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State Board of Education and Governor Jim Justice layout return plans for Fall school semester

Federal and state leaders discussed the plans to return to class for the Fall semester.
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 5:43 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) -

Federal and state leaders addressed the growing concerns of school re-entry Wednesday.

“We want to get our kids back. We want to get them back in the classroom. We want to get out teachers back in the front of those classrooms and get our kids learning in person once again,” said Vice-President Mike Pence during Wednesday’s White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing.

Within the hour, Governor Jim Justice began his COVID-19 briefing where he was joined by West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch to discuss the re-entry plan.

“What I am trying to do now. I am just going to move us back,” said Governor Justice.

Governor Justice announced that his goal is for schools to reopen on September 8th.

“Absolutely, if we were to rush this and go back to school in two or three weeks in my opinion, it is the wrong solution,” said Governor Justice.

This announcement came at the same time the State Board of Education met virtually for their monthly meeting.

“I think it needs to be made very clear, as the department and board would make a recommendation, it is only a recommendation and it is up to individual boards to decide for themselves what pieces or parts they will use as they begin the school year,” said Board President David Perry.

The Department of Education released reopening guidelines Wednesday morning. But the actual reopening plans will need to be constructed by county boards.

“We do expect the 55 Superintendents to put a plan together to submit to us that they are ready and safely ready to bring folks back,” said Superintendent Burch.

The guidelines released by the state are built around a five-day school week model. Daily health screenings and temperature logs will not be required, but Superintendent Burch did advise that students would be returning to school for the first time in months and likely could show cold-like symptoms. The State board will provide posters advocating wearing masks and safe health practices, but masks are not required at this time.

Parents and guardians can voice their opinions on reopening through surveys on the Department of Education’s website.

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