Gov. Justice Announces Closure of All West Virginia Schools Until Jan. 19


Courtesy WV News

LC BOE members met before the school year to discuss the re-entry plans. Pictured above, L to R: Kenny Lowther, Jim Flesher, Phyllis Hinterer, and Dave Bush. Not pictured is BOE Member Mike Holden who was attending virtually.

Taylor Beam, Section Editor

Gov. Jim Justice announced during a December 20 press briefing that all West Virginia schools will be closed until January 19. This announcement came in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state, most likely due to the holiday season. 

As of Jan. 5, West Virginia had more than 93,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. The state has recently hit a new peak of 2,486 cases reported on the first day of the new year.  

According to Gov. Justice, when schools re-open, elementary and middle schools will operate 5 days a week, as well as high schools in counties that aren’t red on the DHHR County Alert System map. Students will still have the option to continue virtual learning.  

One-third of our students are receiving failing grades in at least one of their core classes. The virtual learning models do not work for many students without consistent, live engagement from a teacher,”  Governor Justice said.

Locally, the LCBOE voted 3-2 to return to a four-day a week blended in-person/virtual curriculum county-wide plan Monday, January 11. Leaders said this model will be like the one followed before Christmas.

Students at all schools will learn virtually if the county is red on the County Alert Map.

Mr. John Whiston, who recently received his first round of the COVID-19 vaccine, says the high school will continue with the same schedule as before winter break.

“LCHS faculty and staff came up with these plans back in March and although we’ve had to close down, we’ve had a lot more luck than other places. I hope we continue to be lucky. We hope that everyone is following the guidelines so we can all stay safe,” Whiston said.

All students will continue virtual learning until in-person school resumes on January 19.

Gov. Justice also announced that all winter sports and extracurricular activities will be postponed until March 1.