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Chesapeake families, teachers prepare for temporary return to virtual setting

Families of six public schools in Chesapeake are spending this weekend, preparing for a switch to remote learning.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Teachers like Reagan Davis are gearing up for a new round of virtual instruction.

“Having a five-day virtual period for our student still allows for our instruction to happen, while it put a pause for illness to stop spreading," said Davis, a math teacher at Great Bridge Middle School and the president of Chesapeake Education Association. 

Students from Portlock Primary, Truitt Intermediate, Rena B. Wright Primary, Great Bridge Middle, Hugo Owens Middle and Oscar Smith Middle will begin five days of virtual learning on Monday.

Those six schools are in what's called "red" status, driven by a combination of rising COVID-19 cases, staff callouts and student absenteeism. 

According to Chesapeake Public Schools' COVID-19 dashboard, nine other schools are in the "yellow" status. That means they're preparing for the possibility of a switch to virtual.

"You feel as though you're doing your part to help," said parent Kaydee Moore. 

Moore's children attend Rena B. Wright Primary and Oscar Smith Middle. 

Credit: 13News Now

Moore told 13News Now her children's schools have kept an open line of communication.

"I think it's just almost normal, a little bit, to get back into the flow of waking up in the mornings, getting everybody logged in. So for us, it's a little bit easier because of our schools. We're very fortunate for that," said Moore. 

Like Moore, parent Adrianna Roman can work from home during this period. She'll set up her oldest son's work station next to hers. 

Both her young boys go to Portlock Primary. 

"So, I'll be able to chime in when he needs my help. He'll be right here next to me. My youngest son is in preschool, so I'm not too sure exactly how things are going to go with the preschool class yet," said Roman. "I'll find out more on Monday. Luckily with him, he's still enrolled in daycare so he still has a full-time program he can go to during the day."

Credit: 13News Now

Meanwhile, Roman hopes families heed pandemic precautions, "to try and ensure that our kids are back in the building and learning after those five days."

Chesapeake Public Schools administration is expected to announce what's next for the affected schools on January 13.

“Once we understand that learning is taking place and content is still being delivered, we can keep each other well and keep our schools safe enough for students to return and that’s the ultimate goal," Davis added.