The Times West Virginian


February 9, 2014

What should school calendar look like next year?

What does a full school day feel like?

I’m not sure I remember. I do know that Friday was a tough day in my own household, getting three kids ready for school and myself ready for work and out the door on time. I felt like I’d put in a full work day already by the time I drove into the parking lot at work. And I noticed that the kids were extra grouchy Friday evening and headed to bed without being asked to. After all, it was the first full day of school in weeks.

And it’s not like riding a bicycle. There are specific skills to getting five people out of the door in the morning, dressed, fed, brushed and happy (or not) and on time. And if you don’t use them, you lose them.

And the kids? It’s difficult to get back into the swing of things even after a weekend. After this January and February thus far, with such spotty school attendance, Friday had to feel like the first day of school all over again. And teachers? It’s hard enough to battle the “Season of Forgetting” at the beginning of the school year, when kids have forgotten the most basic lessons they learned the grade before. Now teachers face that same season in the middle of the school year and have to reteach the things they’ve worked on for the first half of the year. Not to mention the fact that the clock is ticking and tests are coming sooner than anyone would like to think.

Is the 2013-14 school year a loss? I doubt it; we have plenty of time to recover. Will it be a tough row to hoe? Most certainly. Will it take students, parents, teachers and administrators working together? Absolutely. But will we make 180 days, as state law requires? No way.

Marion County school officials are trying to create a calendar that will accommodate what everyone wants and still have the dedicated classroom time. And they want to hear everyone’s opinion on the issue. In addition to two public meetings scheduled, officials have asked parents, students and teachers to also vote in an online survey on which time period they’d like to see for the school year.

Hey! We have an online survey, too! And it shows you the results immediately. It can be found each week at So last week, we asked our readers to vote on the school calendar span they’d most like to see next year. And here’s what you had to say:

• The week of Aug. 25, 2014/June 15, 2015 — 10.11 percent.

• The week of Aug. 11, 2014/June 1, 2015 — 26.97 percent.

• The week of Sept. 1, 2014/June 22, 2015 — 28.09 percent.

• The week of Aug. 18, 2014/June 8, 2015 — 34.83 percent.

Online reader Sherrie Haller didn’t like any of the choices, however.

“School should start after Labor Day and end on, or very close thereafter, to Memorial Day,” Haller wrote. “The vacation days need shortened, and get rid of Faculty Senate days. Kids need a chance to enjoy summer and be a kid. High school kids need a chance to have summer jobs. Families need a chance to vacation together.”

We’re glad for the input, Sherrie. And remember, you can always respond online to our poll questions if you want to explain your vote, or as in Sherrie’s case, explain why you didn’t.

This week, let’s talk about CVS pulling all tobacco out of their stores nationwide as a stance against the habit. What do you think?

Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.

Misty Poe

Managing Editor


Text Only
  • Prevention must remain focus when dealing with cruel black lung disease

    “Preventable, but not curable.”
    That’s how Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health, describes black lung disease.
    He could also use the word “deadly.”
    According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968.

    August 1, 2014

  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads