West Virginia school leaders consider plans for reopening schools by fall

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Just like football, pumpkin spice lattes and the leaves changing colors, kids have always gone back to school in the fall.

The West Virginia Department of Education has not released any concrete details on what the return for students will look like this fall.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has changed our world and may even change the way kids learn.

The West Virginia Department of Education has not released any concrete details on what the return for students will look like. But Tuesday afternoon, state education leaders held a conference call with teachers to discuss the first steps in reopening West Virginia schools.

According to Fred Albert with the West Virginia Federation of Teachers, the department has nine focus areas that will be targeted by subcommittee members of the Department of Education. These include: instruction and learning, social and emotional wellness of students and teachers, career technical education, child nutrition, special education, safe schools and transportation, finances, extracurricular activities, and technology.

Albert says there will be numerous meetings going forward, but a timeline for public review is set to be released by the State School board by June 8.

For parents who have children who learn better in a classroom setting, they are in support of sending children back to school in the fall.

“I have a son and he’s going into high school,” says Erica Polk. “My concern is that he isn’t a virtual learner, so he does better in the classroom.”

Other parents would rather keep their kids home, due to fears that social distancing and safety guidelines will not be enforced.

“This way they're not all together in the hallways and touching each other. It will be different, no doubt, but our intent is to still give our students a quality education,” Albert said.

It’s led educators to come up with a plan when there are still more questions than answers.