Henrico schools community divided over students’ return to in-person instruction

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Henrico County Public Schools hosted a ‘Listening Town Hall’ Tuesday, Oct. 20 to give families the chance to voice their thoughts about the second nine weeks of school.

The town hall was designed to get feedback from community members and staff members ahead of Thursday’s meeting where the school board will get a recommendation from health officials on how students should learn during the second nine weeks which starts on Nov. 16.

A slight majority of parents voiced their desire to see their children remain home, while more teachers seem eager to get back to the classroom.

“I feel like I’m spending way too much time on the camera and a lot of times it just gives me headaches and things and I’d really appreciate if you gave us the choice to go back in person,” said a child in favor of in-person learning.

“To have rushed us back in the second nine weeks, we will have gained every, every little,” said a parent opposing children’s return to the classrooms.

“As a school counselor in a small office, I am overwhelmingly afraid of the hazard I may face simply fulfilling the expectations of my job,” said a teacher who believes a return to the classroom is not safe.

The district has also released results from a survey given to Henrico families and teachers. The survey introduced three potential in-person learning models for the second nine weeks.

According to survey results, 50 percent of families intend to keep their children in virtual learning regardless of what in-person model is chosen. Just under 75 percent of teachers said they are willing to return to the classroom.

Those three models included in-person learning four days a week, five days a week with a limited schedule, or just two days a week. A fully virtual option is still available.

Families will also be able to provide comments ahead of Thursday’s school board meeting by submitting comments online. More information can be found here.

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