Kanawha County elementary schools remain on remote learning due to COVID-19

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two Kanawha County elementary schools that have been on remote learning due to COVID-19 should return to in-person learning on Wednesday, Jan 19, school superintendent Dr. Tom Williams told 580-WCHS.

Kanawha City Elementary School was forced to go to remote learning Wednesday and Bridgeview went to remote learning Thursday. The school system has Monday off with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and a scheduled professional development day for Tuesday where students do not report.

According to Kanawha County Schools’ (KCS) COVID-19 cases page on Thursday, Bridgeview has 12 active cases and Kanawha City has eight.

“We have a number of cases in those two schools with staff and students. We met the criteria to go ahead and close those two schools after consultation with the health department,” Williams told 580-WCHS.

The West Virginia Department of Education lists the following on “Considerations for Closing” in its COVID-19 protocols:

Schools may consider closing individual classrooms for a 10-day period when rapid transmission occurs in a classroom to slow transmission. Schools should use the threshold five or more students in a single classroom or if 10% of the classroom has COVID-19, whichever is greater.

Schools may consider closing for a 5-day period to slow transmission if recommended by the local health department to the county superintendent based on meeting one of the thresholds:

» School is unable to maintain a safe school environment due to the number of staff out.

» School baseline absenteeism is double the average daily absences due to students out with COVID-19.

Williams indicated that the school system has had a hard time finding enough substitute teachers to fill in for sick teachers. He said students are prepared for remote learning.

“They have their iPads that we give all kids. Their teaches get on Schoology. They can pull them up, look at them and talk ot them,” Williams said.

Williams noted that any students in these two elementary schools can pick up meals Friday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at their school location.