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Isle of Wight Co. Schools to temporarily shift to all-virtual learning after rise in COVID-19 cases in region

Florida Virtual School counselor provides tips for distance learning
Posted at 10:39 PM, Dec 16, 2020

ISLE OF WIGHT Co., Va. - Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Hampton Roads, students who attend Isle of Wight County Schools will be learning from home for a couple of weeks after the holiday.

In a letter sent to families Wednesday night, Superintendent Dr. Jim Thornton announced that students on the in-person continuum model will temporarily move to virtual learning for two weeks after winter break. They will return to learning from home from January 4-15, 2021.

Students on this model will return to in-person hybrid learning on Tuesday, January 19.

Thornton went on to say that since Thanksgiving, the district has seen an increase in cases and an even greater increase in the number of people who have had to quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. He said while there have been some cases in county schools, the people who tested positive contracted the virus outside of school and there have been no cases of spread between students.

He said the switch to temporary remote learning will allow the school district and the community time to ride out any spikes in cases from holiday travel and gatherings.

You can read more about what this means for your child below:

Elementary School Students (PreK--3rd Grade)

  • Virtual Students - There will be no change to your child’s schedule or routine.
  • In-Person Continuum Students - Your child will have the same teacher they have now and will continue learning with them remotely. These students will follow the same daily learning schedule as their virtual learning peers. For students in grades PreK-3 this includes a minimum of 6 hours per week of direct, interactive learning with their teacher as well as 2 days per week of asynchronous learning experiences. Students will participate in “live” instruction with their teacher from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. A copy of the schedule can be found at the end of this letter. The principal and/or teacher will follow up with you to share additional information about the schedule for those two weeks. In addition to the 2 hour blocks, teachers will separately schedule for reading conferences, small group instruction, reading intervention, and special education services, etc.

Elementary School Students (4th and 5th Grade, 6th grade at Westside Elementary)

  • Virtual Students - There will be no change to their schedule or routine.
  • In-Person Continuum Students - A temporary remote learning schedule will reflect a minimum of 9 hours of direct, interactive instruction with their teachers as well as 2 days per week of asynchronous learning experiences. Your child will have the same teacher they have now and will continue learning with them remotely. A copy of the schedule can be found at the end of this letter. The principal and/or teacher will follow up with you to share additional information about the schedule for those two weeks.

Middle and High School Students (6th--12th)

  • Virtual Students - There will be no change to their schedule or routine.
  • In-Person Continuum Students - Students will shift to the temporary remote schedule (see below) while teachers and class start times will remain the same. The principal and/or teacher will follow up with you to share additional information, including a reminder of class times, about the schedule for those two weeks.
  • Remediation sessions scheduled for Friday January 8 or 15 will take place virtually.

Athletics

Isle of Wight County Schools will pause all athletic activities until January 19. During this time, the division will continue to monitor updates from the Virginia High School League (VHSL) that may impact athletic programs at both high schools. The pause will allow IWCS to review mitigation strategies and re-assess its plans. High schools will share information with student athletes and their parents as additional information is available.

Meal Distribution

IWCS has been granted the ability to continue distributing free meals to all students, regardless of financial situation. The division will resume Friday meal distribution beginning January 8, 2021 at Smithfield High School, Georgie Tyler Middle School, and Carrsville Elementary School, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each meal kit will contain 5 days of breakfasts and lunches for each student.

YMCA Child Care

The YMCA will continue to provide child care for students who are currently enrolled in the program. The YMCA will share additional information directly with parents of participating students.

Click here to read Thornton's full letter.

Click here for more Safely at School coverage.