Changes are a constant now for school personnel as well as students across Wyoming County.
On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice again extended the statewide school closure, this time through April 30, to slow the spread of COVID-19. And at a Thursday press conference, the governor said he is resisting pressure from legislative leaders from both political parties to keep children out of schools for the rest of the year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Thursday, the virus had been blamed for two deaths in West Virginia.
The spring break, originally scheduled for this week in Wyoming County, has been moved to the last week of school, explained Deirdre Cline, county schools superintendent.
“Due to the need to continue services to our children, we have received approval from the West Virginia Department of Education to modify our school calendar,” Cline said.
“Whether we return to school or not, our last day of the school year will now be June 4, instead of June 11.
“The central office is working to provide proactive solutions and plans, but we are also mindful of the ever-changing nature of the guidance and support from the governor and the West Virginia Department of Education,” Cline said.
As the statewide school closure persists, volunteers from both the school system and communities continue working to feed children across the county.
On April 1, the volunteers produced 42,226 meals for students.
“Since the school closure began (March 16), Wyoming County has produced 107,768 meals for children. Unbelievable! Phenomenal!” Cline said.
Pick-up and distribution sites remain at Westside and Wyoming County East high schools from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on “Super Wednesday.”
With bus drivers continuing to volunteer, deliveries will also be made via bus routes.
Any child in Wyoming County may receive five breakfasts and five lunches each Wednesday, Cline said.
The drivers are also providing weekly person-to-person contact for students who may also be in need of personal care items, clothing, instructional materials, or other things, the superintendent explained.
“Our feeding program will continue throughout the school closure,” Cline said.
“The volunteers from our school system have made this effort possible. All over the county, there are stories affirming the impact of this program for our children.
“This COVID-19 pandemic is stressful, scary, and full of challenges, but together we will come through this unprecedented time,” Cline said.
“I continue to be so inspired, humbled, and grateful beyond words, for the service that our employees are providing to our children, both in your words and actions,” Cline wrote to employees in a letter. “Your love, energy, and dedication is certainly on display for the world to see! TOGETHER, you are carrying on our sacred service to children!”