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‘Uncharted territory’: Central Virginia schools successfully reopen despite challenges

Lynchburg students are learning remotely; Campbell County students learning via hybrid format

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Students in Lynchburg City Schools have been learning online for two weeks now.

“This has been uncharted territory for everybody,” said Ethel Reeves, the Director of Equity and Community Relations for the school system.

The process has been difficult for parents, children and teachers who have never been through a pandemic before.

“While we’ve provided internet access at our buildings in the parking lots, there are some [parents] who are concerned about getting there,” Reeves said.

In Campbell County, Thursday marks day three for Pre-K through 5th grade students who chose to come back to school and learn in person.

“Parents are helping by bringing their kids, but it is creating long lines at the end of the day. Which we hope as school goes on that will work itself out,” said Clayton Stanley, the assistant superintendent for Campbell County Public Schools.

The school division has just over 5,000 students back in brick and mortar, while one-third of its population chose to stay home and learn online.

“But that’s not what’s best for every child and we know that we have students out there that need to see us. They need to be in person,” Stanley said.

Realizing virtual is not what’s best for everyone, LCS said 60 to 70 special education students will be back in its buildings Tuesday.

“A lot of these special education students don’t handle change well. They’ve been out of school now for six months. We wanna try to get in some of the more intensive support need students back in,” said Janenne Daniels-Bosher, director of special education.

And though this process hasn’t been easy for all, school leaders ask parents and students to communicate their needs.

Lynchburg City Schools said churches have stepped in offering their WiFi hot spots to families who need them.

Middle and high school students in Campbell County will start in-person learning on Tuesday.