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OC Schools Superintendent Miller: WPHS Graduation Still Set For August 2

WHEELING – Wheeling Park High School’s graduation date is still set for Aug. 2 — at least for now, according to Ohio County Schools Superintendent Kim Miller.

Miller spoke of the 2020 graduation ceremony, and the start of the upcoming 2020-21 school year at the start of Monday night’s board of education meeting.

Her words just after Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday a directive restricting public events in the state to fewer than 25 people

“We are moving forward with graduation plans,” Miller said. “We are still going to try to work on this as an ‘essential event,’ as we believe graduation to be an ‘essential event.'”

She said at this time the WPHS graduation is still set for Aug. 2 inside WesBanco Arena.

Ohio County Schools Attendance Director Amy Minch, until recently the principal at WPHS, has been working with Denny Magruder, executive director at WesBanco, to assure proper social distancing practices will be in place for graduation.

Thus far, Ohio County Health Administrator Howard Gamble has given his approval for graduation plans, she said.

“It’s going to look a little different, but the kids are going to be together one last time,” Minch said. “It’s not about us and the parents. It’s about the kids, and that’s our goal at the end of the day.”

About 350 are set to graduate from WPHS, and current plans call for each of the graduates to receive two tickets each to the ceremony at WesBanco Arena.

In addition, the school district is working with West Liberty University to broadcast the graduation live on its television station, on Facebook and on YouTube.

As for the start of the school year, Miller said she and other school officials are working to develop a re-entry plan.

“We plan on holding several meetings — with administrators, with faculty senate chairpeople, LSIC (local school improvements council) parents and service personnel — so we can prepare a re-entry that will meet the needs of the community,” she said.

“We will bring that information to the board at a future meeting, and will continue to work with the health department.”

Miller said the school district still plans to have in-person classes five days a week, though this could change based on the number of coronavirus cases in the county.

The school district will develop a plan for a “hybrid” type of learning using both in-school days and remote learning days during the week, or to go all remote learning if necessary.

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