What Marshall County & Ohio County Schools plan to do without a statewide mandatory mask mandate

Marshall County

(WTRF)- There’s no longer a statewide mask mandate for schools in West Virginia. But that still doesn’t mean there won’t be one at the school your kids go to.

But what does this mean for Ohio County and Marshall County Schools? 

The news of the mask mandate being lifted came in from the state level just today. It’s now up to the school districts on a county-by-county basis, and Ohio County Schools has already made a decision whether or not kids will wear masks. However, there’s still no set in stone plan for Marshall County Schools.

“We’re moving forward and we know the best thing is for kids to be in school in a normal classroom setting.”

Dr. Kim Miller, superintendent of Ohio County Schools

Local school districts are reacting to the state mask mandate that’s finally behind us.

 “We want everybody in school because you can’t beat and in person learning with a teacher, but we want everybody to be safe and comfortable.”

Shelby Haines, superintendent of Marshall County Schools

Without that statewide mask mandate for schools, that doesn’t necessarily take the mandate itself away. That depends on what each district chooses to do.

And in the Ohio County School District, it’s not a must for kids to wear masks.

“We’re ready to move forward, based on what the Governor shared with us today.”

Dr. Kim Miller, superintendent of Ohio County Schools

But Miller says there is still an exception to that. If a parent would prefer their child to wear a mask, Miller says that’s okay. That also applies to staff members.

Meanwhile, the Marshall County School District is still deciding if they want to take a different route after the statewide mask mandate has been lifted.

“Currently, we don’t have a mask mandate for Marshall County Schools, but we’ll be flushing out details and working on how children will be or won’t be wearing a mask.”

Shelby Haines, superintendent of Marshall County Schools

Along with wearing masks, there are also changes to virtual learning. The State Department of Education is offering a virtual school option for 6th grade and up, but not anymore for elementary students.

Ohio County Superintendent Dr. Miller says they’ll do away with it for Pre-K through 5th, while Marshall County Superintendent Shelby Haines says they’re still working on virtual learning options.

But there’s one thing both Marshall County Schools and Ohio County Schools can all agree on: Kids and their safety is the top priority.

“We’re very grateful for our supportive community. We know that it’s not a perfect scenario and a perfect world, but if anything, we’re been very adaptive and flexible, and we want to do what’s best for our students and move forward together.”

Dr. Kim Miller, superintendent of Ohio County Schools

“As we begin to flesh out the details of what this will look like in Marshall County, those details will start to get the parents a little bit of comfort that their kids will be safe. Will continue to use the key mitigation strategies of sanitizing, handwashing, and things like that. We will do our best.”

Shelby Haines, superintendent of Marshall County Schools

Since Ohio County Schools is doing away with a mask mandate, Miller says that could change at any point in the school year if things get worse. Meanwhile, Marshall County Schools hope to have a plan in place sometime next week.

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