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Gov. Justice: Elementary and Middle Schools will go back to in-person education Jan. 19

West Virginia Headlines

Charleston, W.Va. (WTRF)- During his coronavirus briefing, West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice, announced that West Virginia schools will reopen to in-person education for elementary and middle school students on January 19.

Gov. Justice says this gives teachers, staff and students a little more than two weeks to prepare.

There will still be the option for virtual learning for students

Gov. Justice says in the first semester, transmission of COVID-19 in schools was .02% among students and 0.3% among staff. He says it will be important for students and faculty to continue practicing social distancing guidelines, but returning students to in-person learning is crutial for students’ education.

According to Justice, reports from the West Virginia Department of Education show at least one-third of West Virginia students are receiving a failing grade in at least one core class. Justice says the virtual learning models are not working for most students without the consistent live engagement from a teacher.

Gov. Justice said that high school students will still use the West Virginia County Alert Map and that those in “orange” and below advisory will be allowed to have in-person education.

 Governor Justice says they are using the weekend to tweak the map to “some degrees.” 

Previously, those in “orange” advisory were advised to go into remote learning.

The governor discussed COVID-19 vaccines and says they are committed to get all teachers, staff and service personnel vaccinated. He says they will offer vaccines to all teachers and staff immediately for anyone over the age of 50. He says they plan to get this accomplished within the next two to three weeks.

They will double back and go back and get teachers and service personnel at schools under the age of 50 after that.

The WVDE says it will no longer send out its Saturday Education Map and the WV DHHR County Alert System Map will guide high school in-person instruction.

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