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Virginia Department of Education meets for updates

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 6:29 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Virginia Department of Education met virtually Thursday morning to provide updates on how school is going across the state in light of the pandemic.

Some topics covered include special education updates and the need for recruiting teachers, but the focal point was how teachers and students are handling classes in these uncertain times.

“Not every student can even log in every day with their internet access," State Superintendent Dr. James Lane said. "So we basically provided flexibility for our school divisions this year to do a task-based accountability of absenteeism in addition to a time-based accountability.”

Lane says the way they are collecting data has to be different during the pandemic due to the way teachers take attendance.

Lane says they are also seeing a lag in parents enrolling their kids in new school divisions.

“It has been really really difficult for school divisions to work with some students especially, frankly, some of our students in some of our higher poverty areas," Lane said.

He adds, however, that the school divisions are doing everything they can to keep kids motivated and present at school even if it’s virtual.

“It’s everything from purchasing alarm clocks for students to make sure they wake up and are there on time," Lane said, "to working with counselors and social workers and school psychologists to ascertain some of the root causes behind why students are not attending.”

The meeting concluded with updates on the board of education’s recent work on equity.

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