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Local school districts share plans after statewide closure due to coronavirus

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Posted at 8:41 PM, Mar 12, 2020

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia to close for a minimum of two weeks in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Since the governor's announcement, local school districts have shared their plans during the closure and how they're taking precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

See each school district's plan below:

Virginia Beach

To prepare for the possibility of a school closure amid growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, there will be no school for students in Virginia Beach on Monday, March 16.

That day will be a Staff Day to give teachers time to work on lesson plans and activities and to arrange for virtual and alternative learning methods should they be required.

For 8th and 11th grade students, SOL testing will be pushed back by one day next week and will now take place on Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19. Any additional information about testing will be shared once it becomes available.

School officials say while there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the district, they are committed to protecting the health and safety of the community and are following the best mitigation strategies for an area considered to have "minimal to moderate" chance of impact by the virus.

VBCPS will postpone all after-school extracurricular and evening activities until further notice, with the exception of instructional support programs (e.g. tutoring). This includes all athletics, school performances, dances and other activities. All field trips have now been postponed or canceled.

The district is also suspending volunteer opportunities until further notice, and no school visitors other than those attending for official school business will be allowed during the school day.

Students who are ill must stay home, and doctor's notes are not necessary for approved absences at this time.

Chesapeake

Chesapeake Public Schools will be closed for students on Monday, March 16 to allow time for employees to prepare for the possibility of confirmed coronavirus cases in the community.

Norfolk

Norfolk Public Schools will be closed for students on Monday, March 16. It will be a staff planning day for teachers. NPS Superintendent Dr. Sharon I. Byrdsong says while there have been no confirmed cases in the city or in the school district, school officials must plan ahead for that possibility.

School leaders have developed a plan to provide students with engaging instructional materials and assignments to complete at home if a school closure is necessary. Byrdsong says the purpose of the staff planning day is to compile those packets for students.

All field trips, extracurricular activities and athletics have also been canceled until further notice.

Norfolk Academy will also be closed Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16 after a student may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Portsmouth

Schools will be closed for students on March 15 and 16. The day will be used for staff planning ahead of the possible switch to online learning. In addition, operations staff will continue its daily deep cleaning of all schools and classrooms.

A spokesperson with Portsmouth Public Schools told News 3 that any child in the city in need of a meal during the school closure will be fed as part of the division's Feeding Program. They do not have to be a PPS student, and it is open to any child 18 and under.

Starting Monday, March 16, three sites will have breakfasts and lunches available: Churchland Middle School, I.C. Norcom High School and Wilson High School. Breakfasts will be available from 8-9 a.m. and lunches will be available from 12-1 p.m.

Suffolk

Monday, March 16 will be a Teacher Workday and a Student Holiday. Students will be expected to return to school on Tuesday, March 17.

All extracurricular and after-school activities will be canceled until further notice. This does not include Parks and Recreation, Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA due to child care needs. Additionally, all school-related events including conferences, concerts, and field trips are postponed through March 30.

School volunteers and outside visitors will not be allowed in schools through March 30.

Student drop-off and pick-up will be adjusted to include parents/guardians dropping off or picking up their students at the front door or designated locations only.

The school district is also reducing the number of additional large gatherings within the school day, including assemblies.

Click here to see SPS' complete plan.

Hampton

After the governor's order that all K-12 schools close starting Monday, March 16 through March 27 at a minimum, Hampton City Schools have notified parents and students of alternative learning plans.

Updates were made to the division’s Pandemic Plan with a companion administrative guidance document outlining specific steps that would be taken based on COVID-19.

During the week of March 2, school principals were briefed on the division’s planning efforts.

Curriculum leaders prepared alternative instructional learning plans for grades Pre-K-12.

An alternative learning plan website has been created that houses all plans and accompanying resources. The link to this website will be activated at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, and will be prominently displayed on the division’s homepage here.

The HCS Print Shop has made preparations and is mass producing learning packets.

Parents/guardians were asked on March 10 through a one-question survey whether their child(ren) had internet access at home. Based on survey results, 96% of parents/guardians who responded indicated that their child has internet access in the home.

