Education

Photo Provided / Grow Ohio Valley

Organizations in Ohio County have come together to address community needs during this pandemic. In a bid to lift each other up, local restaurants and farmers are teaming up to help feed kids.


Forced Apart: Same Pandemic, Unequal Education

May 28, 2020
Lalena Price

West Virginia’s 2020 school year, from kindergarten through college, is wrapping up unlike any other.  In recent years, Mountain State communities have been devastated by man-made crises and natural disasters, but nothing has affected the state’s education system like a world-wide pandemic.

On this West Virginia Morning, the coronavirus has put thousands of West Virginians out of work, but for many navigating the unemployment system has been challenging. We hear a conversation with WorkForce West Virginia, the agency administering unemployment benefits, on how they’re adapting in this unprecedented time. And we hear from one West Virginia teacher on how she is navigating distanced teaching.

Four out of 10 of the poorest U.S. students are accessing remote learning as little as once a week or less, according to a new survey from ParentsTogether, an advocacy group. By contrast, for families making more than $100,000 a year, 83% of kids are doing distance learning every day, with the majority engaged over two hours a day, the survey found.

Jesse Wright / WVPB

With kids cooped up inside their homes and classroom instruction happening remotely, we thought it would be a great time to take another listen to an episode of Inside Appalachia that originally aired in 2019. We explore the power of getting children outside to learn, a topic that’s perhaps even  more important now than ever. 

Provided by the Uppercue Family

The front porch is well known across much of Appalachia as a gathering place for conversation and sharing. During the coronavirus, those front porches have become a lifeline, for some -- in more ways than one. 

For YES! Magazine, in partnership with 100 Days in Appalachia, reporter Alison Stine explored how the ethos of the front porch as a connection point is being used to help keep students and families fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. She spoke with West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporter Brittany Patterson. Here’s an excerpt of their conversation.

 


Woodburn Hall
West Virginia University

West Virginia University is furloughing around 875 staffers due to a possible $40 million loss from the coronavirus pandemic, the college said Friday.

The Front Porch Network Is A Lifeline In Appalachia

May 8, 2020
Brian Ferguson / 100 Days in Appalachia

A traditional gathering place where the public meets the private becomes the critical point of contact for Appalachian families.

On any day in Appalachia, you can find gifts in front of houses, left on porches for the people inside: mushrooms just foraged, cookies freshly baked. The porch is an extension of the home in Appalachia—not only a gathering spot for conversation, but a traditional sharing place. If you want to exchange tools, plants, or hand-me-downs with your neighbor: you put them on the porch. In times of struggle, porches are the vessel to deliver food: frozen meals to new parents, casseroles for grieving families.

Adobe Stock

Schools across West Virginia are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and according to the state Board Of Education, all 55 counties in West Virginia have organized feeding programs to provide meals for their students. 

Each county has its own system for getting meals to its students. Sometimes that means delivering a weeks’ worth of meals all in one day, but in Cabell County, school bus drivers are making those deliveries every day. 


Kay Dartt, 3D fabrication manager, and Chase Molden, theater technical director, show the West Virginia National Guard how to cast an N95 respirator mask using silicone molds. The design comes from a 3D printed model developed by Dartt and Molden.
Shepherd University


As the coronavirus continues to spread in West Virginia, the need for personal protective equipment, or PPE, has increased as well. But more than two dozen organizations across West Virginia are working to provide this critical equipment to frontline workers.

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice announced schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year. But being out of the classroom comes with its own set of challenges. We also bring you a story about an initiative in West Virginia to 3D print face masks for frontline workers.

On this West Virginia Morning, we continue our series on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the state’s youngest residents, including how one county is making sure thousands of students are fed while schools are closed.

Adobe Stock

Christine Nichols is a speech pathologist at Winfield Elementary School in Putnam County. In this audio postcard she talks about the challenges of trying to do speech therapy remotely with young kids who may not have access to the internet – even if they have caregivers who can help them. 


