COVID down in St. Clairsville schools | News, Sports, Jobs

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ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Masks will remain optional in the St. Clairsville-Richland City school district as cases of COVID-19 decline in schools.

Superintendent Walter Skaggs confirmed at the education council meeting Wednesday morning that the district’s mask policy would remain optional for students and faculty. He said the number of cases had declined over the past two days.

School nurse Kerry Shepherd said there are currently 13 positive cases among students and staff – 11 cases among students and two cases among staff. The cases break down into four positive cases in elementary school, four in middle school and five in high school. There are also 17 reported close contacts among students and none among staff.

“The (Belmont County) health department estimates that three weeks ago should have been the peak for the delta (variant), so we should see a downward trend now,” she said.

Shepherd said she anticipates a slight increase after this weekend’s comeback dance; however, district figures are still “very well.”

“There is still no transmission in the classrooms other than the specialized classroom. Anyone isolated or quarantined due to close contact in the classroom had no issues. It is at the level of the community, it is especially in the families ”, she said.

Skaggs said he recently attended a statewide superintendents meeting where other superintendents also reported a drop in the number of cases in their schools. He said he hoped the downtrend continued.

In other areas, Belmont County Juvenile and Estates Judge Al Davies provided an update on some of the programs available to students in the county. Some of the programs he talked about are the Alternative School, which provides education for students suspended from school, and the Virtual Learning Program, which provides an alternative for students who have difficulty learning in a classroom. traditional class.

Davies said the main cause of sending students to the alternative school program this year and last year is due to students using vaping devices.

“I’m trying to get as much information as I can about destroying nicotine addiction. It’s amazing to me the amount of misinformation about vaping ”, he said, adding that he tries to educate young people that heroin and nicotine are the two most addictive drugs.

He said he was working on creating a program for schools to further educate students about the negative effects of vaping. Skaggs said people don’t realize how bad vaping is for them and the long-term effects it can have on a person’s lungs.

Davies also spoke about the Belmont County Schools Staying Clean program. He said the district is able to use some of the funds raised through the program to sponsor other programs for students in the county. One of those shows took place at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling on Wednesday. County students were transported to the scene to hear speaker Nathan Harman.

“He’s a very dynamic speaker with a very impactful story. He was a drug addict, alcoholic, and involved in a car accident. He was driving and killed one of his best friends. He went to prison, he was reformed, rehabilitated, reborn and now he has an incredible story that he can tell children very well ”, he said.

Another program is the Juvenile Justice Jeopardy Rollout run by the St. Clairsville Police Department. It is a Jeopardy-style classroom program with a range of topics on interactions with police, rights and the consequences of trouble. Davies said he hopes to expand the program to other schools in the county.

Davies said they are resuming mock trials this year. He said the seventh and eighth grade program would resume in December.

“If we can make an impact on just one child, I think it will be a victory” he said.

Davies thanked the board for its partnership on the programs.

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