IWCS to offer in-person summer school

Published 12:50 am Wednesday, July 1, 2020

With Virginia currently in Phase 2 of the Virginia Department of Education’s “Recover, Redesign, Restart” plan for reopening public schools, Isle of Wight County Schools is proceeding with its plans to offer in-person summer school.

This will be limited to about 100 students in grades K-3, and will run 8:30 a.m. to noon Mondays through Thursdays July 13-30 at Windsor Elementary School.

According to Susan Goetz, the school division’s executive director of leadership, each class will include 10 students and one teacher, and be held in classrooms equipped with adjoining bathrooms. Students will be provided a light breakfast and lunch, also in their classrooms.

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“Once you’re with those 10 kids, that’s who you’re going to be with for the day,” Goetz said.

The division also plans to take students’ temperatures at the beginning of each day and require staff to wear masks if they are within six feet of students. The students, however, will not be required to wear masks.

Parents will have the option of driving their children to school or letting them board a school bus. Buses will be restricted to one student per seat in every other row. The school will also include a nurse’s station.

Lessons will focus primarily on reading, but will include a math component as well, Goetz said. Summer school eligibility will be determined by a student’s Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA), teacher recommendations and other forms of screening.

“Virtual learning was more challenging for the youngest students, which is why the K-3 grades were targeted for summer school,” said division spokeswoman Lynn Briggs. “We also anticipate this age group having the largest learning gaps, whether it’s regression or difficulty mastering new learning virtually, or a combination of both.”

As for reopening schools this fall, Briggs said IWCS just released a survey for parents to gauge their views on sending their children back to school under different scenarios. The division has also created numerous committees to develop plans to address the essential questions in the VDOE plan, including transportation, instruction, athletics and meals.

“Committees just started their work, and we hope to have those specific categories addressed in mid-July,” Briggs said.