COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va.— Colonial Heights Public School leaders have announced their tentative reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year.
The CHPS ‘Back to School’ Plan outlines two options for families to choose for their students; fully in-person or fully virtually learning.
The reopening plan, that will be voted on next week, would be the only one in the Tri-Cities allowing in-person classes.
Richmond Schools previously announced its entire first semester would be taught online.
Similar to Colonial Heights, Hanover and Goochland schools have plans that include options for in-school learning.
“Our reopening plan identifies two distinct priorities: (1) the safety and well-being of students and staff, and (2) quality teaching and learning. We firmly believe that student well-being requires face-to-face, student-teacher interaction,” Superintendent William Sroufe said in a letter to the Colonial Heights community.
Sroufe said the traditional school choice would allow students to attend every day each week "if we can operate under our school building capacity."
"If we are unable to accommodate all the requests for the traditional school setting due to the social distancing guidelines and the Governor’s Order, we will offer an alternating day schedule in the traditional setting," Sroufe said. "In this back-up plan, students would attend school every-other-day and participate in virtual learning on the days they are not physically at school. We will schedule siblings to attend on the same school days if we use the alternating day schedule."
"This plan is dependent on how many families choose the virtual academy and how many students want to attend in-person. Our goal is to serve every child, in-person, all week, if possible," he explained.
However, families who would like their students to learn virtually can enroll in the CHPSP Virtual Academy through Sunday, July 26.
Face coverings would be required for students and staff when social distancing cannot be maintained, but Sroufe said accommodations can be made on a case-by-case basis for medical reasons.
The plan will operate under the state’s Phase III guidelines and is based on updated guidance from VDOE and the CDC but Superintendent Sroufe said CHPS teachers are preparing for full virtual instruction if at any time it becomes necessary.
The CHPS school board will further discuss and vote on this plan at their meeting next week.