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Parents share concerns for virtual learning this fall

School will return online for most students  in Rockingham County online.
School will return online for most students in Rockingham County online.(whsv)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 7:09 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - On Monday night, the Rockingham County School Board voted to push the start date back this fall for students and transition into online distance learning which raised some concerns for parents.

“I was expecting them to go to virtual and I was actually surprised they didn’t make that decision sooner actually,” Nikole Basch a parent said.

Basch said she has some concerns and thinks a lot of teachers may feel the same way. She said based off of last spring online learning can be a challenge for some in the county.

“In the spring, we didn’t have internet service,” Basch said. “So I was going to school and we were having to upload that stuff for my son,” Basch said.

This fall students in grades 2 through 12 will work remotely, and Pre-K through grade 1 will attend in-person four days a week.

Students in grades 2 - 5 will have a class with their teachers for two hours, four days a week. Grades 6-8 will have a synchronous class for three hours and grades 9-12 will have a class for 2.5 hours.

Some special education, English-Language learners, those without reliable access to the internet and students working significantly below grade level in reading or math may be permitted to attend in-person with Pre-K through grade 1.

Dr. Oskar Scheikl, division superintendent, said WiFi hot spots will be made available for each school for families in need.

“So those are mostly useful for families where a cell phone signal does exist but the families can’t afford it,” Scheikl said. “So we can provide hot spots their potentially and then for students that live in an area with no internet connection that’s a conversation on a case-by-case basis.”

Basch said she has reached out to her student’s school and is waiting to hear back more information on obtaining a hot spot.

She said she understands the plan for this past spring was thrown together quickly and teachers and staff need our support now.

“They’re going into something they’ve never been into before,” Basch said. “They’re going to need a lot of support from us.”

For more information on the school divisions plan, click here.

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