CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) released the back-to-school guidance for the 2021-22 school year during a press event on Wednesday. The information is designed to provide county school systems with strategies to facilitate the safe return to school and the continued operation of schools without interruption.
The information offers key mitigations for schools and extracurricular activities as well as other protocols to assist counties as they begin the new school year. The document and accompanying website will serve as a resource for educators, families, communities and students.
“This is a new school year, and we are hopeful for a return with no interruption to in-person learning. The academic progress and the social-emotional health of our students depend on it,” said WVBE Vice President Tom Campbell, CPA. “We know the safest place for our students is in our schools following effective mitigation strategies.”
“With guidance from the Governor and state health officials, we are confident our county boards of education will continue to work with their local health departments to make the best decisions based on the data,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “We know the value of in-person learning, and we will continue to focus on engaging the whole child through access to one caring adult and improving outcomes for our students.”
The WVDE recognizes that the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is fluid, and guidance will continuously be revisited to ensure it aligns with Governor Justice’s and public health officials’ best practices. At utmost importance for all considerations of the return to schools is the safety of West Virginia’s students, teachers and the extended education community.
Additionally, the WVBE and WVDE announced changes to the #IGotVaxxedWV competition which launched earlier this summer. The competition will run through the first week of October 2021 and will now award $50,000 to four elementary schools, four middle schools and four high schools with the highest percentage of eligible staff and students vaccinated. The competition will include both public and private schools.
To view the West Virginia School Recovery and Guidance Document and additional information, please visit wvde.us/covid19/. For updates on the coronavirus in West Virginia, please visit coronavirus.wv.gov.