School starts Aug. 14

BUCKHANNON —Students will be back in the classroom Aug. 14 to start the 2017-2018 school year under a calendar approved by the Upshur County Board of Education Tuesday.

Employees will start Aug. 9. The calendar must now go to the state Department of Education for final approval before it can be formally adopted.

Superintendent Roy Wager reviewed the proposed calendar at the second of two required calendar hearings.

When the calendar bill went into effect a couple years ago requiring schools to go up until June 30 to get 180 days of instruction, school officials moved up the start date of the school year, according to Wager.

“I can remember the first year that I presented this, a lot of people said, ‘That’s too early,’” he said. “But when they got out at the end of May, they were quite happy.

“This year, especially because of the calendar and the warm weather we have had this winter — we have only had three snow days — we will not lose any of our spring break.”

Wager said that Tuesday, April 18, the day following Easter Monday, was going to be a continuing education day for staff but students would not have reported until Wednesday, April 19. Now, that day has been made a full instructional day and the CE day was moved to the end of the calendar.

“We are going to have a 10-day vacation, which we haven’t had in a few years,” Wager said. “I think everyone is going to be quite happy with that.”

Next year’s calendar will look very similar to this year’s calendar, according to Wager.

“It’s pretty much the same as this year’s calendar,” Wager said.

The difference is Easter is earlier next year, so Spring Break would be March 26-April 2 with Tuesday, April 3 being a CE Day. As with this year’s calendar, Out of School Environment days could be converted to instructional days.

If not many snow days have to be used, students would end the year on May 22, 2018 and the last day of the employment term would be May 29, 2018.

Upshur County Schools’ officials met with Lewis, Barbour and Gilmer counties to develop the calendar once again. Upshur, Lewis and Barbour share Fred Eberle Technical Center and it has been helpful the last few years for the three counties to have the same calendar. Lewis and Gilmer also share the operation of Leading Creek Elementary School, so Gilmer has participated in the calendar discussions as well.

Gilmer and Calhoun counties also share the operation of a technical center, and although Calhoun has not been a part of the committee, they said they would go along with the same calendar as well.

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