POINT PLEASANT — On Tuesday evening, the Mason County Board of Education is expected to discuss the virtual school options for students in the county.
At the beginning of the school year, students had the option of attending in person, blended classes or virtual school. There were two virtual options — Mason County Teacher-Led or West Virginia Virtual.
On Tuesday evening, one of the agenda items states “Recommend the Board approve to move all Mason County Teacher-Led Virtual School students (with the exception of Dual Credit Classes, Driver Education Classes, Performing Arts Classes, and also students in Moderate Classroom, Alternative Education, and One-On-One students ), to West Virginia Virtual School beginning 2nd semester of the 2020/21 school year.”
Supt. Jack Cullen said he wants to put the discussion on the agenda to be seen so the board could hear the discussions from the public.
Cullen said in the process of moving students to four days in school, they need more teachers in the classrooms to be able to have smaller class sizes. The county and state health departments said there should be no more than 25 students in the classroom.
“If we’re still trying to keep it 25 (students) or less, the only way that we can really do that … is if we take our teachers and bring them back to in-person classes,” Cullen said.
Cullen said the registration for West Virginia Virtual opens Dec. 1. If passed by the board, all virtual students would start the state program at the beginning of the semester, which is Jan. 23.
At the beginning of the year, Cullen and the board recommended students register for the county program, due to the state program being a little more difficult.
Cullen said the state has since hired several teachers throughout the state to teach their virtual program, including a couple from Mason County.
“I still think our own kids with our own teachers is the best plan, but you have to look at all facets of it and consider everything,” Cullen said.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.