by Kate Evans
The Morgan County School Board will hold an emergency meeting this evening, Thursday January 14, at 6:00 p.m. at the school board office due to the West Virginia Board of Education’s vote to remove the county option of having full remote learning.
People can also attend the emergency meeting via a Zoom meeting link that is posted on the county school website under the agenda.
The emergency meeting agenda has a public comment session before the school board considers action on an in-person education schedule beginning January 19 and also safety protocols for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students.
The West Virginia Board of Education voted to adopt in-person education parameters for state public schools at their January 13 meeting after Governor Jim Justice’s executive order for schools to return to in-person instruction on January 19.
State education board officials base their support of returning to in-person learning on COVID-19 data and transmission rates in schools, according to a West Virginia Department of Education press release. Rates within schools don’t reflect heightened community transmission rates.
Too many kids are falling further behind with each day they’re not in school and state board members indicated that school is the safest place for many of West Virginia’s most vulnerable children. Teachers also play an important role in a child’s life and “in-person instruction is essential for this,” said state education board vice president Tom Campbell.
Their action sets guidelines for a full in-person learning option four to five days a week for pre-K to eighth grade. Schools can start with blended learning models of in-person instruction at least two days a week. Families can also choose virtual learning options, which each county is required to offer.
Grades 9-12 will return to school for in-person instruction as long as their county isn’t red on the Department of Health and Human Resources County Alert System Map. Blended learning models are also possible for these students.
Schools and county health departments will work together to move specific classrooms and schools to temporary remote learning if needed, state officials noted.