Gov. Jim Justice made official Wednesday what many had likely surmised already — concerning public schools and the coronavirus.
That was when he announced state students won’t be going back to their classrooms Friday.
The governor is extending the closure through April 20.
Administrators, teachers and parents had already guessed as much, as the diagnoses began mounting in the region and across the U.S.
Students were dismissed two weeks ago in anticipation of the coming of COVID-19 to the Mountain State.
While they had been set to go back at the end of this week, the virus had other ideas.
A quick spate of confirmed cases made the decision for Justice.
“We just weren’t ready,” he said.
Monongalia’s Board of Education, meanwhile, is readying to step up the learning for its 11,000 students now idle from school.
They aren’t idle of academics, however,
Most students are currently receiving their digital and literal homework via district-owned Chromebooks.
And the district is tracking those who aren’t turning in work.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Donna Talerico talked about it during Tuesday’s BOE meeting.
That, and the 12th-graders who are the particular focus now, she said.
“We’re going to make sure seniors have a path that’s as smooth as possible to get them to graduation,” she said.
A look at levy rates
The board during that meeting also put down the path for statewide and excess levy rates for the new fiscal year, which it will vote on in coming weeks.
It was a familiar path, district treasurer Nicole Kemper said. The projected rates are the same as last year, she said.
For Class II properties, which are owner-occupied homes, that’s a 38.80 cent rate for every $100 assessed, and 77.60 cents per $100 of assessed value on Class III and IV properties.
Class III properties are those holdings not used or occupied by an owner and are outside a municipality. Class IV is the same, only within a municipality.
Under the excess levy, which is used to pay for expenses such as textbooks and salaries, the projected Class II rate for the coming year is 33.50 cents for $100, Kemper reported.
Class III and IV properties would be assessed 67.00 cents, per that rate.
The excess levy traditionally makes up about 25% of the budget for Mon’s schools.
Four more years
In other business, the board renewed Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr.’s contract for the next four years.
Campbell will earn $172,000 for the 2020-21 year and $181,000 for 2021-22. His paycheck will increase to $190,000 in 2022-23 and $199,500 in 2023-24.
BOE President Ron Lytle expressed appreciation and confidence in the district’s senior administrator.
“Dr. Campbell consistently has demonstrated exemplary leadership,” Lytle said.
“He is adept at team-building and at supporting our administrative, instructional and service staffs to further the district’s mission.”
Campbell, the former superintendent of Tucker County Schools, was hired in 2018.
Before that, he was a teacher, coach and administrator in Virginia, Alaska and China.
Lunch is served (breakfast, too)
Mon’s meals are going back out again today, meanwhile, only with a different delivery system.
Meals will be dropped off beginning at noon today at Daybrook Church of Christ, the former Jakes Run School, Wadestown Methodist Church and the Red Barn at Mason-Dixon Park.
Other delivery stops will be at Country Squire’s, Goshen Road Park-and-Ride, Healthy Heights, Chestnut Ridge Church and Cool Springs Grocery.
River Road Volunteer Fire Department is also on the list, along with Granville City Park, Cassville Church and a location at Crown.
Meals may also be picked up at the U-Haul facility on Van Voorhis Road, the Dellslow end of Pixler Hill Road and at the intersection of Lazelle Union School Road and Taylor Town Road.
The breakfast and lunch meals are ready to serve after heating in the oven or microwave. Five meals apiece are set to be delivered every Thursday at noon until classes resume.
Morgantown’s Bartini Prime restaurant and other volunteers stepped in after Mon Schools had to suspend deliveries following Justice’s stay-at-home order earlier this week.