‘Getting Ready to Go Back’: York County schools slowly reopen


YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — More parents in York County are getting ready to send their children back to school now that the school board approved having groups of students come back in phases.

The plan started earlier this month. Some students, including second and third graders, return starting Monday.

So, are families ready, even while the COVID-19 pandemic shows little sign of subsiding?

Elijah Smith has three children: a 13-year-old boy with special needs, and two younger children at Yorktown Elementary.

“We would like to be able to send children back to school if at all possible. That’s my personal preference on it,” Smith said.

Shannon Taber, a local mother, said “I’d like them to go back but I’m afraid of what the hybrid will do for my routine-oriented kids. Two days on and three days without really a schedule is really going to be difficult.”

For the past six months, learning at home has been the routine. But Taber is weighing the challenge of facing COVID-19.

“I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of their health and our health and the teacher’s health versus everybody’s mental health, and the social aspect and being with their friends.”

Taber’s 8-year-old daughter Brooke Taber wants to see her friends again but is not looking forward to wearing a mask all day.

“Well, a bunch of the masks we keep on finding so far, only one doesn’t fog up our glasses.”

Rachel Sampson has been juggling responsibilities with three elementary-aged children learning, virtually at home. And she’s taking the option of continuing to have them stay home.

“I don’t feel comfortable sending them back to school anytime soon. So, we do have to deal with virtual regardless of whether or not it likes us.”

Tabb High school sophomore Liam Wayne has adjusted to virtual learning. He’s in no hurry to head back.

“For me, it’s better and I like learning from home because you get more freedom from it, really.”

His father, Art, who’s considering the challenges of having a teenage boy at home all day on a computer, feels differently.

“I definitely can’t ’til we get it safe enough to send them back ’cause it’s a little bit more structured than it is today.”

Second and third-graders in York County are set to return next Monday. More students are expected to return to class in November — as long as it’s safe to do so.

Families are being asked to do daily health screenings before students arrive on campus.

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