Although Prince William County schools remain on track to allow students to attend school in-person starting Nov. 10, there will be challenges — including the “likelihood” of COVID-19 cases among students and staff, Superintendent Steven Walts said Wednesday.
Already, 17 students and staff are home quarantining as a result of COVID-19 cases among staff, Walts said.
“Should COVID remain at current or increased levels, there is the likelihood that positive cases may occur within schools, and that may require staff and students to quarantine,” Walts said during the school board’s Sept. 16 meeting. “In just the past week, we now have six students and 11 staff members in two-week quarantine.”
It was the first time Walts publicly discussed COVID-19 cases at Prince William County schools since the new school year began Sept. 8. It was also the first time the superintendent shared some of the challenges the school division faces as administrators prepare for large numbers of students to return for in-school instruction.
Walts noted that maintaining the status quo – virtual instruction for most of the county’s 90,000 students – could be done “easily,” while switching to the planned “50% model” in November will pose significant logistical challenges.
Walts further asked the school board to let him know “as soon as possible” if they want to deviate from the 50% plan, which would allow students to return to school at least two days a week.COVID-19 cases. So far, principals at five Prince William County schools — Belmont Elementary, Chris Yung Elementary, Benton Middle, Woodbridge Senior High School and Patriot High School – have sent letters home to families informing them of positive COVID-19 cases among staff members…