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Norfolk parents grow frustrated without school reopening plan

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Posted at 4:03 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 08:07:35-04

NORFOLK, Va.— Norfolk Public Schools is a week away from presenting a reopening plan, but parents are tired now.

“Uh, I mean - I'm a mess. It's so stressful,” says Mary Bauers.

Bauers has three kids in elementary school and says she wants to see a plan that prioritizes bringing special needs students and younger students back into the classroom.

“I told my husband I felt like 'The Giving Tree' last night because it's just exhausting trying to support all the kids through their virtual learning,” explained Bauers.

Three weeks into the virtual semester, and NPS parents say they want a plan for reopening schools now.

Bauers says not knowing is getting in the way of her planning for child care if necessary.

“Number one: I want a plan. I think that that is the thing that people are most upset about - is that there's not even a plan,” says Bauers.

Some Chesapeake and Virginia Beach students are already back in the classroom, and parents say they’re frustrated over not knowing what’s next.

“I feel like the consequences from kids not being in school compared to the risk for young children— they outweigh any concern about the virus right now,” says Audrey McClune.

The NPS School Board voted to begin school virtually for the first nine weeks.

In a statement, NPS says in part, “Bringing back staff and students to in-person learning requires us to pay particular attention to our city’s and region’s health metrics, which will be reviewed at today’s School Board meeting.”

With two elementary students of her own, Audrey McClune says she wants to see schools start to reopen now.

“I think it’s harming students academically, emotionally, physically, because they are sitting in front of a computer a lot. My son is getting headaches,” says McClune.

School administration says it is working on a plan to return to in-person learning that will be presented, and possibly approved, at next Wednesday’s meeting.

Recordings of NPS School Board meetings can be viewed on their YouTube channel and are typically posted within an hour after the meeting ends.

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