POINT PLEASANT — Mason County Schools Superintendent Jack Cullen gave an update on the COVID-19 crisis and school closures during the board meeting on Tuesday evening.
All board members were present during the meeting, which was streamed on YouTube, allowing the public remote access to the meeting.
Board members expressed their appreciation of staff, parents and students during this time when schools are closed and learning procedures have changed.
Cullen said the school system is working to make these changes as best as they can. Cullen also told the board that Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency, which allows him to give specific orders. Of those orders, Justice told education to feed and educate their students.
Cullen said on Monday, staff passed out food for the rest of the week. For families who wish to be on the list to receive food, Cullen urged them to email or call the principal at their child’s school. Email addresses can be found on school websites. Next week is the scheduled spring break for Mason County Schools and Cullen said they will not be preparing food packs for the students. However, Cullen said many of the local food banks are working to provide more food for the students.
Following spring break, if schools are still closed, Cullen said they would provide food for students each week they are closed through the scheduled school year.
Cullen said teachers are doing their best to provide lessons for students online. Cullen has a conference call on Wednesday to discuss broadband services for Mason County because many students do not have access to internet at home.
There have been many questions that Cullen has received throughout this closure. He addressed those questions on Tuesday night. The following points were given by Cullen:
– Employees will continue to get paid, because these are work days and the days out of the school buildings will not be made up.
– All sports contracts will be honored and paid.
– Long-term substitutes will remain in their paid positions.
– Day-today substitutes are not typically eligible for unemployment, but WorkForce WV is waiting for guidance from the government.
– Extra-curricular positions will be paid.
The board members also expressed their appreciation of Cullen’s efforts during the closure.
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.