After a 179-day hiatus for the students of Pocahontas County, schools across the county reopened their doors Tuesday.
Schools across the state were indefinitely closed back in March due to rising health concerns over the outbreak of COVID-19. But after six-long months, it is time once again for classes, books and teacher’s happy looks.
“Yesterday went really well,” Pocahontas County Superintendent of Schools Terrence Beam told The West Virginia Daily News on Wednesday. “I visited all 5 schools in the county, and stuck my head into every classroom. Everyone was doing just fine. You could tell it was a little tense for some of the younger students. But all the kids had their little masks on, and there were no meltdowns.”
This is no doubt a welcome-result, as parents from all counties have expressed concerns over the practicality of younger students wearing masks. Only two students in Pocahontas County reported to school without masks on Tuesday. Both were in high school, and neither rode the school bus. They were immediately provided masks and wore them without incident. The Superintendent confirmed that, county-wide, no one refused to wear a mask, and there were no disruptions to the school day.
Superintendent Beam also discussed the county’s younger, and special-needs students, saying: “class numbers are already low. We need to try and bring our kindergarten, first graders and special-needs students back. Not all at once, we’ll stagger them over the next few weeks.”
Beam went on to stress how the situation is a work in progress, “The board meets every week, and has the latitude to give us opinions. We continue to monitor the data, and make decisions.”
All in all, Superintendent Beam was quite happy with the results of the first day, in particular with the performance of faculty and staff at the five county-schools.
“It went real well. We just want to get more kids in school,” according to Beam, 210 of the 935 students within the county have opted for virtual learning to begin the school year.