Virginia Schools Reopening!

Governor+Northam+at+February+5%2C+2021+news+conference+announcing+the+return-to-learning+plan+for+March+2021.+

Photo courtesy of @GovernorVA on FaceBook

Governor Northam at February 5, 2021 news conference announcing the return-to-learning plan for March 2021.

Governor Ralph Northam planned to announce a possible extension of the school year into the summer in a news conference Friday, February 5 at 11 AM, as well as year-round schooling for the next school year.

At this news conference, Northam ordered all school divisions in the state of Virginia to offer an in-person option by March 15, 2021

It’s time for this to happen. It’s critical to prevent greater learning loss and to support our children’s health and well being.”

— Governor Ralph Northam, News Conference

In regards to an extended 2021 school year into summer, Northam encourages schools to offer summer instruction but does not mandate it for students.

At the initial announcement of a possible extended school year, the local community was rattled. Parents on FaceBook argued that their child’s health would worsen if the school year was extended. Other’s concerns surrounded the budget and funds for the school facility, teacher salaries, teacher contracts, and transportation expenses. 

Despite the backlash about an extended school year, now that most teachers have been vaccinated, the public seems to be more comfortable with the idea of partially returning to school for in-person instruction in March. Northam cited multiple sources behind his decision to finally re-open schools in the commonwealth:

The Virginia Department of Education released new COVID-19 guidelines that include the safe reopening of schools for in-person instruction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the notable Dr. Anthony Fauci has indicated that school’s are safe to partially reopen, still following CDC guidelines. Northam’s concerns included the well-being of students. During the news conference, Northam reported that students statewide are academically struggling and pediatricians have reported an increase in behavioral problems, mental health problems, and substance abuse throughout the state. Northam also invited the newly appointed member of the Virginia Board of Education, Anthony Swann. Swann reiterated and enthusiastically supported Northam.

 

Schools in Virginia closed in March of 2020, C.D. Hylton closing on March 13, 2021.

Governor Northam’s term ends November 2021 with no possibility of consecutive terms.

 

More information about Virginia’s return to learning plan can be found on the VDOE website and @GovernorVA on FaceBook.

Information about Prince William County Schools’ return to learning can be found on the pwcs.edu website.