Newport News Public Schools postpones return to in-person learning

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News Public Schools has postponed students’ return to in-person instructions.

In a letter sent to families Tuesday, Superintendent George Parker III cited the city’s high COVID-19 case rate level for the latest decision.

“The most recent COVID-19 update from the Peninsula Health District indicated that the calculated case burden mean for the six Peninsula localities is in the highest risk of transmission category based on a 14-day transmission rate, ” said Parker.

Newport News is also in the highest risk category at 643 cases per 100,000. The positivity rate in the city is currently 17.6%.

Parker says the move will better position the school division for a “cautious and safe return to in-person instruction.”

Newport News Public School’s first group, which are special needs students, English language learners, and students from Pre-K through 2nd-grade, were scheduled to return to in-person, hybrid instructions on January 11.

Superintendent Parker says they are waiting for Gov. Northam, the Virginia Department of Health, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding the state’s latest ongoing response to COVID-19 which is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

RELATED: Northam to hold coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, first in nearly a month

School offices will serve families and visitors by appointment only until further notice. Parents and guardians are asked to call the school office and schedule a time to visit. All administrative offices will continue to serve walk-in visitors (though appointments are encouraged) while observing all CDC mitigation strategies.

All visitors and staff must wear face masks and maintain a physical distance of six feet when visiting NNPS schools and offices.

RELATED: Newport News Public Schools pauses winter sports, monitoring COVID-19 metrics ahead of students’ return

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