NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Newport News Public Schools said it wants to hear from families and staff members about how it should move forward this fall.
Right now, there are three options on the table for students and teachers. They include virtual or hybrid learning.
In option 1, students and staff begin the school year 100% Virtual Instruction for the first nine weeks (September through November 2) before moving into a Phase of the R2L Plan which may require students to physically report to school. Note: Families of special populations (Special Education, English Language Learner) may choose to participate in smaller group opportunities to support their children’s home instruction.
Option 2 includes virtual instruction for nearly all students with special populations (Special Education, English Language Learner, Early Childhood) having the option of some face-to-face instruction.
Option 3 provides students in grades PK-12 with a Hybrid Schedule that includes in-school instruction 2 days per week and 3 days of virtual home instruction.
The school division also has several mitigation strategies in place to control the spread of coronavirus in schools. Students and staff are expected to wear face coverings inside and on the school bus. Parents must screen students' temperatures before they head to school. Teachers must conduct self-screenings as well.
School staff will deep clean and disinfect the building twice a week, along with daily cleanings. All students get a laptop. Division leaders said elementary student laptops are back-ordered and will arrive in December.
Josephine Spraddling has a granddaughter and two other great-grandchildren in the school system. She's pretty much made up her mind about the fall semester.
"I don't want to send the kids to school and they get sick from COVID-19," Spraddling said. "Maybe it's best if the kids learn at home. I know they need to go to school but we got so much going on right now."
Norfolk's school board will vote Wednesday on their plan. In Chesapeake, leaders will make a decision next Monday. The Virginia Beach superintendent will make his recommendation to the school board next Tuesday.
Newport News' Superintendent will bring a Formal Recommendation for School Start August 4.