The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

February 28, 2010

Schools struggle to make up snow days

CHARLESTON — It’s going to be stick-your-nose-to-the-grindstone from now until summer for students across West Virginia as districts cram more instruction into the remaining school year to make up for near-record numbers of snow days in some counties.

In an attempt to meet the 180 days of instruction required by law, many schools are canceling field trips, eliminating theater productions and other in-school activities, turning professional development days into instructional days and delaying the last day of school.

“We’re trying to find every minute we can during the course of the school day to add instruction and it will still leave us short,” said Pocahontas County Superintendent Patrick Law. “We’ve never missed this many days before, but then this is a winter of historical proportions.”

Pocahontas is among West Virginia’s more mountainous counties that are dealing with record amounts of snow this winter, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston. Seasonal totals from Beckley in the south on up north toward the Eastern Panhandle range from a low of 103 inches in Elkins to more than 261 inches in Terra Alta, where the seasonal average is 160 inches.

In Pocahontas County, where more than 159 inches of snow has fallen, students have missed 23 days of class so far this year.

Students in Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Preston, Summers and Tucker counties also missed 20 days or more of school, according to unofficial data collected by the state Department of Education. Forty districts have missed between 10 and 19 days, while eight, including Cabell and Kanawha counties, have missed less than 10.

According to the department, there has only been two days since Jan. 1 when all schools in the state’s 55 counties opened without delays.

Earlier this month, Gov. Joe Manchin signed legislation that gives counties more flexibility in arranging their calendars. The new law, which takes effect July 1, requires schools to plan for snow days and other emergencies and frees them from the current law that limits schools to starting no sooner than Aug. 26 and ending by June 8.

Text Only
West Virginia
  • Symptoms match with spilled chemical

    For two weeks following a January chemical spill into the public water supply, hundreds of West Virginians examined in emergency rooms had ailments consistent with exposure to the chemical, health officials said Wednesday.
    Federal toxic substance experts and the state Bureau for Public Health stopped short of saying that their analysis determined without a doubt that patients’ problems stemmed from chemical contact.

    April 24, 2014

  • West Virginia chemical safe level following spill based on two weeks

    When federal officials decided what chemical levels West Virginians could safely consume in water tainted by a January spill, their standard assumed people would be exposed for two weeks, not 100-plus days.

    April 23, 2014

  • Some state Democrats flip to GOP

    As Republicans rally for more control in West Virginia’s long-time Democratic Legislature, a few Democrats have jumped ship to the GOP and are challenging former colleagues in midterm races.
    Republicans face their biggest election opportunity in decades in the House of Delegates, where a four-seat swing would put them in power for the first time in 85 years.

    April 20, 2014

  • Gee’s move could save Ohio State millions

    Ohio State University expects to save millions of dollars because former president Gordon Gee is giving up part of his retirement package as he becomes president of West Virginia University for the second time.

    April 19, 2014

  • W.Va. AG court filings: Dismiss gun law question

    The attorney general says a court challenge should be dismissed over whether West Virginians can bring guns to city recreational facilities that hold school events.
    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s filings Thursday argue the city of Charleston shouldn’t receive court guidance on how to implement a state gun law.

    April 18, 2014

  • Energy-state Dems split from Obama

    Scrapping to keep a West Virginia Senate seat Democratic in a state that’s sprinted to the right, Natalie Tennant is counting on her allegiance to the coal industry to separate herself from an unpopular President Barack Obama.
    Her approach reflects common Democratic strategy and tactics this midterm election year in energy-producing states that lean Republican: Sen. Mary Landrieu is vying for a fourth term representing Louisiana; Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is running for re-election for the first time; and Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes wants to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    April 17, 2014

  • Official: $2M in chemical spill costs reimbursable

    Public agencies and nonprofits that helped after a Jan. 9 chemical leak into the water supply could receive $2 million in reimbursements for their emergency work, a West Virginia homeland security official said.
    Federal and state emergency officials briefed fire departments, paramedics and other government groups Wednesday on how to recoup costs.

    April 17, 2014

  • Manchin urges mines to speak out for coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 16, 2014

  • Many schools already meet new mandate for breakfast

    Many West Virginia public schools have changed the way they serve breakfast to students ahead of a requirement that goes into effect in September.

    April 14, 2014

  • W.Va. grower promotes unmodified feed corn

    Lyle Tabb is hoping that his non-genetically modified corn will take off with farmers who can charge top dollar for “all natural” eggs.
    Genetically modified or GMO corn has greatly simplified the process of getting rid of weeds, but has also substantially increased the amount of a chemical call glyphosate.

    April 13, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads