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Hampton Roads schools wait to see if Virginia begins year-round instruction

Many Hampton Roads schools and parents are waiting to see if the Governor will extend the school year, to help students catch up from the COVID-19 pandemic.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and officials with the state Department of Education are thinking about extending school next year.

On Wednesday, Northam briefly mentioned some plans to get students back on track next school year. 

“One of the things we are entertaining is looking at perhaps a year-round schooling for the next year. Perhaps adding increased days this summer to really help our kids get caught up," said Northam. 

Inside many homes across Hampton Roads, parents have turned their living spaces into classrooms.

“We have our dry erase board. We have an eight-seated area and there’s a designated area for the computers," said parent Jennifer Kudlicki.

Kudlicki has five children going to Newport News Public Schools. She isn't looking forward to the possibility of having year-round school for her children.

"I don’t feel that it’s fair to their families, or the students themselves, to have to an entire year trying to catch up and struggling... like, when are these kids going to catch a break?”

In Virginia Beach, parent Kristine Caalim felt extra classes could be beneficial.

"I think personally, as a mom with a kid with special needs, having that summer help would be appreciated," Caalim said.

Even though she supports the potential for year-round classes, she said leaders should make the decision on a case-by-case basis. 

“So how do we accommodate those kids that are not behind?" she asked. "We have to accommodate the kids that are not, yes, but it should be individualized." 

The Virginia Department of Education released a statement saying school districts are expected to get an update on school reopening plans soon. This includes ways to get students caught up on learning.

The idea of year-round schooling is not new. In August, Hampton and Newport News Public Schools received grant funds for a year-round schedule. 

Some of the other Hampton Roads schools told 13News Now that they are waiting until a plan is finalized before making any comments.