Essential reporting in volatile times.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

Learn more about HD Media

Kanawha County parents and guardians have until Nov. 20 — Friday of next week — to pick how their children will attend public schools in the spring.

In-person and fully online options are available, but Kanawha schools spokeswoman Briana Warner said one of the two online paths, the self-paced option called “virtual,” isn’t available to newcomers.

“You cannot move into virtual for the Spring,” Warner wrote in an email. “Those students currently in virtual may remain there or switch to the two other options.”

That leaves in-person and the eLearning online path, which is supposed to more resemble a normal school day that students are supposed to log into for daily.

Warner wrote that Kanawha staff provide tutoring and technology support to students and parents in the “virtual” path.

“We are at our capacity for how many students our staff can support to monitor and provide support,” she wrote. “In addition, we pay tuition to the state for every student in the program. For Kanawha that’s over 3,000. We have to budget for that payment as well.”

Schools will attempt to call families who miss the Nov. 20 deadline to ascertain their choice.

“We are asking for enrollment forms or calls to schools by Nov. 20 so that we can best plan for: social distancing, scheduling and staffing,” Warner wrote. “It becomes more and more difficult to achieve success in these three areas without enrollment data.”

Even if you want to stay with the same option your child is currently on, you need to indicate that. You can fill out the form on the school system’s website or call your school.

“Please have your student’s ‘39’ or WVEIS number available and complete one form for each student,” the school system says on its website.

The options are the same from the fall:

  • In-person: Students show up to school five days a week. COVID-19 outbreaks, staff quarantines and other related issues may temporarily cause some classrooms or schools, or the whole county, to close. During those times, in-person students will temporarily switch to eLearning.
  • eLearning: Students learn online from teachers providing online education through the Schoology system. This can be live instruction.
  • Virtual: Students learn online through the state’s self-paced program.

The spring semester begins Jan. 19.

Reach Ryan Quinn at,,

304-348-1254 or follow

@RyanEQuinn on Twitter.