IWCS may resume five-day, in-person school

Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Some Isle of Wight County Schools students may return to five-day-a-week, in-person learning in February.

In a Jan. 28 announcement, school officials said some students who are currently on the in-person learning plan might be able to return to classrooms full-time on Feb. 16, depending on what local COVID-19-related health data indicates.

The division said it will continue to monitor data for positive coronavirus cases and quarantines over the next several weeks. If the numbers are favorable, pre-K through fifth-grade students may return to in-person learning this month. This decision does not impact students on the virtual learning track for the second semester.

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School officials plan to announce on Feb. 8 if pre-K through fifth-graders will be able to return five days a week. Information on student transportation and any schedule modifications will be shared as soon as details are finalized.

“By [Feb. 16], IWCS will finish replacing tables with desks at our elementary schools,” the division said. “The desks will help physically distance students in the classroom. In addition, we also have almost 500 employees who have registered for the COVID-19 vaccine, with many receiving their first dose last week.”

The division also said its virus mitigation strategies are working to protect students. Officials will continue to monitor the data, which will inform if and when additional grade levels are able to return to five days of in-person school.

“Since school opened on Sept. 8, there have been no cases of student to student spread, student to teacher spread, or teacher to student spread,” school officials said. “However, if we do have issues with rising numbers of cases or quarantines, the Superintendent, Dr. Jim Thornton, can close a classroom, a school, or even the entire division and return students to temporarily remote or hybrid learning if necessary.”