WINFIELD, W.Va. — Amid the ongoing strike by teachers and service personnel, those students who participate in extra curricular activities will be allowed to continue their activities if there is support from teachers or coaches.
Last week, Putnam County Superintendent John Hudson issued a decision which allowed for any students preparing for regional or state competitions in any activity to continue those preparation, but blocked the start of any preparation for spring sports or other spring activities. Speaking on Tuesday, Hudson said that decision has been refined.
“With the continued work stoppage, we believe it’s in the best interest of our students to allow those to continue,” said Hudson. “Those extra-curricular activities, clubs and so forth can continue provided there is a coach or sponsor and provided all of the things regarding security, opening, and closing are covered.”
The decision means spring baseball workouts can start and weightlifting for football can proceed if coaches are willing to be there and oversee the activities. Hudson added however it impacts much more than just athletics.
“It’s not just coaching staffs, it’s sponsors who may be leading a drama team, a debate team, a robotics team, or a show choir,” he explained. “They would wish to continue with those students so they could continue to prepare them for any activities they would be involved in.”
As for when the missed days will be made up, Hudson said that decision remains up in the air. Last Thursday and Friday, the first two days of the work stoppage, have been tacked onto the end of the year making the last days for Putnam County Schools June 5 and 6. Whether the additional days will be added in June or whether they will negate spring break haven’t been decided.
“We have not decided at this time,” Hudson said. “We have options at the end of the year and options in April, but we have not made any decision and of course we’ll work with our Board of Education and our community on that.”
Hudson was also vague about when and if the time would come to re-open the schools even if teachers had not ended their work stoppage. The matter is a prickly one which each county superintendent is dealing with for the time being. Hudson hoped the strike would end soon and things would quickly return to normal, but admitted it’s something in the back of every superintendent’s mind.
“I wouldn’t want to speculate,” he said. “I will evaluate that on a daily basis.”