On this West Virginia Morning, keeping kids from falling through the cracks while schools are closed – we hear one speech pathologist’s experience. And we explore how to support artists in the time of COVID-19.

(left clockwise) Daisy, Evie, Claire and Xylon Mason play a board game together at their home in Charles Town, W.Va. Games have been a major key to learning for the Mason children who are all homeschooled.
Courtesy Amy Mason

 


Concerns over coronavirus have schools in West Virginia closed until at least April 30. And in Jefferson County, schools are closed for the rest of the academic year. As a result, thousands of kids throughout the state are staying home and attending school in new ways.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting explored some of the resources available to help West Virginia’s kids and their families succeed.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll discuss homeschooling challenges and resources, including questions some younger state residents might have.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For many parents across the state and globe (including yours truly and my 7-year-old son Brynn) the switch from in-class to at-home learning in the wake of Coronavirus school shutdowns was drastic and fast. I met up online with the head of my son's school, Elizabeth Hofreuter, for some extra insight into that transition. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Hofreuter has been leading Wheeling Country Day School, a private school in the Northern Panhandle, for 11 years.


Wikimedia Commons

In the face of social distancing requirements implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus, colleges across the state are re-examining their commencement plans.

West Liberty University
West Liberty University

A college in the Northern Panhandle is postponing its search for its next president amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

West Liberty University has suspended its presidential selection process until early August in response to the coronavirus crisis, the college announced in a release on Monday.

Courtesy Berkeley County Schools

Schools across West Virginia closed Monday, March 16, for at least two weeks in an effort to help stem the transmission of the coronavirus. 

Since the shutdown was announced, West Virginians around the state have been working to make sure students are fed. According to the West Virginia Department of Education, more than two-thirds  of school-aged children, or more than 183,000, qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. 

Elementary Classroom
Douglaspperkins / Wikimedia Commons

Updated March 15, 2020 at 9:00 p.m.

 

Although no cases of the novel coronavirus have been found in West Virginia yet, Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday, March 13, all West Virginia schools are to close on Monday as a precaution. 

 

Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Interim Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission and Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker for a discussion on higher education funding issues, secondary education attainment and financial aid requirement challenges.

West Virginia University

The president of West Virginia University released a letter Sunday emphasizing the university's commitment to safety after two recent shootings near the Morgantown campus, one of them involving a fatality.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, debates nationally and globally rage on about high-speed data coverage and which country will control it, while in West Virginia, many residents are still looking for any reliable connection at all. We hear how that affects schools and communities.

Courtesy photo

Diane Ravitch is an author and public education historian turned education activist. Recently, she was in Charleston speaking at the Red For Ed Celebration on the second anniversary of the West Virginia teacher’s strike. She spoke with Eric Douglas about the teacher’s movement and her book, “Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools.” The book details the massive private funding in the educational reform movement that began in the George W. Bush era and the teacher’s movements that have spread across the country in its wake. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a historian of public schooling in the U.S. turned education advocate visited the state over the weekend. She joined in an event celebrating the teachers strike of 2018.

W. Clayton Burch, Interim Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce.
WV Governor's Office

The West Virginia State Board of Education has selected someone to take over as state superintendent of schools. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we visit Clay County where educators are revamping the idea of home economics class to inspire resilience in student populations. We also bring you a conversation about radioactive natural gas drilling waste.

We’ve passed the deadline for bills to be introduced in the House of Delegates this session. On Monday, that same cut-off will be in the Senate. Host Suzanne Higgins sits down with statehouse reporters Ryan Quinn of The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Taylor Stuck of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, and Brad McElhinny of WV MetroNews for this week’s roundtable.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia educators would have to teach students about suicide prevention under a bill passed Wednesday by the state Senate.

Lawmakers voted 33-0 to approve the bill, which would require that teachers, students and other school officials get training on suicide prevention and awareness.

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