(WOWK) — To give a comparison to what classrooms will look like upon student arrival for the 2020-2021 school year, 13 News turned to the largest county and smallest county in the Mountain State to show the similarities and differences.
Kanawha County has the largest student enrollment in the state with more than 25,000 students and 68 schools.
Elkview Middle School Principal, Missy Lovejoy said, “we’re very large, but yet we have pockets of very different communities, very different numbers when we’re talking about the COVID-19 numbers, so I think there’s a lot of consideration that needs to be in that as well and school sizes are very different.”
Under the direction of Kanawha County Schools and state health and education officials, Elkview Middle School is doing its best in preparing for the unknown.
“If you come into the building, you will see hand sanitizing station in the hallways … the hallways are taped off so we have oneway pathways through the hallways so there’s no stopping at lockers, we’re going to limit the use of lockers in the momentarily,” Lovejoy said.
Cafeteria seating has been limited and the auditorium will be used for additional eating space.
On a much smaller scale, Wirt County’s student enrollment is roughly 1,000 amongst its three schools, with just a single elementary, middle and high school.
The county will implement a staggered re-entry plan with two groups alternative for the first three weeks.
Wirt County Schools Superintendent, John McKown said, “we want to provide students with the best possible education we can provide and we’re also mindful they missed the last two months of school last year … that we’re also going to have to do some catch up with.”
Precautionary temperature checks will be conducted on the buses and at school entrances, and the board of education funded for air filtration systems that catch airborne viruses and bacteria for the classrooms.
“We’re all anxious for school to get back up and running but we want to do so in as safe of a manner as we can,” McKown said.