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Chesapeake school board approves two-choice back-to-school plan

Even if families choose option 1, the on-campus continuum, their students are still set to start the year online based on the school board’s vote.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — School divisions in Hampton Roads are in the process of finalizing their fall plans. On Monday, Chesapeake's school board gave approval for a two-choice plan on sending kids back to class.

The school board approved the measure by a 6-3 vote, following two hours of public comments.

The two options the Chesapeake School Board approved are:

Option 1: On-campus Continuum

* This plan would follow an instructional model that would dictate how often kids would be on school campuses based on COVID-19 rates.
* If rates are low, students would attend school in a traditional five-day format. Safety precautions would be in place.
* If rates are medium, students would attend school two days out of the week and do three days of online learning.
* If rates are high, schools would transition to online learning for a brief amount of time until rates decrease.

Option 2: Chesapeake Online

* Available for K-12 students. Courses are not self-paced. There is scheduled teacher-led learning. Other at-home, online learning will take place. Some elective courses may not be available.
* Grades K-2: Teacher-led instruction would be 1 to 2 hours per day for K-2.
* Grades 3 to 5: instructional time would span 1.5 to 2.5 hours each day.
* Middle and high school: Students would have 30 to 45 minutes each day for each course.

However, even if parents decide to go with Option 1, all students will still start the year online, until COVID-19 cases are low.

This will be re-evaluated on a monthly basis for elementary students and every nine weeks for secondary students. 

The school division is following health data from the Eastern Region. They will go off of the 7-day moving average for test positivity rate and weekly case incidence. 

Families have until July 31 to select their choice. The division said 42 percent of Chesapeake families still have not responded to the family choice survey. 

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