Education, Latest News, Preston County

Superintendent: Preston Schools off to good start, despite rising COVID

MORGANTOWN — The roughly 4,000 students  in Preston County began their return to school Wednesday with a staggered start.

Superintendent of Preston County Schools Stephen Wotring said, “We have had a good start to the school year, despite the fact that COVID is ramping up again.”

According to the WV DHHR COVID dashboard, Preston County turned red Wednesday with an 8.50% positivity rate. That rate increased to 9.70% on Thursday. There were 99 cases of COVID in the county Thursday.

The staggered start meant grades 5, 8, 11 and 12 went to school Wednesday; grades 2, 4, 7 and 10 reported to school Thursday; and grades 1, 3, 6, and 9 attended Friday, Wotring said. All grades will attend school Monday, with pre-K also starting that day.

“The staggered start really helps us to get smaller groups of students into our buildings at one time and work through procedures,” Wotring said. “It is wonderful to have students back in our buildings five days per week, and I believe our teachers are excited to begin working with them again.”

However, because of the staggered start, “we are still learning who has transferred as opposed to who is absent, etc.,” Wotring said. As such, there were no numbers available as to who was out of school due to COVID Friday morning. Wotring said he was not aware of any teachers testing positive.

However, the cross-county team at West Preston School had to be quarantined because of a positive case, Wotring said.

“There really hasn’t been anything unexpected, although we were hoping COVID would not be as much of an issue as it has proven to be across the state and nation as we begin our school year,” Wotring said.

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