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Law could restrict snow-day forgiveness in W.Va.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — County school districts in West Virginia might still have to make up all missed snow days this academic year, despite efforts to find them some exemptions.

There’s doubt as to whether there’s any legal way for schools to have fewer than 180 “separate instructional days” — the new requirement this school year. It’s an important question in an academic year when some counties have missed many school days, students must take a new statewide standardized test and school employees, students and parents are wondering if make-up days will interfere with spring break and summer plans.

Legislation introduced this session to break free from the 180-day requirement failed, and some members of the West Virginia Board of Education and the board’s attorney, doubt that a waiver process the state Department of Education suggested — and board members approved last month — can still allow freedom from the mandate.

Districts’ requests for waivers are due Thursday, and the state school board is expected to consider each one at its meeting next week.

Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring said his district will reschedule all six missed days this school year by using make-up days preplanned into the calendar and extending the end of school from late May to June 3. However, many counties are facing far more missed days — Barbour and Calhoun missed a reported 18, while McDowell, Pocahontas, Preston and Raleigh missed 17…

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