VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – For thousands of middle school and high school students in Virginia Beach, February 23 was the first day back to school in nearly a year.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools has given families a choice whether to stay with virtual instruction or return to the school building.
Grades 7-12 are the last students to return after the district shut down because of COVID-19.
According to VBCPS, here’s the breakdown of the optional return for middle and high school:
- Sixth grade students who chose Option 1 will continue reporting to school for in-person learning Tuesday through Friday.
- Seventh grade students (Option 1) will attend school face to face Tuesday and Wednesday each week, and they will continue with remote learning Monday, Thursday, and Friday.
- Eighth grade students (Option 1) will attend school face to face Thursday and Friday each week, and they will continue with remote learning Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
- Option 2 middle school students will continue with remote learning Tuesday – Friday.
- High school will bring back all Option 1 students in grades 9-12 with last names starting with “A” through “K” Tuesday and Wednesday each week. These students will continue with remote learning Monday, Thursday, and Friday.
- High school will bring back all Option 1 students in grades 9-12 with last names starting with “L” through “Z” Thursday and Friday each week, and they will continue with remote learning Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
- Option 2 high school students will continue with asynchronous and synchronous remote learning Monday – Friday.
For Option 1 middle and high school students in grades 7-12 who will return to school two days a week, Monday will continue to be reserved for asynchronous learning, but the remaining two remote days will be used for synchronous (live) learning in each class period.
News 3 spoke with two students from the Green Run Campus. Both participated in a recent poetry challenge, but each had different requests for instruction.
Ninth grade student Sabian Sesley from Green Run Collegiate goes back to school this week. He said he does better with in-person learning.
“The way I learn, I can’t really do virtually well,” stated Sesley. “I like hands-on, and I learn a lot when I’m in the classroom.”
Zavion Brevard, a 10th grader at Green Run High School, is choosing to stick with virtual learning.
“Virtual, for me, has improved my grades a whole bunch,” explained Brevard. “Being secluded by myself also gives me a chance to kinda be more focused, because I get distracted easily.”
Sesley and Brevard both entered the Green Run Poetry Challenge, held during Black History Month and inspired by poet Amanda Gorman, who impressed the nation after her words at the presidential inauguration.
“I found it very inspiring,” Sesley said. “Just the fact that she can write such beautiful poetry on just the little things such as her experience in America today or the fact that we’ve switched administrations and how that can affect the entire nation as it is.”
Both students offered to share their poems through Green Run Collegiate and Green Run High School. They are printed below.
“Disappointment” by Sabian Sesley
I try and I try
But nothing works
I feel like everything I do
Just makes everything worse
Time and time again
I wish to do good
But nothing I do seems as good as it should
I’m tired of running
I’m tired of the pain
Sometimes I just want to stand in the rain
The times I do good, the times I do bad
Everything doesn’t add up
And yet I feel glad
I know I’m strong, I know I’m pure
Now I walk without a trace of fear
I know I’m not a disappointment
I know I'm wanted
And now I walk without feeling haunted.
“My Fallen evergreen” by Zavion Brevard
You must not know of me
for I am forgotten
you have never taught my history
so I choose not to remember
your voice is loud and stern
but mine is quiet and fearful
you have the right to love
but I will never
I look towards the future
but you're stuck in the past
If only you understood a side besides your own
You would understand the pain of those around you
But since you will never understand
since you will never grasp the fear
or the worries and tears
I will have to understand what choose not to
you know my history and yet you choose to forget
but I will never forget
I will always remember
for those quiet and fearful like I
someone must remember us
because we must never be forgotten
and as you live in your perfect life
free of pain, worries, and suffering
forgetting us as you feast
crushing us as you move around us
but you will never know of me
because I am one of many
I choose to remember my history and never let it be a mystery to me
I stay in my fallen evergreen
with the pain of others toppled over me
with the hunger for food ever-increasing
I do it not for myself
I do it for you can't do
with my compassion, hope, and shining light
I will take the pain of others
and free them from their suffering
and as I take the pain of others
they will blossom into beautiful beings of hope and light
for they may not believe they have such light
but I will hope for them
I will dream for them
and I will always remember them
Forever in my fallen evergreen