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Rockingham County Public Schools to start hybrid model next month

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Starting next month, more students will return physically to class in Rockingham County Public Schools as the school division returns to its hybrid model plan.

The plan was the original layout for the beginning of the school year before the division switched to all virtual at the end of summer.

Starting Nov. 16, students in grades two through eight will return to school twice a week on an A-day, B-day schedule. Students will have approximately 80-90 minute classes with each teacher.

Class sizes will be smaller, and Wednesdays will remain a remote learning day for all.

Parents could also continue to keep their students learning at home, but those students would only have classes with teachers twice a week.

Oskar Scheikl, division superintendent, said students at home learning will still receive the same amount of time with a teacher as they did during the first five weeks, but because teachers cannot teach to both groups at the same time, there will be fewer days.

“Because of the distancing requirements, the student body is split into an A-day and B-day, and so teachers will basically teach a class twice," Scheikl said. "Once on the A-day, which will be Monday and Thursday, and then once on the B-day which is Tuesday and Friday.”

Some students may have their teachers switched because of this model.

The school division is asking parents to notify their schools or the central office if they plan to change their responses from the summer survey sent out for the plan by Friday.

The survey had asked parents if they planned on having students return to school with or without transportation needed, or if parents would keep their students at home.

“We’ve sent out notifications to families to say here is what you have selected in the summer," Scheikl said. "Let’s say you selected in-person and that you could provide the transportation, if there’s a change to that please let the school know by Friday.”

Parents will be notified if their student’s teacher had been switched and what day their student would attend class after survey responses have been collected.

This change will not affect high school students due to transportation reasons or students Pre-k through first grade who have already returned to school buildings.

By next semester, Scheikl said he believes they will have enough bus drivers available to support transportation for all grade levels.

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