ROANOKE, Va. – Fourth-grade students on the hybrid schedule will return to in-person instruction five days a week beginning Jan. 25, according to Roanoke County Public Schools.
The school district said that to help facilitate this expansion, all fourth-grade classes will be 100% online on Jan. 21 and 22 to allow staff time to prepare classrooms for additional students.
Fourth-grade students who are currently receiving 100% online instruction have the option to continue with 100% online instruction or switch to full-time in-person instruction, according to the school district, which added that the deadline to switch to in-person instruction is Jan. 15.
In its release, the district said there may be some changes in teachers in order to implement this expansion.
“Since in-person fourth-graders will attend five days per week, fourth-graders who are participating in 100% online learning will be assigned new teachers dedicated to online students,” the district said on its website.
School district officials said all students in grades 5-12 currently on the hybrid schedule with a daily Individualized Education Program, receive English language services or currently are failing a class will attend school in-person four days a week beginning Jan. 21. Wednesdays will continue to be online-only days, according to the district.
Students will be placed at desks spaced at least 6 feet apart in keeping with current recommendations from public health experts. District officials said students also will be required to wear masks or facial coverings, including on the school bus.
“Our primary goal is to make sure our students are receiving a quality education and the best way students learn is being in the classroom with a teacher to the maximum extent possible under public health guidelines,” Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely said in a released statement. “I want to thank our fourth-grade teachers for being flexible and working to help find a way to bring more students back to school full-time.”
The school district is reminding parents to review the daily health screening checklist that was sent home at the beginning of school and keep children home if they are sick or meet any of the other criteria listed in the checklist.
“One way we are accomplishing this expansion is by temporarily turning our elementary school gyms into classroom spaces in several schools (where) no other option is available. This was not a decision we made lightly,” Nicely said. “Physical education is an important part of a student’s overall learning and we will have alternative ways for students to remain active without the school gym. I want to commend our elementary physical education teachers for being adaptable and helping us bring fourth-grade students back to school full-time.”
In late October 2020, the district’s Return to School plan expanded bringing back third-grade students for full-time in-person instruction, according to the district.
More details can be found on the district’s website.