Students to Return to School

Hancock County students K-8 will return to school January 21 on a blended schedule with high school students to engage in remote learning as long as the county is designated red on the COVID map. Should the County status turn to orange, high school students will return under a blended model. The Hancock County Board approved the action on a 4-1 vote at an emergency meeting held Jan. 14. Board member Chris Gillette voted no.
The WV School Board approved the return to school for elementary and middle schools, but allowed the counties to choose either five-day-a-week or the blended model of instruction.
Dan Kaser, Hancock County Board president, said it was very clear that the county board had no choice but to follow the State Boards’ mandate, “we do not have authority to do otherwise. The State Board was created by the Legislature and outranks county school boards.” He noted that those counties who defy the return to school order from the State Board risk a State takeover.
“Our back is against the wall,” said Kaser.
(Brooke County recently reversed its earlier decision to remain remote.)
Elementary and Middle Schools will follow the same blended model as in the Fall with classes to begin Thursday, Jan. 21 with Group 1 (A-K) in attendance. On Friday, Jan 22, Group 2 (L- Z) will be in attendance. The week of January 25 will revert to the Fall Schedule of Group 1 – Monday and Tuesday and Group 2 – Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will remain a remote learning day.
Currently, Hancock County is red on the COVID map which means high school classes remain remote. Should the County’s designation change on a Sunday, high school students will return to classes on the blended model the day following the change in COVID designation.
With the start of the second semester, Hancock County is enhancing both its instructional delivery and its expectations in high schools. The remote classes will be conducted live on-line following the normal schedule with classes beginning at 7:20 a.m. and ending at 2:20 p.m. Attendance will be taken for each class period.
Superintendent Dawn Petrovich noted that 200 of school personnel have received the COVID vaccine and the remainder will be offered vaccination as the vaccine becomes available. Vaccination is voluntary.