HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton City Schools has extended virtual learning for all students at least for the next three weeks, but acknowledged in-person learning could resume coming up as coronavirus metrics improve in the city and Hampton Roads overall.
“We have been monitoring the CDC and VDH metrics daily. Over the past four days our area has begun to see a slight decrease in the number of new cases of COVID as well as a decline in the positivity rate. We are hopeful that this will continue. However, it is important that we monitor this current COVID trend in our community and ensure that it continues to decline before welcoming back our students.”
The district says it’s also “aggressively working” to vaccinate teachers and staff to prepare for that move to in-person, with PreK, kindergarten and some students with disabilities coming back on February 22.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and President Joe Biden have said they want to get students back in the classroom, citing Centers for Disease Control guidance that says schools are not a major source of coronavirus spread if proper precautions are in place. (Masking, social distancing, no indoor dining in the community, etc.)
Still, the return to in-person has faced criticism as communities are still battling near record virus levels. Teachers are also still in the process of being vaccinated, which takes two shots taken about three weeks apart. Hampton started vaccinations just over two weeks ago.
“Thank you for remaining flexible. We anticipate the return of our in-person PreK, kindergarten, and select students with disabilities served in a self-contained environment on February 22, Hampton City Schools said Monday. “In addition, we are continuing to plan for the return of other grade levels as conditions allow. We will communicate with our families and provide updates on this important matter as information is confirmed.”
Hampton School officials released this document pertaining to the division’s next steps, which was communicated with staff and families at the February 3 school board meeting.