Isle of Wight County School Board Approves Fall Reopening Plan for 2020-2021 School Year
Isle of Wight Co., VA – August 3, 2020: The School Board of Isle of Wight County approved a plan for the reopening of schools at their special called meeting today. Julia Perkins made the motion to provide parent choice at the pre-kindergarten through third grade levels and students with disabilities who have intensive support needs with 100 percent virtual learning or a blended, in person model. Fourth through twelfth grade students would begin the year with temporary remote learning in the in person continuum or 100 percent virtual learning for the first semester. The board approved the motion 5-0.
The new vote came after a motion was made by Alvin Wilson to rescind the previous vote made at the July 30, 2020 School Board meeting regarding the adopted school reopening plan. The board approved the motion 3-2, with Jackie Carr and Julia Perkins casting the dissenting votes. In addition, Superintendent Jim Thornton, Ed.D., shared additional information with the board on current COVID data from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and recommended the board consider an AB blended model for pre-kindergarten through third grade and students with disabilities who have intensive support needs and 100 percent remote learning for the first nine weeks for fourth through twelfth grades. He noted that this is the state’s recommendation for a phase 2 opening and that Virginia is currently in phase 3.
Through the plan, parents of students from pre-kindergarten through third grade have two choices on how they want their children learning in the fall. Parents can opt for a hybrid model, where children will attend in person two days a week, either Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday, and work remotely on the remaining days. The other choice allows their child to be completely virtual for the entire first semester, still taught by teachers from IWCS.
Parents of students in fourth through twelfth grades also have a choice for their children even though in person instruction is not an option at this time. They can elect for their child to participate in a completely virtual model for the entire first semester. This model may include instructors outside of Isle of Wight County Schools, such as teachers from Virtual Virginia. Otherwise, students will be part of temporary remote learning through the in person continuum for the first nine weeks. These students will be with IWCS teachers throughout that time and could return to in person learning after the first nine weeks, based on a decision by the school board.
All Students with disabilities who have intensive support needs, are a part of self-contained classrooms, and accessing a nonstandard curriculum will have the option to follow the hybrid model available for pre-kindergarten through third grade levels or 100 percent virtual learning.
A motion was also made to add an addendum to allow high school students participating in certain Career and Technical Education programs to have an opportunity for in-person instruction in the CTE course on a hybrid schedule. The board approved the motion 5-0.
Parents must identify whether their child will remain on the planned in person continuum or 100 percent virtual option by Thursday, August 13 at 11:59 pm. This can be done through an electronically provided form or in person at their child’s school. Isle of Wight County Schools will hold informational meetings to discuss the reopening plan on Monday, August 10, at 6:00 pm at Georgie D. Tyler and Tuesday, August 11, at 6:00 pm Westside Elementary. These meetings will replace the originally scheduled meetings on August 5 and 6, which have been rescheduled due to potentially dangerous conditions created by Tropical Storm Isaias. The meetings will be streamed live on the IWCS Facebook page and YouTube channel and families will be able to ask specific questions through digital means. Due to limited space and social distancing requirements, the district is requesting that only families with unreliable internet access attend in person.