Local superintendents react to Governor Northam’s push to return to the classroom

Some districts have maxed out in-person capacity, while others remain 100% virtual

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A major factor in fully reopening Virginia schools is COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

As Governor Ralph Northam laid out his expectations for reopening schools across the state, some superintendents were left with questions.

“Is there any room to re-look at the mitigation efforts we have in place such as the six-foot physical distancing?” said Roanoke County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely. “That is the biggest barrier to having more students come into the school.”

Nicely wonders what happens or can change after teachers and staff are vaccinated.

Some school systems like Roanoke County have had students back in the classroom and are preparing to welcome more.

“We’ve now maximized our available staff and space to have as many students in-person as possible,” said Nicely.

On Friday, Nicely told reporters their hybrid, safe-reopening model is serving them well.

“Children are hurting right now. Families are hurting,” said Gov. Ralph Northam.

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