FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WV Information) — The Marion County Board of Schooling held its remaining assembly of 2021 Monday night, and whereas the yr could quickly be over, officers consider they might be coping with the COVID-19 pandemic for fairly some time longer.
At Monday’s assembly, Donna Hage introduced that eight new circumstances of the virus had been detected in faculties to this point this week, and as a result of a spike in in-school circumstances final week, two faculty basketball groups, a wrestling staff and a swimming staff are at the moment beneath quarantine.
“We think we’re in an uptick of COVID cases, with it trending very much with the state and nation,” Hage informed WV Information. “We have done a wonderful job as a school system in doing everything we possibly can to mitigate the spread of the virus. … We currently are under a mask mandate until the end of the first semester.”
The plan for the final semester was to revisit the masks mandate as soon as the semester ends in January, however Hage mentioned that the latest spike in circumstances and the quickly spreading Omicron variant are more likely to hold the mandate in place, though no selections will probably be made till mid-January.
“If you would have asked me a couple of weeks ago, I would have been cautiously optimistic that we could look to remove those masks or at least make them optional, but I talk to (the Marion County Health Department) regularly, and it looks like, with this uptick of numbers, we might have to continue with the mask mandate,” Hage mentioned.
Forward of the assembly, Marion County Board of Schooling President Mary Jo Thomas informed WV Information that she believes the county has dealt with the pandemic properly, and whereas she is aware of that there are extra obstacles to beat sooner or later, she feels that the county’s central workplace employees, principals, lecturers and personnel can get it accomplished.
“I think we’ve done very well, and better than some anticipated,” Thomas mentioned. “We wish it all went away. We wish we had a magic wand and there were no more outbreaks or people affected by it, but that’s not going to happen. I think that, top-down and bottom-up, the principals and all have done a fabulous job in working through this and getting kids caught up. …
“It’s tough, because they did lose basically a year-and-a-half of their schooling, so we’re playing catch-up, but I think everybody is putting forth a team effort, and Marion County Schools is going strong,” she added.
Throughout the assembly itself, the board acknowledged each Fairmont Senior Excessive Faculty’s soccer staff and Fairmont Senior’s cheerleading staff for his or her spectacular performances throughout the latest state championships.
Towards the tip of the assembly, Hage briefly spoke about issues with vaping — each of nicotine and THC — that the county has lately seen in faculties, and what the county is doing to fight it.
“There’s some litigation going on in West Virginia for vaping,” Hage mentioned. “We do have a vaping cessation problem that we have in collaboration with MVA. We have several students who have completed that. Those are four 30-minute sessions that a student has to do when they are found vaping in one of our schools. We have also handled several expulsions related not to nicotine, but THC (vaping products) in Marion County Schools.”
Hage additionally provided an replace on the upcoming STEAM room being constructed on the former East Fairmont Center Faculty constructing, which, when accomplished subsequent yr, will provide center schoolers the possibility for some hands-on studying.
“We’re very excited about that,” Hage mentioned. “We’re still moving along our timelines that have been adjusted due to availability of furniture and equipment. We’ll finish the painting on Friday, and we’ll start on the floors and masonry aspects of that. We’re still set, if our furniture arrives, to open that up mid-January for the fifth through eighth graders.”
Fairmont Information Editor John Mark Shaver will be reached at 304-844-8485 or email@example.com.