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Newport News School Board discusses returning students to the classroom

Right now, students are learning virtually until November 2.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Newport News School Board is discussing its plan for a gradual return to in-person instruction during a special meeting Tuesday night.

Right now, students are learning virtually until November 2.

Not every student would go back at once. The school division would use a phased-in approach, bringing students back to school in smaller groups by program and grade levels.

School Board member John Eley said in-person learning would follow the hybrid learning model with students going to school on their assigned two days a week and learning virtually from home the other three days.

Eley wants students to continue virtual learning past the first nine weeks.

“I feel it's not safe to bring kids back to school now, we're going into the flu and cold season, and the last thing I want to see is a kid get sick and bring it back to their family,” Eley said. “But our ultimate goal is to eventually have all kids in front of their teacher.”

He added, “We want to bring them in phases, first with our children who have the most needs and eventually get to all students in-person learning.”

Students in Newport News are nearly a month into virtual learning. Monica Leftwich has two children at Hines Middle School. She said if the school division decides to bring students back this year, she wants a plan that makes sense and keeps everyone safe.

“How many kids will they bring back at a time? Will they bring back all the teachers? Will they take temperatures?” Leftwich asked.” “If there are holes in the plan as far as keeping our kids, teachers, and administrators safe, I wouldn't entertain it. I appreciate the school board wanting to be proactive, but they need to be smart about it and recognize the cases are steady or not going down.”

Parents are asked to fill out the Intent Form to let the division know if you want your child(ren) to receive in-person instruction at school, whether your child(ren) will need bus transportation and other important information.

The form must be completed for each child as soon as possible. The intent form will open on Monday and close on Friday, October 16, at 11:59 p.m.