PRUNTYTOWN—Taylor County Board of Education discussed the option of adding three-hour delays in Taylor County and a new program to help with snow days, at Tuesday’s meeting.
Superintendent Kathy Green told board members that with the cold temperatures last week, there have been a couple of questions about having three hour delays.
“I legally can’t and should not do a three-hour delay without your permission,” explained Green.
She informed the board that she talked with the principals to see what a three hour delay would do to school schedules. She reported that they remarked most kids would be walking into their schools and having lunch immediately.
Green also shared the process of deciding when to delay or close school.
“The transportation supervisor, head mechanic and myself start at 4:00 a.m., to check road conditions and try to have a decision about 5:00 a.m.,” said Green.
She shared that they also talk with the head of transportation in surrounding counties to help make the decision.
Board Member Melissa Knotts expressed that she has some concerns about holding three hour delays.
“The issue I have is, by the time the students arrive to school at 11:00 a.m. many students will be eating lunch and the amount of instructional time they will have will be very short,” she said.
“Yes we are getting them there, but if the roads are bad enough to call a three-hour delay, I feel we should be closed,” she added. “We have to start looking at what is important. I would rather have a full day of education.”
President Austin Upton said that he agrees with Knotts and asked the board members if they would like to add anything.
The board members also agreed and decided not to have three hour delays in Taylor County.
In addition, board member Douglas Flohr shared that he was interested in the Artic Academy other counties around held last week.
Green shared with the board that they are working on implementing the program, in Taylor County Schools, to help combat time lost due to snow days.
“As many of you have seen Preston and Monongalia County Schools held Artic Academy or Brain Freeze days last week due the cold temperatures,” said Green.
She informed the board that with this program, Taylor County would have an additional five days for weather-related issues that will not have to made up.
During a weather packet day, students will complete work concentrating on four core areas of study; English, math, science and social studies.
She told the board that other schools are incorporating technology with the packets, but at this time, they are going to just have the paper packets to ensure all students will be able to complete the work.
She explained that the packets will not take long to complete, but will ensure students are still getting some instruction while at home.
In addition, on a weather packet day, staff will still report to the schools two hours later, along with the cooks will also.
She informed the board that all schools will be serving hot lunches to students that are able to come to the closest school to them, to help address the need for meal for some families.
“If you have a child that attends Flemington Elementary School, but also another child at the Taylor County Middle School you can go to either school and both children will receive lunch,” said Green.
Green informed the board that they are working with the schools to finalize plans and will send them to the state board office in May, to be approved for the 2018-2019 school year.