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Local schools differ on “return to classroom” plans

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 4:42 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:22 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - When Governor Jim Justice made his announcement of a January 19 “return to classroom” learning December 30, he also noted schools were free to come up with their own plans for a return to in-person classes.

Across West Virginia, some county systems have opted to continue with virtual, or some combination of virtual and classroom learning.

Most superintendents we’ve spoken to in counties surrounding Wood County tell us they expect to have at least some remote instruction in their “back to school” plans.

Pleasants County, for instance, plans one day of virtual learning per week in elementary and middle schools.

And the return of high school, as the governor has indicated, will be determined by the Department of Health and Human Resource’s daily map.

”For students that are pre-K through 8, we’re planning on returning to in-person learning,” says Superintendent Michael Wells. “We’re looking at four days a week, with Wednesdays, the fifth day, being a remote learning day. That’s the same plan we followed the majority of the fall semester.

Wirt County Schools’ superintendent will present a school re-entry plan to its board of education January 12. The school plans to continue with blended learning, with one of two plans, as it did during the fall.

“We realize that the very best place for students to learn is classrooms,” says Superintendent John McKown. “Parents and students want to come back; our teachers very much want the students to come back, but, on the other hand, we want to do so as safely as we possibly can.”

Ritchie County will continue to keep an eye on it’s county’s daily infection rates. It plans a discussion about its plan at the Board of Education meeting next week.

Right now, Jackson County is the only county, aside from Wood, planning a five-day return to having students in classrooms.

And Wood County’s Board of Education will discuss its return to classes at its January 12th board meeting. An outline of the school system’s plans will be made public Monday.

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