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Greenbrier County Schools roll out re-entry plan

LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVVA) Greenbrier County was the latest in a stream of county school systems to roll out their re-entry plan on Friday.

The county will be taking a similar approach to others across the state in implementing a two days on, three days off approach for secondary students. While some school systems have implemented a similar approach at the elementary level, Greenbrier County decided to send those students back five days a week.

At a board meeting on Friday, leaders said it was input from law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney that played a big role in the decision, pointing to a rise in domestic violence and neglect cases right now. They said studies show elementary schools students are the most vulnerable in those situations. Instead, those students will have a 90 minute early release to allow teachers time for cleaning and help with virtual work.

"Children, many times, do need child care and school is a safe place for them. If the metrics allow, we'll do five days a week," said Greenbrier County Schools Head Nurse Paula McCoy.

Secondary students will be on a different schedule, explained Superintendent Jeff Bryant.

"Group A will come on Mondays and Thursdays. Group B will come on Tuesdays and Fridays. The reason we decided to do that is in the event that we do have a case, a student comes into contact with the virus, that will allow us more time to do contract tracing rather than have two groups back-to-back."

Bryant said Plan 'A' only works if West Virginia stays below a three percent infection rate.

"Then we go to a 50-50 plan for all schools, elementary and secondary. In school two days a week and out three. Each school will work out the details of what that 50-50 plan looks like."

Only Gov. Jim Justice can implement 'Plan C,' which sends all students to remote learning.

"The challenge for all schools in West Virginia is it's truly a fluid system. Although we have a plan that we've developed, on page one it says that plan can change immediately," adds Bryant.

Another component of the plan is face masks and shields. All students in grades Pre-K through 12th will be given and required to wear either a face mask or face shield.

No matter which plan Greenbrier County Schools end up on throughout the year, school leaders say the remote feeding program will continue.

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Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

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