Message from West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch

When Governor Jim Justice closed schools on March 16, 2020, life changed for most West Virginians. COVID-19 was advancing across the nation, and it was only a matter of time before cases of the disease would be confirmed in the state. All sectors and institutions had to react and regroup as the 267,000-plus children in our state moved to a remote learning model, and families would instantly become homeschoolers working with teachers to keep students engaged… read more

Possible Re-Entry Scenarios

County boards of education are presently undertaking the important task of developing school re-entry plans that best address the needs and safety of their students in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The West Virginia Department of Education has proposed various scenarios and considerations that counties may contemplate when determining re-entry. This guidance has been designed to offer flexibility within the fluid nature of COVID-19 in the state. This gives counties a range of allowances when deciding what their particular school days will look like for the upcoming school year.

In-person and/or Blended Instruction

Scenarios for in-person instruction are designed to create options for counties to make local decisions that best meet the needs of their students. County superintendents working with stakeholders and boards of education will decide the structure of the school schedule. Whether it be reduced days each week or reduced hours each day, re-entry plans must engage all students in learning five days a week.

If utilizing a blended model for learning, schools must consider developmental appropriateness of schedules and use of technology as well as equity and access to broadband.

Existing Virtual Options

In 2017 legislation was passed allowing for districts to offer full-time virtual options to their students. Districts can establish their own virtual school program or can partner with other counties or the WVDE for virtual offerings. All West Virginia counties are to have a full-time virtual option in place no later than July 1, 2020. Because students participating in a virtual school option are considered public school students, counties will not lose state aid funding should a student elect to use this option.

Counties should make certain that virtual school information is readily available to students and parents. In contemplating this option, consideration will need to be given to internet access and available technology.

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Remote Learning

Districts must be prepared to implement full remote learning should it be required by the Governor. Full remote learning plans require students to complete school assignments and engage remotely five days a week. This will require the teacher and students to communicate regularly and develop a process for monitoring, reviewing and/or grading of student engagement activities.

Virtual Schools Information
Re-entry Surveys

Focus Areas

The West Virginia Department of Education has worked closely with the COVID-19 Outbreak to Recovery Advisory Council to vet, review and inform guidance for school re-entry in the fall and the recovery of the education system through the year 2021 and beyond. The product of this work has been distilled into nine focus areas to serve as a framework for counties to consider when making local-level decisions.

The information is forthcoming.

Instruction & Learning
Physical, Social-Emotional & Mental Health Wellness
Career Technical Education (CTE)
Child Nutrition
Special Education
Safe Schools & Transportation
Finance
Extracurricular & Extended Activities
Technology
Safe Schools & Transportation
Finance
Extracurricular & Extended Activities
Technology

Partners

The West Virginia Board Education and county superintendents joined the WVDE and more than 40 national and state agencies and organizations to serve as partners in developing the re-entry and recovery plans for West Virginia. These partners continue to provide insight, research support and expertise as the pandemic evolves in the state. The fluid nature of the virus and its impact on our schools and communities require the council of partners to remain engaged moving forward to support counties with guidance.

List of Partners