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Return dates for Portsmouth Public Schools students, employees pushed back after rise in local COVID-19 cases

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Posted at 9:23 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 21:23:52-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - It will be a little longer until students and staff in Portsmouth Public Schools can return to school buildings.

In a special meeting held Tuesday, the Portsmouth School Board approved three recommendations presented by Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy III. Bracy said the rising number of cases of COVID-19 in this region was the primary reason for these recommended changes.

Starting the week of Nov. 23, all students, including special education students and English Language Learners, will be given instruction on a virtual model until the second semester.

The date for employees to physically report to work was moved from Monday, Nov. 23 to Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

The reopening of schools for in-person instruction will be done in phases. Those new dates are:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021 for Pre-K through Grade 3
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 for Grades 4, 5 and 6; and
  • Monday, Mar. 1, 2021 for Grades 7 through 12.

Previously, the board approved Jan. 4, 2021, as the earliest date for when students can return to the classroom.

Students who report to school for in-person learning are students whose parents chose the hybrid model for them (two half-days of instruction and three days of virtual learning).

A virtual learning option, which involves all instruction being delivered online, will continue to be offered through the end of the school year for those students whose parents choose that option for them.

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