Class of 2021 … forever?
You can attribute the above punctuation to the coronavirus.
The firast day of school is 12 days out.
If the 12th-graders of Monongalia County have their way, they’ll experience senior year — at least some of it — in the confines of their actual school.
If they have their way, they’ll experience funny, crazy, thought-provoking class discussions in the physical presence of their favorite teachers.
They’ll yell through their face masks at football and basketball games.
They’ll dress up for prom. (And, attend an actual one).
And, they’ll do the ceremonial turn of their tassels, before triumphantly sending their mortarboards soaring, with as much altitude and attitude as they can, at commencement.
If they have their way.
Well, actually, if COVID-19 doesn’t have its way.
As of 10 a.m., Thursday, the county had notched 1,058 cases of the virus that kills people and cripples economies.
It’s a steady creep up the chart.
And while it’s low for most places in the country, it’s high for West Virginia.
Even so, Mon, and the rest of Mountain State, has set the morning bell on Sept. 8.
Most of the county’s students plan on doing that in person.
More than 70% of Mon households have chosen the blended-learning option for their children, meaning an alternating mix of in-school learning — with all the COVID-19 protocols — and remote learning from home.
Registration ended at noon Tuesday, and while the numbers are still being shaped and hewn, Deputy Schools Superintendent Donna Talerico sorted through their initial offerings at the Board of Education meeting that night.
Around 23% opted for the total remote-learning for this year, the deputy superintendent reported.
If you struggled with math when you were a student, the number to remember, the deputy superintendent said, is 90.
That’s how many of the county’s class of 2021 decided to stay home this year.
Talerico, who began her career in education as an elementary school teacher, turned the above into a “Now what have we learned?” moment for the BOE.
“As you can probably guess,” she said, “high school students really love being in school.”