Day remaining and two additional days at the end of the year — any of which, Parsons said, could be used instead of Spring Break.
“There are several options for some flexibility that we have prior to March that we can take advantage of, but after March, it becomes more and more difficult to change the calendar that’s already established, except to add on days,” she said.
This isn’t the first academic year that the Monongalia County BOE has had to consider calendar adjustments in order to reach the state required 180 instructional days.
“In the past, I believe last year, the recommendations from the community were, ‘We would rather you add days on to the end of the school year than to cancel spring break,’ so we’ve kept that in the back of our minds,” Parsons said.
However, Parsons said that’s not an easy choice for the Board to make either.
“Now that creates some problems too because people have other committments to courses, camps and activities that families want to do,” she said. “It also impacts people’s concern for graduation, which by the way, will remain when it has been scheduled to be this year.”
Monongalia County Superintendent Dr. Frank Devono and his staff are assessing the possibilities and will make a recommendation to the board at Tuesday’s meeting. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Clay-Battelle High School.