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    When and how Southwest, Central Virginia students will return to school this fall

    Some will be in-person, but others will be 100% virtual

    School districts across Southwest and Central Virginia are releasing back-to-school plans as the school year gets closer and coronavirus continues to spread.

    Here is a list of plans broken down by locality:

    Alleghany County

    Students will be in school two days a week and will attend school virtually three days a week starting on Sept. 9.

    In order to maintain proper health mitigation guidelines, students will be grouped to attend school in-person either on Mondays and Tuesdays (A group) or Thursdays and Fridays (B group).

    Schools will notify all parents of which grouping their student is in within the next few weeks.

    For more information, click here.

    Amherst County

    The first day of school has been pushed back to Sept. 9 after a school board meeting on July 30.

    • All elementary school students wil be in school Monday through Thursday with block scheduling in place
    • For middle and high school students, they will be split into groups. One group will go to school on Mondays and Wednesdays, the other on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with both groups doing at-home instruction on Fridays.

    For more information, click here.

    Appomattox County

    Students will return to school on Aug. 24 with a hybrid model in place with more in-person instruction for Pre-K-5 students. It is contingent on transportation, available building spaces to split classrooms, and available staff supervising the split groups for social distancing. More details can be found here.

    Bath County

    Bath County has finalized its plan for reopening school.

    The school board voted to have students go to class four days a week with one day virtual on Fridays.

    But parents can choose to enroll their kids in a completely virtual option.

    Classes start on Aug. 26.

    To learn more, click here.

    Bedford County

    Students in pre-K through 6th grade will be learning in person every day. Students in grades 7-12 will have a hybrid schedule of in-person and online learning.

    Superintendent Dr. Dough Schuch told parents that he is pushing back the first day of classes one full week.

    Students will start back on three different dates:

    • Pre-K to 3rd Grade (and 4th for those still housed in elementary schools) - August 19
    • Grades 4-6 that are in the middle schools - August 20
    • Grades 7-12 - August 24

    All virtual learning will start on the 24th. Check here for updates.

    Bland County

    Students will be placed in Group A or Group B — with Group A students attending school Mondays and Tuesdays and Group B attending schools on Thursdays and Fridays.

    Siblings will go to school on the same day.

    Preschool and kindergarten students will be issued an iPad and 1st graders through 12th graders will be issued a Chromebook.

    For more information, click here.

    Botetourt County

    The Botetourt County School Board approved a plan for fall in which students in grades 3-12 will have two days of in-person class and then three remote days of learning. The younger students will be in school four days a week, with Wednesdays as a distance learning day.

    Students in grades 3-12 will be assigned to either Group A or Group B and will go to school on Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday and will learn remotely the other three days of the week. Then, starting on Wednesday, Oct. 21, students will learn in person on Wednesdays too. Wednesdays will alternate between Group A and B days.

    Students can alternatively choose to take all their classes remotely. They will not be considered homeschooled, so they will still be eligible to participate in athletics.

    Check here for more information.

    Buena Vista

    School is set to start on Aug. 17. Students over the age of 10 who chose in-person instruction and staff will be required to wear a face mask when a physical distance of 6 feet is not possible. More information can be found here.

    Campbell County

    After a two-plus hour presentation on July 20, school board members voted unanimously that elementary students (Pre-K-5) come back on Sept. 1 for four days a week.

    Students in grades 6-12 will learn in person and online and will start back on Sept. 8.

    Check for updates here.

    Carroll County

    All students will be in school two days a week starting Aug. 17. More information can be found here.

    Charlotte County

    The school board is still collecting the results of a survey sent to families on how to proceed. For more information, click here.

    Covington

    School is set to start on Sept. 9. Reopening plans are expected to be released soon. For more information, click here.

    Craig County

    School will start on Aug. 24.

    • Grades Pre-K through 8 will go to school Monday through Thursday for in-person learning and Friday will be reserved for virtual learning
    • Grades 9 through 12 will go to school two days per week with three days of virtual learning
    • Students riding the school bus will sit one student per seat, except for siblings, and students must wear face masks on the bus

    For more information, click here.

    Danville

    The 2020-2021 school calendar is not finalized, but the proposed first day of school is Aug. 17. For more information, click here.

