Franklin County School Board held emergency session for pandemic gameplan

Staffing as well as space for social distancing has been limited amid the pandemic

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – As the coronavirus pandemic goes on, school divisions like Franklin County Public Schools are trying to continually adapt.

The Franklin County School Board met for an emergency session on Thursday to figure out a gameplan as the virus continues to take a toll on schools.

“In-person return is a goal. I think we all know, want and hope to get 100% of our students back in school,” said Jon Crutchfield, Franklin County High School Principal.

Crutchfield had his staff measure classrooms to see how many students they could fit within a three-foot distance. The numbers came back not favorable in return.

“I wanted to see if we had an overload in the morning, an overload around lunch, what that looked like. And it is obvious here. It’s a problem in every class period throughout the day,” he said.

Pre-K through 7th grade remains in-person four days a week while 8th grade will go in-person four days starting next month. That’s also when high school goes hybrid.

Crutchfield said they tried to find more building space, but it just didn’t work.

“One of the facilities stated that there was no internet access. We would actually have to work with our internet provider to get internet to that facility. There were a lot of other concerns,” he said.

Superintendent Bernice Cobbs said manpower is another factor as COVID-19 continues to impact teachers, limiting all the options.

“We just do not have the staffing, which is a great question, but as with what you heard, as staffing has a lot to do with this as well,” Cobbs said.

The school board said it’s ready to adapt the plan as conditions change.

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