BOE approves ’blended’ plan for students to return to school

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Mineral Daily News-Tribune

By Liz Beavers

Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER - The Mineral County Board of Education Tuesday unanimously approved what superintendent Troy Ravenscroft called a “blended” return-to-school plan for the county’s students.

The plan calls for students of all levels to attend two days in person, then three days virtually. Students will be divided into two groups, with Group A to be in class on Monday and Tuesday and online on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and Group B to attend virtual classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and be physically in the classroom on Thursday and Friday.

“On Wednesdays, there would not be any students in the buildings for deep cleaning,” he said.

Noting that the blended plan was the option selected by the majority of parents and staff in the surveys completed last month, Ravenscroft noted that “only the Governor can call for fully remote learning,” and ccurrently that decision has not been made.

Virtual school is still an option if the parents request it, however, and the deadline to sign up is Aug. 14.

Ravenscroft also noted that the plan is fluid and could change at any time “as current safety conditions and state and federal orders warrant.”

With Gov. Jim Justice currently planning to have schools open on Sept. 8, school boards in all the state’s 55 counties were required to adopt a plan for that opening.

“We need to make it clear that we are required to have a plan,” board member Mary Jane Baniak said, adding that “we are not voting on one thing over another, we are voting on a plan.”

Ravenscroft said the plan was developed with the input of other superintendents, faculty senate members, local representatives, and others.

“It was important that we had a lot of input,” he said.

“We put together the best plan we could, the safest plan we could, under the conditions we have,” he said.

“We absolutely want all of our students back in school, but we also want the absolute safest conditions possible.”