Portsmouth School Board approves in-person return dates for students, school employees


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth school officials have set dates for some students and staff to return to school buildings in-person.

The Portsmouth School Board met Thursday and voted on the return plans.

All school division staff must physically return to buildings on Nov. 23. Pre-K through third-grade students will begin their return to in-person learning Jan. 4.

Older students will return as follows:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 19: Fourth, fifth and sixth grade
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2: Middle and high school students

Instructional staff will be allowed to work remotely on Wednesdays, which are flipped learning days.

Human Resources will be surveying all employees to “assess their return-to-work intentions.” That survey is expected to be sent out Nov. 6. The deadline for responding is Nov. 13.

Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy III said employees will be returning Nov. 23 ahead of students to “reinforce the support of special education students in line with the expectations outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).”

Elementary students and their families will also receive a survey to be completed between Nov. 6 and 13.

That survey will ask families what educational option best suits their needs for 2021: the in-person/hybrid model where students attend school two days and learn virtually for three days, or the virtual model in which students learn online 100% of the time.

A survey for secondary parents is also upcoming.

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