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Wood BOE updates on COVID-19

PARKERSBURG –Superintendent goals and praises, public comments about masks and vaccinations and the approval of a design firm were among topics discussed at Tuesday’s Wood County Board of Education meeting.

Superintendent Will Hosaflook’s goals for the 2021-2022 school year were approved by the board. This year’s goals have not yet been released but in previous years, Hosaflook has focused on improving test scores, utilizing newer technologies and improving facilities.

Hosaflook began the meeting by talking about some of the positive updates around the school district involving STEAM classes, the 9/11 ceremony at Parkersburg High School last week and a decrease in positive COVID cases and quarantines.

Students in seventh and eighth grades visit the Caperton Center every week to participate in projects on the subject of science, technology, engineering, the arts and math, he said.

“I cannot be more impressed with the staff,” Hosaflook said. “Kudos to the STEAM academy and hopefully we can continue to grow that program in the future.”

During the ceremony on 9/11, Hosaflook said Mayor Tom Joyce and Liza Adams — whose daughter, Mary Lou Hague, a Parkersburg High School alumna, died in the attacks — delivered good messages and the students were very well behaved.

“It was a solemn experience, they did a wonderful job,” he said.

With positive COVID numbers and the number of students and staff in quarantine, statistics are going down as compared to the count on Sept. 7.

The number of students in quarantine decreased by about 400. Hosaflook said as of Tuesday, there are 447 students in quarantine, 111 active positive cases which includes students and teachers with 97 of those cases students.

“The mitigation strategies are working. The number one goal this year is to keep students in school. I’ll wear a hazmat suit to school every day if I can keep kids in school,” Hosaflook said. “I want kids in school, they have to be face to face. The guidelines are working now.”

A few community members appeared before the board to speak for five minutes each regarding comments or concerns.

Dr. Isidro Amigo brought up vaccines and expressed his views against vaccinating children.

“The kids don’t need to be vaccinated. Look at all of the pros and all of the cons,” Amigo said.

Community member Tina Richardson suggested to the board that students who are exposed to COVID in their household should get tested before returning back to school after quarantine.

“I feel we are missing an important piece of keeping our kids safe and keeping our schools safe,” she said.

The board also voted to appoint McKinley and Pickering Associates as the district’s architectural and design groups for pre- and post-bond design services for projects.

“I was very impressed,” board president Justin Raber said.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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