Rockbridge County schools to go to in-person learning

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:39 PM EDT
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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - For the past nine weeks, Rockbridge County schools have been mostly quiet as students have learned remotely.

But that’s changing as the county school board voted in a remote meeting to start bringing kids back.

“We feel like our mitigation strategies are working; we feel like we have a safe place," said Rockbridge Superintendent Phillip Thompson. "We just need to continue doing that and making sure we keep it as safe as possible for everyone.”

The Rockbridge vote comes just two days after a similar decision by the Lexington City School Board.

“We’re starting with a gradual return of our students," said Rebecca Walters, Lexington’s superintendent. "You know, the recommendation is that we want to get our youngest students back in as soon as possible, of course, because virtual learning is a little different of a beast for those students.”

It’s a plan similar to the county’s, which will start with about half of the grades coming in on alternate days of the week.

“We just look at it as a cautious rollback, where we’re starting to bring back students slowly,” Thompson said.

In an atmosphere that will carefully monitor anti-COVID efforts.

“It’s what kids need," said Thompson. "I mean, they’re craving it, their families are craving it. We worry about their academic success, but we also worry about their mental health, their socialization. Students are social by nature and they want to be with their friends. And many of them are struggling mightily being separated from their friends for the last six months or so.”

That’s something they hope to work on starting next month.

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