Isle of Wight schools drop original fall plan, vote to start semester virtually for fourth grade and up

Isle of Wight
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ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) — The Isle of Wight School Board has backtracked on a previously-approved return-to-school plan for this fall, opting instead for an option that includes most students beginning the school year with remote learning.

The five-member school board met Monday and voted unanimously to start fourth through 12th-grade students with temporary remote learning for at least nine weeks this fall.

Pre-K through third grade will have parent choice on whether to send their children back in-person.

Monday’s meeting comes less than a week after the school board voted to approve a different plan — one that ended with a 3-2 vote to allow parents to choose if their elementary and middle school students returned to schools two days a week on a hybrid plan.

Board member Alvin Wilson made a motion to rescind that vote from the July 30 board meeting and reconsider it again Monday.

Through the new plan approved Monday, families will have two choices for how they want their children — but only children in pre-K through third grade — to return to school. Parents can choose a hybrid model where children attend in-person two days a week and work remotely the other days, or a fully-remote option for the entire first semester.

In-person instruction is not an option for the rest of the grades in the first nine weeks of the school year. However, if in-person learning for fourth through 12th grades becomes an option later on, those students can opt to stay home and learn remotely for the rest of the semester.

After the first nine weeks of the semester, the classes for fourth through 12th grades that are taught remotely may include teachers from outside of Isle of Wight schools, such as from Virtual Virginia.

Students with disabilities who “have intensive support needs, are a part of self-contained
classrooms, and accessing a nonstandard curriculum” will be able to attend through the hybrid model for pre-K to third grade, or can opt for 100-percent remote learning, according to a school division news release.

High school students in some Career and Technical Education programs will be able to attend those courses on a hybrid schedule.

The school board will determine when students in fourth grade and higher will return to in-person learning.

Families must decide whether their students will join the in-person continuum plan or spend the entire semester learning virtually by Aug. 13 at 11:59 p.m. They must notify the school division through an electronic form or in-person at their child’s school.

Isle of Wight County Schools will host informational meetings on the reopening plan on Monday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. at Georgie D. Tyler and Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 6 pm Westside Elementary. Those meetings can be attended virtually and will be streamed on the IWCS Facebook page and YouTube channel.

In June, IWCS conducted a survey of parents and employees to gather feedback on the reopening of schools. Click here to see the survey results.

Clarification: An original version of this story said all students with disabilities will be able to opt for in-person schooling. It has been updated to reflect that only certain students with disabilities will be able to partake in the hybrid in-person plan.

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