Mercer County school officials make plans for spring, summer

Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va.
·2 min read

Feb. 16—PRINCETON — Mercer County Schools officials are making plans for spring and summer programs which will help students get back into a regular routine and catch up on work as the numbers of COVID-19 cases decline.

The Mercer County Board of Education issued a statement Wednesday outlining plans for the coming months.

"The 2020-2021 school year has been extremely different than years past due to the coronavirus pandemic," school officials said. "The school day was shortened, masks became mandatory, social distancing enforced, and for middle and high school students, the Blended Model B schedule (in which students came to school every other day) became the norm. In certain circumstances, some classrooms and schools had to move to all remote learning."

Teachers were trained to us Schoology, a new online learning platform, and spent a lot of time teaching their students to use this platform to ensure that their educations could continue on remote days when they were not in class.

"All Mercer County Schools' employees and students have made the most of an unusual situation," according to the board of education. "Now as cases seem to be on a decline and the fact that many of our employees have been vaccinated, Mercer County Schools is looking ahead to reconnect students with school and their innate love of learning."

The school system is now looking to summer.

"Plans are currently underway for summer programs for all grade levels to give students a chance to get back to socializing, reviewing skills to close the achievement gap created by the pandemic, and provide experiences such as field trips, physical activity, and fun," school officials said. "Safety protocols will still be in place during these learning camps such as small cohort groups, handwashing, and lots of outside time. Middle and high school students will have the opportunity for credit recovery classes during the summer as well."

Students will have help to catch up with any work that was hindered by the pandemic restrictions.

"In addition, Mercer County Schools plans to have opportunities available for struggling students this spring such as after-school programs to cover skill deficits and assistance in all subjects. Teachers will identify students who would benefit from extra instruction, and parents/families will be contacted," according to the board of education. "Please be on the look-out for additional information on these programs as they are being planned. We look forward to reconnecting, learning, and exploring over the spring and summer with our students."

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com