WHEELING - Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dianna Vargo says the school district has no instructional calendar set for 2014, but she and other school officials invite the community to give their input on the issue during two town hall meetings this month.
The first town hall meeting to discuss the 2014 calendar takes place at 5 p.m. Monday in the Wheeling Park High School media center, while the second meeting is set for the same time and place Feb. 24. The board of education will convene a regular meeting at 6 p.m. following both town hall sessions. Those not able to attend also may respond to questions online.
A calendar policy adopted by the West Virginia Department of Education stipulates that starting next year, school districts must provide 180 days of instruction, and the school calendar must be amended to account for any missed days during the school year. Additionally, hours lost to either late starts to the day or early dismissals also must be added into the schedule.
School districts are planning now to provide for the new requirements in their school calendars.
"We are welcoming input from our community members," Vargo said. "We do have a community-wide calendar committee that consists of administrators, teachers and parents who we will work collaboratively with, and we do have an (online) survey. We will take all that feedback, and we'll look at creating a calendar. As of today, we have no calendar for the next school year."
People attending the town hall Monday will be handed packets containing information about school calendar requirements as provided by the state, as well as sample calendars. One of the sample calendars to be discussed represents a traditional school calendar, while another sets a schedule for a year-round school year. A third modifies the traditional calendar to provide for a spring break.
Prior to the meeting, the public will have the opportunity to comment online and provide their thoughts. These messages can be e-mailed to ocscalendar@ yahoo.com. A link to a survey about the school calendar also has been placed on the Ohio County Schools website, and can be accessed at www.surveymonkey.com/s/KG5YHZD.
The survey asks residents which of the school calendar proposals they prefer; the dates they think the school year should start and begin; and when Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks should be scheduled. Respondents are also asked their thoughts on how lost school days should best be placed on the calendar.