Education, Latest News, Monongalia County

Mon’s schools keep vigilant against the virus

MORGANTOWN — Tuesday was a professional development day for Monongalia County educators.

That meant classrooms were empty, as students had the day off — while principals and teachers focused on ways to best improve the infrastructure of the buildings that are a second home to students during the school year.

However, that didn’t mean those buildings were quiet. Custodians fanned out for a deep cleaning of the schools where they work.

In the meantime, the district made it through another pandemic week last week, even as additional cases and quarantines continued to mount.

“The numbers are indicative of what we’re seeing in the county,” Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. said.

Mon schools ended the week with reports of 97 students and 19 staffers testing positive. The resulting quarantines included 293 students and four employees going home for safety.

To date, the district has managed to avoid the dreaded COVID outbreak, the superintendent said.

As defined by the state Department of Education, outbreaks are the incidents where multiple students in, say, a single classroom or the locker room of a sports team transmit the virus to one another.

“And we do have some schools we’re watching right now,” he said.

The numbers of the newly diagnosed last week include 16 students at Cheat Lake Elementary and 16 at Morgantown High.

Ten students apiece tested positive at Brookhaven Elementary, Eastwood Elementary and South Middle.

Pandemic math, Campbell said, made a big ripple at North Elementary. That school ended in the week with 66 students in quarantine — resulting from the positive diagnoses of six classmates and two staffers.

With cases of the Delta variant roiling across Monongalia County and the Mountain State, the only thing the local district can do, the superintendent said, is to keep vigilant.

And that means maintaining all pandemic protocols while continuing the push for vaccinations, he said.

In the meantime, he said, he’s watching numbers of a different sort.

Today is the last day of early voting the for the district’s excess levy election. You may cast your ballot from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today at the county Election Center at Mountaineer Mall.

Saturday is the day-of election for the measure, which helps buy district-issued Chromebooks for students, while funding foreign language instruction with native speakers for all grades levels.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, a total 1,544 early ballots had been cast.

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