Taylor County students prepare to begin 2020-2021 school year


TAYLOR COUNTY—As students throughout the county enjoy their last weekend of summer break, school officials would like to remind parents of the county’s staggered start approach for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Beginning on Tuesday, September 8, Taylor County students, who have chosen to return for in person instruction, will once again fill the halls and classrooms of our local schools. However, not all of students will return together. 

Under the staggered start re-entry schedule, the only students that are to report to school on Tuesday, September 8 are those in grades 2,4,6,8,10 and 12 with a last name starting with letters A-L.

The following day, Wednesday, September 9,  students in the aforementioned grades with last names that begin with letters M-Z will report to school.

Later in the week, Thursday, September 10, will be the first day of school for students with last names beginning with letters A-L, who are in grades, 1,3,5,7,9 and 11.

To round out the first week, on Friday, September 10, grades 1,3,5,7,9 and 11 will report, but this day will only be for those students whose last names start with letters M-Z.

According to Taylor County Superintendent of Schools Christy Miller, during this first week, school issued iPad will be deployed to in-school students at each school in grades 3-12, and she is hopeful to host a distribution of iPad to in-school students in grades K-2 the following week.

Students who have chosen to participate in a complete virtual education will not need to report to the school buildings until their designated tablet pickup day, which will happen the following week.

Miller shared that all students in the county, regardless of their grade, who have opted for a virtual education will pick up their tablets via a drive through distribution day, which is slated for Wednesday, September 16 at Taylor County Middle School.

“Parents and guardians will be contacted as soon as possible on times for virtual student pickup. We will post times for virtual pickup on Facebook, on taylorcountyboe.net and do a school messenger call when those times have been set,” she explained. 

Additionally, Miller noted that because they are still awaiting deliveries, there could be changes made to this schedule, but wanted to reassure parents that the BOE is doing all they can to get the iPads to all students as soon as possible.

“If we would, by chance, be forced to go into fully remote learning prior to September 8, we will still deploy the iPads for in-school students on the same days they were originally scheduled to go to school, but we would do it drive through style,”  she added.

After students and staff conquer the initial staggered start week, Tier 3 will officially be in place.

Under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as state and local health officials, the Taylor County Board of Education developed a tier system to allow for safe re-entry. This system coincides with the West Virginia Department of Education’s color-coded metric system.

All Taylor County schools will operate on Tier 3, which is a blend of in person and virtual learning. This will not take effect until the second week of school.

 Beginning on Monday, September 14, students in grades one-12 whose last names begin with letters A-L will appear for in person learning at the school they are enrolled in, on Mondays and Tuesdays. Thursdays and Fridays will be distance learning for this group. Distance learning will be taught by their Taylor County teacher.

The second group, which consists of students in grades one-12, whose last names begin with the letters M-Z will start their school year out with distance learning on Monday September 14. From there every Monday and Tuesday will be their distance learning days, and they will report to the school building for in-person learning on Thursdays and Fridays. 

Wednesday has been designated as a distance learning day for all students and will be utilized as an additional day for sanitation and deep cleaning of all of the schools.

“We again want to thank the community, families, students and staff for their support as difficult decisions and plans are made to support the learning of our students. Together we are Taylor County strong,” voiced Miller.

While Miller along with all of the county’s administration and school personnel understand that there has been an overwhelming amount of information surrounding heading back to school this year, she also wanted to extend a reminder that all Taylor County Schools will be operating on new start and dismissal time schedules.

This year, schools within the county will commence their school days 30 minutes later, and end their days 30 minutes earlier than last year.

 *The staff of the Mountain Statesman would like to wish all of our students and school personnel a safe return to school next week. Please note that the situation surrounding the state’s color-coded metric system and the return to school is extremely fluid and is likely to continue changing. Our staff is dedicated to keeping the community up-to-date on any and all changes that will be made along the way. We appreciate your understanding and support.

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