The Times West Virginian


March 12, 2014

Some patience will be helpful as new school calendar is set

The forecast is calling for another few inches of snow this evening. We all know what that could mean — a messy morning commute, changes in plans, rescheduling and that call that will inevitably come. School will be cancelled.

We’ve done this all winter long. And though the calendar says the first day of spring is coming next week, we’re all suffering from a little snow shock.

And after 18 cancelled days of instruction time, it caused chaos for the school system, from the Class of 2014 to the Class of 2026.

Add to that changes the Marion County Board of Education must make to the calendar to guarantee that students have 180 days of instruction, no matter what Mother Nature has in store for us, and it causes a lot of frustration.

Parents don’t want their children in school through the month of June. Administrators don’t want to see that happen either.

But they have to meet federal and state guidelines.

“A lot of people are exceptionally nervous about the prospect of having school late into June simply because we had such a bad winter this year,” Marion County Superintendent Gary Price said during a special meeting Monday to discuss changes to the calendar.

“A couple years ago, we only missed two days of school for snow, and I think if we would have been changing to the new calendar rules at that time, people might not have been too concerned.

“But, fresh off a winter where we missed nearly 20 days of school and had some delays, it really hits home to people that this could happen and we could be in school into June.”

A calendar has not been set by a committee yet, which will present two options for school employees to vote on in April. That committee, which consists of parents, teachers, transportation department, central office, a principal and even a high school student or two, will take into consideration state mandates, issues that have surfaced this year, feedback during public meetings and the answers compiled from 3,224 surveys completed by parents and employees.

What may come back is what has been the resounding opinion at forums and from what administrators have told us so far — parents want shorter holiday breaks to keep students from being in school in June.

We don’t know what the calendars proposed to employees will look like, but we feel like it’s taking shape already.

The only thing that we caution people to remember is that last year, there were two snow days; this year there have been 18. It has been a frustrating year for all involved, but it’s entirely possible that next year or the year after will be a milder winter without any need to use holiday and vacation time to make up missed days.

We all have to practice a little patience as we make it through the rest of the year and plan for the next.

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