Roanoke County school leaders present plan for 2020-2021 year

Plan features hybrid schedule based on grade level

Roanoke County Public Schools dealing with budget shortfalls
Roanoke County Public Schools dealing with budget shortfalls

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – We’re getting a better look at what the start of the 2020-2021 school year might look like in Roanoke County.

Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely presented a plan to the Roanoke County School Board on Thursday night.

The plan calls for a hybrid schedule with preschool through second grade students receiving in-person instruction daily.

Under the proposed plan, students in all other grades (3rd-12th) will receive in-person instruction twice a week with remote instruction for the remainder of the week.

The student body would be divided into two groups, according to Nicely. Group 1 would be in school on Mondays and Thursdays with remote learning on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Group 2 would be in school on Tuesdays and Fridays with remote learning on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Nicely said that in-person instruction is the most effective method of learning for students, and the safety of student and staff remain a top priority. The plan takes both of those considerations into account.

Remote instruction will be “very different” and more “robust” than it was this spring, according to Nicely. The school district would provide laptops for all elementary students. Middle and high schools already have an existing laptop program. The district would also provide hotspots for families that live in areas where broadband internet is not available or is unreliable.

Nicely advised that to accomplish this plan, the school system will need help with daily transportation, given social distancing restrictions imposed on school bus capacity.

Under the plan, parents who would prefer their child receive 100% remote instruction can choose that as an option.

School officials said they will react as the public health situation evolves, which could include having more students attend school in-person if it’s permitted based on state and health department guidelines.

You can read the full plan for the 2020-2021 school year here.

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