Chesapeake schools aims to bring back more students for more in-person learning; school board approves new budget


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake Public Schools is working to bring more students back for in-person learning.

The Chesapeake School Board met Monday to discuss bringing back more students in upper grades for in-person learning, as well as learning schedules for students after spring break.

According to a Facebook post from Chesapeake Advocates for Responsible Return to School, the board voted unanimously to allow some additional students to return to the classroom.

Middle school and high school principals to start bringing back select option 1 students who might benefit from more days of in-person learning each week, according to a presentation given to the board Monday.

As of Monday, pre-K, kindergarten and first through fifth-grade students were learning on a traditional model. Middle and high schoolers were learning on a blended model of in-person and virtual class.

In that blended model, grades six through 12 are learning in-person two days a week.

Starting Monday, March 15, middle and high school principals will identify and bring to campus option 1 students who would benefit from more in-person instruction, according to the presentation Monday.

The criteria for that consideration will be posted on the Chesapeake Public Schools website. Some of those that would meet the criteria include:

  • Seniors in jeopardy of not graduating
  • High school students with D or E averages in two or more classes
  • Middle school students with D or E averages in two or more CORE classes
  • Those who are homeless or chronically absent
  • English language learners
  • Those with medical documentation for mental health conditions
  • Those impacted by IEP, 504, or school-based intervention team decisions

According to Chesapeake Advocates for Responsible Return to School, the superintendent said they could not bring back all option 1 students in grades six through 12 because they require more physical space than kindergarten to grade five students.

According to a Facebook post from Chesapeake School Board member Harry Murphy, Chesapeake students will not move to all-virtual learning after spring break, which is what happened for the two weeks following winter break.

Instead, students will return to the existing instructional model after spring break is over.

Spring break runs from April 5-9, according to the Chesapeake schools calendar.

The Chesapeake School Board also unanimously approved the superintendent’s proposed budget for the next academic year, which includes raising the starting salary for teachers to $47,150. Teachers would see an average pay increase of 5.19% and support staff would see an average 4.5% pay bump.

The budget also provides funding to expand full day Kindergarten across the district, among other things.

View the Superintendent’s proposed FY 2021/2022 budget at this link.

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