Williams optimistic about face-to-face instruction starting in Kanawha County soon

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The superintendent of Kanawha County Schools says the county’s numbers are improving because of increased testing.

Tom Williams told MetroNews affiliate WCHS-AM on Thursday he supports increased testing.

“We need everyone to go out and get tested,” he said. “We just hope everybody takes advantage of that so we can get our kids back in school because we want that to happen.”

Kanawha County turned to ‘gold’ on the state Department of Health and Human Resources Friday map. If it stays that way on Saturday’s education map, in-person instruction could begin next week for the firsts time this school year.

Kanawha County Schools has been unable to have face-to-face instruction this school year because of a high rate of cases in Kanawha County.

Williams said when face-to-face instruction is allowed, it will begin with two weeks of blended learning in which students will alternate between virtual and in-school lessons. Williams added the period will provide students the opportunity to understand coronavirus policies.

After the two weeks, Williams said the school system will go forward with face-to-face instruction for students that chose that option.

As for sports and extracurricular activities, Williams said principals and athletic officials are working on forming schedules and getting officials for games.

“The main focus is getting our kids back in the classroom,” he added.

Counties at the gold level of the state Department of Education’s coronavirus map are allowed to have in-person classes as well as sporting events, but schools can only play other schools located in gold counties.