Dinwiddie School Board meets to discuss upcoming school year

By Rodney Robinson

DINWIDDIE — The Dinwiddie School Board met Tuesday evening to discuss the upcoming plan for the fall.

Superintendent Dr. Kari Weston and Director of School and Community Relations Christie Clarke stepped forward to discuss survey results and the potential plans moving forward. The results stem from previous surveys throughout June. According to the parent’s survey, about 47% of the parents agree or strongly agree with feeling comfortable sending their children back to school, if additional health and safety requirements are in place. However, about 31% feel otherwise. seventy-one percent of parents who would prefer their children to attend school indicate that bus transportation is essential. There were 1,525 responses in total for the parent surveys.

Some concerns for parents included internet access, childcare, virtual learning, masks, learning gaps, social distancing, health issues of exceptional education and health issues of students and staff, according to comments gathered in the surveys.

For the student surveys, there were only 624 responses. Of the responses, 88% of the students agree that they can properly use all of the technology to learn virtually. Also, the survey asked students to indicate which method they would like the new school year to follow for the fall. Sixty-four percent of students prefer a mix of going to school on some days and virtual learning on other days.

Dr. Wetson outlined state requirements for opening schools during Phase 3. Under Phase 3, schools will have an in-person instruction and a remote learning option. Remote learning or distance learning is offered to students who are unable or unwilling to return to face-to-face instruction. This involves 100% virtual learning during the week. 601 students chose this model. According to Weston. Students will need internet access for this option, as they will sign up a semester at a time.

Blended learning will follow an ‘A’ or ‘B’ model, with Wednesday serving as a student support day. Students on the ‘A’ schedule will attend school Monday and Thursday. Students on the ‘B’ model will attend school Tuesday and Friday.

For transportation on school buses, face coverings will be required and worn at all times. The plan only allows 1 to 2 people per seat as families from the same household will sit together. Students will load the bus from back-to-front and exit from front-to-back.

Health screenings will take place also. Families will be asked to do health screenings each morning. There will be temperature checks for students and staff daily. Also, they are scanned as they enter the school.

For more information on the plan for the upcoming school year, visit board docs.

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