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Danville Schools to start in-person learning with hopes to reach their goals to improve

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 6:09 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Danville school leaders felt it’d be best to ease students back to the classroom in phases.

“The importance of that is we are not putting all of the kids back together at once, so really it was a health and safety mindset that we took,” said Anne Moore-Sparks, Danville Public Schools director of communications and community engagement.

The plan selected students kindergarten through 3rd, 6th and 9th grades to help them get used to their new schools and schedules.

As the district is coming off an 81% graduation rate, seniors are going back first to prepare to leave high school.

“Our seniors have a lot of things they have to do, a lot of requirements they have to meet for graduation so that is why we were really selective as to why some students would go in the first phase,” said Moore-Sparks.

Meeting the goals of improving kindergarten through 3rd grade fundamental literacy skills is also a priority.

“We also know that instructional goals are best achieved maximizing in-person learning,” said Moore-Sparks.

This past summer, 57% of students chose virtual learning while 43% chose face-to-face instruction.

While parents and staff met with the interim superintendent during a series of meetings, the decision of whether to send students back to school is still a tough decision for parents.

“You have to try to balance those two. How do you know that your kids are going to do better face-to-face, but also ensure the health and safety of your students,” said Moore-Sparks.

Only students who selected in-person learning will be able to attend classes this semester. Parents can change their decision on a new survey in November for the spring semester.

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