UPDATE: Wood County Schools meal pickup set for Wednesday

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 4/7/20 12:30 P.M.

Wood County Schools has announced that student-meal pickup will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the following locations:

- Fairplains Elementary, 615 Broadway Ave.
- Franklin Elementary, 1511 Division St.
- Jefferson Elementary, 1103 Plum St.
- Lubeck Elementary, 206 Lubeck Road
- Madison Elementary 1426 32nd St.
- McKinley Elementary, 1130 19th St.
- Waverly Elementary, 422 Virginia Ave.
- BDI - Bearing Distributors, 211 S. Meadville Road, Davisiville
- Family Carpet, Route 14, 2328 Williams Highway, Boaz
- Humphrey School, Route 68, Belleville
- Old Kmart parking lot, 1050 Division St., Parkersburg
- OVU Snyder Activity Center, 5013 Brisco Road, Parkersburg
- Pond Creek Fire Department substation, Rural Route1, Rockport
- Rural King parking lot, 180 Park Center Drive, Parkersburg
- Vienna Baptist Church parking lot, 3401 Grand Central Ave., Vienna

School officials said parents or guardians will be allowed to pick up meals by providing the student's name and school to volunteers at each site.

Each box will contain five breakfasts and five lunches.

Volunteers will place the meal boxes in vehicles, and parents or guardians must stay in their vehicles. In addition, each site will have a walk-up area for students who walk to school.

Students and their families are not permitted in buildings or trucks, and everyone must remain at least 6 feet apart when obtaining meal boxes.

UPDATE: 3/22/20

A post on the Wood County Schools Facebook page announced changes to the school system’s student feeding program.

Starting Monday March 23, Wood County Schools will only serve meals at 11 school locations throughout the county on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students will be able to pick up two breakfasts and two lunches at a time on Mondays and Wednesdays, and one breakfast and one lunch on Fridays.

Wood County School officials say this will give students ten meals a week, but also allow staff and students alike to practice social distancing.

The eleven schools still passing out grab and go meals are Parkersburg High School, Parkersburg South High School, Williamstown High School, Blennerhassett Middle School, Hamilton Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Kanawha Elementary, Waverly Elementary, Mineral Wells Elementary, Neale Elementary, and Martin Elementary.

School officials say parents can call their child’s school if they are in need of a meal but cannot visit one of the schools providing them.

UPDATE 3/19/20:

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Wood County Schools have begun distributing homework packets on Thursdays alongside the lunches that are handed out every week day.

This Thursday, Mineral Wells Elementary staff prepared 1,200 breakfasts and lunches for Mustang students and the students of other schools.

Teachers and other staff then spent late morning handing out roughly 400 lunches and homework to Mineral Wells students between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

According to school's principal, everything went smoothly.

“It was all hands on deck,” said Principal Melissa Powers. “We had a crew inside working, everyone had a specific spot they were supposed to be. We wanted to make it smooth and efficient for our families and our kids got to see us, wave at us, smile at us and still feel connected to school.”

Powers says students will return their homework packets next Thursday when they can pick up a new one. They can return tomorrow and all other weekdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch and the next day’s breakfast.

UPDATE 3/18/20:

Wood County Schools will be issuing homework packets to make up for lost school days on Thursday. Packets will be available to pick up at your child’s school and are supposed to last five days – though some may include work for beyond that.

A post on the district Facebook page says packets will be available during lunch pickup, between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Students who are unable to pick packets up may have them delivered on Fridays by bus. Routes and stops for those deliveries have yet to be announced.

School officials at McKinley Elementary say they will be keeping track of which families pick up homework on Thursday and will be calling the homes of students who have not picked up work. They are working ensure students still get instruction.

“I’m going to hopefully have some volunteers outside to make a checklist of how many students came, and whatever students did not come, we’re going to contact by phone. If need be, I’m going to have a long evening of taking packets and stuff to parents,” said Dr. Allen Laugh, principal of McKinley Elementary.

Students are still not to permitted to enter school buildings. Officials say this is a fluid situation and plans are subject to change.

On Friday, Governor Jim Justice closed West Virginia schools in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, school districts across the state are working on plans for the immediate future.

Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook says their top priority is taking care of kids, which is why they have already set up a meal plan for any students who rely on school lunches.

Starting Monday, students can show up at any Wood County School between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and pick up a brown bag lunch and breakfast for the next day. Hosaflook confirmed the food is free.

“Students will not be able to come in to school, but they will be able to pick up a grab and go right outside the school,” said Hosaflook.

The school district is now working on plans for continuing instruction. Wood County School teachers are still reporting to work each day, and Hosaflook says students could be receiving homework packets in the near future. Hosaflook says there are many possibilities for instruction outside of school.

“There are many different modalities of instruction. Whether it’s e-learning or whether Newsela and Curriculum Associates, they have sent us a lot of materials right now, so we can run them off for the students and the teachers make the packets and the packets are dispersed by bus drivers,” said Hosaflook.

Hosaflook says some central office staff will be reporting to work Sunday to continue planning for the coming weeks. So far, he says they’ve planned for two, but will go so far as to plan out several more weeks ahead.

“We’ll be discussing plans that if it could be more than one week to two weeks to three weeks to four weeks and we’ll make plans accordingly. At some point, we may have to utilize different systems of delivering food, delivering academic instruction, instructional supplies to students. We’re working on that and it should be—everything should be all right,” said Hosaflook.