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Students return to classroom in Powhatan: 'I’ve been pleasantly surprised'

Posted at 12:07 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 12:34:11-04

POWHATAN, Va. -- Students in Powhatan County returned to the classroom for the first day of school Monday morning.

About 40 percent of the student population returned to the classrooms Monday, according to Superintendent Dr. Eric Jones. He said 80 percent of the school opted for hybrid learning. Under that model, students are split into two groups. The other half of the students were set to begin in-person learning Thursday.

Meanwhile, 20 percent of students opted for a completely virtual plan according to Dr. Jones.

"It’s been really smooth. I’ve been pleasantly surprised because it is so different, there’s a lot of unknowns and different protocols that we’re using, and it's been extremely smooth," said Dr. Jones.

Joy Curlings, a grandmother of three Powhatan students, said her grandchildren caught the bus Monday for their first day of school. She said they were happy to have the option to return to school in person.

"Kind of sad that their long summer break is over, but I think they miss their friends so they're anxious to go back," said Curlings. "They'll go on Mondays and Tuesdays, then off on Wednesday for a help day. And then Thursday and Friday the home learning from what I understand."

Curlings said despite alot of the unknowns ahead, she and her grandkids are not nervous.

"It’s very different all of our lives are different and we’ll see how this goes," said Curlings.

In an interview with CBS 6 Monday morning, Dr. Jones described the first few hours of the school year as 'a great start.'
"Kids are in, they’re wearing their masks, they’re practicing social distancing and instruction has already started," said Jones.

He added that there were a few minor technical issues with virtual learning that were being worked out.

"I think I got two calls which isn’t too bad since we passed out about 300 hotspots," said Dr. Jones. "So, reports are that things are moving pretty smoothly."