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Randolph Co. Schools to begin B.O.A.T. routes

ELKINS — Randolph County Schools will begin new Bus Operator Assistance Team, or B.O.A.T., routes next week, designed to help students and parents send in schoolwork or communicate with the schools during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The B.O.A.T. routes will allow “parents/students may place a message or schoolwork in a sealed envelope and hand it to the driver,” an RCS press release states. “Be sure that the name of the desired recipient is on the outside of the envelope.”

“If a parent/student has a need or concern of any kind, please write that on a piece of paper and place it on a sealed envelope,” the press release continues. “Any papers returning to school must be in a sealed envelope.”

The release states, “Someone must be at the bus stop during the scheduled time, or the driver will not stop. Drivers will have paper, pens and envelopes available if needed.”

“In an emergency, teachers may send work home to a student if needed or requested,” according to the release.

Under the new B.O.A.T. routes schedule, RCS bus drivers will be available to be given school work or messages as they run their normal afternoon routes and stops on Mondays and Tuesdays, departing from schools at their normal afternoon departure times.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, drivers will be available to be given school work or messages as they run their full morning routes and stops. Meals will continue to be delivered on Wednesdays on the food delivery schedule already in place.

The school system will begin implementing the B.O.A.T. routes next week. “In the event we go to full remote learning (Orange or Red on the WVDE map) at any time in the future, BOAT routes will go into effect the Monday after the WVDE map has been released,” the RCS press release states.

On Nov. 17, the Randolph County Board of Education voted 3-2 to discontinue distance learning within the school system at the end of the first semester. The first semester of the 2020-21 school year ends Jan. 22 for students.

John Lawson, director of attendance and virtual school for RCS, reported at that meeting that 326 of Randolph’s 1,006 distance learning students have failed at least one class so far this school year. He added that a total of 830 courses have been failed so far.

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