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Chesterfield School Board approves reopening strategy, accepts health committee metrics

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse metrics from a health committee that will help guide the district’s decisions on when to greenlight a phased approach to in-person learning.

Health data will be reviewed every two weeks so that a decision can be made when to phase-in more students, according to the memorandum that was considered by board members.

After school starts virtually on Sept. 8, the school board will hold a work session every two weeks to review the data. This will help determine when certain students can return. Families can opt to keep learning virtually, if families choose to.

Rising sixth grader Elizabeth Bishop chimed in, saying “Do what you teach, and put a little extra effort into opening schools, and it will be safe to open schools.”

The public health committee recommends certain students return based on color-coordinated metric ranges: Red, orange, yellow and green. Some students with disabilities and English language learners could return earliest and older students at the latest.

Decreasing county cases of COVID—19, hospitalizations and positive rates will be all be considered.

“We will continue to monitor data and every two weeks could yield a new decision for the next cohort, and division leaders have recommended a week’s notice for students’ families and staff prior to returning another cohort to in-person,” said Nicholas Oyler, coordinator for student health services.

Families can decide to keep online learning, even if their students are allowed to return. Project Restart says CCPS is prepared to get Chromebooks to any student and provide access to the internet for those without it.

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