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Floyd County Public Schools release reopen plan

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 9:48 PM EDT
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FLOYD, Va. (WDBJ) - Some of Floyd County’s youngest students are set to spend four days a week in the classroom as part of its plan to reopen this fall. The county announced its plan Tuesday.

What makes Floyd’s back to school plan unique is they don’t need to change bus routes or start times.

“Students need to be around students, kids need to be around kids in school,” said Superintendent Dr. John Wheeler. “They need to be with us and hopefully we will get to that point soon.”

Wheeler said they wanted to do everything they could to maximize student time in school, especially for the young ones.

“It’s the developmental skills and the social, emotional skills and the interaction that they really need and that was our objective the whole time was to try to get them in so we could continue this development,” Wheeler said.

Floyd County is joining the phased-in approach to reopen. Under current Phase III guidelines, students Pre-K-3 go to school every day, grades 4-7 go twice a week, two days in a row at 50 percent, and grades 8-12 start at 25 percent, one day in person. No students will be on school grounds Wednesday, which is reserved exclusively for online learning.

“We’ll be able to transition very smoothly to whatever’s next with us,” Wheeler said. “That phase-in is happening because our plan is so flexible, because we haven’t had to make any major changes, so we could go 100 percent in one day, we could knock off 25 percent if we had to.”

Water fountains are being replaced in Floyd County Elementary with filters operated by foot petals, and other measures continue to be put in place. Physical distancing guidelines will be continually updated as time goes on.

“During these times you can do everything you can and it’s still unnerving, but we’re all in it together and we’ll help each other,” Wheeler said.

There’s also an option to enroll in Floyd’s 100-percent online school. The district asks that you enroll by July 23.

Wheeler said they are working later this week with the New River Health District and New River Valley Public Health Task Force to come up with best practices should a COVID-19 case get into one of the buildings.

School is set to begin on August 11. Wheeler said students will go through an orientation to know what to expect as they return for classes.

You can read the county’s entire back to school plan here.

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