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Henrico polls parents about possible return to in-person classes

Henrico asks to start school year early
Henrico school issues mumps alert
Posted at 11:23 PM, Oct 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 00:20:56-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The first nine weeks of the 2020-2021 school year for Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) began virtually. As students and staff prepare to head into their sixth week, school board members are hoping to get an idea of what the second nine weeks of school could look like via a new survey.

On Oct. 5, HCPS sent out a short survey for parents with three in-person class options :

  • In person learning five days a week.
  • In person learn four days a week, with Wednesday being an independent virtual learning day and deep cleaning day for schools and teachers.
  • In person learning two days a week, with students assigned either to Mondays and Tuesdays or Thursdays and Fridays.

"The questionnaire didn't really address to me what would happen if the kids go back in-person, what happens to the kids who are still virtual?" parent Kristen Baker said. "Because depending on that, that may change my decision."

Baker said her high schoolers have been adjusting to virtual learning and that she plans to keep them home. However, she worries what the options will be for those who decided to continue with virtual learning.

On Oct. 8, HCPS School Board members brought up concerns like Baker's.

"I've heard from parents that are concerned about what will happen to the staffing with the virtual -- with the students who've chosen virtual," Kristie Kinsella, the School Board's Brookland District representative, said.

School leaders made it clear no definitive plan is in place, but that the responses from the survey should help in making sure those students who continue virtual classes have what they need.

"We have continued to share that there would be an option for our students to stay virtual if that's what they wanted," said Dr. Beth Teigen HCPS. "You know, looking at the data is really going to be key to knowing how you would make the classes."

The survey ended Sunday and the school board's health committee plans to make recommendations on Oct. 22.

If any other suggestions are made, parents will be able to give input on Oct. 23-27.