Superintendent Ravenscroft: County continuing to work on re-entry plan
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Mineral County School officials are continuing to work on a re-entry plan so the county can move quickly once the COVID-19 positives go down and it becomes safe for children to return to “in person” school.
Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft said during the board of education meeting Tuesday that a large part of the plan will be to ensure a smooth transition to West Virginia Virtual School, the program that will be used by those parents who opt to keep their children learning at home.
To that end, the board voted 5-0 Tuesday to create a new position, virtual school administrator, to oversee the program and serve as a contact for the online students.
Ravenscroft had announced in November that the county would be using the program for online learning as opposed to having teachers teach both in-person and online classes.
He said the new position is only expected to entail 10-15 extra hours a week, and whomever fills it will more than likely already be employed by the county and will be paid at the same rate that they are currently receiving.
It is also a job that will only last as long as it is needed.
“It’s not a forever job, it’s a COVID job for the remainder of the year,” he said.
Ravenscroft also told the board he has been meeting regularly with health department administrator A.Jay Root, and the hopes are that Mineral County will see some COVID-19 vaccines soon.
“We could be talking weeks,” he said.
Board vice president Mary Jane Baniak said she hopes once the vaccine arrives that the school system can partner with the health department and others to help educate citizens about the importance of getting vaccinated.
She said stopping the virus “is only possible if we educate everybody in how important the vaccination will be.”
Board members Tom Denne and Lara Courrier both praised those who have been involved in the community testing process, with Denne noting the “efficiency and immensely positive attitude” with which the workers and volunteers have served the people being tested.
“It has been very impressive,” he said. “It was just wonderful to see such a smooth operation and people working together for the entire community,” he said.
“I’m very proud of our community,” Courrier agreed, adding that the area is currently at a very critical point and that everyone needs to wear their mask to help slow the progression of the virus.