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W.Va. school apparently will lose instructional day

March 07, 2011

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — — School districts across West Virginia apparently will start the 2011-12 school year with a calendar that already falls short of 180 instructional days.

The calendar approved Monday night by the Berkeley County Board of Education had to account for the special general election for governor on Oct. 4, according to Berkeley County Deputy Superintendent Frank Aliveto.

A summary of calendar requirements released by the state Department of Education indicates school boards across the state may only schedule 179 days unless the employment term of all employees is extended.

Instructions from the Department of Education for preparing the calendar cite two sections of state code for leading to the loss of the instructional day due to the election to fill the unexpired term of former Gov. Joe Manchin. One section indicates that any day on which a primary, general or special election is held throughout the state or school district is to be considered a school holiday, according to the state agency’s instructions. The other section outlines how 20 days of the minimum 200-day employment term are already designated as noninstructional, according to the instruction.

Aliveto said after the meeting that nothing could be done to adjust the calendar for the unexpected school holiday.

The first day of school in Berkeley County for the 2011-12 year is scheduled for Aug. 22. The last day is set for June 1, 2012.

— Matthew Umstead

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