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Board gives explanation to calendar decisions

By Staff | Apr 15, 2015

The Tyler County Board of Education met on March 30 at Sistersville Elementary School to allow all interested parties to have an opportunity to discuss the school calendar, as mandated by SB 359 and West Virginia State Board Policy 3234.

Tyler County Schools Superintendent Robin Daquilante presented background information from the legislation. She also allowed time for questions, comments, and answers.

Daquilante said SB 359 made a substantial change to the school calendar statutes by providing county boards more flexibility in developing a school calendar to meet the needs of the county while requiring all county boards to actually provide 180 separate days of instruction.

Some of the major changes include the holding of two public hearings before adopting a calendar. The calendar must also provide for the 180 separate days of instruction.

Another major change is the beginning and closing days of the minimum 200-day employment term are extended from 43 weeks to 48 weeks.

A policy must also be developed that requires the recovery of all instructional time lost due to late arrivals and early dismissals.

“We will be required to schedule four of the six OS (out of school) days after the 130th day of instruction and must provide to each faculty senate a two-hour block of time for a faculty senate meeting on the day scheduled for the opening of school, prior to the instructional term,” said Daquilante.

They must also provide for a two-hour block of time four additional times, every 45 days.

County boards now have discretion as to what type of day is used to make up a cancelled instructional day. They can use available non-instructional days or use an out-of-calendar day instead of remaining non-instructional days and continue to use the non-instructional days as originally scheduled.

Pursuant to W.Va. Code 18-1-2, the school year begins on the first day of July and ends on the 30th day of June.

Tyler County has a calendar committee that is made up of the four principals, superintendent, director of curriculum and instruction, four teachers (representing each school), four parents (representing each school’s local school improvement council), one student (Junior Class President), two representatives from the professional employees association, three employees from the service personnel employees association, and two at large members.

When developing the school calendar the committee will consider the following:

-A calendar similar to that of Pleasants County, in order to maximize instructional time for MOVTI students and guarantee their 8,100 minutes per year, per course.

-Availability of personnel/substitute personnel during certain times of the year.

-Incidents of discipline referrals throughout the year.

-Dates when students are required to report for conditioning for fall sports/extra curricular activities.

Daquilante also gave a rundown of the total weather related days missed from 2000-2015, which averaged out to nine days per year.

Other action taken at Monday’s meeting was the authorization of the transfer of math teachers Brenda Matthews, Jill Wagner, and Jerry Zwick to the transfer list to allow for development of a more efficient and effective system for delivering the math curriculum at Tyler Consolidated Middle School.

Transfers will be effective July 1 and will have no financial impact on the school aid funding formula ratio.