It is a difficult situation to make decisions for schools and school activities with so many variables that change often in the current pandemic situation. We are not lightly making the decisions without checking available information. Part of the difficulty is that we are uninformed because all of this is new. Prior knowledge does not exist for this pandemic. Best practices are being realized on the fly as we progress.
We believe that extra-curricular activities such as athletics and the arts are a very important part of schools and of great interest to students. This belief is consistent in the support given to make them an important part of schools. We also believe by reports from Athletic Directors and Coaches, that our students, coaches and volunteers are practicing social distancing and other protocols according to plans submitted. We commend them for their actions.
We are not sure of the safe practices at other social gatherings in the community outside of school activities and the impact it may have on school activities. It is recommended by the Governor and the state for us to follow the advice and recommendations of our local health departments. We are complying with that advice and recommendations. The Governor and state want contact tracing completed to confirm more localized reduction of risks, instead of shutting the whole state down again. Mitigation of risks is very important. We are working with the health department to see, without breaking confidentiality, how much information we can obtain from contact tracing and positive cases for decision making on a more targeted basis. Currently, we are relying on self-reporting alone. As we move forward, self-reporting will remain a very important part of continued progress to maintain keeping schools and activities open. It is our goal to resume activities with better information as soon as we can. We are trying to reduce the risks and keep everyone safe.
In-person graduation ceremonies for West Virginia schools are permitted starting June 22, 2020, in outdoor venues only.
All of the Graduation Ceremonies in Marion County will be live-streamed on each high school’s Facebook page.
Given that at this time there is no way to mitigate all the risks involved in attending public events, people must make their own decisions on whether or not to attend large capacity activities given their own or their family’s health vulnerabilities.
Outdoor events must be structured to allow for appropriate social distancing and other safety measures to be in place.
Safety Precautions that everyone is expected to follow:
Please self-monitor with the following questions prior to attending any graduation ceremony.
If you have had any of these symptoms in the 24 hours prior to the event or are feeling ill at the time of the event, you must stay home.
Please help us keep everyone safe by self-monitoring your own symptoms and following the safety precautions.
It pulls at your heart not to let more people attend, but having the event at all is of concern for the spread of the coronavirus. We hope our community understands the dilemma of taking the chance to hold a large capacity event. Decisions are not easy in these times. The larger the crowd, the higher the risk factors. The smaller the crowd, the lower the risk factors. Making a choice for the safety of our students and community should be viewed as the right choice. We value everyone’s understanding.
Parent Re-Entry Survey
After receiving guidance for Fall Re-Entry from the West Virginia Department of Education June 10, 2020, we are asking parents and guardians to answer the following questions to collect community attitudes and insights as we develop the Marion County Schools' Re-Entry Plan.
The scenarios presented assume that there will not be an outbreak at the time school opens. If an outbreak occurs and a stay-at-home order is issued, schools will likely return to full remote delivery of instruction. Please respond to the survey questions based on your current comfort level and assume that there is no outbreak. This survey may be recirculated at a later date to assess changes in attitudes and comfort levels.
Please complete a survey for each child in your household.
Clarification on “Re-starting” Athletics in Marion County Schools
Over the past several weeks, the WVSSAC staff has been developing a plan for the “re-start” of athletics for the Summer of 2020. They worked closely with the Governor’s office, the WVDE and the WVDHHR. They also obtained guidance from the National Federation of High Schools.
Superintendents received an email from Mr. Dolan of the WVSSAC on May 29, 2020 with the “re-start” plan for athletics for the Summer of 2020, WVDHHR guidance for organized camps and WVDHHR guidance for businesses and employers.
On June 1, 2020 at the Marion County Board of Education meeting, the superintendent included these documents in his report to the board, noting that the three-week period had been moved to start on July 5, 2020.
The WVSSAC guidelines were developed with one primary objective – the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff. While the guidelines may not be optimal for some, we believe they will allow us to bring students and staff back to school campuses in the safest manner possible, given the most current information we have available at this time regarding COVID-19. We have been asked to monitor the activities closely in our athletic programs and make adjustments as we proceed, if we see there is reason for any needed changes.