Click here to see HCS' complete alternative learning plan.

Newport News

Families will receive information about accessing instructional materials and meal service next week.

Schools will be open on Monday, March 16 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for families to pick up medications and medical supplies should such items be needed during the two-week closure.

Between 7-7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13, all families should have received a phone call on their primary contact number with a two-question survey about technology access in their households. Families' responses will assist with the school district's planning efforts.

The administration of the SAT scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at Denbigh High School and Heritage High School has been preliminarily rescheduled for Saturday, March 28.

Click here for more information.

York County

The York County School Division has designated Friday, March 13 as a student holiday and a staff workday for all employees as school officials are now moving into the next phase of their Pandemic Response Plan. Transportation for Governor's School and New Horizons programs will be provided from high schools at the normal times.

Dr. Victor Shandor, the district's superintendent, said that after the governor's announcement of the statewide closure on Friday, teachers have been developing resources for continuing learning while schools are closed. More information on how parents and students can access those resources and tools will be shared within the next few days.

Families are encouraged to monitor email, voice mail, text messages, the division's website and the division's official social media pages for updates and information.

Gloucester County

Monday, March 16 will be a Teacher Work Day for Gloucester County Public Schools to allow staff to prepare in the event of a school closure due to the pandemic.

Click here to follow the school district's updates.

Isle of Wight County Schools

While Monday, March 16 is a scheduled student holiday for Isle of Wight County Schools, teachers and administrators will use this time to develop plans for at-home instruction should schools have to close for an extended period of time due to concerns over the virus.

School officials will notify parents on Monday regarding the plan for distribution of instructional materials.

Additionally, they are working on a plan for meal distribution. The goal is to provide grab-and-go breakfast and lunches at designated locations throughout the country. Information on these specific locations will also be shared with families on Monday.

A waiver process is in place through the Virginia Department of Education for make-up days for emergencies. The school district will be requesting a waiver, and say at this point Spring Break is not affected.

All school activities, including athletics, club meetings and PTA meetings are also canceled.

Click here for more information on how the school district is taking precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Franklin

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Franklin City Public Schools, school officials are conducting deep dive cleaning of all facilities.

Monday, March 16 will be a half day schedule for students and staff, and all schools will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27. If any additional closure days are required, this information will be communicated using the school district's website, Reverse 911, and all social media outlets.

Students in 6-12 grade will be assigned work that can be accessed using their FCPS-assigned electronic devices or personal devices. If a student does not have an assigned laptop or personal computer in grades Pre-K to 12, they will receive instructional work packets, which will support the retention of information while students are out of school.

Teachers will be available by email to help any instructional questions students may have regarding assignments. The work packets will also be on the school district's website for your convenience.

SOL testing will be rescheduled when students return. New testing dates will be shared when confirmed by testing coordinators.

All after-school extracurricular and evening activities will be canceled until further notice, including instructional support programs (for example, tutoring). This includes all athletics, school performances, and dances. All field trips have also been canceled until further notice.

Volunteer opportunities are being suspended until further notice, and no school visitors, other than those attending for official school business, will be allowed during the day.

Click here to see FCPS' complete plan.

Mathews County

Schools will close for students from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, at a minimum. Localities will maintain authority over specific staffing decisions to ensure students maintain continuity of services or learning, while protecting the public health of teachers and staff.

Next week, faculty and staff will report to school as usual to prepare to deliver educational materials and services to students in a variety of fashions. This may include paper/pencil packets and possibly virtual learning. Parents will be notified by their child’s individual schools regarding the continuation of education and services.

In addition, all schools, buses and vehicles will be deep cleaned during the time when students are not in the buildings.

The school district is working closely with the food service department to plan for the continuation of food services to our students during this time of separation. More information will be available in the coming days for the Mathews Community. Updates will be delivered via the district's website, social media as well as their call out system.

Click here to see Mathews County Public Schools' complete plan.
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As of Friday afternoon, 30 Virginians and 15 North Carolinians have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.

There are many Virginia colleges and universities that are extending spring break and adapting online classes amid the new coronavirus.

News 3 will continue to update this story as more school districts make their plans available.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.