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Superintendent Miller Glad Younger OCS Students Can Return to Class

Miller

WHEELING — Ohio County Schools Superintendent Kim Miller said she is excited at least younger students soon will be returning to their classrooms.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday in-school learning for elementary and middle schools students will resume Jan. 19. High school students, meanwhile, will continue remote learning as long as the county remains “red” on the Department of Health and Human Resources COVID alert map.

“I’m happy because I think it is so important our kids are back in school,” Miller said. “We know that it is better for the mental and emotional states, as well as their academic state. I was very happy our kids could go back to school.”

The next step is for central office staff to make contact with any parents not wishing for their child to return to school on Jan. 19, and make other arrangements, according to Miller.

In the coming days classrooms will be even more rearranged to provide for safe social distancing, she said.

“We will be working with teachers to make sure they have enough PPE (personal protective equipment), that they are ready and they feel safe,” Miller said.

“It’s like we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with vaccinations coming out and people feeling more comfortable with vaccinations. Then maybe we can get our students back into sports, because that is important to them as well.”

Miller said Ohio County Schools will be working with the State Department of Education and the Ohio County Health Department to craft a vaccination plan for all school employees.

Justice’s edict on Wednesday calls for all school employees over the age of 50 to be vaccinated first, then for all other employees in the following days.

Miller said Ohio County Schools hopes to have a plan for the vaccinations in place by next week.

“We’re ready for this to be over, and we will do whatever it takes to get our kids back in school,” she said “We want all our students, teachers and employees to be safe.”

But Miller said she is the mother of a high school student who will still be learning from home, and she sees the effect it is having.

“I know how important it is for high school students to have normalcy, so we will be watching the maps, and how it will impact our high school kids,” she said. “Hopefully, we will get them back soon, as well.

“We know from talking to parents and students that kids learn better in school with their teachers, and the faster we get them in the better.”

When they return to school, students will be required to follow the Centers for Disease Control requirements as they pertain to hand washing and wearing masks, according to Miller.

“I think everyone can say the kids are better off in school….,” she said. “Now it is to the point we know it is critical to get them back in school, as we have a lot of ground to make up in the coming weeks and months.”

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