HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – This upcoming school year will be unlike any other. School divisions are all working on separate plans on how their 2020/2021 school year will look amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Some local public school districts have already announced plans with many opting to begin with virtual learning. A few school systems in our region are starting with a hybrid of in-classroom and remote instruction.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order in mid-March when the pandemic hit, with the intent of bringing students back to the classrooms, but that never happened.
On June 9, Governor Northam announced a phased reopening of K-12 schools, which gradually permits in-person instruction to resume for the upcoming school year, while prioritizing the health and safety of students and staff.
Before reopening for the new school year, every public and private school in Virginia is required to submit their health and instructional plans to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in compliance with CDC and VDH recommendations.
Many local school districts sought input from families and staff members, through surveys and virtual forums, as they developed their return to school plans.
Here is a detailed look at where each school district in the WAVY TV 10 viewing area stands (as of July 29). This list will continue to be updated as more school districts release their plans. Plans are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 rates in our region.
- Accomack County Public Schools announced a hybrid return-to-school plan for the 2020/2021 school year.
- Students will have in-person instruction two days a week and remote learning for the other three days a week, under the hybrid coronavirus reopening plan for fall 2020.
- The school board voted on July 21 after several hours of comments.
- Full coverage of the Accomack County return-to-school plan.
- The Chesapeake School Board voted 6-3 during a July 27 meeting to begin the fall semester with virtual instruction.
- The virtual learning plan will be reevaluated for elementary students on a monthly basis, and every nine weeks for secondary schools. Decisions will be based on health statistics for the area.
- Full coverage of Chesapeake’s return-to-school plan.
- On August 6, the Franklin City School Board voted to begin the upcoming school year with 100% virtual instruction.
- The nine weeks of virtual instruction will begin September 1 and continue through November 4, unless the board decided to extend it.
- Full coverage of Franklin’s return-to-school plan
- Gloucester Public Schools will begin the fall school year with fully virtual learning, for at least the first nine weeks.
- The school board voted 5-2 for the remote learning plan on Tuesday, July 28.
- Full coverage of Gloucester’s return-to-school plan.
- Hampton City Schools voted unanimously Wednesday to proceed with virtual instruction for all students for the first nine weeks of school.
- Full coverage of Hampton’s plan.
Isle of Wight
- On August 3, the School Board of Isle of Wight County approved a plan for the reopening of schools. Parents of students at the pre-kindergarten through third grade levels and students with disabilities who have intensive support needs can select a blended, in-person learning model or a 100 percent virtual learning option. Fourth through twelfth grade students would begin the year with temporary remote learning in the in person continuum or 100 percent virtual learning for the first semester.
- Parents must identify which option they wish to select for each of their children by Thursday, August 13 at 11:59 pm. This can be done through the Instructional Program Selection Form or by printing out and completing the attached form and returning it to your child’s school.
- Isle of Wight County Schools has created a document to answer many of the questions asked by parents about the reopening of schools.
- Full coverage of Isle of Wight’s return-to-school plan.
- The Mathews County School Board agreed on different plans dependent on the grade level, as follows.
- Students in grades K-8 will be divided into two cohorts or groups and will have an opportunity to meet with their teachers face-to-face at school a couple times in the first two weeks of school.
- Students in grades 9-12 will be remote/virtual the first nine weeks.
- Full coverage of the Mathews County return-to-school plan
- The Newport News School Board met Aug. 5 for a special meeting and voted for all students to start the semester virtually. The virtual learning period will go from Sept. 8 to Nov. 2.
- Families will use a learning intent form through ParentVue to decide if their child(ren) will continue virtual learning through the end of the first semester (January 27).
- Full coverage of Newport News’ return-to-school plan.
- Norfolk Public Schools was among the first local school districts to announce their plans for the upcoming school year.
- The school board voted 6-1 on July 22 to begin the first quarter (first nine weeks) with 100% virtual learning.
- On August 12, the school system released more information about its reopening plans. They detailed topics ranging from students’ virtual schedules, food distribution, technology distribution, child care options as well as the transition to face-to-face classes.
- After the first quarter, the board said it will reassess the possibility of adding in-person instruction based on local health data related to COVID-19.
- Full coverage of Norfolk’s return-to-school plan.
- Parents of students enrolled in the Northampton County school system on the Eastern Shore get to choose between two return-to-school options: full-time virtual learning or in-person instruction with social distancing.
- The first day of school is August 31.
- Full coverage of Northampton’s return-to-school plan
- The school board voted unanimously on July 29 to begin the 2020-2021 school year virtually for at least the first nine weeks of school. After those nine weeks, the division will reassess school operations.
- Parents were able to give feedback via a survey through August 3.
- On August 5, the school district added a FAQ section to its website.
- Full coverage of Portsmouth’s return-to-school plan.
- On Aug. 11, the Poquoson School Board voted that pre-K through third-graders will attend school in-person two days a week starting Sept. 8, the first day of school. The rest of the grades will start the semester 100-percent virtually.
- Full coverage on Poquoson’s return-to-school plan.
- The Suffolk School Board decided August 6 to proceed with a 100% virtual return-to-school plan this fall. Students with special needs will be phased-in gradually starting at the beginning of the semester for face-to-face learning.
- A fall planning survey was released to parents and guardians the week of June 22.
- The Suffolk School Board announced an emergency meeting for August 6 to discuss the fall learning plan. The agenda originally was scheduled for the August 13 meeting.
- Full coverage of Suffolk’s return-to-school plan.
- On August 3, the Surry County School Board elected for a fully Virtual Start to the 2020-2021 school year for the first quarter of school. Additional information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
- Full coverage of Surry County’s return-to-school plan.
