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Justice extends West Virginia school closings until April 20

Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va. — Greg Jordan Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va.

March 26-- Mar. 26--CHARLESTON -- Due to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that all public and private schools will remain closed with plans to reopen on April 20, the state Department of Education announced.

During this closure period, pre-k-12 public and private school facilities will not provide traditional, in-person instructional opportunities.

To align with Justice's top priority, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will continue to work closely with counties to ensure children are fed, department officials said. The WVDE Office of Child Nutrition has worked with counties, the West Virginia Division of Tourism, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the West Virginia National Guard to meet children's nutritional needs.

"During this unparalleled time, we must avoid assuming that continuity of education outside of typical school buildings only can occur through online means. Counties will continue to provide student engagement opportunities using learning materials, phone contact, email, technology-based virtual instruction or a combination of all of the above to meet student needs," WVDE officials said. "Forthcoming guidance regarding student engagement will be grounded in compassion, communication and common sense rather than traditional compliance measures that most are accustomed to in our education community."

"Our schools are the backbone of communities," said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch said. "It is important that our families are supported during this time in our state. We appreciate the governor's guidance and support of West Virginia children. We have all had to pull together and find ways to address unforeseen challenges, and I know our hard working educators and school personnel will do what is needed to support our children."


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