Teachers rally for safe learning, NNPS officials hear feedback on 'Return To Learn' plan

Posted at 10:33 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 23:13:08-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Tuesday night, teachers in Newport News rallied for safe learning and working environments and continued virtual learning.

This comes a week after Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) Superintendent Dr. George Parker III paused the district's ‘Return To Learn’ hybrid learning plan. School board members approved the plan earlier this month.

“We want to be involved in it,” NNPS teacher Chanel Hurt said. “We just want to make sure that we're standing in solidarity with everyone, and that they get the accommodations they need for themselves and for their family members.”

Other teachers like Chris True said it’s important they have a seat at the table when it comes to the plan.

“We’re hoping to stay virtual,” True said. “Having a voice in this conversation is also equally important.”

News 3 sat down with Parker prior to Tuesday’s school board meeting.

“I would never put the safety of our staff, our students, look at that as a compromise to the needs of students. I think they both go hand in hand,” Parker told News 3.

During the meeting, school officials revealed feedback from recent focus groups of staff, families and educational leaders on the plan.

“Our staff says we need more time,” Parker said. “That's understandable when you think about individuals who may have their own personal health concerns, but also the health concerns of their family.”

Parker told News 3 his goal is to have the plan online as soon as possible for review and to gather input.

He believes it's important to hear from staff and families.

“We are making the effort to reach out to our community for a broader input as we finalize our planning,” he said.

NNPS has also extended the deadline for the parent/guardian intent form to Friday, October 23 at 11:59 p.m.

Click here for full Back to School coverage.