Salem City Schools finalize 2020-2021 school year plan

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 4:25 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - Students and parents in Salem have gotten to hear what school administrators have in mind for reopening. The plan includes many of the youngest students going to class five days a week, with older students on a hybrid schedule.

In a time of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can never be too prepared.

“We have a plan for 100% of students to be in school if we get to that, we also have a plan for 50% of students to be in school, a plan for 25% of students to be in school and a plan for 100% online learning if needed,” said Assistant Superintendent Curtis Hicks.

He said if Virginia stays in Phase 3, Salem schools will have 50% capacity for in-person learning.

“Pre-K through 2nd grade will attend school 5 days a week; they will get our a little early, like 1:15, to facilitate physical distancing on buses, and grades 3 through 12 will attend twice a week,” said Hicks.

Hicks went on to say it will be all hands on deck, and administrators are depending on parents to help as well.

“We are asking parents to do health screenings before students leave for school each day; every family will receive a magnet with a list of question to go over with their child,” said Hicks.

Teachers will be preparing right along with parents and students.

Andrea Johnson teaches English at Salem High School, and she was named 2020 Virginia Teacher of the Year for Region 6. She said nothing about this is “normal” but they are going to do all they can for the students.

“We know as teachers that brick and mortar makes education equitable, and when they’re not in brick and mortar schools, when they’re not having face to face instruction with their teachers and making relationships with their teachers, education is harder,” said Johnson.

She said the school division learned a lot during the spring online classes, and they feel confident they can help students succeed.

“No option presented will make everyone happy, so I feel we are doing a good job of balancing what our students need,” said Johnson.

Thursday, parents received an email letting them know what groups their children will be in and what days their children will attend school.

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