Education, Latest News, Monongalia County

Summer Avalanche designed to stop the learning slide in Mon Schools

MORGANTOWN — Call Tuesday the second first day of school for Mon County.

Or the pre-first, perhaps.

Tuesday’s the day the Summer Avalanche rumbles across the district.

The Summer Avalanche is a learning-enrichment program, which will run through July 29 at all public schools in the county.

District officials said the idea is to stop any learning slides wrought by an almost year and a half of COVID-19, with its closures and quarantines.

“We really do have something for everyone,” Deputy Superintendent Donna Talerico said previously.

There are courses on the rudiments of money management for elementary school youngsters, along with ACT and SAT test prep for rising seniors ready for college.

Woodwork and circuit work basics are among the topics presented.

Just for fun, there are also offerings on video games as literature and the history of comic book writing, including revisits of literary works making their way into that paneled format.

Meals and free transportation via Monongalia County school buses are also provided.

Participants who are fully vaccinated aren’t required to wear a mask unless they prefer to, organizers said.

The district, though, is recommending that any non-vaccinated participants wear a mask for small group activities indoors lasting more than 15 minutes.

Daily COVID screening, however, is required.

Symptoms to watch for include a fever of 100.4 with chills.

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing is also a flag, along with any new loss of taste or smell.

Same for congestion or a runny nose.

The program is funded in part by money from the county excess levy and the federal Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund.

In the meantime, the district is already looking ahead to the first day of school Aug. 24.

Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. said he wants to lift the mask mandate, so long as vaccine rates keep trending up and COVID cases keep going the other way.

“We have every intention of bringing our students back to a school year that’s as normal as possible,” he said.

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