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Superintendent recommends Hampton City Schools goes 100% virtual for start of fall semester

Dr. Jeffrey Smith based the recommendation on changing health information and health conditions in the Hampton Roads region.

HAMPTON, Va. — Hampton City Schools' superintendent said he's recommending that the fall semester begin with remote learning only.

Dr. Jeffrey Smith sent a letter to families explaining his recommendation. Smith said Tuesday that he arrived at the decision based on changing health information during the past few weeks and current health conditions in Hampton Roads. Those conditions have been responsible for driving an increase in COVID-19 cases across Virginia.

Smith said that keeping the opening of school 100% virtual keeps the health and safety of students, families, and employees the priority for the school division. If the Hampton City School Board accepts the recommendation, the virtual-only return to school would be in place for at least nine weeks. That would carry the school division into the beginning of November (Novermber 2). The only way that would change is if health conditions improve enough that the division could return to schools safely.

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Smith planned to make his recommendation to the school board at its meeting on August 5.

There are three other options for the board members to consider.

Regardless of which option the board chooses, Hampton City Schools put together a survey for families to complete about their return-to-school preferences. The information from the survey will help the school division make sure it's in a position to transition from 100% virtual to a modified, in-person learning model when the time comes.

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Families can access the survey through HCS' Parent Portal. They have until August 10 to complete the survey.