Roanoke City School Board votes to decrease number of in-person learning days in 2021 plan

School leaders voted 4-3 in favor of just two in-person days per week

ROANOKE, Va. – School leaders in Roanoke revised their reopening plan for 2021 on Tuesday night.

In a 4-3 vote, the Roanoke City School Board voted to amend the plan and decrease the number of in-person learning days per week for students.

Starting January 25, students will have in-person learning two days per week. The plan previously included four in-person learning days per week at that time.

“We know we have those high COVID rates and in our region we have substantial rates as well so we have to move carefully, thoughtfully, responsibly,” superintendent Verletta White said.

The division has the space and PPE to make the four day a week plan work, but with teachers under quarantine and medical leave, there’s not enough staff to cover.

“So if we have one physics teacher that is handling morning at Patrick Henry and Fleming in the afternoon and I’ll let the academics talk about this more, that is a stretch for that teacher,” division chief operations officer Chris Perkins said.

The board is concerned about the youngest students not being in the classroom as much as possible and white agreed.

“We understand some of the challenges around that, and so we respect that our board members are weighing the options just like we have to weigh as a school system,” White said.

Click here for more on the district’s reopening plans.

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