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Henry County Schools work toward safe and smooth transition to in-person learning plan

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 6:26 PM EDT
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COLLINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Even as the Henry County School Board made the decision Thursday night to go forward with hybrid in-person classes, plans have been in place for months for a safe return to the classroom.

Now work is being done to make sure it is a smooth transition, not just for those returning to the school building but for those planning to stay virtual.

Knowing students would eventually return to in-person learning, social distance markers and distancing plans have already been put in place at all Henry County Schools.

“Students will eat in the classroom and that way they have less exposure to students outside of their cohort, and classes like band and PE will look a bit different.” said Monica Hatchett, Director of Communications & Organizational Learning for Henry County Public Schools.

Hallway traffic will mostly flow in one direction in middle and high schools.

While elementary school students will stay in their homerooms for all of their classes.

The goal is to limit the amount of contact between groups of students.

“We keep them in their classrooms and keep them distant; we will be able to provide them with mask breaks, while in the hallway they will have to wear a mask,” said Hatchett.

Virtual students will also see changes as more classes will be live-streamed.

“We think that is one piece that will enhance their instruction moving forward; we want them to participate in live class and call sessions as much as they can. So that will be something a little bit different for virtual learning.” said Hatchett.

While 68% of students are set to return, only 23% percent have committed to virtual learning.

Surveys are being sent to parents, so officials can finalize their bus routes and meal plans.

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