DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- The Dinwiddie School Board voted unanimously Tuesday evening to bring some students back to the classroom in the upcoming weeks. Classes started virtually on September 8th.
“I will tell you we spend a lot of time in conversation, reading articles, talking to the experts with what’s the best way forward," Dinwiddie Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Kari Weston said.
Dinwiddie Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kari Weston laid out the district’s plan on Tuesday. Special education students from grades K through 12, who in a normal school would spend more than 50 percent of the school day in self-contained classrooms, will be allowed to return September 21.
Students pre-k through 5th grade will go back to class on September 28.
No schedule was presented for students in grades six through 12 but the board plans for them to return in October. The exact date will be decided at the next meeting on September 22.
"One of my biggest concerns is and was then, was our special needs students," school board member Sherilyn H. Merritt said. I feel a little bit better that we are trying to do something for them.”
A survey sent to parents over the summer asked families if they’d prefer to start the school year with distance learning or a mix of online and in-person classes. Dr. Weston said parents who chose in-person learning will be called back to the school building first.
“We are going to start with the families who on July 10 identified that they wanted to be in person or who is currently in our database that they are a face to face learner," Dr. Weston said.
The district promises to enforce safety protocols.
“Children will have on masks, there will be the shields and the principals will also have 3-6 feet distance," Dr. Weston said.
Parents should expect class sizes to have less than 15 students so that social distancing is practiced.
Families will also have the option to return to virtual learning.
“We can make that happen, immediately," Dr. Weston said.