During his coronavirus response media-briefing on Friday, Feb. 19, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice called upon the State Department of Education to require all PreK through eighth-grade students to attend in-person learning five-days per week beginning on Monday, March 1, regardless of their county’s color-designation on the DHHR County Alert System map. The Department of Education immediately approved the governor’s recommendation.
In light of these developments, Mercer County Schools has released the following statement:
“Elementary and middle school students will follow Blended Model A regardless of county’s color on the DHHR map; all students attend school five days a week.
High school students will follow Blended Model B; 50% of the students attend each day. UNLESS: the incidence AND positivity rates are below 3.0% for two-weeks, then high school students will attend five days a week. If the incidence and positivity rates rise to 3.0%, then high school students will go back to the 50% schedule the following week.
Students will be moved to remote learning if: 1) designation of red on the WV DHHR map means high schools go remote the following day; 2) the number of employees quarantined prohibit adequate supervision of students, a specific school(s) may be transitioned to remote learning immediately.”
Mercer County school officials also released the attendance-limitations regarding athletic events.
If the county is designated as green on the DHHR map on the preceding Friday, each student-athlete/participant will receive six tickets for the event. If the county is designated as yellow, each student-athlete/participant will receive four tickets for the event. If the county is designated as gold, each student-athlete/participant will receive two tickets for the event.
If Mercer County is designated as orange, no tickets will be provided for events. If the county is designated as red, all practices, competitions and events will be suspended.
Student-athletes/participants from visiting schools will receive four- tickets if Mercer County is designated as green, two tickets should the county be designated as either yellow or gold and no tickets if the county is designated as orange.
According to school officials, “Only individuals with tickets will be allowed to attend. No passes will be honored. Tickets will be distributed by scheduled event/game. Each ticket is for one game. The school principal will calculate the maximum capacity of the gym to ensure at least six feet of physical distancing between spectators (family groups may sit closer than six feet apart) If maximum capacity cannot be maintained in between games/events, the gymnasium/event site will be cleared in preparation for new game/event. CI cards will not be honored at any games except for opposing teams’ administrators. Mask wearing is mandatory. Anyone refusing to wear a mask will be asked to leave.”
The West Virginia Daily News will provide updates regarding Mercer County Schools’ academic and extracurricular schedule as additional details are made available.