Virginia Schools Must Reopen by Mid-March, Northam Says

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Virginia Schools Must Reopen by Mid-March, Northam Says

Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia said on Friday that schools across the state should begin to offer in-person classes by March 15, adding that many students were suffering academically and emotionally.

When the pandemic started, believe it or not 11 months ago, schools around the country closed. As school divisions began developing plans for the current school year, our guidance to them was that we want students and we wanted our teachers and the staff to be safe. But we encouraged in-person instruction for the students who needed it the most. But we’ve seen more data now, and it suggests that schools don’t have the kind of rapid spread that we’ve seen in some other congregate settings. That tells us it’s time to find a path forward to in-person learning. We also know this plain fact, children learn better in classrooms, and that’s where they need to be. Last month, we issued guidance to our school divisions for how to plan a safe return to in-person learning. And today, I’m saying it needs to start by March the 15th. By that date, I expect every school division to make in-person learning options available in accordance with the guidance.

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