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Portsmouth Public Schools to begin year virtually

Following several other area school districts, Portsmouth's school board voted to begin the fall school year online-only.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Portsmouth is starting its school year online.

The city's school board voted 8-0 on Wednesday to move forward with the reopening of schools in a completely virtual setting, for at least the first nine weeks.

“Since Gov. Northam’s announcement in June that we would be reopening schools in September, our staff and administration has been working tirelessly to ensure we were prepared to open schools in the safest way possible for our staff, students and families,” said Portsmouth Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy, III. “While we are saddened to not be in our buildings with our students at the beginning of the year, the Board’s decision tonight was the best one in consideration of the health and wellbeing for our entire community. We are ready to start the year in our online classrooms and provide the supports necessary for our students to excel in the 2020-2021 school year.”

Portsmouth is the latest city to begin the school year online-only.  Other local school districts that will start virtual include Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach.

The Portsmouth School Board said it would revisit its decision after the first nine weeks.