Students resume in-person classes in WVa’s largest county

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s largest public school system is opening its classrooms for the first time this fall during the coronavirus pandemic.

Teachers welcomed students back Monday in Kanawha County, where school doors had been shut to instruction since Gov. Jim Justice ordered them closed in March. Under West Virginia’s color-coded education map released Saturday, Kanawha County can reopen schools to in-person learning for the first time since school began on Sept. 8. Kanawha parents were given the option to have their children attend schools this fall either in-person or virtually, but the rate of virus cases in the county prohibited in-person attendance until this week.

Kanawha County plans to transition with a blended schedule in which students will attend classes in-person or virtually on different days, depending on their last name.

Among the state’s 55 counties, public schools in Boone, Harrison and Upshur counties currently can only offer remote learning.