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Wise County School Board members give year round calendar cold shoulder

January 20th, 2014 11:13 pm by Stephen Igo

Wise County School Board members give year round calendar cold shoulder

WISE — A de facto year round school calendar received a cool reception on Monday by the Wise County School Board, with teacher and parent surveys and further discussion sure to precede a decision not due until March at the earliest.

First up for the board was its annual reorganizational session. The board welcomed two new members elected last November, Donnese Kern of Big Stone Gap and Wayne Leftwich of Pound.

Chairman Nolan Kilgore was reelected by his fellow board members, and Larry Greear was re-elected vice chair by 6-2 votes. John Schoolcraft nominated Mark Hutchinson as chair, and Hutchinson nominated Schoolcraft as vice chair, but the votes fell on the 6-2 margin in both instances, or 6-1-1 in the case of choice of vice chair, in which Schoolcraft abstained.

The board chose 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month for its regular monthly meetings and will reaffirm next month a change to members placing items on the agenda no later than seven days prior to a meeting rather than five days. Board members can still place items on an agenda within the restricted period provided there is no objection from other members.

Presentation of three school calendar options for the 2014-15 school year elicited a round of skeptical responses from most board members over a de facto year round option, referred to by the administration as a “balanced” calendar.

Basically, under the balanced option, the school year would begin in late July and proceed with nine weeks in session followed by two weeks off. Schools would still operate for one week for voluntary remediation and be closed the second week. The school year would also feature an extended Christmas/New Year’s break and end in mid-June the following year.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Tuesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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