Petersburg School Board unanimously approves virtual learning

Petersburg School Board unanimously approves virtual learning

PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - The Petersburg City Schools Board has approved an all-virtual learning start to the school year following the superintendent’s recommendation on Wednesday evening during a meeting.

The board voted unanimously in favor of virtual learning.

When it comes to the spread of coronavirus, Superintendent Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin said school leaders can mitigate the risk, but they just can’t eliminate it. That’s why the school board accepted her recommendation Wednesday night to continue virtual instruction for all Petersburg beginning Sept. 8.

It was a 3-hour meeting where officials reviewed all of the data, including trends of how coronavirus is spreading in the area and how they would keep students and school staff safe.

In the end, the decision to keep learning online prevailed. The superintendent says that decision will come with significant responsibility.

“We’re going to have to find a way to stay connected with our young people and with our families. So you will see a common thread through this presentation is how we do we support, how do we connect to make sure we’re not losing touch with our core business, which would be young people,” Pitre-Martin said.

One concept is to create a help-desk so parents, students and teachers who need guidance with technology while at home can call for support.

Officials said after 1,000 people completed surveys, 51% supported online instruction, 18% supported a mixture of online and in-person, only 15% wanted a complete re-opening and 7.5% wanted half-day options.

Petersburg’s Superintendent isn’t yet sure whether teachers would work from home or in the school building.

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