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State Superintendent of Education tours Botetourt County schools

Dr. James Lane looks to see how school districts are adapting to the pandemic

TROUTVILLE, Va. – After a quick temperature scan, State Superintendent Dr. James Lane and his team were off to tour Greenfield Elementary School in Botetourt County on Monday.

They popped into classrooms to take a look at how the school is upholding to state and CDC guidelines.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise around the state, the school is noticing an uptick in absences.

“We are experiencing a little bit of a rise right now in our area so we have some students who have family members who are sick and are having to miss school," said Greenfield Elementary School Principal Laura Camp.

But to see plenty of children interacting in the classrooms puts Lane at ease. He admired how creative school officials were by moving lunch time to the gym to accommodate the students.

Botetourt County School Superintendent Jonathan Russ said he aims to keep children in school while maintaining a balance of social distance learning and interactivity.

“When students come home they may talk less about small group instruction because we need to keep the kids separated," said Russ. "But we want them in the building as much as possible.”

“We’ve been really worried about the hybrid schedules and everything about whether students were going to be moving forward in the curriculum as they would have," said Lane. “Here in Botetourt County we saw great learning going on and great engagement and that’s something we are going to take back with us to Richmond and share with other superintendents so they can learn from what’s going on here.”

Lane said establishing better broadband around the state for virtual learning is on his priority list.

But first, he will visit nine more school districts in southwest Virginia over the next few days.


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