Parents react to Radford City Schools staying virtual for two more weeks

Published: Aug. 30, 2020 at 5:46 PM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - Radford City Public Schools have been moved back to all virtual for another two weeks. The schools’ superintendent, Rob Graham, sent an email to families Saturday, saying these changes are due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Radford.

WDBJ7 spoke with parents who are frustrated but say they also understand the need to switch to all virtual learning, at least for now. Graham says these changes are all about protecting the students and teachers.

“When I saw them calling I was like, shoot, here it goes again,” Svetlana Howell said.

Howell has two children in Radford City Public Schools. Saturday, she learned she was going to have to help teach them virtually a little while longer.

“I’m a single parent, and working full time; I have to pay my bills, and during the day I have to homeschool, basically, so it’s very, very stressful,” Howell said.

The district’s hybrid schooling model was pushed to all-virtual a week ago because of new cases in the district. And now with even more cases in the city, they’re planning to stay virtual for two more weeks.

“Our cases jumped up 52 cases yesterday, I believe, 52 or 53, and that along with being recognized by the New York Times as being one of the top 10 ten hotspots in the nation, had some concerns with that,” Superintendent Graham said.

He says he knows this is frustrating for parents, but there’s only so much in his control.

“I would just ask for them to continue to be flexible, to continue to be patient with us and have grace because this is all new to us and we know deep down in our hearts getting students into the school is what’s best for them, but we don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way,” he said.

Another parent, Holly Moore, says she’s fine with the changes, as long as she gets notified enough in advance.

“It’s a constantly changing situation, so even though I do think a more unified plan would be better, I also recognize that change happens every day,” Moore said.

As of now, Graham says the hybrid model will resume September 14.

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