Delegates have lots of questions about the start of school in West Virginia

By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

August 18, 2020

As a high school civics teacher and a state delegate, Cody Thompson had a prime opportunity to ask a very practical question: How can social distancing be accomplished in an aging school with 28 students in the classroom?

“Is it, like, six feet between students? Can I put them in rows?” Thompson, a Democrat from Randolph County, asked state Superintendent Clayton Burch.

Burch responded in detail, saying the recommended six-foot distance is less important if the students can alternate or face different directions. He said there is modeling available to demonstrate possible classroom layouts.

“I just don’t see how it’s possible for 28,” Thompson responded.

Burch, noting that the students are in high school, suggested one more coping mechanism.

“If they cannot social distance, there’s no reason those students cannot wear a mask,” the superintendent said.