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Norfolk School Board pauses plan to return to in-person instruction

Children at school classroom
Posted at 11:55 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 12:03:25-05

NORFOLK, VA – On December 16, the Norfolk School Board voted to revise its previous decision to support a return to school plan.

The decision to revert back to in-person instruction is now based on the status of the recommended three core indicators outlined by the CDC.

The board will consider case incidence per 100,000 persons within the past 14 days, percent positivity (RT-PCR test) during the past 14 days, and the school division’s readiness to implement key mitigation strategies.

When case incidence per 100,000 and percent positivity both reach the moderate risk of disease transmission level (yellow) for 14 consecutive days in the City of Norfolk, the school division may begin implementing its phased approach to in-person instruction as previously approved:

• Phase One – Equity and Opportunity students, specifically students with disabilities (K-12 students in self-contained classrooms) and English learners (K-12 students in levels 1, 2, and some 3). The students with disabilities in this phase will attend school four days per week.

• Phase Two – Kindergarten through Grade 3 (hybrid model)

• Phase Three – Grades 4 and 5 (hybrid model) - The possibility of returning prekindergarten students will be reviewed.

• Phase Four – Grades 6 through 8 (hybrid model)

• Phase Five – Grades 9 through 12 (hybrid model)

While the school board approved the moderate risk of disease transmission level for students’ return to school, they approved the district readiness indicator (implementation of all 5 mitigation strategies) at the lower risk of disease transmission level (light green). As a reminder, these 5 mitigation strategies include: consistent and correct use of masks; social distancing of at least six feet; hand hygiene; cleaning and disinfecting; and contact tracing.

All students will follow a hybrid model, in which they will attend school in-person two days per week and receive teacher-led virtual instruction two days a week. Wednesdays will remain as asynchronous learning days for all students.

The NPS Health Metrics Dashboard is live and will be updated daily to provide a snapshot of the data used as part of this decision-making process. The dashboard is live here.

Parents/guardians can opt for their children to remain in the current virtual learning format for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

The window to opt-in or opt-out of the Virtual Scholars Academy (VSA) will open on January 4, 2021.

For more information about the VSA program, visit us.