HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – The Henrico County School Board met on Thursday to discuss the best plan to get students back into the classroom.
“We move on to what we call the Health Committee update. Where we review health metrics that help guide our thinking and, eventually, our decision making about when we can expand our personal learning,” said the Public Schools communications director. from Henrico County, Andy Jenks.
Jenks said that some students have already returned to face-to-face learning.
“At the moment, we have opportunities where preschool and kindergarten children are entering buildings for individual meetings and visits with their teachers,” said Jenks. “Our elementary schools will provide more opportunities for first, second and third grade students, so parents should expect communications from their schools about these opportunities.”
Jenks said Henrico was looking for ways to bring high school students back – starting with technical programming students.
“Because they give a lot of practical instruction in the various trades and occupations and certifications that these students are learning,” said Jenks.
Anticipating the return of face-to-face learning, Jenks said the school district is working to ensure that school buildings are as safe as possible.
“We are buying PPE, we are installing plexiglass, we are reimagining bus transportation and food service because we have to do the job now, when if that recommendation comes, we will be ready for it,” said Jenks.
He added that the Health Committee will present a recommendation to the Henrico School Council next month to determine what the second nine weeks of class will look like and whether more students will be able to return to the classroom.
Henrico had already decided that the first nine weeks would be taught almost exclusively online.
“We are working to get all students back to our building, but we know that no matter what happens, there will always be a virtual option for our employees and students,” said Jenks.
The county also announced on Thursday that school schedules would change on Tuesday, September 29, in response to feedback that the county received.
Each elementary and high school class period will be reduced by 15 minutes every day, excluding the first repeated period for high school, which was reduced by 10 minutes every day.
The district said it would give employees additional time for planning, educational support and office hours.