FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Schools are preparing to welcome students back, but some counties are still unsure of what their guidelines will be this year.
Marion County school officials are finalizing their guidelines for a safe school year.
The county has already decided that all Marion County schools from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 will return to full five day a week in-person class.
Students in grades 6-12 do have the option for distance learning through West Virginia Virtual Schools that is offered through the West Virginia Department of Education.
Marion County school officials have been working with the Health Department to monitor cases in the county. Superintendent Donna Hage said they are waiting until they get closer to the start of classes to decide on mask and vaccine mandates.
“Marion County schools did a good job with mitigation strategies last year and we plan to keep those in place,” Hage said. “Those were just good measures, good sound measures to do everything that we possibly can to mitigate the transmission of the virus and in the coming days we’ll be pushing out information to our families about clinics we will be offering in each of our three high school theater areas.”
Llyod White, Marion County Health Department administrators said he’s concerned about kids going back to school while the delta variant is in Marion County and is still recommending everyone wear a mask in crowded areas regardless of vaccination status.
“Our message is still going to be clear we’ve got to work on preventative efforts and of course that starts with vaccination,” White said. “We still would encourage anyone and everyone to please get the vaccine. Secondly, take preventative control measures; I still believe wearing a mask and social distancing are the two best things we have outside of vaccinations so we’re going to encourage that and hopefully if everyone will do their part we can get through this thing.”
The Marion County board of education will have a meeting on Aug. 10 with the Marion County Health Department to decide on guidelines.
Teachers return to school on Aug. 18, students return on Aug. 24.