Of all the county's elementary schools, 19 could comply with the faculty they have now. The remaining 26 would need to cut back services for kindergarten students — by letting teachers' aides take over to give kindergarten teachers planning periods and having general teachers handle some subjects usually taught by specialists — in order to comply with the new law.
Officials are hoping that, in light of the way the new schedule could affect those students, the waiver, if granted, won't ruffle feathers among most of the county's educators.
Roberts said one school in Kanawha County has already taken up the issue in its faculty senate and told county officials that teachers would prefer their usual 30-minute planning sessions.
"I really know that elementary teachers use every minute of their planning time wisely," Roberts said. "There's no doubt teachers can use it, it's just a matter of stretching our staff."
The school board voted to seek the waiver at its regular meeting last week. Officials are frustrated with the predicament but are hopeful the state Department of Education will remedy the situation.
"We told them up front we weren't able to do it," Superintendent Ron Duerring said at that meeting. "And then they put this on us like this . . . I don't know what we'll have to do if the waiver is denied."
The county's waiver request will need to be approved by the state Department of Education as well as the legislative oversight committee.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.