Duncan Slade Published

School Board Grants 14 Counties Approval for 4-Day, In-Person Instruction Through School Year’s End

Empty classroom, school, classroom, desks

West Virginia education officials emphasized the importance of in-person instruction during a Wednesday meeting of the state board of education.

State Superintendent Clayton Burch said most school systems in West Virginia are offering five days a week of in-person instruction while 14 counties have been granted a waiver to offer four days of in-person classes.

He said counties with the waiver are using their fifth day for a variety of purposes such as providing teachers with the time to keep up with students who remain in full-time virtual learning.

W. Clayton Burch, Interim Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce.

WV Governor’s Office
State Superintendent Clayton Burch

Around 40,000 students are still completely online but Burch said this number is decreasing and he expects all students to return to in-person learning next school year.

State board of education members, as well as the superintendent, emphasized the importance of in-person classes for students.

“The more and more I’ve watched this pandemic, every single day a school is not open to children is a day that I’m worried they don’t have access to the supports,” Burch said. “And that’s academic, that’s the folks that look out for them, that’s a meal.”

The state board decided they won’t require counties to go five days a week with less than two months left in the school year but as counties plan for the fall, they want to see schools open five days a week.