Hanover School Board discusses ‘Return to Learn’ plan, renaming of two schools in district

Hanover School Board discusses ‘Return to Learn’ plan, renaming of two schools in district
The Hanover County School Board will meet virtually on Tuesday to give updates on the district’s ‘Return to Learn’ plan as well as the renaming of two schools in the district. (Source: NBC12)

HANOVER Co., Va. (WWBT) - The Hanover County School Board met virtually on Tuesday to give updates on the district’s “Return to Learn” plan, as well as the renaming of two schools in the district.

Last week’s signage was temporarily reinstalled at Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School. Tuesday night there was about an hour’s worth of public comment - both for and against the re-naming of the schools. In the end, the board voted six to one to remove those signs and begin the renaming process by Sept. 7.

Hanover County School Board members are set to discuss renaming Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School Tuesday
Hanover County School Board members are set to discuss renaming Lee-Davis High School and Stonewall Jackson Middle School Tuesday (Source: NBC12)

Here’s what their plan looks like, starting Wednesday, Aug. 12 until Aug. 19, the board will be accepting nominations for new names.

Then between Aug. 21-27, a poll will be taken among the top 12-15 names selected by a committee.

Then, between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, people will vote between the top three names. At the school board meeting on Sept. 8, the board plans to present the new name for the middle school and the high school.

The board also discussed the return to learn plan, including student transportation.

Families have the choice of sending their students back to school either virtually or in-person. During an NBC 12 Digital Dialogue, Dr. Michael explained that a little more than 6,200 students opted for virtual learning with the remaining 11,000 returning to school in person.

For students who attend class in-person, families are encouraged to provide their own transportation. However, there is a school bus option available. Dr. Gill says 41% of families returning in person chose to use school transportation. There will be one child in each seat with an exception going to children who are related.

For students learning virtually, a school supply list is now available online.

For students returning in person, there will be a 4X4 schedule, meaning they will be enrolled in four classes per semester to cut down on the amount of travel within the school throughout the day. Dr. Gill explained that resource teachers such as art and music will come to students classrooms to teach.

“We ask our parents to assist us at home and if they are not used to wearing masks, go ahead and begin practicing that is essential,” said Gill.

HCPS says they are relying on parents to do temperature checks prior to coming to school. Dr. Gill says the Virginia Department of Health recommended not having temperature checks in school as it is not always the best detector of the virus. Gill says they ask the community to be aware of potential symptoms, and not come to school if they feel ill.

“We are going to strive for maximum distance which in most cases is 3-6 feet,” he explained.

For students enrolled in the virtual school, Dr. Gill says class sizes will be some what larger, but they are pulling educators from all 25 schools in the district to teach online. 9.5% of teachers opted into the Hanover virtual school option, with an additional 8% of teachers in the district saying they would be willing to teach virtually.

“Students are going to be connected to their home school, that being said, it is it’s own entity,” said Dr. Gill. “They are going to be receiving the same quality [education] because we have quality educators in all of our schools and the teachers that will be in and teaching online will be coming from Hanover County School. I am may be biased, but we hire some of the very best and they demonstrate that on a daily basis.”

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