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Based on an executive order from Gov. Jim Justice last week, Jefferson County Schools will continue online learning until Jan. 15. On-site classroom instruction will resume for many, but not all, students when the second semester begins on Jan. 19.

Justice said physical distancing, face-covering and disinfecting measures will remain in place after students return to their classrooms.

On-site instruction

Starting on Jan. 19, all other elementary and middle school students who chose on-site instruction for the first semester will return to on-site classroom learning. Those students will continue on-site learning regardless of the county’s community spread of the coronavirus. That spread of the virus is reflected in the state’s color-coded COVID-19 community spread map that was distributed by the West Virginia Department of Education.

Also starting on Jan. 19, high school students who received on-site instruction during the first semester will return to on-site instruction for the second semester. On-site students will return to online learning only when the county’s community spread is coded red.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will take over posting color-coded community spread alerts, a task the state education department had been doing.

Online instruction

Starting Jan. 19, some students will continue online instruction under the governor’s order. Those students include those who either chose to continue online instruction for the second semester or those who were not allowed to change to on-site instruction after selecting online instruction for the first semester.

Jefferson County school officials have said about 180 students who requested to change from online instruction back to on-site learning would not be accommodated due to constraints imposed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic safety restrictions.  

Free meals will continue to be distributed to families with students receiving child nutrition services who continue with online instruction.

After-school activities

A “target date” for the possible start of winter sports and extracurricular activities has been set for March 1. No decision has been made by the governor yet whether or when spring sports might begin.

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