The superintendent asked for three basic things to be put in place beyond the guidance from the WVSSAC. Those three basic things were: signage outlining safety reminders for use of the facilities, assistance from volunteers for sanitizing and a written plan for how each coach would implement the WVSSAC’s guidelines based upon their group’s individual situations. The guidelines of the WVSSAC can be found at this link: https://governor.wv.gov/Documents/Covid%20Additional%20Guidances/Summer%20Guidance%20Draft%20Final%20May%2029.pdf
Following that, the superintendent asked for administrators, athletic directors and coaches to meet and report back the results of the meetings. They met and the results reported back to the superintendent at 10:30 PM on June 4, 2020 were the following:
Marion County Schools
Phase I, II and III Plan
The number one goal of Marion County Schools is to keep athletes and students safe during the pandemic crisis.
Marion County students will be participating in Phase I and Phase II from June 8th to July 3rd by implementing an altered version of the WVSSAC directive.
Our coaches are required to design a written program of conditioning for student athletes to complete. Our students can independently work on their own or can choose a virtual setting with their coach to accomplish the daily conditioning goals.
Beginning July 5, unless changes occur, our student athletes will participate in the Phase III implementation following the guidelines established by the WVSSAC.
Marion County is posting safety guidelines at every facility including playgrounds.
While we understand the importance of opening our facilities, we do not want to rush into any situation that could create a serious health issue.
On Friday, June 5, 2020, the superintendent received the preliminary discussion, but the three basic things asked for in consideration of implementing the WVSSAC’s guidelines are still being determined. We should be able to open as stated in the WVSSAC guidelines with the three basic items asked for finalized.
At no time did the Marion County Board of Education take a vote on any specific plan. It was not an agenda item, it was an informational item for them to be aware of operational functions for the “re-start” plan for athletic and band programs.
The superintendent and the board will always strive to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is considered in the development of any plans.
Please be reminded that official information from Marion County Board of Education will be on <www.marionboe.com> and on occasion posted on the “Marion Strong” Facebook page operated by The Marion County Chamber of Commerce.
Marion County Schools is proud to present the Class of 2020 in a streamed graduation video that can be viewed at the following links on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 7:00 P.M.:
North Marion High School: https://www.facebook.com/nmhshuskies
East Fairmont High School: https://www.facebook.com/efhsbees/
Fairmont Senior High School: https://www.facebook.com/FSHSBears/
The videos will also be available on-demand on each school's Facebook page after the virtual graduation airs at 7:00 P.M. May 22, 2020.
Look for Senior Signs honoring our graduates this weekend on the campuses of Fairmont Senior High and North Marion High Schools! Signs for East Fairmont High will be on the Gateway Connector. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) was introduced in H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as a solution that delivers nutrition assistance on an EBT card that can be used to purchase groceries for families with school children who qualify for free or reduced price school meals when school is out of session due to a pandemic. If your child already qualified for free or reduced-price meals, or your child attends a Community Eligible Provision (CEP) school where everyone eats at no cost, there is nothing you need to do. You will be notified when the program is implemented.
Who would qualify?
Families with children eligible for free or reduced price meals at schools that have closed due to a pandemic will receive PEBT benefits in the mail. Families will receive one card that is loaded with benefits for all eligible children in the household. If families are currently receiving SNAP benefits the PEBT benefits will be loaded onto their existing SNAP card. The amount loaded onto the card will be no less than the value of school lunch and breakfast, dependent on the amount of time their school will be closed and when free or reduced price benefits were established.
If your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school or county, they are eligible to receive P-EBT. The federal legislation was designed that any student that would have had access to free meals if not for COVID-19 closures, are supposed to receive access to this benefit.
Information provided by the West Virginia Department of Education.
