RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – With students expected to return to school on January 19th, Raleigh County Schools has been busy figuring out how they want to re-enter. On Thursday morning they made their decision and decided to bring students back in the blended model that the schools used in the fall.
“We will be returning to our blended model as we did first semester,” said Raleigh County Schools Superintendent David Price. “Students with the last names A through K will resume school on Tuesday the 19th and then the rest of the students, L through Z, will return on Wednesday and Thursday for their blended model.”
The only difference between this semester and last semester is which schools will follow the color coded map. New guidance from health officials and the state’s department of education says that pre-k through eighth grade schools and students will not follow the color coded map while high schools will. The reason is because of how susceptible each age group is to the virus.
“The medical experts and Dr. Marsh have indicated that all the research indicates that they are not as susceptible to Covid under the circumstances of their age in what the research tells them,” Price said. “High School students are more adult as far as physically and they are more susceptible so they felt it was a safer model to keep the high school students out under those circumstances and pre-k through eight it was safe.”
As the semester moves forward the school board will continue to evaluate the Covid situation and update their plan every four to five weeks. Superintendent Price says the goal is to have students in class five days a week under the right circumstances, but their blended model has been shown to be effective for students.
“We can have our eyes on students, we can make sure they are safe, make sure they are engaged in academics couple days a week seeing them face to face,” said Price. “Some of our teachers have indicated that having the smaller groups has actually helped some students. They’ve been engaged and actually improving academically because of the smaller group setting.”
Raleigh county has been one of the few counties in the state that had students in school the entire first semester and plans to continue to be this semester.