Virginia Beach Schools talks virtual learning with parents ahead of Tuesday night school board meeting


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach City Public Schools held meetings on Monday for parents of designated students to learn more about virtual learning in the upcoming school year.

The meetings came ahead of a Virginia Beach School Board meeting Tuesday night in which the board will receive and review a revised 2020-2021 school calendar. They say the revision was needed as virtual learning days for students and professional learning days were already established in the re-opening plan.

One of the groups was special education, and staff answered questions from parents on how they will work to make sure students continue to get the education they need.

Staff talked about the options the district will provide for school attendance.

All learning will start out as virtual, but Roni Myers-Daub, the executive director of programs for exceptional children, says parents will get the options to either eventually allow kids to transition back to schools, when it is safe to do so, or learn virtually all year.

Myers-Daub told those in the meeting that some parents have voiced concerns about their kids not learning well during the spring semester because of virtual learning. She explained that there will be more emphasis on actual virtual interaction and participation.

“We have some parents share with us they thought their child had struggled during the spring time when we were focusing on asynchronous instruction but we are going to implement synchronous instruction,” she said.

Staff on the zoom meeting shared that families of students with IEPs will meet with case workers to go over everything needed to make sure their children succeed and that they will continue to get the resources they need. 

One question was asked about the district’s in-person summer school and why that was allowed but not in the fall.

Tania Sotomayor, the director of compliance and special education, says there are a number of reasons.

“It was a small number. Factors such as transportation, distancing, health mitigation measures and cleaning were able to be managed,” she said. “The school district closely monitored the health metrics and is continuing to monitor those in order to ensure we can all get the students back when its safe to do so,” she said. 

The meeting informally starts at 4 p.m. and formally at 6 p.m. 

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