Phased Reopening For Schools

June 09, 2020 - 4:13 pm

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Richmond, VA _  Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Tuesday announced a three-phase plan for re-opening schools, while at the same time announcing that the City of Richmond and Northern Virginia will enter phase two of re-opening businesses and other facilities on Friday.

Northam says it will be different from what students, parents, or staff are used to, but all public and private schools will open for the 2020-2021 school year.  Northam says the phases will allow in-person instruction, but slowly.

The Governor says the initial phase will start with small groups and allow each school division;the leeway to respond to the individual needs of its locality.

Northam says the initial phase, which is currently under way, most instruction is still virtual.  In Phase two, which most schools can enter right now, schools may offer in-person instruction for kids from Pre-k through 3rd graders, English language learners, and students with disabilities.  School-based summer camps may also operate, with some restrictions.

In Phase three, will allow schools to shift to in-person instructions for all students, but there will need to be physical distancing measures in place.  Schools may have to stagger schedules, or adopt class schedules that blend in-person and remote learning.  Schools will also have to stagger the use of communal spaces, such as cafeterias and gymnasiums.

Northam says school systems will need to submit their operating plans to the State Board of Education for approval, before entering phase two or three.