Wood BOE reviews proposed 2018-19 calendar

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Board of Education saw a draft calendar Tuesday of the 2018-19 school year, but will not vote on the calendar until next month.

The informational session was led by Elementary Schools Director Keith Palmer who heads the district’s committee. Board members Ron Tice and Peggy Smith also serve on the committee.

Palmer said because of state restrictions and requirements, the 2018-19 calendar is not very different than 2017-18.

“It closely mirrors the calendar we have currently,” he said.

The school year would begin Aug. 15, 2018, for students and two days earlier for teachers. The school year would end May 29, 2019, with the last day for teachers would be May 30, 2019.

The proposed 2018-19 calendar includes a fall break of Nov. 19-23 for Thanksgiving and a winter break of Dec. 24, a Monday, through Jan. 1, a Tuesday.

Graduation dates for 2019 are May 23 for Parkersburg High School, May 24 for Parkersburg South High School, and May 28 for Williamstown High School.

The proposed calendar also includes six OS days, or Outside School Environment days. These are days off that can be taken back to make up for days lost to bad weather or other issues during the school days. Most but not all fall on Mondays.

“We didn’t put any of them on Friday because that is when pre-kindergarten has their planning day for the whole week,” Palmer said.

The district also includes about 90 hours of “bank time.” Palmer said the state allows school systems to extend their school days and to “bank” the extra time. Palmer said it equates to about 90 hours each year, and those hours are used for things such as two-hour delays to allow faculty senates to meet.

Those hours could potentially be used to offset up to five days of lost instructional time due to inclement weather, but Palmer said such action would require board action.

“Hopefully we don’t have to have that conversation,” he said.

Palmer said no action could be taken at Tuesday’s meeting. The state requires two chances for public hearings, and Tuesday represented the first of these, he said.

“The next will be Jan. 9,” Palmer said. “This is just an information meeting. Hopefully at the next meeting we can approve the calendar.”

Palmer said this year the committee has been able to develop a calendar several months earlier than last year.

“I think this is good we are getting this out now,” he said. “We didn’t meet until February (for the 2017-18 calendar) because the state hadn’t released the calendar template.”

In other business, the board approved donating used security cameras to the United Way of the Mid-Ohio Valley. The cameras are no longer compatible with the district’s security systems, so they have been in storage, officials said.

The board also voted to expel a student for violation of the Safe Schools Act. Superintendent John Flint said the student in question is already out of the school system, but an official vote was needed for the district’s records.