Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 18, 2014

Tazewell extending school day to make up for lost time

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — Starting today, Tazewell County students will spend 35 more minutes in class to help make up for days lost to this winter’s snow and bitterly cold temperatures.

“We’re out today, so it will start on Tuesday,” said Kayla Myers, public relations and communications specialist for Tazewell County Schools.

Five minutes will be added to each class period. Tazewell County’s students have missed 12 days so far to snow and cold weather.

“They weren’t built into the calendar, so we decided to make up the time, some of the days, by adding time to the end of the day,” Myers said.

Adding 35 minutes to each school day would allow the school system to make up the lost 12 days of instruction in 12 weeks, she said. Adding more minutes to each school day will remain in place until further notice.

“It affects the time the kids get home,” Myers said of the additional class time. “It will be 35 minutes later than usual, but school starts at the same time. It just goes longer.”

In neighboring Mercer County, new legislation will require schools systems to provide a full 180 days of classroom instruction, said Kellan Sarles, public information specialist for Mercer County Schools. The legislation was enacted last year, but it will not be implemented until the 2014-2015 school year.

“Now we’re required to make up every single missed instructional day, whether it’s a full day or a two-hour delay,” Sarles said of the legislation waiting to be implemented. “We need to make up all missed instruction.”

West Virginia school systems will still have to provide 180 instructional days. School systems build days into their calendars, such as days for faculty senate meetings, which can be turned into regular instructional days when inclement weather closes schools. Mercer County has had 13 snow days this year, Sarles said. All of the days that could be converted into regular school days have been used.

Any additional snow days at this point will not be made up this year, so that will be lost instructional time, Sarles said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at