Return-to-school plans for every school district in the Hampton Roads region

Back to School

Superintendent Doug Straley points to social distance markers at Moss-Nuckols Elementary School on the first day back Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 in Louisa County, Va. (Erin Edgerton/The Daily Progress via AP)

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – This upcoming school year is unlike any other. School divisions spent the summer working on separate plans on how their 2020/2021 school year will look amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The majority of local school systems opted to begin with virtual learning. A few school systems in our region started 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. 

The Phase Guidance for Virginia Schools was updated on July 6 as Virginia entered Phase 3 of Forward Virginia.

Before reopening for the new school year, every public and private school in Virginia was 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. For a look at how all of the commonwealth’s 132 school divisions are reopening, click here.

What is your school district’s reopening plan for fall 2020?

Click on your City/County to view details on your plan.

VIRGINIA

Accomack

  • 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.

Chesapeake

Franklin City

Gloucester

Hampton

  • 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.

Mathews County

  • 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

Newport News

  • 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).  The deadline was extended until Wednesday, August 19.
  • Full coverage of Newport News’ return-to-school plan.

Norfolk

  • 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.

Northampton County

Portsmouth

Poquoson

Suffolk

Surry County

Virginia Beach

  • 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.
  • There is a breakdown of their Fall 2020 plan on the district’s website.
  • On Sept. 14, the district released a letter to the community explaining that they believe they have figured out a way to return to face-to-face instruction as long COVID-19 cases numbers in the region remain steady or improve in the coming days. The plan is as follows:
    • Sept. 29 – pre-K, kindergarten, grades 1 and 2
    • Oct. 6 – grades 3, 4 and 5
    • Oct. 8 – grades 6 and 9 (to correspond with the beginning of second marking period)
    • TBD – grades 7 and 8, 10 through 12

Williamsburg/JCC

  • 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.

York County

  • 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 said it 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.
  • York County also released additional details about its back-to-school plan Aug. 17. Read more about the plan here.
  • On Sept. 14, the district released new in-person return target dates: The division is hoping to get pre-K through first grade physically in class by Oct. 5. Under the plan, second and third-graders would return by Oct. 19 — and everyone else is to be determined.
  • Full details at this link.
  • Original coverage of York County Schools’ return-to-school plan.

NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA

Bertie County

  • 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

  • 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.

Currituck County

Dare County

  • 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.

Elizabeth City

Gates County

Hertford County

  • 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.

Hyde County

  • 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.

Perquimans County

  • 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.

Back to School Resources for Virginia and North Carolina

Virginia Department of Education Return to School Plan: Recover, Redesign, Restart 2020

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Return to School Plan: Lighting Our Way Forward

CDC Guidance for K-12 Schools

WAVY.com Back to School coverage

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