CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Now that Chesterfield County Public Schools are preparing for a fully-virtual start to the fall semester, parents are making changes at home to keep up with the new decision.

The Chesterfield County School Board approved a virtual start to the 2020-21 school year with a 4-1 vote on Monday, Jul. 20.

The first day of school will not be typical in any fashion – no waking up to take pictures at the front door and jumping on a bus. But a Chesterfield mother of four girls is embracing the new normal of virtual learning while working her full-time job from home during the pandemic.

“This has certainly been an adjustment for us,” Erbach said. “Having six people in the house using up the bandwidth has been a challenge. And just trying to figure out how to balance everybody and keep them on the right Zoom call.”

Erbach’s four daughters on first day of school (2019)

To embrace their new learning environment, she set up individual stations in her home for each of her girls to do their work during the school year. And although she says it isn’t ideal, the stations will make their new learning environment work for as long as they can.

“This is a hard call. We all want our kids back in school,” Erbach said. “I want them out of the house, but I want them to be safe. My kids have wanted to go back to school almost since day one and it’s really funny because my oldest has always begged to be home-schooled. If nothing else, this has helped her realize she does not want to be home-schooled.”

Even though a poll from Chesterfield Schools revealed that families are in favor of differing options for starting school this fall, Erbach says that now is the time for parents to come together with acceptance.

“In the meantime, I think we can get really creative. We can do group projects and things virtually and we can figure this out. It is hard and this is gonna be hard for Fall. But we are gonna make it work. We’ve been making it work since April. We can do this — for a couple of more months,” Erbach added.

Editor’s note 7/29/20: Tiffany Erbach’s husband, John Erbach, was a member of the Chesterfield County School Board. He represented the Dale district and his term ended in January 2020.


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