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Monday is first day of school for Goochland, Powhatan students

Posted at 8:30 PM, Aug 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 20:32:25-04

GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. -- School is about to be back in session in Goochland County, but this time it will be virtually.

Alden Blevins teaches at Goochland County Public Schools, she'll be online this year due to COVID19.

"I was accommodated based on my own health issue," Blevins explained.

While she's all for online learning, she does have concerns for some teachers having to report into work.

"I do know a lot of teachers that have not been accommodated that do have to report back tomorrow and some of them have family members who are high risk," Blevins said.

Goochland County Public Schools Superintendent Jeremy Raley said they expect 400 students across the school division to come into schools on Monday, so they can access the internet for online learning. This will be for families who signed up who may lack internet access or work.

Raley said over 200 hot spot units were also handed out to families who needed them.

Blevins believes internet access is something the county leaders need to improve on.

"It's been a topic for a long time and our county lacks the infrastructure currently to fully support distance learning and make sure that all students have an equitable experience," Blevins said.

As for student and staff safety, Raley said students will conduct home health screenings, be socially distanced in designated locations, have temperature checks at school doors as well as be provided PPE if they do not have thier own. Raley also adds staff supervising students will have PPE as well.

Blevins said she can only hope that things go well this school year and, in the meantime, just hopes the county can improve internet access in a rural area.

"We have the training, we have the skills to make distance learning really engaging and meaningful for the children, we just need the tools in terms of the county`'s infrastructure to make that happen," Blevins said.

Powhatan County Public Schools will also start on Monday. They will be hybrid and taking COVID-19 precautions.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.