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Eye On Education: Snow Days Raise Concerns On Learning

Reported: Jan. 22, 2014 6:01 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 23, 2014 9:33 AM EST
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Charleston, W.Va. (Kera Mashek) -- Between the water crisis and weather conditions, many schools, including those in Kanawha County, have only been in session three days in the past month. While it's not as long as a summer break, there are some concerns that once school does go back in session, students could fall behind.

Charleston eighth graders Kody Young and Adam Fields are typical teenagers enjoying a snow day off school.

"Pretty fun!" said Young.

"Better than being in school!" Fields said.

But with all the fun, and time away from the classroom, they admit going back to class, whenever that happens, won't be easy!

Eyewitness News asked, "Do you think you're going to remember anything you learned when you go back?"

"No! Probably not!" Fields and Young said.

And that's a serious concern for educators. It will definitely take time to get students back up to speed.

"It is difficult, and I think we're all worried about it. We don't want our kids missing any instruction," said Dr. Ron Duerring, Kanawha County superintendent.

Changes are already being made to the school calendar. To help make up for days lost in Kanawha County this year, all scheduled instructional support days (Feb. 17, Apr. 11, May 16) will now be regular school days and early outs will now be full days in the classroom (Jan. 29, Feb. 26, March 26, April 10, May 16).

"Our teachers are very professional and will work to make sure they don't have that skill gap or miss any of that work," Duerring said.

That will help students leave their snow days behind, with plenty of time left to be well prepared for the all important West Test in May.

Kanawha County's last day of school is now May 23, the last day it can legally hold classes. But starting next school year, students could be sitting behind their desks much longer to make up snow days. A new state law allows districts to keep kids in school through the end of June.

Each week, we'll continue to bring you stories like this in a new segment called "Eye on Education," and we'd love your input, so we can share stories on educational issues that matter to you. Feel free to send ideas to kjmashek@sbgtv.com.



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