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Rockingham County welcomes back students on first day of hybrid model

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 6:35 PM EST
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — On Monday, Rockingham County Public Schools welcomed students back to school as more students returned physically back to class for the first time in months.

Last month the school division approved a new hybrid model for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Students will return to class twice a week on an A/B schedule based on last name.

Wednesday will remain a virtual day for all and students will need to continue work online the other two days they are not physically in school. The classroom looks a little different for students who returned on Monday.

Each desk is spaced out from others and students are required to wear masks at all times with a given break throughout the day. Dr. Oskar Scheikl, division superintendent, said it may look different, but it’s a great feeling to have most students back.

“You know we all have been waiting for this moment," Scheikl said. "So it’s just great to walk through the building and see the kids and see the teachers and watch them adjust to the environment and watch them get started with their learning in the building.”

Back in October, families were asked to let the division know if they’ve made a change to a survey sent out over the summer on if families were expecting to keep their students at home learning.

Scheikl said close to 20 percent of their students have decided to continue learning from home. He said while it is nice students are back, it’s important for everyone to continue doing their part to make sure they can stay.

The school division has purchased PPE for teachers and students in case a student forgets their mask. Scheikl said the division has also purchased several hundred air purifiers for certain classrooms in the county.

“We will do everything we can to make these the safest environments really in the community,” Scheikl said. “So if students are following those rules and the staff are enforcing them then schools are safe places.”

Scheikl said the division’s next milestone is to bring high school students physically back to class next semester.

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