Local delegate suggests September to May school year

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CHARLESTON, W.Va.-(WTAP) The school year essentially used to last from Labor Day to Memorial Day. A Wood County delegate would like to see that happen in West Virginia again.

Several years ago, the legislature approved, and then-Governor Joe Mancnin signed into law-changes in school calendar requirements allowing county schools flexibility in setting their own schedules for the school year.

Delegate John Kelly tried-unsuccessfully-to include in the comprehensive education bill an amendment requiring the school year to begin September 1 and end around Memorial Day.

Kelly says it would help families in planning summer vacations, but it would also allow teachers more time for professional development, attending workshops and seminars held throughout the summer.

"The dates that I've set give teachers the opportunity to attend college summer semester classes, to move their ratings forward and get new certifications."

Wood County Superintendent William Hosaflook argues there are plenty of such workshops available, and teachers are taking advantage of them.

"As of right now, we have had professional development of some sort," Hosaflook told us this week. "We take advantage of the opportunities when we have them, It is all summer long, even on weekends or professional development conferences, whatever it may be."

In this past decade, since the changes in the calendar were allowed, most West Virginia schools have begun the school year in August.

There have been some complaints about school being held in buildings where there is no air conditioning, when the weather is still hot. Also, public pools have closed early, in part due to the lack of availability of lifeguards who return to high school or college.

Delegate Kelly hopes to introduce the calendar changes again, in next year's legislative session.