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Portsmouth Public Schools to stay with virtual learning until January

The school board voted unanimously to push back a return to in-person learning until at least the second semester.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — With cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise, Portsmouth's school board approved the superintendent's recommendation to keep students and teachers out of the classroom and continue with virtual learning until at least January 2021.

The school board voted unanimously at Tuesday night's meeting.

The changes are as follows:

Beginning the week of November 23, all students -- including special education and English Language Learners -- will be given virtual instruction until the second semester. About 68 students who currently have in-person learning will be moved to the virtual model.

The date for employees to physically report to work was moved from November 23, 2020 to January 19, 2021.

In-person instruction will be phased-in:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021 for   Pre-K through Grade 3
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 for Grades 4, 5 and 6
  • Monday, Mar. 1, 2021 for Grades 7 through 12

Students who report to school will be those students whose parents choose the hybrid model for them (two half-days of instruction and three days of virtual learning). A fully-virtual learning option will still be offered through the end of the school year for students whose parents chose that option.

Depending on how COVID case metrics change in the coming months, the school board could push those return-to-school dates back further.