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Few local school divisions see high percentages of students opting for in-person learning

Norfolk Public Schools has one of the highest percentages of students returning to the buildings.

NORFOLK, Va. — Some of the highest percentages of students returning to in-person learning are in Williamsburg/James City County Public Schools.

Sixty-two percent of high schoolers are in the buildings under the hybrid learning model where they report twice a week while 64% of middle school students are returning as well as 77% of elementary students.

Chief of Operations, Daniel Keever said he's pleased with those percentages.

"I think we are pleased with those numbers and I think we would all say that our preference for those students who want to be back, that we would have them back in school."

The system is using several mitigation factors such as social distancing, hand-washing, and face coverings. A mitigation inspection team visits once a week to identify ways in which they can improve. 

Keever said the at-home learning experience for students is enhanced with the use of the Owl Device system. 

"It allows for the teachers to work with the students, both with the students that are in front of them and then simultaneously share the images and share that sound with students who are at home," Keever explained.

More Chesapeake high school students are choosing to stay at home, with three high schools reporting fewer than 40 percent returning to the buildings. They are Indian River High at 33.39%, Oscar Smith at 38.2%, and Western Branch at 36.28%.

Hickory High has the highest number of returnees at almost 61%.

In Virginia Beach, one out of two high schoolers is staying home. Almost half of middle school students are doing the same.

While York County had a high 80% of high schoolers learning in the buildings the first semester, that number dropped off to 55% for this second semester.

The highest numbers come from Norfolk: 75% of their high school students are returning to in-person learning. That's more than the middle school students (67%).

Only 42% of all Hampton students are choosing in-person learning.