YMCA to provide virtual support monitors for elementary students

YMCA to provide virtual support monitors for elementary students
The program is set up for elementary students whose parents can not stay at home with them due to work schedules, as well as other constraints that limit children from being able to learn at home. (Source: WHSV)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Chesterfield County will be partnering with the YMCA to set up virtual support monitors in common areas for some elementary students who are going virtual during the start of the school year.

The program is set up for elementary students whose parents can not stay at home with them due to work schedules, as well as other constraints that limit children from being able to learn at home.

Since our School Board decided July 20 to go to a 100 percent virtual model for students, we have worked with them and...

Posted by Chesterfield County Virginia Government on Thursday, August 6, 2020

“We recognize the constraints upon households who cannot provide such a virtual learning environment out of their home due to job constraints, internet accessibility or other reasons,” Chesterfield County said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The county says a safe-day support model is being developed for one to two percent of elementary students among many locations.

The YMCA will provide monitors within common areas in the schools, such as auditoriums and gymnasiums, where CDC guidelines for spatial distancing and other precautions can be maintained.

The county also says the monitors will not provide instruction, but rather assistance as the kids receive instruction from teachers through their computers, just like all other students whose parents’ jobs and schedules permit them to supervise and support their children at home.

Students will go to the locations to get virtual instruction just like other children that will be learning from home.

Chesterfield County says it will use Federal CARES Act funding to help reduce the cost of the service per week.

In an e-mail to NBC12, Chesterfield County Public Schools says it has received several inquiries from childcare providers to explore using school buildings.

“The YMCA had recently provided a new proposal that the School Division did share with County Risk Management.” CCPS wrote in a statement. “In turn, the Board of Supervisors, who under the County Charter actually retain ownership of school property by the County, rather than the School Board, has requested that the School Board work with Risk Management with the proposal that had been submitted by the YMCA to see if any option for their use is possible to increase options for families for daycare while students are in a virtual setting.”

CCPS says any arrangement the BOS supports needs to to allow for CCPS to shift back to in-building student instruction at whatever time the School Board elects.

In a statement to NBC12, the YMCA of Greater Richmond wrote:

“The YMCA has entered into an MOU to provide school enrichment services to Chesterfield County students. The program will be similar to the service, called Camp Hope, that the YMCA provided to essential personnel during the onset of the C-19 pandemic.”

The YMCA is calling their day program ‘Student Success Centers', and says various schools will be used for:

  • Ensuring the students are engaging with their teachers through virtual learning
  • Providing assistance and help when needed throughout the school day
  • Providing screen breaks, game time and healthy activities

They plan to take the following health precautions daily:

  • Daily temperatures checks for children and staff as they arrive.
  • Children will wash hands prior to joining their class at the beginning of each day.
  • We will enforce increased hand-washing and sanitizing throughout the day.
  • Children will be in the same class during the day.
  • We will avoid large group gatherings.
  • Equipment and touch points will be wiped down on a regular basis throughout the day.
  • Working with CDC to follow guidelines for Child Care

Right now, the YMCA says it is working to finalize locations and will have them listed, as well as more details on their website Thursday morning.

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