By: Rodney Robinson Jr.
DINWIDDIE — As Virginia enters phase 3 following Gov. Northam’s announcement earlier this week, Dinwiddie County Public Schools continue to plan for the upcoming Fall semester.
Christie Clarke, Director of School and Community Relations for Dinwiddie County Public Schools, points out that they “really want all kids back here,” however the safety of students is most important.
“Our job and our goal is to make sure every kid is healthy and safe,” Clarke said.
There’s a new follow-up survey that the DCPS sent out on Wednesday morning, July 1. The survey is specific for each household and each school. The big question in the follow-up survey is transportation. Each student will have their survey, specific to them. In the survey, parents have the option to choose which learning instruction they prefer their child to take part in. Clarke stresses that “we got to make every effort to help the parents.” The parent survey for instructional preference is due July 10. The school specific surveys are listed below:
- Dinwiddie Elementary School
- Midway Elementary School
- Southside Elementary School
- Spanish Version – Southside
- Sunnyside Elementary School
- Sutherland Elementary School
- Dinwiddie Middle School
- Dinwiddie High School
In preparation for the upcoming Fall, DCPS created three possible options for instruction. Option 1 is distance learning. For distance learning, students will learn at home with online instruction from teachers using Virtual Virginia’s platform, similar to many homeschool options. Option 2 is blended hybrid instruction, where students will attend school in person two days per week on an alternating schedule. DCPS will make efforts to ensure that students from the same family will attend school on the same day.
The final option is everyday instruction. Students will attend school each day, except on Wednesdays, for in-class learning. This is for specific programs such as exceptional education, English Language Learners or other programs identified by the school.
A survey was sent out earlier this Summer to families, following Northam’s announcement on Tuesday, June 9 where he required school districts to implement safeguards to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. This was a general survey which allowed for parents, students and employees alike to give their feedback. DCPS heard from about 70% of the households, according to Clarke. The survey was open for responses up until June 21.
The DCPS will continue to work with the community as new information is provided by the Governor, the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC. Clarke stresses that “this is all new,” as they continue to ensure safety for the upcoming school year.
“We don’t have all the answers right now, we’re learning as we go,” Clarke said.