Kanawha County schools could see another record early start to the academic year in 2014 or school board members could decide to push it back slightly.
School board members will consider next year's school calendar at their regular meeting Thursday evening, and they'll mostly consider two options. One puts children back to school on Aug. 8. The other brings them back in the middle of the month, on the 18th.
But that 10-day difference has proven to be a controversial one in Kanawha County.
The school board voted last year to approve a calendar that looked drastically different than those from years past. School started Aug. 9, the earliest start date in the county's history, so that the first semester will wrap up just before winter break.
The idea is to prevent students from having to cram for semester exams over the holiday vacation.
The idea met with mixed reaction among the school board -- President Pete Thaw has lobbied vocally against the idea, while the other four board members were more in favor of the idea -- and no small amount of controversy among students and parents.
They complained that the summer was two short -- it was two weeks shorter last summer than during normal years, though if next year's calendar looks similar to this year's the schedule will regulate itself and the summer will be back to its normal length.
There were also complaints about the impact on summer vacations and other activities and programs. Plus, tweaks to state law made last year that gave county school systems greater freedom in planning their calendars led to speculation that Kanawha County was looking to implement a year-round calendar.