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Nearly 26,000 elementary students in Chesterfield return to classrooms

Chesterfield students return to school
Posted at 1:45 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 09:13:55-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County Public Schools welcomed nearly 26,000 elementary students back into the classroom on Tuesday.

Sunday’s snow storm caused the schools to close on Monday, which is when those students were originally supposed to return to in-person learning.

The students who returned are the ones who signed up for in-person learning. They will go five days a week, while the rest of the students will remain virtual.

As students hit the hallways, some concern grew over the shortage of vaccinations among teachers and the possibility that students are being brought back to the classroom too soon.

Chesterfield school leaders said they gave about 1,300 vaccines to teachers and staff last week and expect to give about 1,200 of the 1,500 doses being provided to Chesterfield County this week, according to a press release.

Those shots will be administered on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. onsite for staff at these elementary schools:

  • Greenfield
  • Crenshaw
  • Bensley
  • Curtis
  • Ecoff
  • Jacobs Road
  • Bon Air
  • Providence
  • A.M. Davis
  • Marguerite Christian
  • Gates
  • Matoaca
  • Salem Church
  • Swift Creek
  • Reams
  • Wells
  • Hopkins
  • Bellwood
  • Harrowgate
  • Crestwood
  • Ettrick

The school system said they felt their schools were safe, and will continue to monitor the spread of the virus.

As they get more vaccines, school officials said they would begin to vaccinate middle and high school teachers and staff next.

They said about 80% of employees have yet to be fully vaccinated (both doses), and they're asking the Virginia Department of Health and the governor's office for help in getting more vaccines.

Some parents of Chesterfield students have mixed feelings over the return.

“In one way excited and then in one way you’re very concerned with everything going around," said Karla Chadwick, a parent with two kids at Bensley Elementary School.

Chadwick said she and her husband made the decision to sign their kids up for in-person learning after a lot of discussion.

She said her kids were ready to go.

"I was thinking these kids, these kids could get depressed," Chadwick said. "Usually kids smile and play.”