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Chesterfield Superintendent supports virtual learning for all students

Posted at 9:25 AM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 18:28:03-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Chesterfield Superintendent Mervin Daugherty has expressed his support for a virtual start to the 2020 school year.

"It is recommended that the School Board adopt Option 6, tied to the Governor’s Phase III reopening plan for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year until further metrics and guidance from regulatory agencies can be provided," he wrote in a memo to the Chesterfield School Board ahead of a scheduled Monday night vote.

Option 6 is "virtual learning for all students."

Other options the board will consider include all students in class and a mixed schedule where students are in class half the time and learn from home the other half.

The Chesterfield County School Board vote was set to take place in a special meeting beginning at 6 p.m. for closed session, and 6:30 p.m. for the public agenda.

Prior to the superintendent's announcement, the most viable options were reported to be Options 2 and 4B.

Under Option 2, half the student body would report to school for in-person learning at one time. They would then alternate meeting face to face every other day.

Under option 4B, half the student body would report to class on a given day. But under this plan, half of the students would report on Monday and Tuesday, and the other half would report Thursday and Friday. Wednesday would be reserved for a work-from-home and robust cleaning day.

However, the Chesterfield Education Association sent out a statement in June, saying any kind of in-person learning was too dangerous since research shows COVID-19 is highly contagious — especially indoors.

In its news release, the Chesterfield Education Association said it supported a 100 percent fully virtual option to keep everyone safe.

The School Board meeting will take place at the Chesterfield County Public Meeting Room on Iron Bridge Road and will be live-streamed.

Citizens were encouraged to submit comments no later than 2 p.m. Monday via the online form.

Those wishing to address the Board in person were also asked to contact the Clerk’s office no later than 2 p.m.

Richmond Schools have already committed to a virtual fall semester.Henrico County's superintendent said she supported a virtual start to the school year.