Some Prince William supervisors and School Board members sharply criticized county school leaders this week after they wavered on a return of students to classrooms in November.
Trending on InsideNoVa Powered By At a joint meeting with the Prince William School Board on Tuesday night, the Board of County Supervisors allocated another $15.9 million of federal CARES Act funding for county schools to buy webcams, outfit school buses and fund a host of other measures designed to prepare the division for hybrid in-person and online learning.
During a School Board meeting Oct. 7, superintendent Steve Walts had cited technology, staffing, training and transportation issues as among the reasons for a surprise change in plans for in-person learning.
Walts’ new plan, announced at that meeting, will bring back only pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students in early November, with the remainder of elementary school grades staggered through the end of January. No dates were provided for returning middle and high school students to class.
Republicans supervisors chastised the school board and division staff for not following the 50/50 hybrid plan approved in July, which would have brought all grade levels back to school Nov. 10 for two days a week…
…At the joint meeting, Walts told supervisors he would present another plan for the eventual return of older students at the school board’s Oct. 21 meeting, but insisted it would be subject to change based on guidance from the state’s health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We look at the Virginia Department of Health guidance and currently, their guidance is to begin bringing the Pre-K to [grade] three based on current indicators. … There’s a lot of uncertainty because there’s a lot of uncertainty with the pandemic,” Walts said. “We have to be very careful about how we plan. What I’m trying to do with my staff and with the feedback from the medical community is to bring back something that works and something that sticks, that we don’t have to hopefully have constant reversals.”
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