Isle of Wight Co. school board unanimously vote on new fall reopening plan for 2020-21 school year

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Posted at 5:31 AM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 15:32:06-04

ISLE OF WIGHT Co., Va. - Cities in Hampton Roads plan to start the next school year 100% online for all students.

The idea behind virtual learning is that students and teachers would be safer from COVID-19 learning and working at home.

The School Board of Isle of Wight County approved a plan for the reopening of schools at their special called meeting Monday.

That meeting was held at Westside Elementary School in Smithfield and streamed on the district's Facebook.

The school board unanimously voted to give parents of students from pre-kindergarten and students with disabilities who have intensive support needs with the choice of 100 percent virtual learning or a blended, in person model. Fourth through twelfth grade students would begin the year with temporary remote learning in the in person continuum or 100 percent virtual learning for the first semester.

Parents of PK-3rd can opt for a hybrid model, where children will attend in person two days a week, either Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday, and work remotely on the remaining days. The other choice allows their child to be completely virtual for the entire first semester, still taught by teachers from IWCS.

Parents of students in fourth through twelfth grades also have a choice for their children even though in person instruction is not an option at this time. They can elect for their child to participate in a completely virtual model for the entire first semester. This model may include instructors outside of Isle of Wight County Schools, such as teachers from Virtual Virginia. Otherwise, students will be part of temporary remote learning through the in person continuum for the first nine weeks. These students will be with IWCS teachers throughout that time and could return to in person learning after the first nine weeks, based on a decision by the school board.

All Students with disabilities who have intensive support needs, are a part of self-contained classrooms, and accessing a nonstandard curriculum will have the option to follow the hybrid model available for pre-kindergarten through third grade levels or 100 percent virtual learning.

A motion was also made to allow high school students participating in certain Career and Technical Education programs to have an opportunity for in-person instruction in the CTE course on a hybrid schedule

The new vote came after a motion was made by Alvin Wilson to rescind the previous vote made at the July 30 School Board meeting regarding the adopted school reopening plan.

The July 30, 3-2 decision seemingly solidified the district's fall reopening plan, giving parents of elementary and middle school students an option: send their kids to school a couple days a week while learning online the rest of the time or if they don't feel comfortable, have their kids learn 100 percent virtually for the semester.

In the meantime, high school students would have to start the year learning 100 percent online, giving parents an option breaking from the area's larger districts.

Parents must choose whether their child will remain on the planned in-person continuum or 100 percent virtual option by August 13 at 11:59 p.m. This can be done through an electronically provided form or in person at their child’s school.