'Let’s get those kids back in school!' Parents rally for leaders to reopen Virginia Beach schools this fall

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Posted at 10:54 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 05:26:36-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Playing the baritone for Cox High School’s marching band is more than an extracurricular activity for Ethan Pryce.

“In band, you make really close connections with everyone. You get a lot of friends from band,” says the incoming junior.

His mother, Stacey Pryce, says it gives her son purpose.

“It gives him something to look forward to - something to work for.”

Pryce and other parents are urging school leaders to reopen schools in the fall from Monday through Friday.

One parent says, “You can’t learn as well from a screen than you can your teachers.”

Some school board members agree.

“Social interaction are so important, so that has to be considered because that is a huge risk as well,” said Victoria Manning.

Other students say learning from home is a struggle.

“Sometimes the Internet is bad and you can't log in and that stuff, and it’s just harder.”

The parents rallying believe letting kids back into class full time will make things easier, but school board members say it’s more complicated than that.

“[People] saying, 'We don’t know what’s out there. We don’t know feel comfortable about our kids going back to school,'" said board member Trenace Riggs.

At the moment, the school board is considering three options in a survey:

  • In scenario #1, schools re-open back to normal with some health mitigation strategies in place.
  • Scenario #2 allows schools will reopen with physical distancing and hybrid remote learning.
  • In the third scenario, schools will remind closed.

Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence says what parents say will help the board make a decision.

“It is highly likely at this point, and across the region, quite frankly, that whatever we do if we bring students back for face-to-face instruction we will offer parents a remote-only option,” said Dr. Spence.

He says he’s also listening to his teachers.

“If 95% of our students want to come back and 50% of our teachers want a remote option, that’s not going to work for the school division.”

Dr. Spence says he’s working with the school board to come up with a plan/recommendation on July 28.

To access the English Version of the survey, click here.

To access the Spanish Version of the survey, click here.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.