Monongalia County students will stay on remote learning through Feb. 12.
That was the call of the county BOE on Tuesday night, which voted unanimously for that state, saying COVID-19 is simply too unpredictable to merit a safe return to class.
“We all want our kids back in school,” board member Melanie Rogers said, “but only when it’s safe.”
What is safe and what isn’t related to classrooms and the pandemic is the main dissenting point between Charleston and several of the state’s 55 public school districts.
Gov. Jim Justice and state Schools Superintendent Clayton Burch said elementary students and middle-schoolers would be better served in front of their actual teachers in their actual classrooms, no matter infection rates in their counties.
That’s because, both said, those students don’t necessarily show to be profound carriers of the coronavirus.
Several teachers and parents, though, disagree, along with teacher unions — and all those voices were heard in the form of the 25 or so letters Mon BOE President Nancy Walker read at the start of the meeting.
The majority of those letters were asking the district to simply hold off on an in-person return until vaccines could be administered and infection rates fell off.
Inoculations are key county health officials told Mon Schools Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr.; all students could possibly be able to return to in-person instruction by March.
For now, as per the BOE vote, students will resume hybrid learning after Feb. 12, provided the pandemic here doesn’t surge.
A second round of the Moderna vaccine meanwhile will be given to county teachers and other school employees 40 years of age and older Friday at Morgantown High School.
More than 400 staffers in the 50-year age range received their first dose without issue last week, Deputy Superintendent Donna Talerico said.