CINDERELLA — The Mingo County Board of Education unanimously voted to approve an amended calendar for the 2020-2021 school term at the regular board meeting Tuesday, July 21.
The new calendar, which was presented to the board by Mingo County Schools Superintendent Don Spence, features shorter holiday breaks for faculty members and students.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice earlier this month delayed the start of school in the Mountain State until at least Sept. 8, which resulted in needed adjustments to the school calendar, according to Spence.
“When the governor moved the start date down to Sept. 8, he never said anything about forgiving any instructional days, and he also said we have to make sure our employees have a 200-day contract,” Spence said. “It’s real simple, if you were supposed to start on Aug. 19 and get out at this time but now you can’t start until Sept. 8, it compresses the calendar. So what you have to do is make some adjustments.”
Students and faculty were originally scheduled to get the entire week of Thanksgiving off, but that break has been trimmed to three days, Nov. 25-27.
Christmas break, which was originally going to be two weeks long, was also trimmed, as it will begin Dec. 23, and students will return to school on Monday, Jan. 4.
“The other big glaring thing, of course, is spring break,” Spence said of the calendar. “Instead of totally eliminating spring break, what we are going to do is give Good Friday off and then give the following Monday off, so that gives them a four-day break.”
Spence said similar adjustments were made in the past when teachers and students were out of school during the teachers’ strike.
The first day for teachers is now Aug. 25 while the last day for students will still be June 2 and June 4 for the employees.
Spence noted that employees would not miss a paycheck to start the year, despite the late start.
Earlier in July in a special meeting, the Mingo BOE approved a 2020-21 school re-entry plan that will have students in the county attending school four days a week in-person with virtual learning being done on Friday while the schools are professionally deep-cleaned.
Students and parents will also have the option to do all five days of virtual learning, if they choose to do so. The registration link for the virtual learning is currently available at the Mingo County Schools website.