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Colonial Heights School Board approves plan to let parents choose school options

Plan allows parents to choose in-person or online learning
Posted at 11:44 AM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 19:03:32-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- The Colonial Heights School Board unanimously approved a reopening plan Tuesday to allow families the choice to return to school in person or virtually in the fall.

"I think, right now today, we're doing what we need to do," said Superintendent Dr. William Shroufe, following Tuesday's decision. "We have two options. We have a traditional option (school is going to look different for sure), and then we have a virtual option where we’ll have teachers teaching online."

The school board approved that plan in a meeting at Colonial Heights High School Technical Center Tuesday morning.

According to the Superintendent about 70 percent of parents said they wanted traditional school, and 60 percent of staff said they were okay with coming back to school.

Sroufe also said at the time, about 51 percent of students planned to return to school, and 49 percent planned to enroll in virtual learning.

Steven Neece spoke out during Tuesday's meeting, and said he wanted his second-grade daughter would be returning to the classroom in the fall.

"I definitely feel passionate about my daughter going back to school," said Neece. " I do understand that this is a risk. I do have fears about sending my daughter back, but I have bigger fears of not sending her back."

Shroufe said school leaders planned to monitor health data, and said families should be ready at any moment to switch to an all virtual learning option if Covid cases continue to rise.

He also said students returning to the classrooms would be required to wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible.

Both options will require students to attend school 5 days a week.

All students in Kindergarten through 12th grade have been given Chromebook laptops. Colonial Heights Schools also recently received a $50,000 grant that will help buy cellular hot-spots to be given to families without internet service.

Similar to Colonial Heights, Hanover and Goochland schools have plans that include options for in-school learning.

Richmond Schools previously announced its entire first semester would be taught online.

Chesterfield, and Henrico schools announced 100 percent virtual plans for at least the first nine weeks of school.

Click here for the full reopening plan.