    Floyd County

    • Pre-K through third grade will go to school in-person every day except Wednesday
    • Grades 4 through 7 will go to school two days per week at 50% capacity except for Wednesday. Students will engage in online learning on days not in school.
    • Grades 8 through 12 will go to school one day per week at 25% capacity except for Wednesday. Students will engage in online learning on days not in school.
    • Students have the option to remain 100% online.
    • Students with disabilities will have the option to attend school 4 days a week if appropriate
    • Normal bus routes will be running

    For more information, click here.

    Franklin County

    The school board has decided that students will go back to school on Sept. 8, but has not made a decision as to how students will return.

    This section will be updated once a decision is made.

    Galax

    The first day of school is set for Aug. 19.

    The school board is weighing two options for scheduling, with students either in school or at home for five days a week. For 6th through 12th grade, teachers will rotate classrooms. The high school will change from a 7 period day to a 3 block class day. Students and staff will go through temperature checks and health screenings each day.

    For more information, click here.

    Giles County

    No coronavirus-specific plans for the fall have been released yet. When a plan is released, it can be found here.

    Grayson County

    School is set to start on Aug. 13.

    All students will be in-person Monday through Thursday, with Friday reserved for virtual learning until Labor Day, when students will return to an in-person schedule on Sept. 8. However, the school board states that schedules may become staggered as the year goes on.

    The school meal program will also continue.

    For more information, click here.

    Halifax County

    The superintendent has requested to delay the first day of school until after Labor Day. A hybrid model is possible. For more information, click here.

    Henry County

    All Henry County students will start classes virtually on Aug. 10.

    That decision was announced on July 23, following a change from what was previously announced that students would go to school two days a week and learn virtually for three days.

    Highland County

    No coronavirus-specific plans for the fall have been released yet. When a plan is released, it can be found here.

    Lexington

    Lexington City Schools will reopen on Aug. 31.

    Students in grades K-8 will have a shortened Monday-Friday schedule to allow for afternoon virtual instruction and teacher preparation.

    Families have to option to opt for 100% online learning for their students.

    Check here for updates.

    Lynchburg

    Lynchburg City Schools will reopen on Aug. 24 using a combination of in-building, hybrid and remote learning.

    The “Return to Learn Plan” calls for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 5 to attend school in person two days a week. Students will be separated into two cohorts. Cohort A will receive in-building instruction on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while Cohort B will attend on Thursdays and Fridays. On Mondays, students will engage in “self-directed independent learning” away from the building. Students will have remote learning on the two other days when they’re not scheduled to be in the building.

    Grades 6 through 12 will start the school year using a remote learning model. The tentative plan is to enter Phase 3 after Labor Day, on Sept. 8. At that time, secondary students would begin in-person learning two days a week using the same two cohort system as the elementary schools.

    Check here for updates.

    Martinsville

    Remote learning will be the only option, at least at the beginning of the year, for Martinsville City Schools students.

    While most, if not all, districts have this option in their plan, as of July 20 Martinsville was the only district in the 10 News viewing area using it.

    When the school board approved the district’s three-phase plan on July 13, the intent was to start the school year with a hybrid plan. However the superintendent made the announcement on July 17 to revert to the all-remote option after seeing cases continue to increase in the city and surrounding areas.

    The district will continue to consult with the local health department to determine when and how students and teachers can return to the classroom.

    Check here for the latest updates.

    Montgomery County

    After a more than 10-hour meeting on July 21, the school board has decided on a back-to-school plan.

    Students will go back to school on Sept. 8.

    Middle and high school students will have a hybrid program — half of students will attend school in the morning, and half will attend in the afternoon. Middle and high school students will do virtual learning for the half of the day they are not in school.

    Elementary school students will only be in school for half days, either in the morning or afternoon, four days a week.

    Parents have the option for their children to go fully remote.

    Masks must be worn by students and teachers at all times.

    Nelson County

    The county’s schools will take a phased approach to reopening.

    The school board decided the year will begin at Level One for the first nine weeks, in which most students will learn virtually. Students with special needs and individualized programs will go in person.

    After the start of October, the schools will go to Level Two, where there will be a mix between online and in-person learning.

    By next semester, the school board hopes to move to Level Three which is completely in-person with online options available.

    School leaders said the plan may change depending on the state of the pandemic and number of cases.

