HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton City Schools is putting everything on the table when it comes to how to start the 2020-21 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
At a virtual school board meeting Wednesday night, Dr. John Caggiano, deputy superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, walked members through the specifics of four different phases that the school district believes it may have to implement in order to have class back in session. Much of it mirrors guidance released by the Virginia Department of Education.
Phase 1 of school operation would look similar to the way the school year ended this spring, with students in kindergarten through 12th grade engaging in virtual learning. Parents of either pre-K students or students with disabilities will have the option of either sending their child to school two to three days a week on alternative days, or engaging in virtual learning.
Phase 2 would add to phase 1 by sending students in kindergarten through third grade to school on alternating days, and continuing virtual learning for grades four through 12.
Phase 3 currently has two paths. One would bring all grade levels back to school on alternating days and continue on with precautions taken in phases 1 and 2. However, the other would bring all grades back for full five-day weeks with proper social distancing protocols. Caggiano said because that idea doesn’t align with the state plan, it would require special approval.
Finally, phase 4 would return schools to close to what they looked like pre-pandemic.
No co- or extra-curricular or athletics will occur during phase 1. They will be slowly phased-in as phases progress. Expectations for students regarding attendance for virtual learning and grading will be shared and enforced throughout.
“This plan does not communicate the phase in which Hampton City Schools will reopen, rather it only outlines what each phase will entail as it is known at this time,” said Dr. Jeffery Smith, superintendent of Hampton City Schools.
Caggiano said plans are to announce the phase where the division will start during the week of July 27.
Regardless, the school division plans to apply for $5.6 million in CARES Act funding to help provide an electronic device for every K-12 student by the start of classes. There are also talks about having Cox internet install high-speed internet in certain student households.
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