Parents scramble to accommodate children after Gov. Northam declares statewide school closures

Posted at 9:23 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 23:34:44-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. -- Students all across Virginia will learn their lessons from home for the next two weeks, all thanks to Governor Ralph Northam. The governor announced the order on Friday as the number of coronavirus cases continued to climb.

News 3 heard from several school districts across the region. They explained that they are coming up with contingency plans for their students, staff and parents.

Hampton City Schools already sent out a full list of instructions Friday night. Virginia Beach school leaders say parents should expect more information on Sunday afternoon.

“Oh my god. I mean, when the news first came out I was like, 'What I was going to do?'" Afi Anuar, the father of a sixth-grade student, said.

Anuar's son, Keegan, attends school within the Norfolk Public Schools division. Keegan said he looks forward to some time off, for the most part. His dad, on the other hand, is now scrambling to see what he can do to help his son.

“I don’t know. I have two days to think about it this weekend - Saturday and Sunday," Anuar said. "Hopefully I’ll come up with a plan by Sunday. If not, I don’t know what you’re going to do.”

Keegan said, "I’m a little bit excited, but we’re probably going to get a lot of work. That I’m not really excited about.”

Meanwhile, Sylvia Leija already has a plan for her children who attend the Virginia Beach Public Schools.

“I’m going to send them outside if the weather is nice. They already sent work home about two days ago," Leija said. "They sent home more work today and then we communicate through different apps, so if we have a question then teachers are always available.”

She said her job has her working from home right now. She can now add make-shift teacher to her duties.

“I’ve always worked from home. I just started a new project this week," she said. "This week I’ll have my kids with me, so we’ll make it work.”

Northam ordered schools to be closed for a minimum of two weeks. It is not certain if it will only be two weeks at this point.

The State Department of Education will work with school districts to make sure students who receive free or reduced meals continue to get those benefits.