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Roanoke County Public Schools get closer to finalizing school year plan

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 4:12 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Planning for the upcoming school year has been complex for school districts across our hometowns. Roanoke County schools got input from parents, students, faculty, and now, they have a preliminary plan on what this fall could be like.

“Some people have asked, if you start off this way are you locked in for the year? And the answer is absolutely not,” said Superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools Dr. Ken Nicely.

Earlier this month, Roanoke County Public Schools posted a survey for teachers, students and parents on how they should proceed with the up coming academic school year. Superintended Nicely says that gave them a good indicator of where everyone’s head was.

“It was open-ended by design, versus a yes-no kind of thing; it really wasn’t a vote or anything like that. It was just trying to gather information and ideas,” Nicely said.

From those surveys they formed their hybrid plan. Children in Pre-K through 2nd grade will attend school in person every day.

“And we also know at that critical stage, that’s where they’re learning their reading skills, and if they don’t develop those during those first years- that will affect them.”

As for grades 3 through 12, they will receive in-person classes twice a week with remote learning the rest of the week. The student body will also be divided into two groups, “Group 1” and “Group 2”. Group 1 will be in school Monday and Thursday with remote learning Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Group 2 will be in school Tuesday and Friday with remote learning Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“If they’re in school, they still have access to their teacher. There’ll be moments in the day that if they need to see their math teacher and it’s not math day, they can still go see them,” said Superintendent Nicely.

Dr. Nicely said the way they have the schedule now, it will make for an easier transition when and if they can have all students back at full capacity or if they have to go completely back to remote classes.

“Imagine a situation in which there’s a second wave, and the state says we have to go back to earlier phases we will be able to do that given the structure we will have put into place- our hope is things will continue to improve,” said Nicely.

The School Board will have a meeting at 6 p.m. July 2 to approve this plan or make recommendations to the plan. Nicely also says they will be sending a survey to parents that are more detailed to their needs within the upcoming weeks.

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