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Year-round school one step closer in Cabell

Dec. 16, 2012 @ 11:57 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Cabell County students are moving one step closer to attending class on a year-round basis.

Jeff Smith, the director of assessment and curriculum, will present school board members with two draft calendars for the 2014-2015 school year that are built using the balanced model. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 2850 5th Ave., Huntington.

Earlier this year, Smith presented to the school board what a balanced calendar is and how it still incorporates the state's requirement of 180 days of instruction.

The balanced calendar would include four 45-day quarters, a 30-day summer break and three 15-day intercessions. Jeff Smith was out of the office Friday afternoon, so details of the calendar were not immediately available. But Superintendent William Smith said both calendars include starting dates after the Fourth of July.

Tuesday's presentation will not be voted on by board members.

Assistant Superintendent Gerry Sawrey said at the meeting earlier this year that a balanced calendar has many advantages, including students having access to nutritious meals and physical activity on a year-round basis; improved achievement, particularly among the low socio-economic students; and less time spent catching students up at the beginning of the school year, as is reported now.

A key to making it work is getting support from churches, day cares and summer camp organizers because their willingness to re-arrange schedules and activities will be key in a successful transition, officials said at the meeting earlier this year.

Board members will vote on the 2013-2014 calendar, which will operate on a traditional schedule. It would be similar to this year's schedule, starting in early August, having a full week off for Thanksgiving, a mid-March spring break and ending in May if there are no snow days to make up.

Board members also will vote on two construction projects. One is the partial demolition of the former Cox Landing Middle School, which will become the county's new bus garage. The contract would piggyback on a state contract with Atlantic Plant Services and cost about $298,000.

The second item is the purchase and installation of new bleachers at the Barboursville Middle School football field. The low bidder was Southern Bleacher Company at $229,000. That includes the removal of the old bleachers.

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