March 9, 2018 - Volume 38 Issue 9



At the direction of the West Virginia School Board Association (WVSBA) Executive Committee county boards of education presidents and/or their designee(s) participated in a telephone conference call Sunday, March 4.

According to Shirley Davidson, WVSBA Administrative Assistant, 59 county board officials participated in the call which allowed members to share information regarding the school employee walkout which ended early this week.

Various questions regarding makeup instructional days, particularly as relating to 200-, 220- and 261-day county board employees, were discussed.

Additionally, conference call participants discussed possible ways to make up lost instructional time, including possible flexibility in terms of existing school calendars.

As a result of the conference call, WVSBA Executive Director Howard M. O’Cull, Ed.D., prepared a series of questions which he presented to State Superintendent Steven Paine.

“Now that the school employee work action has concluded and the governor is requesting county boards seek and use flexibility in existing school calendars for instructional makeup time, the questions county board officials posed are of  considerable value. I discussed these with Dr. Paine and he has passed the information to Department staff working on calendar flexibility. He stresses, as was mentioned during the conference call, school calendars are discrete to counties.

“Moreover, Dr. Paine realizes county boards will need to approve any school calendar revisions as stated in law. Thus, county superintendents and county boards should keep good lines of communication. Also, employees and communities should be involved,” said O’Cull.

Although questions arose during the conference call regarding sanctions for county board employees participating in the work action, county board presidents expressed lack of support for this notion, including use of possible injunctions or other legal action.

“It is fair to say county board conference call participants saw the ‘sanctions approach’ as one not fitting this particular school employee work action primarily because of its statewide nature and the fact county superintendents had called off school during the nine-day period of the work action,” according to O’Cull.

A previous telephone conference call was held February 27.