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Cabell County eyes year-round school plan

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By JAMES E. CASTO

For The State Journal

HUNTINGTON - Cabell County is taking the first tentative steps at adopting a year-round school plan.

The first draft of a year-round class schedule was presented to the Cabell County Board of Education at its December monthly meeting. If adopted, the year-round schedule would be effective for the 2014-2015 school year.

But before that can happen, school officials say they want to hear from all interested parties – students and parents, teachers and other school personnel, daycare providers and interested members of the community. Public meetings are planned on the proposed calendar after the first of the year, they said.

The plan presented the board – billed as a "preview" of what a year-round calendar might look like – calls for four 45-day quarters, five weeks of summer break and three "intersessions" that would include five days of student enrichment, credit recovery and tutoring.

Advocates of year-round schooling say students do better without the traditional long summer vacation. It takes too long for students to catch back up when school resumes each fall, they say. They note that the traditional school calendar dates from the bygone era when youngsters were needed to help work in the fields during the summer growing season.

School officials caution that they're not rushing into anything,that they will act only after examining all the pros and cons of the change.

Jeff Smith, the school system's director of assessment and curriculum, said the committee that came up with the draft plan will look at it multiple times over the next few months and likely will come up with some revisions. The plan, Smith said, offers the 180 days of instruction per school year that's mandated by the state and covers the system's 200-day teacher contracts.