Newly released guidelines from Virginia Department of Education on reopening schools

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Education has released new guidelines for schools as they make reopening plans for the fall.

In a letter sent to school leaders, state officials said while they still want students to practice social distancing, students could be physically closer together come the fall.

Health officials said schools should still aim for six feet of physical distancing between students but if that’s not possible schools should use a combination of face coverings and a minimum of three feet distance between everyone when they enter phase 3 of reopening.

When it comes to reopening, schools will be reopening in phases.

Phase One would allow special education programs and child care for working families to resume but remote learning would be the main method of instruction.

Phase Two allows preschool through third graders to return as well as English learners and extracurricular activities like clubs.

Phase Three would allow all students to return for in-person classes but with social distancing guidelines in place. A blend of in-person and remote learning may be put in place.

School divisions have to submit plans before moving to the next phase.

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