HUNTINGTON - After weeks of public input and debate, the Cabell County Board of Education has delivered the final word in setting a calendar for the 2018-19 school year.
On Tuesday, the board unanimously voted to approve a "compromise calendar," devised last week as middle ground between the two dominant options of starting school in early August or after Labor Day after the board postponed a vote at its last meeting April 3.
The calendar was selected over Calendar B, which would have begun school for students on Aug. 9. Both calendars were presented with the endorsement of Superintendent of Schools Ryan Saxe.
Under the compromise, the school year for students would run from Aug. 20 until May 30 and include two non-traditional instruction days (NTIDs), during which students are given assignments to complete outside of school while employees remain at work. The two NTIDs will be Nov. 19, which is the Monday during Thanksgiving break, and March 25, the Monday of spring break.
This is the first time Cabell County Schools has used the relatively new concept of non-traditional instructional days, which were approved for use by the state Department of Education a few years ago. Up to five NTIDs may be used each school year at the county's discretion and state board's approval.
NTIDs count as full instructional days toward the required 180-day school year, but students do not report to school. Instead, students are given assignments in an alternate setting outside the school, such as their homes, and given a five- to 10-day window to complete the work.
All school employees report to work on NTIDs, and teachers must remain available to instruct and assist students remotely either by phone, email or video call on that day.
The full calendars are posted online at the Cabell County Schools website under the "Calendar" tab.
The board had originally explored simultaneously approving calendars for both the 2018-19 school year as well as the 2019-20 school year, though only the 2018-19 calendar was up for approval.
The calendar will now be sent to the state Department of Education for approval.
In other business, the board hired Edward Tucker Architects to design the new Highlawn Elementary School. The county received state funding for the new school earlier this year, to be built on the ground currently occupied by the former Enslow Middle School.
Renderings for the planned school are likely to be available in eight to 10 weeks, Tucker told the board. Demolition of the former Enslow building is not expected until the full bid for the project is completed, for which no timetable is set.
The Cabell County Board of Education meets every first and third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the district's central office at 2850 5th Ave. in Huntington. Meetings are always open to the public.
Follow reporter Bishop Nash on Twitter @BishopNash.
Major dates for the compromise calendar:
- n First day for students: Aug. 20
- n Thanksgiving break: Nov. 20-25 (four days, one NTID)
- n Christmas break: Dec. 21 to Jan. 6 (16 days)
- n Spring break: March 26-31 (same as Marshall University, one NTID)
- n Last day for students: May 30