West Virginia Board of Education holds emergency session

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WDVM) — The West Virginia Board of Education held an emergency session on Wednesday to discuss the three counties in the state still closed for in-person learning.

The counties — Marion, Taylor, and Gilmer counties — are not in compliance with Gov. Jim Justice’s executive order permitting schools to return to in-person instruction. The Board is taking the concerns of parents and school personnel regarding student performance with online learning very seriously and is working to get students back in classrooms as soon as possible.

The Board is not, however, against allowing schools to shut down at their discretion, a practice they’ve maintained since even before the pandemic.

“[Schools have closed] in past years for the flu. We see individual schools shut down when there’s a water main break, or any other issue that they deem is an emergency. So they still retain that right,” said W. Clayton Burch, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools.

The Board will meet again on Tuesday, Jan. 26, and will consider taking action against any counties that continue to go against the board’s request.

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