Parent reacts to West Virginia Department of Education’s school scenarios for upcoming year

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — COVID-19 changed the way students learn. Although it is summer, educators are looking forward to the upcoming school year.

The West Virginia Department of Education released three possible scenarios for when class is back in session. Clayton Burch is the State superintendent of West Virginia Schools. He said the first scenario is intended for elementary schools. Students would return to a four day school week, and staff would clean extensively on the fifth day.

“They are the most vulnerable. They are the least likely to do any type of independent learning,” Burch said.

The second scenario is intended for high schools and middle Schools. Burch said students would have a mix of in-classroom and virtual learning.

“Trying to mitigate traffic in the hallways and on the buses. So, we want to be able to give flexibility to the districts, that if they need to do some creative scheduling and blended learning, with both on site and virtual for middle school and high school, we want to give them that flexibility,” Burch explained.

But some local parents, like Leigh Vredeveld, believe this is not the answer.

“It’s going to be unfortunate for our children,” Vredeveld said.

Vredeveld is worried about her daughter, who is heading into eighth grade. She works full time, and will not be able to hold her daughter accountable on the remote learning days.

“For my daughter, yes. I will have to stay on her. And it will be a challenge, it will,” Vredeveld said.

Vredeveld said students have already gone through so much during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said maybe school will be the one piece of normal they have back in their lives.

“I just think they need to be in a formal setting. Kids do crave that. They may say they don’t like school, but when you take it away, they miss it. They really do,” Vredeveld said.

The WVDE plans to release more information later on in the month. The third scenario is in case of a COVID-19 outbreak in an area. Schools would then turn completely to online learning.

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