KEYSER - Mineral County students will be returning to school on Aug. 21 this year and will be ending their semester at Christmas.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Mineral County students will be returning to school on Aug. 21 this year and will be ending their semester at Christmas.
The Mineral County Board of Education approved the 2020-2021 school calendar as recommended by superintendent Troy Ravenscroft Tuesday, following a vote by school personnel over the past several weeks.
“We presented three calendars to our staff and we did old-school paper voting for accuracy,” Ravenscroft told the board members, noting that the calendar he recommended “received a little over 60% of the vote.
“A close second was the calendar that started a day later, so there wasn’t much difference,” he said.
Acknowledging that the calendar needs to be finalized to include such things as graduation dates, Ravensroft said the plan includes approximately 80 days in the first semester and 98 days in the second semester.
One of the concerns with ending the semester at Christmas was that it gave teachers no time except over Christmas break to grade tests and finalize grades. To alleviate that problem, Ravenscroft said Jan. 4-5 are set aside as Professional Learning Days, with no school for students.
Students would therefore not return to school after Christmas until Jan. 6.
Board member Tom Denne noted that Professional Learning Days and Faculty Senate Days included a three-hour early dismissal, “which allows us to get two meals in for our kids.”
The previous two-hour delays to allow for such meetings alleviated time for breakfast.
Board president Lara Courrier said she liked the fact that “you can finish (the semester) at Christmas and still be out by June 2.”
June 2 is listed as the last day for students, although if a harsh winter were to cause excessive closures, the calendar includes makeup days through June 30 if needed.