CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Some Chesapeake Public Schools students will be back in the classroom on Monday, September 14, according to the school division's latest plan for phasing in face-to-face learning.
It's part of an approach called On-Campus Continuum and does not impact students whose parents opted for virtual learning for the Fall semester.
According to administrators at an August 31 school board meeting, the decision followed several weeks of decreasing COVID-19 numbers in Chesapeake.
"Looking at our enrollment and the space available in our buildings, a blended option may not be necessary," said Dr. Jacqueline Miller, Chief Student Support Services Officer, during the meeting. "We feel confident we can bring our students back to on-campus learning with the traditional model sooner than anticipated using a phased approach."
According to September 1 letter to parents from Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton, Special Education students who receive services that can't be provided virtually would be among those returning to the classroom on September 14.
All kindergarten students would be among the next phase to return to in-classroom instruction five days a week on the 21st, with all first, second and third graders returning the following week.
Parents whose children are returning to the classroom must fill out a daily virtual health screening for their kids, the district says. Returning staff would be required to wear a mask and practice physical distancing.
"If an outbreak were to occur in a particular school that required a building closure, we must be prepared to shift operations for that school accordingly for both students and staff," said Dr. Miller at the August 31 school board meeting.
Last week, teachers with the Chesapeake Education Association held a march at Chesapeake City Park opposing the decision, saying it's too soon for children to return to the classroom.
Another school board meeting is scheduled for September 14 where the board is expected to discuss the return of other grades to the classroom.