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Many Henrico County parents urge full-time school in fall

Posted at 12:04 AM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 07:15:12-04

HENRICO, Va. -- Henrico County parents sat six feet apart with signs in their hands at Glen Allen High School Tuesday evening to tell school leaders their thoughts on their children returning to school.

Julie Stripling was one of the parents who attended the joint work session with the Henrico County Board of Supervisors and school board members.

"The risks of having our children out of school seem to far outlay the risk of actually sending them," Stripling said.

The meeting was scheduled to discuss if and when the school should reopen during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We do want our kids back in school but we don’t want to lay our heads down at night knowing that one child died because we didn’t take the appropriate time to do everything that we could," Henrico County school board member, Alicia Atkins, said.

Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam announced Virginia will enter phase three of reopening on July 1.

Under the state’s guidelines, students would be allowed to return to school with social distancing measures in place.

The county is looking at several options for students to return in September, but most parents are hoping their kids return to class full time.

“Children need to be in school. And parents need to get back to work and teachers need to be able to teach and they can’t do that if they’re worried about their seven-year-old home three days a week," Stribling said.

But not everyone agreed. Some parents urged school leaders to be cautious.

"Going back to school full-time for everybody would be absolutely dangerous and I don’t think it’s a good idea at all," parent, April Sullivan said.

“We fully understand there are people who are scared about sending their kids back to school and I and respect that and I get it but there’s a group of us that also want the choice," Stribling added.

Henrico County will send out a community survey Wednesday to get feedback from parents on how and if they would like to see schools reopen. The county said they will have virtual options for parents who do not wish to send their kids back to the classroom.

Meanwhile, Chesterfield school leaders discussed six different reopening options and will vote on an option in July. While Richmond Public Schools are looking at four options and will meet next week to discuss them.