Superintendent: No mask mandate for start of school year
PARKERSBURG — It was announced that Wood County Schools will not be having a mask mandate on the opening of school during Tuesday’s meeting of the Wood County Schools Board of Education.
As part of his superintendent update, Superintendent Will Hosaflook said the district has not been given any executive order or directive from Gov. Jim Justice’s office nor the state Department of Health and Human Resources to have masks in school as of right now.
“We have been given no executive order, no directive to have masks in school, as of right now. However an executive order can change everything because an executive order is the law, and we’ve all taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and the state laws,” Hosaflook said. “I do not think that the executive order will come, as far as I’m concerned. The law has not been provided to us, so we will start the school year Page 1 without a mask.”
Hosaflook also stated that strategies that were put in last year will still take place, with or without the mask mandate. Some examples he noted were applying hand sanitizer when walking in a classroom or school bus, to possibly using social distant cohorts during class or lunch.
More details will be available later today in a press release from central office, according to Hosaflook.
The school board also heard a presentation from Jonathan Farley, director of Information Technology, on the new optional damage waiver to protect students’ iPad and replace them if they are damaged.
The damage waiver will cost $30 a year to the student’s guardian, but if a family has two or more Wood County students, it will only cost $60 to cover the entire household’s devices.
The first cost to replace a cracked screen will be fully covered by the waiver, the second replacement will cost $75. According to Farley, paying for both the waiver and the second replacement will still be cheaper than repairing the screen outright.
“This is an optional damage waiver. If a parent wants to do this, great. If they do not want to do this, great. So without the waiver, you take that risk but it is your choice as parents,” Farley said. “We have to take care of this privilege to have a great tool. I would have loved to have something like that when I was a child in school.”
Farley said that if a student’s iPad doesn’t suffer any damage, then that year’s money will roll over into next year. However, if a student does have a break and is not in the waiver program, that student will be asked to buy into the program next year.