Mercer County Schools release plans for 2020-2021 school year

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Mercer County Schools have released information on how the 2020-2021 school year will operate.

The school year will begin for students on September 8, 2020. Mercer County Schools could operate on any of the three following schedules. The model chosen will depend on the metrics provided by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services regarding Covid-19 and will be communicated prior to September 8, 2020.

• Blended Model A – Students attend school 5 days per week on an amended schedule. Out of school homework/practice will be a requirement each day.

• Blended Model B – Students attend school alternate days on an amended schedule. Students are divided alphabetically. Students complete work/assignments at home on days they are not in school. Teacher communicates regularly with assignments and activities are graded.

• Remote learning – Students attend school remotely 5 days per week with teacher communicating regularly with assignments and activities are graded. This option is only if the governor closes schools, or if a particular school must close because of an outbreak.

A 100% Virtual Option:

Mercer County Schools understands that some parents may feel apprehensive about sending their children back to school while there is no vaccine for Covid-19. Many students and family members have underlying medical conditions that make physically attending traditional school impossible at this time. In order to accommodate these students and their families, Mercer County Schools offers a virtual option through West Virginia Virtual Schools (WVVS). This option is available for all Mercer County students in grades kindergarten through 12. Teachers will be assigned through the West Virginia Virtual School and may not be a teacher at the district school; however, the district school remains a point of contact for report cards, scheduling, and school-related services.

For a student to be eligible for the virtual option, the student must be enrolled as a Mercer County Schools student in grades kindergarten through 12, or they are homeschooled/non-public school students in the same grades, and must have reliable Internet access at home. Mercer County Schools will provide virtual students with a device (iPad, tablet, laptop, etc.) to access their assignments. Students may transfer to the virtual education program at any time during the school year. Students may also transition back to the traditional school setting with one (1) week notice before the grading period ends. The Mercer County Schools Virtual Education Program policy (Policy I-15) may be viewed on the Mercer County School’s website. Any parent choosing this option must fill out an application by August 7, 2020.

If you have any questions about virtual school, please email: mercercountyvirtualschool@groups.k12.wv.us for answers.

The online virtual school application can be accessed at: https://tinyurl.com/virtualschoolapplication

FYI:
Comcast/Xfinity has extended an offer for 60 days of free home Internet for new eligible customers (800-266-2278). Additionally, Comcast is extending free access to their public Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2020. A map of their hotspots can be found at https://wifi.xfinity.com/.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com