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Back to School: a progress report on how two Mercer County Schools are doing during the pandemic

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MERCER COUNTY, W.Va (WVVA) - Mercer Elementary School is hoping to end the school year like it started. As of Oct. 13, there have been no reported COVID-19 cases at the school among staff or students.

"We work really hard to keep everybody safe and we (are reminded) everyday how to keep our staff and our students safe."

Kelli Stanley, Principal of Mercer School

Principal Stanley says it is a day-to-day effort to face the challenges the presented by the pandemic.

"We have been trying to navigate when a child just doesn't feel well, or has allergies, or just has a (stomach) ache, and what we need to do and how we can help parents do what they need to do...so we make sure everyone is feeling well and not spreading anything in the school."

Kelli Stanley, Principal of Mercer School

When the doors opened at Mercer School, WVVA spoke with 3rd grade teacher Wenna Aboulhosn, who talked about feeling like a rookie, even though she has more than 20 years of experience.

In fact, she said the pandemic protocols made her feel like a first-year teacher on their first day. However, according to Aboulhosn, that is no longer the case.

"We have got into a very nice routine. All the kids are being really good with their safety habits, with their distancing and wearing their masks. We are just building them up daily with their academics."

Wenna Aboulhosn, 3rd grade teacher at Mercer School

At Princeton Senior High School, things have been tougher. They have had about six confirmed positive COVID-19 tests already this school year.

Princeton High Principal Tom Adkins spoke with WVVA about how education is actually sliding down the priority list.

"A lot of times at my desk at least, education is not the main priority and that is sad that we have to spend so much time worrying about our health and safety and just protocols and procedures, where really we are here to educate the future."

Tom Adkins, Principal of Princeton Senior High School

WVVA spoke with several students who say they feel educators are doing everything they can to keep them safe at Princeton High, but they added that COVID-19 has made this year more difficult.

Stick with WVVA for the latest updates.

Brandon Lawson

Weekend Meteorologist

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