Superintendent Says Flexible School Calendar Is Welcomed

WHEELING – After Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin introduced his bid to overhaul West Virginia’s public education system to the Legislature Monday, Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dianna Vargo said she is “pleased to see” Tomblin address concerns about the school calendar and allowing more local control in the counties.

“We’re glad to see the recommendation for the flexibility in the calendar,” Vargo said. “If we have to cancel school because of inclement weather or some other type of incident, then we want to be able to make up those days and not be restricted to the 43 weeks. Flexibility in the calendar will allow us to make up missed school days so we are able to instruct our students for 180 days.”

Vargo also approves of Tomblin’s recommendation to avoid cuts to the state aid formula, saying that will allow the county to continue its programs at the local level.

“We are also pleased to see the local control and professional development and working through our RESA as we prepare to roll out the Next Generation Common Core Standards,” Vargo said.

In addition, Tomblin’s education reform bill calls for expansion that would provide 4-year-old preschoolers an optional full-day program. It also would improve hiring practices to employ qualified candidates, allowing Teach for America to fill teacher vacancies and provide loan forgiveness for teachers in critical need areas.