- The Virginia Beach School Board meeting on July 28 went into the early morning hours, with members ultimately deciding to start the year off virtually, beginning Sept. 8. After debating for more than seven hours, the board voted 8-3 to start classes online, then gradually add in-person learning when deemed safe, during the pandemic.
- The plan also provides choice for families. Parents will be asked in the coming days to select one of two options for their children. Option 1 provides in-person instruction when the health metrics indicate it’s safer to do so, or parents may select Option 2 which ensures virtual instruction for their children through at least the first semester of the school year.
- There is a breakdown of their Fall 2020 plan on the district’s website.
- Full coverage of Virginia Beach’s return-to-school plan.
- Williamsburg/James City County students will learn virtually for first nine weeks of the fall semester. Administrators made the announcement on July 27.
- Students will do daily online learning, including live instruction from teachers and independent assignments and activities. Attendance will be monitored and assignments will be graded.
- Families can also opt-in or opt-out to continue virtual learning for the 2020-2021 school year.
- More information on Path 1 learning in WJCC Schools was shared during a presentation at the school board meeting Aug. 4, which was streamed on the WJCC Schools website.
- Full coverage of the WJCC return-to-school plan.
- Thursday, July 23, Dr. Shandor and members of the division leadership team provided an overview of the 2020-21 School Year Planning Report.
- The first nine weeks of school in York County will be remote, but the division will work to bring back its “most vulnerable and youngest students” earlier in-person. Those children include students with disabilities, English learners and students in grades PreK through third.
- Full coverage of York County Schools’ return-to-school plan.
NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA
- On July 21, the Bertie County Board of Education unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommendation to begin the upcoming school year under Plan C — entirely remote learning — for the first nine weeks of school.
- As the end of the first nine weeks approaches, Bertie County school officials will reevaluate current COVID-19 conditions and make a decision about moving forward.
- Full coverage of Bertie County’s return-to-school plan.
- Camden County Schools Board Of Education announced on July 24 that schools will begin the 2020/2021 school year on Plan C, which is 100% remote learning for students for the first nine weeks grading period.
- Camden Early College High School will begin classes on August 12 and all other schools on August 17.
- The school board also decided that Grandy Primary School will begin the school year with 100% remote learning, with a target date of September 8 to transition to Plan B, which is a mix of remote and in-person instruction with no more than 50% of students in the building at any given time and strict safety guidelines in place.
- Full coverage of Camden County’s return-to-school plan.
- The Currituck County Board of Education voted on July 27 to begin the upcoming school year with remote learning.
- The upcoming school year will start under Plan C, which is entirely remote learning for the first nine weeks of school with students participating in online instruction.
- Students will receive feedback and grades linked to the content standards in each course.
- Full coverage of Currituck County’s return-to-school plan.
- On August 8, Currituck County Schools released daily schedules, orientation information, and the plan for electronics for the coming 2020-2021 school year.
- The Dare County School Board voted Monday, July 27 to proceed with a plan that would start the fall semester on August 17 with remote learning for pre-K through grade 12.
- The school board voted 5-2 to proceed with option 4.
- When appropriate, the grades would then transition out of remote learning to option 1, 2 or 3, which range from five days a week of in-person learning for grades K-6, to K-12 attending school onsite on alternating weeks.
- Full coverage of Dare County’s return-to-school plan.
- The Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools Board of Education adopted a hybrid learning plan on July 27 for the upcoming 2020/2021 school year.
- ECPPS will return August 17 under a hybrid plan which is Plan B, Option F, from the state’s Lighting Our Way Forward: North Carolina.
- The first nine weeks will include remote learning for students while providing the opportunity for one-on-one assessment of Exceptional Children students, English Language Learners, and Pre-K.
- The school system created this video outlining the reopening plan.
- Full coverage of the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank return-to-school plan.
- Despite a low number of COVID-19 positive cases, relative to the rest of the state, the Gates County Board of Education chose to go with “option C,” fully remote learning, for the first nine weeks of the upcoming school year. In a statement, the board said they will revisit their policies in that nine weeks with the goal of going to in-person learning.
- Full coverage of Gates County’s return-to-school plan.
- On July 22, the Hertford County Board of Education unanimously approved Plan C to begin the 2020-2021 school year, which is remote learning for the first nine weeks, with online instruction.
- The school division says there will be more information coming regarding face-to-face opportunities for orientation as well as special conditions for students.
- In addition, the district says they will re-evaluate the next steps for the 2nd nine-weeks and beyond during the initial period.
- The first day of school for Early College High School (ECHS) is August 6 and is August 17 for all other schools in the district.
- Full coverage of Hertford County’s return-to-school plan.
- Due to Hurricane Isaias, the Hyde County Board of Education Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 4, 2020 was rescheduled for Thursday, August 6, 2020.
- During an earlier meeting, held on Saturday, July 25, board members decided with a unanimous vote that Hyde County Schools would open the 2020-2021 school year this fall under Plan C-Fully Remote.
- The meeting will be held virtually on the Zoom platform. Anyone wishing to make Public Comment at this meeting should email Superintendent Steve Basnight for an invitation to the meeting.
- During a July 27 meeting, the Perquimans County Board of Education approved reopening schools under Plan B, which includes a combination of face-to-face and remote learning.
- Highlights of Plan B:
- Grades 9-12 : students receive face-to-face instruction on Monday and remote learning Tuesday through Friday.
- Grades 7-8 : students receive face-to-face instruction on Tuesday and Wednesday at PCHS and the other three days of remote learning.
- Grades K-6 : students receive face-to-face instruction on Tuesday through Friday with remote learning on Monday.
- Public schools in Perquimans County are scheduled to reopen for the 2020/2021 school year on August 17.
- Full coverage of Perquimans County’s return-to-school plan.