Raleigh County BOE votes to send kids back to school full time

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — On Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, Raleigh County Board of Education members met to discuss whether they would allow students to return to school five days a week.

During the meeting, several passionate parents attended to share their thoughts and concerns.

“Even if we do it scared, lets do it,” said one parent. “Kids are suffering and it’s just not good, you have the power to change that,” said another concerned parent.

Those parents got their wish as the members of the board voted unanimously to allow K-12 students to return to a full in-person education starting March 1, 2021.

They were not the only ones who were excited. Christopher Toney represents Raleigh County in the WV House of Delegates, but he is a school bus driver for the area as well. He said he is excited to have a bus full of students again.

“For me as an employee and a delegate, I am actually thrilled that they are going back,” said Delegate Toney.

This decision comes only hours after the WV State Board of Education voted for the same thing.

Raleigh County Superintendent David Price said he never felt pressured by the state or parents to come to this decision. At their first board of education meeting of 2021, he said they were planning on making this very decision at the end of February.

“As long as I know that the decision I make is in their best interest and I know it is in their best interest and I have research to back that up, I feel very confident about it,” said Price.

Price said the COVID-19 protocols will not change and masks, social distancing, and cleaning will be just as important as ever.

“There is still a long way to go, and we will address it on individual needs on an individual basis like we have all year,” said Price.

He said per the state protocol, if the county were to return to red on the county alert map, all high schools would return to remote education.

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