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BACK TO SCHOOL: As COVID-19 cases surge, so does concern for in-person instruction

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MERCER COUNTY (WVVA) -- In its monthly meeting Tuesday night, the Mercer County Board of Education adopted its reentry plan for the 2020-20201 school year.

It offers two options:

In 'Model A,' students will attend in-person 5 shortened days a week. Completion of home learning modules/homework/practice will be a requirement each day.

In 'Model B,' the student body is divided alphabetically, alternating their days of attendance. On days they aren't 'in school,' students will complete home learning modules/activities.

Board leaders say this two-option plan will allow for flexibility around the fast-changing COVID-19 pandemic, and could change depending on the number of active cases in Mercer County.

"If we are at a very low level, then we could look at option A," said Dr. Deborah Akers, Superintendent of Mercer County Schools. "If we're at a higher level, then we would move to the second option."

Akers added its possible that elementary schools will operate under option A, and secondary schools will operate under option B.

But as cases in Mercer County surge, so does concern for in-person instruction.

Nicole McCormick is not only a parent - she's a teacher, and the president of the Mercer County Education Association.

"Any plan that has us in-person at this current time - considering that cases for COVID-19 are higher now than when we closed in March - is not safe," she told WVVA. "And more than not being safe - you are endangering people's lives."

Dr. Deborah Akers tells WVVA that the 'remote learning' model is not an option in Mercer County, unless a State of Emergency is declared by Governor Jim Justice.

However. Mercer County Schools are still offering a 100% virtual option to all students K-12. Click here for more information.

Click here for the full reentry plan.

Jade Burks

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