VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach City Public Schools started the 2021-2022 school year on Thursday, September 9.
Sondra Woodward, a spokesperson for the district, said in a statement that 98% of its students have returned to the classroom. That has some parents wondering what the plan would be, in terms of instruction, if their child has to be in quarantine.
A statement from VBCPS reads:
VBCPS families were offered the choice between virtual and in-person learning. Students (whose families opted for in-person learning) who are absent due to quarantine or any other reason will receive lessons asynchronously: The teacher will provide work electronically, through Schoology or email, and the student will access, complete, and submit work daily. Teachers will make themselves available to students through email, chat or other virtual communications where assistance is needed. A student will be counted present each day they access their asynchronous work remotely.
In the 2020-21 school year, concurrent instruction was a manageable tool because teachers had only a small number of face-to-face students and were able to maintain both a physical and virtual classroom. With the 2021-22 school year, 98% of our students have returned to the classroom and teachers do not have the ability to manage both environments.
Kristen Cushing's seventh grade son, Carter, had to miss the first day of school because of a COVID-19 exposure over the previous weekend. They are waiting the recommended five days until they take a COVID-19 test.
“I e-mailed all of his teachers that he would see today, just kind of asking if there’s a virtual option. I don’t know how it works this year with everyone being out if something does happen, what is the protocol,” explained Cushing. “I kind of assumed there was a virtual option. I was taken back by the responses that there would be no virtual option for someone who would have to quarantine."
"Luckily, it’s just one day for us, hopefully," she added. "But in the future, if he does come in contact with the virus and has to stay at home for a full two weeks; two weeks is a long time to not be instructor-led.”
Woodward says the school district intends to talk about the quarantine plan during the next school board meeting on Tuesday, September 14.
To have a look at the COVID Dashboard for VBCPS, click here.