Committee recommends having some Chesterfield students return for in-person classes

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The health committee tasked with providing Chesterfield County Public Schools with recommendations on when to reopen for in-person learning suggested to the school board Monday that the district allow a select group of students to return to classes in two weeks.

The committee recommended that Chesterfield schools allow students in Cohort 1, a group made up of K-12 students with disabilities and Special Education Level 2 students, to return to classes on Sept. 29 for a four-day week.

RELATED: Chesterfield School Board approves reopening strategy, accepts health committee metrics

Guardians will be informed Tuesday if their students can return by Sept. 29, however all families will have the option to choose whether they want their child to return or remain with online learning. Students in Cohort 1 will have classes each day of the week except for Wednesday, which will be used for a deep cleaning day.

The other cohorts will be phased in as early as Oct. 12. Those students will return with a hybrid model of learning, going to school for face-to-face instruction two days a week and learning virtually for the rest of the week.

Cohort 2 will be made up of all students in Pre-k through Grade 2 and could return in-person as early as Oct. 12.

Cohort 3 will be made up of all students in Grades 3 through 5 and could return as early as Oct. 26.

Cohort 4 will be made up of all students in Grades 6 through 12 and could return as early as Nov. 9.

The last name of students in Cohorts 2, 3 and 4 will determine which days they will go to school for face-to-face instruction. Students with last names beginning with A through K will go to school Mondays and Tuesdays. Students with last names beginning with L through Z will go to school Thursdays and Fridays.

A member of the committee, Nicholas Oyer, said Monday that cases have fluctuated in the past weeks but that the county appears to be outperforming other parts of the central region.

The school district has plenty of bus drivers to cover students in Cohort 1 and routes are “planned and ready,” 8News learned. Transportation Director James Frye said during Monday’s meeting that the school system will be short 34 drivers during the start of the Cohort 2 phase, which could start on Oct. 12, and will have 30 openings.

The school system’s public health committee can phase in, pause, reverse or end the reopening plan at any time based on data.

Stay tuned to 8News’ full report at 6 p.m.

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