POINT PLEASANT — Following an emergency meeting of the Mason County Board of Education on Monday, the latest Mason County Schools Emergency COVID-19 Operations Plan has been released for this week, with information for staff, students and parents.
The latest information appears below:
– Central Office staff: Maintain normal work schedule.
– Principals/Assistant Principals: Maintain normal work schedule.
– Counselors/Social Workers: Maintain normal work schedule. Work in conjunction with administrators to help ensure students’ needs are met.
– Nurses: Maintain normal work schedule and should immediately contact parents to determine if medicines housed at school are needed at home. Should periodically check in with parents of students they typically see to determine if any further assistance is needed.
– Maintenance: Maintain normal work schedule.
– Mechanics: Maintain normal work schedule.
– Aides: Work daily from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. Work in conjunction with teachers to make calls to parents, prepare materials. Aides can ride buses during the work day to help distribute lunches and instructional packets.
– Cooks: Work daily from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Families will be able to stop at the school between 10 a.m. and noon to pick up that day’s lunch and breakfast for the next day. Roster maintained at the school for who accepts meals.
– Bus Drivers: Work daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bus drivers will deliver meals and any assignments to schools and families starting at 10 a.m.
– School Custodians: School administrators determine the four hours school custodians work daily and email the schedule to Dr. Bond.
– School Secretaries: School administrators determine the four hours school custodians work daily and email the schedule to Dr. Bond.
– Teachers: On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (March 16-18) teachers must be preparing their instructional lessons, which will begin on Thursday, March 19. Additionally, detailed lesson plans must be completed for Thursday, March 19 through Friday, March 27. Administrators must be informed of the plans. Beginning Thursday, March 19, teachers will begin to work their normal schedules at their assigned location.
– Families will be informed by countywide call-out and social media platforms that they must call the school and let the school know how many meals they need and whether they will pick up the meals at the school between 10 a.m. – noon or have the meals delivered by bus driver to establish bus routes. Delivery location must be given to the schools. Additionally, please let the school know if you have internet access or if you need paper packets picked up at the school or delivered with the meals. Schools must maintain a roster of who accepts meals.
– Any personnel who are immuno-compromised and plan to work from home need to have a doctor’s statement to that effect and a plan from the immuno-compromised individual for working from home. That plan needs to include what the individual will work on (in general terms) while they are home. The doctor statement and the plan needs to be faxed to the board office.
– Schools will be closed until at least March 27.
– Employees are being paid and these days are considered regular school/work days.
– At this time, the current school calendar will not change.
– Plan subject to change as additional information/guidance is received by school officials.
The plan was discussed at Monday’s emergency meeting attended Board members President Jared Billings, Vice President Meagan Bonecutter, Ashley Cossin, Dale Shobe and Rhonda Tennant, as well as Superintendent Jack Cullen.
Invited to the meeting were several other public officials and representatives from different agencies and organizations, some of whom spoke, including (but not limited to), Mason County Commissioners Rick Handley, Tracy Doolittle and Sam Nibert; Point Pleasant Mayor Brian Billings and City Clerk Amber Tatterson; Jennifer Thomas, director of the Mason County Health Department, Sherri Nutter from the health department; Mason County 911 and EMS Director Dennis Zimmerman; Matt Gregg, director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Mason County; Tiffany Stewart from Pleasant Valley Hospital. Also at the meeting, some staff members from Mason County Schools/Board of Education Office.
Handley announced the Mason County Commissioners are holding a special meeting at 4 p.m. today (Tuesday) regarding the county’s response to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of press time, the Mason County Courthouse remains open but making phone calls to take care of court house business is suggested to the public if possible; taxes and registering to vote can be done online at this point. More information on this meeting in an upcoming edition of the Register.
Zimmerman echoed Gregg’s sentiments concerning misinformation in the public. He and Gregg suggested the website coronavirus.wv.gov and 1-800-887-4304 to those with questions about the virus. He added, should the situation escalate, there was a plan to place medical professionals at the 911 Center to field phone calls related to virus concerns. Overall, Zimmerman said “we have a good plan in place” from an EMS standpoint, citing protocols to keep EMS workers and patients safe and the operation running, and supplied, during a crisis.
Both Billings and Tatterson told Zimmerman, if for some reason a city water customer suffered a financial hardship due to a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, arrangements could be made to avoid disconnection, echoing sentiments of at least one other utility company. Billings and Tatterson also announced the city would offer the use of some vehicles and staff to help meet community needs, where needed, during the crisis.
Thomas reported as of that afternoon there were no confirmed reported cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia.
Stewart said meetings had been ongoing regarding PVH’s response to the virus. More on PVH’s response to COVID-19 inside this edition and online at www.mydailyregister.com.
Cullen and the entire board of education thanked their guests to the meeting for providing updates and asked to keep lines of communication open between agencies and organizations who work together. They also recognized the employees of Mason County Schools who were working on meals and assignments and more, in a situation that was changing “by the minute.”
Also thanked by Cullen and the Board were the volunteers who pitched in to make sure those children who couldn’t get to school who needed lunch and breakfast, and their assignments, received them. Bus drivers begin delivery on Tuesday and if any food is left, it will be given to whichever food pantry is closest – for example Crosslight of Hope in Ashton, Point Pleasant Homeless Shelter and the Bend Area Food Pantry.
Cullen said during spring break, Mason County Schools may need to rely on volunteers again to help deliver meals.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.