Schools in Kanawha County, WV work to meet health department sta - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Schools in Kanawha County, WV work to meet health department standards

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Staff at Overbrook Elementary in Charleston, WV learned Wednesday that their school had passed an inspection by a Kanawha Charleston Health Department Sanitarian. They were one of a list of many schools checked this week.

County sanitarians with the assistance of the West Virginia National Guard have visited numerous schools throughout the week.

"We want to make sure they flushed all of their systems, their ice maker, cleaned all of their pots and pans and that there is no food left that was prepared before this happened," said sanitarian Flem O'Dell.

Word that they had completed the process properly was welcomed news for the staff that had been working to prepare for the inspection.

Elk Elementary Center failed their initial inspection Tuesday because they accidentally overlooked a few faucets in the building. At that time they were told they had not been cleared by the health department and were told to repeat the entire process.

On Wednesday, officials returned and completed a second inspection. At that time the school was found to be in compliance with the criteria.

Elk Elementary Center Principal Jenny Spencer said following the initial inspection the school formed a flushing committee to make certain they covered all of the bases. They are planning to make a map for future use of all of the water sources in the school.

Other schools have failed the initial inspection as well and will have to be inspected again after repeating the process and correcting the issues.

Spencer said they will also add a plan to their emergency procedures that deals with a water crisis. It will be added to the list of scenarios they practice for throughout the year.

Karen Nowviskie with Putnam County schools said since Christmas break started December 23 students have only been in class two days.

She says school leaders are currently discussing how this will impact student instruction. They have discussed several options including possibly not having final exams. Nothing has been set in stone at this time. Schools in the parts of Putnam County that were included in the Do Not Use order will have to be inspected as well before students can return.

Many parents are wondering what will be done about all of the days that have been missed. Many have said they had vacations scheduled based upon the school calendars they received at the beginning of the school year.

West Virginia code says the state superintendent can lower the minimum instructional term in any county that has been declared a federal disaster area if the event forced students to miss several instructional days.

"Dr. Phares will reserve any judgment about a decrease in the instructional term until we know the amount of instructional time that is actually lost as a result of the contamination," said a West Virginia Department of Education spokesperson. "Student safety, the benefit of instructional time, and county administrative needs will be balanced as is most appropriate."

For information on other schools being inspected, click here

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