Virtual learning recommended for Williamsburg-James City Co. Public Schools to start school year

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 17:49:19-04

JAMES CITY Co., Va. - Following a number of other local school districts, students who attend Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools will start the first part of the 2020-21 school year at home.

In a letter sent to families, Superintendent Dr. Olwen Herron said schools will not welcome students back to the classroom for in-person instruction in September as school officials had originally hoped. Herron announced that Monday morning, school leaders spoke with local health experts who cautioned that based on current data, in-person instruction is not recommended for the fall.

As a result, WJCC schools will open and remain on Path 1: Remote Learning for All Students for the first nine weeks of the school year.

During the first quarter, students will participate in daily online learning, including live instruction and independent assignments and activities. Herron explained that this will be a different experience than the emergency at-home learning that happened last spring, going on to say attendance and participation will be monitored and assignments will be graded.

As they are able, school officials will bring individual and small numbers of students into schools for academic assessments and evaluations. Social distancing, deep cleaning practices and the mandatory use of face coverings will be in place for safety.

Acknowledging that the decision to begin schools with remote learning may lead some families to change their minds about the Family Choice Year-Long Virtual Learning option, Herron said the school district is reopening the registration process to allow families to opt in or opt out of the program. Families who want to make a change can do so by completing an online form by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31.

Information about Path 1 Remote Learning will be presented at the upcoming school board meeting on Tuesday, August 4. For social distancing purposes, families and members of the public are encouraged to watch the school board meeting on the school district's website. If you'd like to make comments to the school board, you can do so by recording a one-minute message on a dedicated public comment line by calling 757-603-6481. Messages recorded by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 3 will be played during the meeting.

Click here to read Herron's full letter.

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