What we know about 2020-2021 …

Published:July 27, 2020

Summer draws nearer to a close and teachers normally would be preparing for school to start in typical fashion.  But we are all acutely aware of the extraordinary circumstances of 2020 and how COVID-19 has already caused significant problems in delivering instruction to our students.  The return to school concerns us, parents, and society as a whole.

Those who wish to see school delayed, or instruction delivered virtually have expressed concern about their child possibly contracting COVID-19.  Another segment of society believes schools should re-open as soon as possible to restore some sense of normalcy and that COVID-19 does not represent a mortal threat to their children.   

Considering the situation schools face, we wanted to share what we know about the 2020-2021 academic year:

1.  We know the majority of students attain higher levels of achievement in their education with in-person instruction.  Remote, or distance learning is not an ideal solution.  Our youngest students need the classroom experience more than the older students.

2. We know the odds.  The data from COVID-19 demonstrates that younger patients tend to have much lower mortality rates than older patients.  If schools re-open utilizing social distancing, masks, and proper sanitary conditions, we can mitigate the chances of infection.  Decreased rates of infections means children would most likely be safe from serious harm.

3. Despite the odds being in our favor, we know not everything goes according to plan.  Preventive measures do not always succeed and proper medical care cannot guarantee a recovery from COVID-19.  However, the gravest concern stems from the fact that a significant number of children in West Virginia live with their grandparents.  Even if our children did not suffer serious harm from a COVID-19 infection, the extremely communicable nature of this virus could harm the primary caregivers for our students.

4. We know parents face difficult decisions in determining the best educational option for their child.We know it because teachers are parents, too.We want every child to receive an education in the safest environment possible.Right now, that’s far less certain than it has been in years past.We are all trying to solve a difficult problem.

5. We know our central office staff and service personnel are working to create as many options as possible and the safest possible school environment.  Within our school system in Cabell County, the central office procured more digital devices and continues to expand wi-fi access.  Last year, Cabell County established hotspots on school buses and transported these around to various locations.

6. We know teachers will rise to the occasion because we have no other choice.  We solve problems and every year, someone asks for us to fit a round peg into a square hole.

7. We know that teachers ands parents must support one another and remember that we are all dealing with a problem unseen in modern history.

We are asking that you support one another, help one another, and make the best choices that you can for your children.  Stay calm, stay cool, stay safe.


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