Henrico schools considering multiple reopening options, offering online summer learning programs

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County Public Schools announced Thursday it is going to move its summer learning programs online and is considering five re-opening options for the 2020-2021 school year.

The school division said these options were developed to help minimize the effect of instructional time lost because of coronavirus school closures.

“This summer and fall will be about flexibility, creativity, and above all, safety,” said Amy Cashwell, HCPS superintendent. “We’re going to keep working hard to find innovative ways to support all our students as they continue learning this summer, and to prepare for a safe return to school in the fall, no matter what that may look like.”

HCPS’ Summer learning pathways are now apart of its “Henrico Edflix” online learning plan. Summer options available include the district’s Summer Academy, accelerated learning or extended-school-year programs.

They said some pathways will help students who may have gaps in their learning, and others are designed to help students review and prepare for the upcoming school year. These programs will also have options for students with disabilities.

You can learn more about the programs on HCPS’ website.

The district is also considering five different options for reopening this school year. They are:

  • Option A: On campus learning — All students would return to campus with new safety measures.
  • Option B: Remote learning that is structured and enhanced— All students would participate in daily remote learning. The district said it would resemble the expectations of a typical school day, just from home.
  • Option C: Interrupted on-campus learning — Students would be on campus for weeks or months at a time with could be interrupted by periods of structured remote learning if health concerns came up.
  • Option D: Hybrid learning — Part of the student body would attend classes on campus for a period of time while the other portion would learn remotely. Thises groups would switch after a number of months or alternate days on campus.
  • Option E: Parallel learning — Part of the student body would attend classes on campus while another portion would participate in online learning all year long. This option would to require students to alternate days.

The district said all five options would require a lot of planning by HCPS staff and no final plan has been determined. HCPS said it would make more announcements as plans develop.

Parents who spoke with 8News on Friday said teachers have been trying their best to connect with students online but it has been challenging.

“Henrico basically had a month off and was like OK, now there’s required learning,” Henrico parent Ashley Sherdel told 8News.

Students have been remote learning for months and Sherdel said she would like to see a change. Her daughter is a rising junior at Godwin High School and believes there is more to education than academics.

“That’s their safe place. They don’t all have ideal family homes,” Sherdel said. “They need to have that safe adult or that peer group or some type of social support.”

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