This is a message is from Marion County Schools, Marion County Schools is excited to partner with the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission to continue the summer feeding program. Starting on Wednesday, June 3rd Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission will distribute meals, mid-day, from 11 designated sites throughout the county. Parents must register online at (marionboe.com) to pick up meals from one of these designated sites.
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon:
East Marion Park – Police Reserve Parking Lot
Montana Mines – Community Building
5th Street Park
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Monongah Elementary School
Barrackville School – Playground
12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Farmington Town Hall
Mannington Hough Park
Grant Town Community Building
Again, Parents are to please register their student for meals on or before May 20th indicating the number of meals needed and the site that they wish to receive their meals.
The current meal bus delivery service will remain the same for May 20th and 27th. Any Questions please call 304-367-2106
Due to health mandates aligned with COVID-19, it is not advisable to hold Pre-K registration, since it would be a gathering of a large group of our youngest population.
We are asking that you simply return your completed packet to the Marion County Board of Education located at 1516 Mary Lou Retton Drive Fairmont.
Parents will use a drive-thru drop off system that is observing social distancing guidelines on June 8th, 10th, and 12th from the hours of 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
You can drop your child's packet off in the black lock box located under the canopy by the doors of the Field House.
Please ensure all of your documentation is secured in an envelope or stapled together.
Due to medical offices being closed, if you do not have a current immunization record, well health check, or dental form completed you may turn these in at a later date to the school.
Forms may be found online at https://www.marionboe.com/pre-kindergarten.html
MARION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
OFFICE OF CHILD NUTRITION
Request for quotation (RFQ)
The Marion County Board of Education, Office of Child Nutrition is now accepting sealed Requests for Quotation (RFQ) for 5 day prepackaged meal boxes/bags, each containing 5 breakfasts/5 lunches for summer food service 2020.
A RFQ document may be requested by calling 304-367-2106, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or visiting the Child Nutrition Office at 500 11th St., Fairmont WV 26554.
Marion County Board of Education reserves the right to reject any and all RFQ’s either in part or in its entirety. Questions on specifications may be directed to Child Nutrition by calling 304-367-2106.
RFQ’s are due Monday, May 18th , by 11:00 a.m. Mail or hand deliver to Marion County Schools Child Nutrition, 500 11th Street, Fairmont WV 26554. Mark sealed envelopes “RFQ # 20-Summer ”. RFQ opening and review will be at 12:00 noon at the Child Nutrition Office. No late RFQ’s will be accepted.
Marion County Schools has confirmed a change for meal service as of today. On Friday, May 1st the Marion County Office of Child Nutrition was made aware of an instate meal opportunity to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. The proof of concept was implemented on May 5th in one other county with great success. Starting on Wednesday, May 20th, Marion County Schools will be delivering student meals purchased from Multitude Foods, a West Virginia company. We appreciate the input and support from our community and hope volunteers continue to help with the delivery in the future.
We are also excited to announce a summer partnership with Marion County Parks and Recreation (MCPARC), to provide for the distribution of the meals as we transition to the summer program. Starting on Wednesday, June 3rd through Wednesday, August 12th, MCPARC will distribute the meals for Marion County Schools. Thank you to Mr. Tony Michalski and the MCPARC employees for assisting us with this partnership. An update will come on this later naming distribution sites and times for pick-up for the summer meal service.
The plans for celebrating our seniors are coming along. We have had a nice response so far, to the donations for senior signs. We have reached 75% of our goal. We just need a little more help. Thank you to those who have already donated. The graduation videos are nearing completion and should be available by our original graduation date of May 22.
We are encouraging students to continue with remote learning provided by their teachers. We hope they are also reading for fun, enjoying learning games, helping with chores, getting some fresh air and taking every opportunity to learn from all of their experiences.
Schools are making the arrangements to complete the normal tasks for ending the school year. Students and parents are or will be receiving messaging from their schools, to alert them to their part in necessary tasks for ending the school year.
Be well, stay safe.
Marion County Schools will post relevant news, updates, and guidance for parents, students, teachers, and staff on this page to keep you informed.