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West Virginia Board of Education passes motion on in-person instruction

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 3:51 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The West Virginia Board of Education has passed a motion on in-person instruction.

The board introduced the motion Wednesday during a meeting.

The motion is the move to adopt the following parameters for in-person instruction:

  • All Pre-K through 8th grade students would begin in-person instruction on January 19
  • After January 19, full remote learning would not be an option
  • Counties are encouraged to operate on a full five-day model on January 19. Counties would have the option to do a blended model which would require at least two days of in-person instruction until at least a majority of teachers personnel with direct contact to students receive their first dose of the COVID vaccine. Once this has occurred, all blended models would begin to do four or five days of in-person instruction.
  • Pre-K through 8th grade will attend in person regardless of their color code on the County Alert System Map starting January 19.

“As a state board of education, our unwavering commitment remains on the assurance that all counties are moving to full in-person instruction for all children,” said WVBE President Miller Hall. “It is our goal to return West Virginia students to in-person learning and reassure our education employees and parents that it is safe to do so.”

“The purpose of this recommendation is not to allow counties to back away from the January 19 return date announced by the Governor, but instead to strengthen the education support structure for our students keeping our eye on getting students back in the building as soon as possible,” Hall said. “The academic and extended needs of our students have suffered too much and our schools are the best way to get them back on track.”

The average age of teachers and service personnel for those in Pre-K through 8th grade fall over the age of 50, according to the WV BOE. This is about 17,000 employees.

The Board of Education says their vaccination plan is the most aggressive in the country. It provides another layer of protection for teachers and students.

“We continue to advocate for the return to full, in-person instruction because our children so desperately need to get back to school,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “I respect the ability of local-level decision-making, however, our collective purpose must remain focused to ensure the constitutionally mandated educational goals of quality and equality are achieved.”

This is a developing story.

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