MASON COUNTY — Another day, another round of adjustments for Mason County Schools to make, as the coronavirus outbreak response continues to provide its own issues to overcome.
The latest as of Wednesday night:
– The plan to deliver instructional packets via bus drivers on Thursday, March 19 will not happen.
– For those wishing to pick up instructional materials on Thursday, they may do so from 9 – 11 a.m. at the schools.
– Food for Monday and Tuesday (March 23-24) and instructional materials are set to be delivered to students via bus drivers all on Monday, March 23. Food for Monday and Tuesday, may be picked up on Monday from 9-11 a.m. at the schools as well. Instructional packets may also be picked up on Monday, March 23 from 9-11 a.m. at the schools. Many students are accessing their homework online though for those who don’t have access to internet services, paper copies can be provided by calling the school to make those arrangements.
Superintendent Jack Cullen said on Wednesday, the latest guidelines given to superintendents include provisions to determine ways for staff, who do not feel safe, to work remotely. Many government officials are suggesting this to employers as the virus outbreak continues. The idea is to be flexible with staff and capitalize on alternate ways they can contribute. Cullen said those staff members who wish to work remotely must also have a plan and log of activity to account for their tasks and productivity. Also, for example, teachers who wish to work remotely must also develop a plan to be remotely available to students during normal work hours.
According to a summary from Wednesday’s statewide briefing with/for superintendents, children will continue to have access to meals. Counties may have to rethink preparation and distribution of food to determine alternative ways to make that happen. A team at the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is compiling surveys for National Guard assistance.
The summary read, “We know that professional and service personnel, WVDE staff, and community organizations staff across the state will be stepping up to assist. Follow normal food safety protocol and allow volunteers to assist.”
Cullen said it was highly likely some volunteers would be needed and soon. In regards to those who wish to volunteer to assist with food, it was also announced during the briefing on Wednesday, those volunteers do not have to have food handler cards to help with providing children access to meals. Those interested in volunteering should contact their schools.
Another development Wednesday was the directive to provide a mechanism for the public to see/hear county board of education meetings, providing the public with access to those meetings, though remotely, given the concerns over gatherings of more than 10 people. Cullen said utilizing Facebook Live was a possibility for use and more information would be released when available.
Cullen also stressed on Wednesday night, this was all subject to change as this unprecedented situation continues to evolve as do the problems and solutions.
Also, on Wednesday, Cullen rode a school bus to help deliver meals.
“The parents and kids were so appreciative,” Cullen said. “People were looking for us.”
He added “I’m so proud of our staff…they’ve done an outstanding job getting through this, but going forward, we’re going to need help.”