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Gov. Ralph Northam speaks with reporters during an educator mass vaccination at Unity Reed High School in Manassas, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. This was the largest mass vaccination of educators to date, in Virginia, according Babur Lateef, chairman, Prince William County Public Schools.

Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday will announce a plan to extend the school year into summer to allow students to catch up.

The announcement will come during an 11 a.m. news conference, Northam said during a Thursday morning interview with Washington Post Live. No details have yet been released.

"We're working with our teachers, our school boards, our superintendents. It has to be a top priority," he said. 

"Our parents need to break too. We've asked a lot for the past year from our children and their families and now it's time for us to help them, to help them out, to give them some extra time this summer to get them prepared will be in everybody's best interest."

Northam has said year-round schooling is one of the options on the table to help students who have fallen behind with at-home learning.

In January, he reported that discussions were already underway, and if the year-round school is approved, it may start next school year. At the time, he also said state education officials are also looking at the possibility of adding school days to the summer.

As vaccines become more available, giving many hope that the end of the pandemic is coming soon, schools are trying to prepare for the return of students to physical classrooms. 

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(14) comments


Poor Northam was over his head from day 1. The pandemic just showed how incapable he was. So he kept schools closed for no reason as well as businesses which really hurt the economy and the citizens of VA. He needs to go. Now.


That shitty governor needs to be recalled. He has only hurt the state.


Makes me think differently about using "brain surgeon" to describe an intelligent person. First we have Northam MD as governor and Lateef MD as School Board Advisor. That's the Dems for you, drawing in the "experts" to make important decisions.

This man needs to be censured for having COVID/fog brain.


If there is a press conference, someone please ask him to explain how this is suppossed to help. Setting aside the logisitical problems others here already touched on, this makes no logicial sense. The students who are falling behind, are doing so because of the format they've been forced into for the past almost 11 months. He hasn't changed that reality yet. The Governor should concentrate on getting all of VA schools fully open before he starts trying to address catch up. Telling a child that is having a lot of trouble learning via iPad for hours on end, that s/he needs to do it longer is not really accomplishing much besides prolonging a situation that has already taken a painful toll on the very kids he says he's trying to help. I'm concerned the Governor is in the camp of those who ignorantly claim parents just want babysitting for their children. Parents of kids stuggling because they can't be in school are concerned because this format is not working for the development of their kids acadmeically and socially. This won't help unless he's ready to get the schools fully open for those who need it. Without that, his suggestion might actually make things worse.


What about the kids and parents who actually worked to keep their grades up.

The hard working and responsible dragged down again.

Maybe little Jane and Johnny wouldn't be having and emotional crisis at home it they would get to work.


My wife is a teacher, and since the pandemic, she has been working. Yes, through last summer to figure out how they distance-teach. No pay increase, more stress, a new method of teaching and a lot of stress. WHAT ABOUT THE TEACHERS???? Give them this time or you will have a less productive group of educators next school year. Not only is their pay shameful, for the hours they invest, but the attitude from government and parts of society is disgusting. They just keep on taking it because THEY care for the kids. Please understand the pressure they are under.


Any reporters want to ask him:

1) How will staff, who have been working overtime (read: more than the contracted 7.5 hours) for the students, in a profession that doesn't get consistent paid overtime (read: working more than the contracted hours) for the students, be compensated?

2) How will school divisions, be able to afford the compensation needed for this to occur, if some divisions aren't even planning on providing STEP increases or COLA adjustments as of their current budget proposals?

3) How will the state, and country government start to fund these programs fully? Fully being - relying less on donors and cutting programs, fully as in providing funds that are consistent and allow divisions, schools, and teachers to plan accordingly - instead of constantly pivoting (read: changing instruction and rules)


Like Biden, we are not allowed to ask serious questions.


Making sweeping decisions without thinking of the logistics has been the pattern here since last spring. Good luck adding time to an existing contract that has already been signed by teachers. I guarantee paying people hasn't entered his mind. What a buffoon!


Heres a few more budget questions...besides paying the teachers from a non existant budget. Ac is normal shut off school use very little power and this is factored into the budget..hope they ready to pay about 33% more...summer is hot here run those ac units. Also the buses dont run off good vibes you have to pay drivers and gasoline costs. How about lunch program? there's another staff group you'll be paying extra not to mention the food costs since the school systems run at a loss in that department (giving away more food than they sell). I'm sure the expensive admin will volunteer to work for free (not likely) so add that to the cost. Pretty reasonable and well thought out plan gov. About as bright as putting on blackface and publishing a picture of it.


This sounds like a good plan. Will staff get a raise?


Citizen 52...assuming your not being sarcastic. How is it a good plan? If you have to ask the most basic question as a follow up. Wouldnt a good plan answer that question?


@Goodfella. You were right on the first count.


Then citizen52, we part as friends.

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