School board votes to eliminate deer opener as school


Mar 11, 2001
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April 18, 2002

Deer season no longer a vacation

LIZ BEAVERS, Cumberland Times News Staff Writer

KEYSER -- Mineral County students will have fewer days off in the fall, but will get out of school earlier in 2003, according to the new school calendar approved Tuesday by the board of education.

After a lengthy discussion of the often controversial issue, the board members approved the calendar 4-1 with member Keith Funkhouser casting the negative vote.

The sticking point for the board was the fall break, given for several years now during the entire week of Thanksgiving and coinciding with the opening of deer season in West Virginia.

Previous boards decided a fall break was warranted during that week because of the high rate of absenteeism due to high school students skipping school to go hunting.

According to Superintendent of Schools Sam Kalbaugh, the absenteeism creates problems with meeting criteria for accreditation, as well as placing a burden on the county by forcing staff to find substitutes for the many bus operators and maintenance workers who also often take the days off to hunt.

Tuesday, however, some members of the board expressed the opinion that giving students days off for deer season essentially is letting those in the minority dictate to the whole system.

"We're letting this issue control us," Mike McDowell said, proposing the fall break be shortened by declaring Tuesday and Wednesday as instructional days.

The board could then get "creative," he said, and offer students an incentive to keep them in school instead of in the woods.

"Is there something we can do to entice them to come?" he asked, suggesting the board develop incentives for both students and staff members.

McDowell also pointed out that by removing two days off in November, the students will be able to get out of school earlier, with the last instructional day being June 3.

Funkhouser, however, expressed his opinion that the absentee rate during deer week will continue to be high if the board doesn't continue to offer the entire week off.

"I think if we can alleviate absentee problems in their entirety, we should do it," he said.

"Of course, the other alternative is year-round school," President Bob Shook interjected. "Then you can jockey all those days around and work them in."

Member Donnie Ashby noted, however, that no matter what the board does, they're not going to make everyone happy.

"Whatever calendar you come up with, somebody's not going to like it," he said.

In addition to the changes during Thanksgiving week and at the close of school, the new calendar also includes one three-day weekend (Jan. 18-20 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and two four-day weekends (March 7-10 and April 18-21 -- Easter) as opposed to one long spring break.

Students also no longer will get days off for Faculty Senate meetings. As mandated by new state legislation, those days now will consist of either a two-hour delay or two-hour early dismissal.


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Aug 13, 2001
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In Northern Michigan, either you give a holiday or 90% of the school doesn't show up.


Well-known member
Mar 8, 2002
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where i grew up the first day of deer season the school always closed.  then with thanksgiving we would get a couple more days... like above if they didn't give it to us we wouldn't be there... we also got four work days a year for calfing season, farm work, and the likes.... always used mine for deer :smile-blue

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