CHESAPEAKE, Va - Six Chesapeake schools are going back to virtual learning. Portlock Primary, Rena B. Wright Primary, Truitt Intermediate, Great Bridge Middle, Hugo Owens Middle and Oscar Smith Middle Schools will all be virtual next week.
School leaders made the decision Friday based on the high impact of COVID-19 cases.
"Beginning Monday, January 10, Great Bridge Middle School will switch to online learning for a minimum of five school days," Craig Mills, the principal of Great Bridge Middle, said in a voicemail to parents.
"On Thursday, January 13, we will provide an update to families regarding instruction from January 18 through 21," Mills said.
The impact of COVID-19 has worsened at these six Chesapeake schools. The schools have reported a high impact of COVID-19 cases.
"I think going to virtual is the best plan," Matthew Castillo, a Chesapeake parent, said.
Castillo’s oldest son attends Hugo Owens, and he agrees with the school district’s decision to switch to virtual learning.
"My son has had symptoms. We’re still pending a COVID case. He’s been home since the school year restarted," Castillo said.
The Virginia Department of Health reports 157 cases between December 26, 2021, and January 3, 2022, for people under 20 years old in Chesapeake. This number comes as the Omicron variant surges throughout the country.
"Moving schools virtually helped put a pause to in-person learning. Virtual learning still takes place," said Reagan Davis, a Chesapeake teacher.
Davis teaches at Great Bridge Middle School and says the Omicron variant is a big concern for him and other teachers.
"It allows for employees and students to remain safe learning at home but also helps reduces further spread in our buildings," Davis said.
Chesapeake Public Schools will provide an update to families on January 13 on how schools will move forward.