WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Williamsburg-James City County Schools announced that it will delay the return of students for in-person learning due to the current health metrics, time required for contact tracing, and the need to get teachers vaccinated.
Superintendent Dr. Olwen Herron announced the decision Tuesday, Jan. 19, and the school released a revised timeline for hybrid learning.
The timeline now shows:
- Feb. 16: PreK–3: Select Special Ed and ELs
- Feb. 22: Grades 4,5,6 and 12
- March 1: Grades 7,9 and 11
- March 8: Grades 8 and 10.
The first wave of students was expected to return for in-person learning beginning Jan. 25, however, this is no longer the case.
Additionally, Herron and school leadership worked with partners from the city, county, and local hospitals to establish and support a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for the community.
“It is essential that we begin the process of vaccinating teachers and employees as soon as possible, beginning with those who will be the first to come in face-to-face contact with students,” staff posted to the website.
Williamsburg-James City County Schools staff began receiving the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Jan. 22 — the first group to receive vaccinations at the new temporary clinic.
The clinic is not open to the general public yet and currently, only WJCC Schools staff and eligible city employees are being vaccinated. The school division is contacting staff directly about the schedule and registration process.
“We don’t know how long the vaccination process will take; it could stretch into early February. Furthermore, the health department is overwhelmed with contact tracing, which, as you know, is one of the five key mitigation strategies within our school division. Currently, there are no guarantees how long it could take to complete tracing for a staff member or student who becomes ill.”
The website also reminds the community to continue using face coverings, wash hands, and remain socially distant.
The full statement and updated Return to Learn Forward WJCC Schools plan can be read on the Williamsburg-James City County Schools website.