Kanawha County Schools close to a reentry plan

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A school reentry plan in Kanawha County is close to being completed, according to Superintendent Dr. Tom Williams.

The leader of the state’s largest school system appeared on Tuesday’s 580-LIVE on 580-WCHS and said there is another reentry committee meeting scheduled for Thursday with stakeholders such as principals, teachers, parents, and education union leaders as opposed to officials on his administration.

“We’ve had several meetings and we are almost there with a plan,” Williams said. “Hope to have it out to the board members next week so they can have a look at and we can discuss it at the August 3 curriculum meeting.”

School reentry plans for each county are due to the state department of education by August 14. The plan for public schools in West Virginia remains to begin on Tuesday, September 8 with five days a week, in-person classes.

Williams said he remains hopeful for a five day school week but knows things can change with the pandemic.

“The governor is the only one who can close down our school system completely and he has said that this year, it would probably by county by county rather than statewide so we are planning for all options,” Williams said.

Williams noted teachers in Kanawha County will have 10 days in the building before the students come into the school. He said most of that time will be reviewing Schoology, the district’s learning management system.

On Schoology, teachers are able to post assignments, videos, communities with students, post grades, and more should the school system be forced to use remote learning.

“We are really focusing on Schoology which is our learning management system,” Williams said. “Parents need to understand that this year, if we would have to go to remote learning, the grades are going to count. Parents really need to understand how to use Schoology.”

Williams said there is no doubt among administrators, teachers and students that the goal and the want are to return to the physical classroom. He said students will have a harder time learning critical skills if fully remote.

“Teaching a child to read, in kindergarten, first and second grade that is so vitally important. If these kids don’t learn how to read, we could have a whole generation of kids that could be behind.”