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Richmond School Board unanimously approves fall reopening plan

Posted at 6:59 AM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 07:02:40-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Parents in Richmond now have a clearer picture of how the district hopes to reopen for the fall school year.

Monday night, the Richmond School Board voted unanimously to offer two options for parents.

They can choose for their child to return to school five days a week in-person or virtually beginning September 8. School officials note they anticipate more children choosing to return to the building.

COVID-19 guidelines will remain in place in the schools, and board members discussed plans to acquire more substitute teachers to ensure they can keep the buildings open when teachers are out on quarantine.

While students will have the option to learn remotely or in-person, Superintendent Jason Kamras said teachers will either be 100% virtual or 100% in-person.

"So one of our core principles that we wanted to achieve is to not have teachers teaching both," Kamras explained. "We received a great deal of feedback from teachers, and in doing research about other divisions that have attempted to do that."

If you choose the virtual option for your child, depending on their age, they will either be part of the RPS Virtual Academy or the Virginia Department of Education’s Virtual Virginia program.

Pre-kindergarten through fifth grade would have the option to be part of the RPS Virtual Academy and would be taught by RPS teachers.

Students in sixth grade through high school would have the option to participate in VDOE's Virtual Virginia program. Those students would be taught by other certified teachers that VDOE has hired, but RPS would pay the tuition fees for Virtual Virginia.

The board also talked about the need to encourage students age 16 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine now that they are eligible.