Governor Northam considering year-round schooling for Virginia students

Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:46 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph North announced Wednesday the possibility of year-round school to help offset the loss of learning because of the pandemic.

If the governor’s idea becomes a reality, it would affect the 2021-2022 school year, but he is also considering expanded summer school programs to help students catch up.

“Our children have suffered from COVID-19, as have our families. And one of the things that we’re certainly entertaining is looking at perhaps a year-round schooling,” Northam said in Wednesday’s briefing.

The governor adds that it’s an idea he’s discussing with state education leaders and local superintendents. Richmond superintendent Jason Kamras has not dismissed it.

“Yes, this is something we are considering for next year,” Superintendent Kamras said in a virtual briefing on Thursday morning.

Many parents complain their children are falling farther and farther behind because of virtual learning, and Richmond has already decided to keep its school doors locked for the rest of the year. It was a decision that Kamras says RPS had to make with rising COVID-19 numbers in the city.

But Kamras thinks extending the school calendar may help some students bounce back.

“I do think it is critical to provide additional instruction to our students next year, and a year-round schedule is one way to approach that. So we are working on some options for what they would look like specifically, and working to build that into our budget proposal for next year,” he said.

Kamras adds that this will be a topic of discussion at upcoming school board meetings, and they hope to have a decision by early Spring.

NBC12 did also reach out to Henrico Public Schools, but a spokesman said the district wouldn’t comment until it sees more information from the state.

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