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Wood BOE complies with 2.0 athlete policy, with exception

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 9:46 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The Wood County Board of Education will apply for a waiver to the West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletic Commission’s “2.0 rule”-but only for one group of students.

The board Tuesday night voted to keep the rule for this year, for all but middle school students.

The exception was approved by the board in the form of an amendment to a measure up for a vote by the board, keeping the school system in compliance with a rule by the WVSSAC, requiring students to to have a 2.0 grade average to take part in sports.

The measure was discussed during the board meeting’s public forum. One who spoke in support of an exception was Dennis Craig, a teacher and parent, who also is a coach at Van Devender Middle School.

” You’re telling my kids they had a rough time with their grades for one year, in unprecedented times,” Craig told the board, “but they can’t play football. I’m not asking you to put them on the field for games, but let the kids practice. Let them have an incentive to step forward. If it’s good enough for the state, it’s probably good enough for us.”

Earlier, school administrators made a presentation to the board on test scores for the 2020-2021 school year. All were below scores from the 2018-2019 school year. No tests were administered for the 2019-2020 school year, when learning went virtual after March, 2020 due to the pandemic.

On the other hand, Superintendent William Hosaflook said Wood County ranked third among West Virginia’s 55 counties in math scores, and fourth in reading scores.

School officials say the results are proof students perform better during in-person learning.

Superintendent Hosaflook also shared with board members and the audience a letter from the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, saying it supported a mask mandate for schools, but was not issuing a requirement or directive to schools on the issue. Wood County’s board recently determined masks would be recommended, but not required for students and teachers, at least for the start of the current school year.

Hosaflook also read a letter from the legal firm representing the state’s 55 county school systems, stating “health officers are given the authority to implement measures to stem the spread of communicable diseases”, citing state law.

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