PARKERSBURG - Officials say there are about 1.3 million reasons Wood County Schools won't use this year's spring break to make up days lost to snow.
During a presentation Tuesday to the Wood County Board of Education, Superintendent Pat Law outlined the potential cost of holding classes during spring break, which is April 18-22.
"Those are unpaid days which exist within the calendar," he said. "We would have to pay all the 200-day employees for those days if we had school."
Slick roads in Parkersburg WV
Law said preliminary figures indicate the daily cost of having school during that week would be nearly $247,000 for professional staff and nearly $29,000 for service employees. The total cost each day would be more than $275,000.
"The total is about $1.3 million over five days," said board President Tad Wilson.
"That is a considerable cost," Law said. "It would be pretty hard to take" spring break.
Photo by Jess Mancini
Cars make their way on Fifth Street during a snowstorm Wednesday morning. Streets were clear, but most schools either delayed classes or closed early.
Wednesday's snow day marks the seventh day lost to bad weather this school year, officials said. This means the last day of school will be June 8, a Wednesday.
Any additional makeup days, Law said, will require some creative planning.
Officials Wednesday were in talks with the state Department of Education concerning whether in-service days could be used as make up days.
The district has three in-service days - Feb. 21, April 25 and now June 9 - scheduled for the remainder of the year.
Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of school services, said attendance on those days also could be a concern, as some families have planned vacations around the days and some sports-related trips have also been planned for those days.
The district also has "accrued instructional time" which can be used to make the 180 days of instruction goal, at least on paper.
Accrued instructional time is created when the school day goes longer than what is required by state law. Those minutes can be banked as instructional minutes when looking at the overall 180 days of instruction. Law said the school system has about 7.5 days worth of accrued instructional time.
But Woodward said those days do not represent actual in-seat, face-to-face days of instruction for students, and so are considered a last-ditch solution. State law also requires the school system to use those minutes only after all other avenues have been exhausted.