Henrico school leaders push back start date for in-person learning

Henrico school leaders push back start date for in-person learning

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico school leaders have made the decision to push back the date when students can finally return to their classrooms.

The plan had been to allow some younger students who wanted to go back to school to be able to do so next week, but that return date is being pushed back two more weeks.

Henrico students from Pre-K through 5th grade who want to return to the classroom will be able to do so come Monday, Jan. 25. The original target date was to get students back on Jan. 11, but a special committee reviewed how COVID-19 is looking in Central Virginia and made a recommendation to delay.

Tuesday evening there was growing reaction on social media.

“Yes, school will open!” one person commented.

“Thankful to see some common sense prevail,” another chimed in.

But not everyone is cheering.

“Glad our daughter chose to homeschool!” one person wrote.

“Follow the lead of RPS and stay virtual....You’re needlessly putting your employees, students and families at risk,” another added.

Henrico Schools’ spokesperson disagrees with the latter comment.

“In addition to distancing and mask-wearing, we have signage in our schools, protective barriers in our schools…People can see what our schools do look like and it’s much different than what they looked like this past fall, summer and even last spring,” Andy Jenks said.

With those steps, Henrico’s health director feels confident with the district’s decision.

“What we’ve seen consistently now for almost a year around the country, around the world, and even here in the state of Virginia is that schools - when they are effectively implementing a safety plan - are a remarkably safe place for kids and for teachers,” Dr. Danny Avula added.

Henrico’s superintendent says ongoing safety practices will be continued.

“An important element of our approach will be continued monitoring of health and safety conditions at each school and being responsive at the individual school level,” Dr. Amy Cashwell said.

HCPS is asking parents who plan to send their children back to make sure they go online and update their child’s emergency contact information. If that information isn’t up to date, there could be problems when it comes to who can pick up the child from school.

To review the full timeline for students’ return to in-person learning, click here.

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