West Virginia Governor Jim Justice made several announcements about education during the Wednesday virtual meeting on COVID-19 response.
All elementary and middle school students will return to classroom instruction five days a week on Tuesday, January 19.
High school students will return to a five-day classroom schedule beginning January 19, but high school instruction will still be determined by the state’s color-coded map. The map will no longer be revised by the W.Va. Department of Education every weekend. High schools will now follow the map released daily by the Department of Health and Human Resources. Moreover, Justice once again “tweaked” the color system for schools opening to in person instruction. Schools will remain open to classroom instruction in orange counties.
Justice said one-third of students are failing at least one core class. The Governor proclaimed virtual schooling does not work for most students without live instruction from a teacher in a classroom.
Justice again pushed back the beginning of winter sports to Monday, March 1.
Justice assured that county boards of education will still maintain control of local school systems.
“We’re still going to let the local control rule the day,” Justice said. “All I’m telling you today is we’re recommending, that on January 19th, we’re going back to school on all of our middle and elementary schools.”
Supply of the vaccine is steadily building in the state. Justice announced teachers, service personnel and general staff aged 50 and older will be offered the vaccine in the next couple of weeks.