COVID leads to temporary closure of Staunton River middle and high schools, George Washington High

(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 4:07 PM EDT
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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - Staunton River High School and Staunton River Middle School will be closed Thursday and Friday, September 2/3. Both days will be virtual learning days for both schools.

Bedford County Public Schools made the decision with the Virginia Department of Health, and the closure includes the cancellation of all co-curricular and extracurricular activities through Monday, September 6.

The school district says, “Several factors have contributed to this decision, most significantly the number of COVID-19 positive individuals, including, at least, seven documented school transmissions. There has also been a high volume of staff and students placed in quarantine and more time is needed to complete the monitoring of students who have pending test results while quarantined. The temporary campus closure will also address staff shortages and allow for more time for additional cleaning of both schools.”

A statement further says, “Instruction will continue as all teachers will be providing work for students in their Canvas courses for the next two days. Students will need to log on at the beginning of each scheduled class to identify the class plan for the day. This may include live sessions or teachers may provide instructional resources and materials through Canvas. We understand that internet access may be a challenge for some students. These students should reach out to their teacher through email or contact the school campus to speak with the teacher by phone.”

Families wishing to take part in meal pickup can do so at either campus between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. That will include lunch and breakfast packs and will be at each designated site for the campus (SRMS - front entrance; SRHS - rear entrance at the cafeteria).

In-person instruction is set to resume Tuesday, September 7, with “short-term enhanced mitigation and cohorting strategies.”

School officials are asking families to consider limiting social gatherings that would increase the likelihood of exposure.

To make adjustments for COVID protections, George Washington High School in Danville will revert to virtual instruction Thursday, September 2 and Friday, September 3.

Students will not report to GW for the rest of the week. Instead, they will log on to Google Meets with their teacher(s) using their Chromebooks beginning with 1st Block at 8:40 a.m. each day. They are to check Canvas for more information on Google Meets.

For students who do not have internet access at home, there are hotspots available at the IT Help Desk, at the I.W. Taylor Virtual Academy at 825 Piney Forest Road, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. In addition, the Help Desk is available to assist with any hardware or log-in issues that your student may have while learning virtually. Visit in person or call at (434) 773-8157.

Students who attend Governor’s School or AET will still need to report to classes at the Institute Thursday and Friday.

Lunches for students can be picked up at Ballou Park Shopping Center, Nor Dan Shopping Center, Riverside Shopping Center, and Cane Creek Shopping Center from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily.

Students will return to face-to-face instruction Tuesday, September 7, 2021.

School officials say, “Our school has had a considerable number of COVID-19 cases and exposures. During our closure, our custodial staff will be deep cleaning classrooms and other shared spaces, as well as buses so that students can return to a safe, clean environment. We will also be putting finishing touches on our desks and desk shields. The health and safety of our students is our number one priority as we continue to navigate education during a pandemic. Please check your student’s email for more information.”

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