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Wood County, Marietta start up face-to-face classes

Photo by Tyler Bennett Wood County Superintendent Will Hosaflook speaks about the return to in-person learning in Wood County Schools during a press conference Tuesday evening.

PARKERSBURG — It was a successful return for both Wood County and Marietta City Schools as they welcomed back students for the first time in 2021 on Tuesday.

Wood County Schools returned to a blended learning format that is similar to what was used at the start of the school year, except Fridays will now also be in-person learning.

Visiting nine elementary schools in Wood County, Superintendent Will Hosaflook said it was exciting to see everyone from the students to the faculty and staff return to school, exchanging with each other and learning in-person as well as following protocols, including wearing a mask, social distancing and washing their hands.

“I could not be more proud, especially of our teachers, of our service personnel and our administrators. They have done so many things and it’s really hard to put into words when you have to change every week,” Hosaflook said. “To walk through the schools, there’s just a sense of urgency, and there’s a sense of excitement in the air. So I appreciate everyone and please, please stay safe.”

Students will attend using an alternating schedule by two groups. Students in Group A (last name A-K) attend school on campus Mondays and Wednesdays. Students in Group A will learn remotely off-campus on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternating Fridays. Just for this week due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day which fell on Monday, students in Group A will just attend tomorrow and Friday.

Students in Group B (last name L-Z) attend school on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students in Group B will learn remotely off-campus on Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternating Fridays.

Hosaflook also gave a vaccine update, saying they have vaccinated almost 1,000 of the 1,638 WCS staff members and they should be fully vaccinated by Feb. 12. Hosaflook said those numbers wouldn’t have been possible without the help from Gov. Jim Justice’s staff, the West Virginia National Guard and the county’s school nurses

After going fully remote for all students in December right before the holiday break, Marietta City Schools welcomed back students in person for the first time in nearly a month on Tuesday. As it has since the start of the school year, Marietta will continue to use the Cohort system for the foreseeable future, said Superintendent Will Hampton.

The system places half the students in one group and the other half in the other. Students who are part of the Cohort 1 returned to school on Tuesday, while students that are in Cohort 2 will return next Monday, Jan. 25.

Cohort 1 and 2 students will alternate going to school four days a week in person and remote on Monday-Thursday and remote learning for all on Fridays.

“The kids were eager to get back and I know the parents were eager to get them back into school,” Hampton said. “We’re hoping that we can continue with this and maybe expand some of those opportunities down the road. We still have all the safety protocols in place. We’re preaching good hygiene, we’re cleaning. We’re keeping kids as far apart as we can do that. But things have gone very well so far. Just seeing the kids, they’re happy to see their friends again,” he said.

Contact Tyler Bennett at

Tbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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