More students to return to school five days a week

Published 6:10 pm Friday, March 26, 2021

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Isle of Wight County Schools will return students in grades six through eight on the in-person continuum to a full, five-day weekly schedule beginning Monday, April 12, according to an announcement the school division made Monday.

Virtual students in grades 6-8 will be on the five-day-per-week schedule within the concurrent Zoom model.

Self-contained special education students in grades 6 through 12 will be returning to their schools for five days of in-person learning.

In addition, certain groups of high school students will be returning to a four-day, in-person schedule also beginning April 12. Dr. Jim Thornton, superintendent of IWCS, has given authority to high school principals to provide some hybrid students with additional in-school time if they are not showing success with the current model or have extenuating circumstances, based on their school’s capacity.

Both high schools will use the same criteria for consideration, the press release stated; however, the number of additional students they can accommodate will be based on seat capacity, which will vary from class to class and is therefore highly dependent on the identified student’s schedule and transportation needs.

The criteria include:

  • Seniors in jeopardy of not graduating
  • Students with a D or F average in two or more classes
  • Chronic absenteeism
  • Students experiencing homelessness
  • English Learners
  • Medical documentation noting major impact on mental health condition
  • IEP, 504, or school-based intervention team decision

Adjusting in-person learning time for individual students who meet the criteria for consideration will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If your high school child has been identified to return for more in-person instruction, you will be notified on March 29 and informed of the schedule for your child, the press release stated. At that time, the principal will share specific information about the plan for their school. If your child is not identified to return and you have questions about the process, you should contact your child’s principal.

Currently, all IWCS pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms are operating on five days a week of instruction. Mitigation measures have prevented in-class spread of the COVID-19 virus, the press release stated. Those same measures will be implemented as middle and high schools return more students to their buildings.