    Extracurricular activities, including sports, are on hold until at least Aug. 13.

    Click here to learn more.

    Patrick County

    The school board is still weighing two options for reopening schools.

    Option 1 is a banded learning schedule, where students will be on an AABB schedule. Students in Group A will go to school Mondays and Tuesdays and will learn from home Wednesday through Friday. Students in Group B will learn from home Monday through Wednesday and will go to school on Thursday and Friday.

    Under Option 2, all students will learn from home Monday through Friday.

    For more information, click here.

    Pittsylvania County

    All students in Pre-K-3rd grade, as well as students with disabilities and English language learners will attend school in person each day for four days per week, on Mon-Tues and Thur-Fri with virtual learning on Wednesday.

    All students in grades 4-12 will attend two days per week in two separate cohorts. Group A will attend on Monday and Thursday with remote learning Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Group B will attend on Tuesday and Friday with remote learning on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

    First day of school is Aug. 20. For more information, click here.

    Pulaski County

    • Elementary school students will be assigned one teacher for reading, math, science and social studies
    • Middle school students will do block scheduling and teachers will rotate classrooms. When students are walking throughout school, they will be required to wear masks
    • High school students will do block scheduling and when students are walking throughout school, they have to wear masks
    • Elementary school will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and middle and high school will be from 9:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., with one hour of virtual learning after school each day.

    More information can be found here.

    Radford

    Radford City school leaders are weighing the options of what this school year could look like.

    Superintendent Robert Graham said the division has multiple committees on each grade level weighing which is the safest and best all-around option for the school year.

    He hopes to bring as many students as he can back to school for in-person learning this fall.

    More information can be found here.

    Roanoke City

    School leaders unveiled the back-to-school plan for Roanoke City Public Schools on July 14.

    Parents can opt for their child to enroll in the “Virtual Academy” to have 100% online instruction. Otherwise, students will go to school four days a week, with Friday classes online. However, this hybrid plan hinges on 30% of students enrolling online, which staff believe is a realistic number based on feedback from a parent survey. But only about two-thirds of families responded to that survey, and they need to hear from 100% of families before they lock it in.

    Parents received a robocall with the information on July 14 and should expect to be able to make their choice for in-person or online learning starting Monday, July 20.

    The board will then need to approve the plan, and they set a time after the end of July to do so. Check here for the latest updates.

    Roanoke County

    The board voted to push the start of school back from Aug 13. to Aug. 24.

    Parents can still choose to have their students receive 100% online instruction if desired. School leaders told 10 News 15% of parents chose this option.

    There will be reduced class sizes for the students in K-2 who attend school in person five days a week. School leaders said some areas of the school, such as libraries and cafeterias, have been converted into classroom spaces.

    Students in grades 3-12 will be split into two groups and will attend school in person two days a week spread out in classroom spaces.

    More information can be found here.

    Rockbridge County

    All grades K-12 being split into two groups and only attending classes in person two out of five days a week, with virtual learning the other three.

    Preschoolers will spend 4 days in school with Wednesdays off.

    Salem

    The approved plan features in-person instruction five days a week for students in preschool-2nd grade. Students in 3rd through 12th grade will go to school in person two days a week, and engage in online learning for the other three days.

    School leaders said the plan provides flexibility to adjust if conditions or official guidance changes. For example, the plan could be scaled to a scenario where students in grades Pre-K-2 attend school two days a week, students in grades 3-5 attend school one day a week, and students in grades 6-12 attend school two days a week.

    All students (K-12) will receive their own Chromebooks to help with the online portion of their education.

    All parents still have the option to choose 100% remote learning for their child if they desire.

    Students will be required to wear masks when necessary, including on the bus.

    There are about 4,000 students in Salem schools, which are scheduled to open on Aug. 31.

    More information can be found here.

    Wythe County

    On Aug. 13, the school board voted to delay the start of the school year until Sept. 8. In addition to that, now, until at least Oct. 26, schools will be 100% virtual.

    For more information, click here.

    This is part of an ongoing in-depth 10 News series looking into reopening schools in Virginia. We are working for you, investigating many different angles of what the changes and challenges mean for families, staff, and the community. Contact Jenna if you have questions by email or on Facebook or Samantha Smith, digital contact producer, at ssmith@wsls.com.


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