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Virginia Beach City Public Schools board to vote on school reopening plan

The school board will choose one of three plans: stick with virtual learning, teach students in person daily or a hybrid plan that blends both models of instruction.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The school board for the largest school division in Hampton Roads will vote on a plan to reopen schools for the upcoming school year.

On Tuesday, the Virginia Beach City Public Schools board is expected to select one of three options for how school instruction will proceed in the fall.

  • Option One: Daily in-person instruction
    • Schools reopen close to normal with some safety changes
    • Parents can choose to have children virtual-learn only
  • Option Two: Alternating days
    • Smaller groups of students alternate days attending with a mixture of in-person instruction and virtual learning.
    • Students can choose remote-learning only
  • Option Three: 100% Remote learning
    • Schools closed and students remote into their classes
    • Work is graded, attendance taken, assignment submission required.

Based on current health metrics in Hampton Roads, many have voiced their support for a virtual start to the year.

Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence has already suggested that students stick with remote instruction only, at least for the beginning of the school year.

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Some Virginia Beach teachers and school board members have also aired their thoughts on the matter. The president for the Virginia Beach Education Association, which represents 1,400 teachers in the city, says many teachers don't feel comfortable just yet with face-to-face instruction.

At least three school board members said they believe in a parent's right to choose between in-person learning and virtual instruction. Victoria Manning, Caroline Weems and Laura Hughes all signed a proposal pushing for an alternative plan that would be based on having parents decide what is best for their child. Manning said that if there are fewer students in the classroom this year, school leaders can enforce physical distancing and other mitigation strategies in school buildings to keep students as safe as possible.

School board members are set to hear comments from the public on school reopenings at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Then, they will vote on the best model of instruction.

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