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UPDATE: Wood County Schools make final preparations ahead of schools reopening

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 4:38 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2020 at 6:54 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) -

UPDATE:

Wood County Schools superintendent William Hosaflook is excited to get students back into the school buildings on September 8th, and credits the hard work that his staff has put in since schools shut down in March.

“We’ve worked tirelessly over the summer,” said Hosaflook. “The finish line is in sight for the beginning. so, it’s been definitely a trying process.”

Students will be returning to schools on a staggered schedule, as students with a last name A-K will come in for two days a week, and then students last name L-Z will come in the other two days.

Hosaflook says that health checks at home are incredibly vital if they want to have a successful school year.

“It is required for parents to do self checks on their children before they send them to school every day,” Hosaflook said. “I cannot stress this enough, if your child is sick, we need to keep them at home.”

Hosaflook says he understands how difficult this is going to be for staff members as well, but he says that the teachers understand how important their jobs are to their students.

“Teachers understand that they are in the most powerful profession in the world,” Hosaflook said. “They can change a student’s life in one second, and right now, I know that’s what Wood County teachers and employees are thinking about. ‘We need our kids back in the building, because it only takes one second, to change a child’s life forever.‘”

ORIGINAL STORY:

Governor Jim Justice said in his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday that he believes schools should not reopen until at least September 8th.

Wood County Schools were initially supposed to start allowing staff members back in their buildings by August 17, but that looks like it will get pushed back, as coronavirus cases in the county are starting to rise.

Superintendent William Hosaflook says the biggest challenge for the schools to open in the fall is figuring out logisitcs.

Some of those logistics include new guidelines for all students and staff to follow, classroom sizes and spacing, and what to do if a student or staff member is exposed to the virus and tests positive.

Hosaflook says the schools are going to be dependent on health officials in the county, state, and within the school system to determine a correct path if the virus causes the schools to have to change the way they operate.

“I am not a doctor,” Hosaflook said. “What I am, is a professional educator, and most employees in schools other than our healthcare professionals such as nurses, we’re professional educators. We know how to run schools, we know how to teach kids. So we are going to rely totally on the healthcare officials, who are experts in their field, to guide us.”

September 8th is the goal to reopen for now in Wood County, but given the current state of COVID-19 cases, the situation remains fluid.

Copyright 2020 WTAP. All rights reserved.

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