Supplement to Reopening Plan

Supplement to Mercer County Schools’ Reopening Plan:

Due to recent changes in the Covid-19 county alert system, revisions to Mercer County Schools Reopening Plan is necessary. Two rates used to determine the state color-coding system are posted on the WVDHHR site (https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx) – Incidence Rate and Positivity Rate:
 
-Incidence Rate: the number of active cases currently in our county compared to our over-all population
-Positivity Rate: the number of positive Covid-19 tests divided by the total number of tests given that day
Prior to September 25, 2020, the state used the Incidence Rate to determine the daily color map for counties. As of September 26, 2020, the state uses the lower of the two numbers (between Incidence Rate and Positivity Rate) to determine a county’s color. Other changes at the state level were the addition of the “gold” color and changes in colors that allow in-person instruction. The following chart details the Incidence and Positivity rates for Mercer County during the past five days:
 
Date       Incidence Rate        Positivity Rate
9/26         3.40 (yellow)         1.28 (green)
9/27         3.40 (yellow)         1.44 (green)
9/28         5.35 (yellow)         1.90 (green)
9/29         5.59 (yellow)         1.89 (green)
9/30         5.59 (yellow)         1.82 (green)
 
It is Mercer County Schools’ belief that our students’ and employees’ health and safety is of paramount importance; we will employ a cautious approach while providing continuity and stability to our students’ schedules. Schedules chosen for elementary and secondary schools are based on our ability to cohort groups and to reduce numbers of students in classes and schools.
 
-Cohorts: Elementary school students remain in the same classroom all day long with the same group of students. These students can attend school five days a week because their risk of exposure during the day is minimized.
-Reduced numbers: In middle and high schools, students cannot be in cohorts all day long because they change classes and take different electives. Reducing the number of students in those classes by 50% each day allows for social distancing within classrooms and hallways.
 
When a county is designated as green, yellow, or gold on the WVDE and WVDHHR Covid maps, the county may determine the number of days students attend school and the length of the day. The Governor determined if a county is designated as orange on Saturday at 5:00 p.m., then they will go remote the following week. If a county is designated red at any time, they go remote the next day.
 
If Mercer County Schools is designated as green, yellow or gold:
-Elementary students will follow Blended Model A; students attend school five days a week
-Middle and high school students will follow Blended Model B; 50% of the students attend each day. UNLESS: both the Incidence and Positivity rates are below 3.0 for TWO weeks, then middle and high school students will attend five days a week. If either number goes above 3.0, then middle and high school students will go back to the 50% schedule the following week.
 
Sports:
WVSSAC regulations regarding sporting events, practices, and who may attend sporting events are determined by the state map.
 
Mercer County Schools will always post on our Facebook page, website, and provide an automated call on Saturday evenings to alert parents of the upcoming week’s school schedule.