Superintendents work to make adjustments as school buildings close for academic year
A mandate by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has closed school building doors for the rest of the academic year.
Northam announced the mandate Monday afternoon that all school buildings will close for the rest of the year. He also said that non-essential businesses, such as shops that perform body care, along with recreational businesses will close for at least 30 days.
While the school buildings are closed, education will continue through a plethora of ways for Charles City and New Kent County. Both superintendents issued press releases Tuesday afternoon to address the dilemma.
“We will continue to work hard at levels to provide support to our students and families during the closure,” said New Kent superintendent Brian Nichols. “In the coming days, we will communicate further details about or plan to provide students with instructional materials, as well as other resources and supports.”
Nichols added the school’s ‘Grab and Go’ meal program will continue for the remainder of the academic year. Teachers and staff will be receiving more guidance from Virginia’s Department of Education.
“As always, thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help keep our students and staff healthy and safe,” he concluded.
In Charles City, superintendent David Gaston issued a press release surrounding the closure of the buildings.
“This news brings with it countless questions for our community, among them inquiries about the status of graduation for our seniors, promotion, and retention for our PK-11 students,” said Gaston. “CCPS school board members and the leadership team will figure out the next steps to take to carry us through June 2020. No decisions have been made regarding any activities, graduation ceremonies, or other events this year.”
Student work packets will be available for pickup on Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with packets being mailed home. Teachers will be contacting students and provide support.
On Tuesday, State Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced the waiving of several requirements for graduation and other students. Among them include:
–Seniors currently enrolled in a course for which they need a standard of verified credit in order to graduate (verified credits are earned by passing a required course and also passing the associated Standards of Learning [SOL] test).
–Seniors who have successfully completed a course required for graduation but have not earned the associated verified credit.
–Seniors who have not passed a required student-selected SOL test.
Additional waivers that need action granted by the General Assembly include:
–Seniors who have not completed training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
–Seniors who have not completed a virtual course.
As far as other activities for seniors, there are ongoing discussions regarding graduation dates, with hopes to have one at a later date for the Class of 2020. On Tuesday morning, the Virginia High School League (VHSL) tabled a recommendation that would allow a brief regular season from June 15-30 in hopes to salvage a Senior season. The organization plans to vote on the issue in May.