CHATHAM — During a nearly two-hours long special work session on Thursday night, several staff members from Pittsylvania County Schools presented a proposed plan that involves the staggered reopening of schools in the fall.
Under the proposed plan, K-third grade, along with all English language learners and special education students, would attend in-person classes Monday through Thursday, while grades four-12 would attend just two days a week on a staggered schedule. Fridays would be for additional planning and deep cleaning of the schools.
On days they don’t attend classes, students would be required to participate in virtual learning. Students also would have the option of selecting to move forward exclusively with virtual learning and not attend in-person classes.
“We’re really not going to make anyone happy,” said Pittsylvania County Superintendent Mark Jones. “We’re trying to do what we can to educate students.”
After the school board heard the plan for the first time Thursday night, the school division will post information about the plan on its website Friday morning, along with a survey to get input from parents and staff. The board will vote on the proposed reopening plan on Tuesday.
Under the proposed plan, the division also will be asking for more parents to transport their children to school since current Virginia Department of Education guidelines would only allow 22 students on the buses, which normally hold 65 students.
“Transportation is that limiting factor,” Jones said.
Lunches would be brought to classrooms, transitions would be carefully timed and mapped out and students likely would be in school for shorter amounts of time — roughly 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jones said.
The Virginia Department of Education has provided comprehensive guidelines but left the decision-making up to local school boards.
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