Kanawha school start date survey sees high number of responses

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An online voting survey on the school start date in Kanawha County has seen several thousand responses, too many to be plausible according to the district’s superintendent.

Dr. Ron Duerring said the input on the survey, which was launched Sept. 16 and has four options, possibly will have to be altered.

“We’ve not done anything like this before, but we really have to go back and verify the data. I know there are votes that are coming not even from the state of West Virginia, so we’re going to have to verify some of that data,” he said.

Duerring said responses have varied, but the dates that seem to be ahead out of the four options are Sept. 5 and Aug. 21.

“You see trending right now the 21st and the 5th. But there’s still a lot of votes too for the other two, starting when we usually did and on (August) 14th,” he said. “So I just think there’s mixed feelings out there, and that’s why we decided to do this survey just to get an opinion.”

How much weight from the public vote the board puts on its decision for a potential new school start date would be up to the board, Duerring said. The survey remains open for about another two weeks.

“Right now we still have the voting going on, and that will go until Oct. 15. Then we’ll pull that information down, do some verification of the data. Once we feel the data has been verified and clean, we’ll provide that to the board members,” said Duerring. “Then it’ll come back on the Oct. 20 agenda and the board will decide what calendar they want to use.”

After hot schools in August forced some schools to close school or have early dismissals, public complaints prompted the launch of the voting survey.

“I think it’s a good thing. Anytime you can open it up and get more opinion on things like that, I think the better off we are,” Duerring said.

The survey seeks input from students, parents, employees and the community at-large, using separate login data depending on which category the voter falls into.

Kanawha County began school on Monday, Aug. 8, the earliest school start date in the Mountain State.

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