More VB students heading back to class Thursday, even though COVID-19 cases are on the rise

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — School systems have had a lot to deal with this year. In most school systems, students are back in the buildings.

On Thursday, even more children are coming back to Virginia Beach schools, even though COVID-19 numbers are rising.

“We want to have our students come back to school as quickly and as safely as we are able to do so,” said Virginia Beach Schools Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence.

Up to this point, only the younger Virginia Beach students had come back to school. That will all change Thursday when 15,000 students from grades seven to 12 start to return to in-person learning some days a week.

“We are still going to expect physical distancing,” Spence added. “We are still going to require all students to wear masks. We have where it is needed plexiglass barriers in our classrooms.”

Spence said staff is still watching the positive cases closely, especially in the schools. Although the COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in the city, he thought it was time to bring the older students back.

“We are not a spreader,” Spence said talking about the schools. “We don’t have any connected cases in our buildings right now. That means folks may be bringing it into our building; they are not getting from each other in the building.”

There have been 83 total cases in the school system this year. There 10 just reported Wednesday morning. That’s why the students who do come back will have staggered schedules between in-person and virtual learning.

“In our high schools, they are going to come back alphabetically,” Spence added. “The first half the alphabet will come back on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the second half will come back on Thursdays and Fridays.”

Seventh-graders will be on different days than the eighth-graders. The idea is to make sure the schools don’t get crowded.

Spence said the situation continues to evolve, and if the city’s positive tests get higher than 10%, schools will be forced to back to 100% virtual learning.

For more information on schedules, click here.


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