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Logan County approves multiple return to school options

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 7:07 PM EDT
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LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Logan County Board of Education is providing three options for families to pick between as their students return to school in the fall.

The programs include a new blended option, full virtual learning and homeschooling.

“I want them to know that we have their best interest at heart,” Logan County Superintendent Patricia Lucas said. “We want to provide them with as much support with instruction as well as if they are anxious and need someone to talk with.”

The blended option, approved at Thursday’s meeting, includes two days of in-person instruction and three days of online instruction for students per week. Classes will be split into two cohorts and attend school on either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. Buildings will be closed for cleaning on Wednesdays to allow teachers to prepare lessons.

“This plan will reduce the number of students in our classrooms and on our buses because we are splitting them up,” Logan School Board president Jeremy Farley said. “The hope is that we will be able to provide additional social distancing, not only on the bus, but during those class times. We already know that fewer students in the classroom an opportunity to provide one on one assistance from the teacher to the pupil.”

Farley said the district will work with health officials to monitor when it’s safe to increase the number of days students are in school buildings. The first opportunity to increase days will be at the end of October.

The schools will work with families to make sure all members attend in-person classes on the same days. Digital devices will be provided to students to complete school work on remote learning days.

“The questions I have received range from ‘why are we not going to start five days per week?' to ‘how can we possibly start back into a school building? How are you going to keep my kid safe?‘” Farley said.

The fully virtual option will be similar to what students transitioned to this spring when buildings closed, Lucas said. She is confident teachers will be better prepared to instruct students with practice and more time to plan lessons.

Students who enroll in the virtual option will have to stick with it for at least a full semester. The interest survey will be made available on the Logan County Schools website starting on Friday, July 24. The application process will begin on Friday, July 31.

The third option, homeschooling, removes the student from the Logan County Schools system and has the parent instruct the child separately. The parent or guardian becomes the instructor and the child is still able to participate in extra-curricular activities.

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