DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- In a change of course, the Dinwiddie County School Board Tuesday approved a full virtual learning start to the school year.
The change came after Superintendent Dr. Kari Weston recommended a switch to a full virtual start.
Initially, families had the choice between virtual or hybrid learning this fall. Under the hybrid option, students would have attended face-to-face classes two days a week.
School officials say the change comes as they have been continuously reviewing health data over the past month with the Crater Health District and county leaders.
Additionally, six division employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
"Over the course of the past two weeks, there has been a notable increase in the number of cases and the positivity rate. Based on the information received from the Crater Health District, there is community spread of the virus not related to an outbreak," said a release from Dinwiddie County Public Schools. "There is also an increase within the Crater Health District for the number of cases in youth between the ages of 0-19, with two such cases here in Dinwiddie. This is concerning because of the difficulty to mitigate the spread of the virus and for contact tracing."
School leaders say if the data improves, a projected targeted return date for hybrid learners is October 1.
“We understand the challenges that this change in our plan may create for our families. While we all know that the best place for students to learn is in the classroom; however, the safest place at this moment in time is to provide instruction virtually," said Superintendent Dr. Weston. "Our staff will continue to work with the School Board and health officials to return to in-person instruction as soon as it is safer to do so.”
The school year begins in Dinwiddie on Tuesday, Sep. 8.