Pocahontas Schools’ Revised 2020-2021 School Year Calendar

Because of COVID-19 related state directives, the Pocahontas County Schools were forced to revise their calendar for the upcoming school year. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice recently set the opening day for the 2020-2021 schools in the state for September 8th, however the state is still mandating one hundred and eighty days of school, whether they be in school attendance, remote learning or, more likely, a combination of the two.  We asked School Superintendent Terrence Beam to explain the new school calendar. A link to an Excel document of this school calendar can be found at this link. Copy of School Calendar-2020-2021 (Covid design) (Microsoft Excel)

“Well, Tim, what I wanted to talk about is the revised calendar we had to do,” said Beam. “When Governor Justice announced that students wouldn’t report to schools until September the eight, it changed the calendars of all fifty-five (55) counties. So, they sent us out a template and they gave us some guidelines to follow. One of the tings we don’t have to do is put it out on public comment or get a lot of input into this because we are on such a short timeframe.”

“His guidelines were basically, start on September the eighth and try and get the students out of school around June first, if possible. Well, when you start plugging those days in and looking at the calendar, it’s really tight getting everything is. So, what we did was start our first day September the eight, and then our last day for our students will actually be a half a day of instruction on June the third, just two days later then the governor really wanted, but I will explain why we have those extra days in there – and it’s Thanksgiving break. Pocahontas County, like my home county of Nicholas, likes their Thanksgiving breaks because of family get-togethers and hunting season, and so I didn’t want to interrupt that. And so we will have Thanksgiving break as we have in the past, a full week off for Thanksgiving. None of those days will be instructional. And, Christmas break will be very similar too. It might be like a half-a-day shorter than it was in the past in order to get the days in. But it will start on December the twenty-third with a half a day out for the students, and a half-a-day for Faculty-Senate for the teachers. And then the students will comeback after New Year’s Day.”

“Spring break will be different. We had planned on having a full week of spring break as we have in the past, but due to the restrictions, and the desire to get the kids out as early as we can in June, we had to cut back spring break. And so, spring break now will consist of a half-a-day on the Thursday before Easter; the Good Friday off and the following Monday off. And, so, that’s about the best we could do. A lot of counties are just giving Good Friday off, but I thought we could expand it a little bit more than that, and still our last day will be a half-a-day on June third.”

“Our employees start back on the twenty-fifth (of August,) our principals start back on the eleventh of August, and our two hundred and twenty (hour) custodians start somewhere in between those two dates. So that’s what our calendar looks like it’ll be.”

Be sure to listen for several additional stories about the Board of Education. Beam will give us an idea of what the reopening of the schools will likely look like, although nothing is yet set in stone. In another story, we will be reporting on what occurred at the July 21st Board of Education Meeting.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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