Senator Siobhan Dunnavant’s (R-Henrico) SB 1303 requiring schools to provide both in-person and virtual learning options is still moving through the House of Delegates, but slowly. Dunnavant’s bill earned bipartisan support in the Senate, thanks in part to support from Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) and Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond.) But a House Education subcommittee initially introduced several amendments to the bill that would effectively leave the status quo intact, prompting opposition from House RepublicansRead More
Citing school staffing shortages, Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) and Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) are proposing the creation of an Education Reserve Corps in Virginia.
“As we’ve known, other than getting people vaccinated and keeping them alive, the most important issue, and we’ve been consistent about this, is reopening schools,” Petersen said on the Senate floor on Monday. He pointed to staffing parallels in the medical field.Read More
Governor Ralph Northam wants Virginia’s schools to provide in-person learning options by March 15, one year and two days after first ordering schools to close on March 13, 2020. On Friday, the governor sent a letter to school districts instructing them to provide in-person options and encouraged the schools to develop learning-loss mitigation strategies.Read More
Two new online dashboards have recently been launched to help provide awareness and track the spread of the coronavirus at Virginia’s colleges and universities as many institutions in the Commonwealth have already begun or are starting in-person classes soon.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) launched its COVID-19 Outbreaks in Virginia Higher Education dashboard roughly two weeks ago.Read More
Legislation that would require local school divisions in Virginia to make in-person learning available to all students advanced out of the Senate Education and Health Committee on Thursday with some bipartisan support.
Senate Bill 1303, introduced by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico), just barely passed out of the committee by an 8-7 vote. All six Republicans voted in favor of the bill and two Democrats joined, while the rest of the committee members opposed.Read More
Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) on Tuesday announced that it is delaying in-person learning for all grade levels indefinitely because of local coronavirus numbers, just a week after pushing back the return to classrooms for elementary school students.
In an online message to families, Superintendent Amy Cashwell initially said the delay had to do with the school division’s nurses being pulled away from their regular duties to assist in administering vaccinations for teachers and other Virginians included within Phase 1b of the state’s plan.Read More
Three Virginia state Senators called for Governor Ralph Northam on Wednesday to reopen public schools across the Commonwealth and mandate in-person learning as an option for families struggling with virtual instruction.
Just hours before the General Assembly kicked off its 2021 session, Senators Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond City), Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) and Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) held a press conference to discuss the matter.Read More
COVID-19 is accelerating Harrisonburg City Schools’ push for more outdoor classrooms. At a school board meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Michael Richards said outdoor classrooms would provide more space for safe in-person classes. But Richards said the plan isn’t just a temporary plan to solve a problem caused by the pandemic.Read More
Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) announced on Tuesday that the division is delaying the return to in-person learning for pre-kindergarten and elementary school students until the end of January because of the area’s current COVID-19 numbers.
HCPS Superintendent Amy Cashwell made the announcement and discussed the subsequent changes to the timeline for returning to the classroom in an online message to families.Read More
The Virginia Education Association (VEA) is calling for all public schools in the Commonwealth to switch to virtual instruction for the next month because of the recent rise in COVID-19 numbers throughout the state.
VEA President Dr. James Fedderman issued the statement online Thursday.Read More
Richmond Public Schools (RPS) will continue with virtual learning only for the rest of the 2020-21 academic year.
During a Monday night meeting, the RPS School Board voted 8-1 to keep students away from the classroom for another several months after Superintendent Jason Kamras gave a presentation and recommended the school district remain virtual.Read More
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is delaying the return to in-person instruction for thousands of younger students, Superintendent Scott Braband announced in a letter to parents and staff on Monday.
The largest school system in Virginia had planned to send 6,800 pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and special education students (Group 5) back to school on Tuesday, but decided to put the move on pause because the current community health metrics for coronavirus cases are exceeding the threshold to expand in-person education, according to Braband.Read More
A gathering of parked cars blared their horns as dusk fell over the parking lot. Parents arrived once more on a Tuesday evening to protest against distance learning at the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) board meeting.
After parents finished honking, they joined the meeting so that they can speak to the board directly. November 10th marked the fourth “Honk for Back-to-School” that parents and community members have attended. These individuals continue to protest the total distance learning at LCPS.Read More
The Henrico County School Board adopted a plan last week allowing an optional return to classrooms for younger students later this fall and older students in early 2021, but at a town hall meeting on Tuesday school leaders said whichever choice families make, either virtual or in-person learning, will be a year-long commitment.
While answering submitted questions from parents, Dr. Thomas Ferrell Jr., Henrico director of high school education, brought up the stipulation that families’ choice of learning model would be binding, except for specific instances.Read More
As the fall semester begins to enter its final weeks, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) announced Thursday that the spring 2021 term will look very similar with most classes online and schoolwide health and safety protocols still enforced.
VCU president Michael Rao published an online message to students Thursday providing an update for the upcoming semester and highlighting some of the changes being made.Read More
The Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) superintendent George Parker announced Tuesday that he was postponing the plan that would have brought students back to the classroom for the first time since March.
The delay comes after the Newport News School Board voted 5-2 during its meeting last week to allow for a phased return to in-person instruction for K-12 students.Read More
Students at James Madison University (JMU) resumed in-person classes on Monday after spending almost a month away from campus learning virtually because of a significant rise in COVID-19 cases and inadequate isolation/quarantine spaces.
At the beginning of September, university president Jonathan Alger announced JMU was temporarily sending most on-campus students home and switching to virtual instruction. Now, students are back at the Harrisonburg, Virginia campus to give the 2020 fall semester another shot.Read More
A new statewide poll released and conducted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) offers a glimpse at the opinions of Virginians on two separate policy issues: COVID-19 vaccines and in-person education.
The Survey of 804 adults, age 18 or older, living in Virginia was conducted between August 28 and September 7 using telephone interviews.Read More