CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Board of Education voted Tuesday to return elementary and middle school students to the classroom full time starting next week.
The decision applies to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Those pupils will return to the classroom five days a week starting March 3.
Counties can apply for a waiver for four days of in-person instruction and one day remote learning if a locally designed virtual program is being used. Fully remote teaching is not an option, although families may still individually elect for virtual instruction.
The vote came after Republican Gov. Jim Justice said last week that he would start to roll back COVID-19 public health restrictions as cases have declined statewide in recent weeks.
Justice said at that time he’d sign an executive order dictating that students should resume in-person instruction, but that he would ultimately put the onus on the state board.
The order applies to those students regardless of a county’s status on the Department of Health and Human Resource’s color-coded daily map.
The state board passed a second motion saying high school students should attend school in-person five days per week unless the county is red on the state’s COVID-19 daily alert map.