Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said year-round schooling is one of the options on the table to help students who have fallen behind with at-home learning.
Northam said discussions are already underway, and if the year-round school is approved, it may start next year. He said state education officials are also looking at the possibility of adding school days to the summer.
“Our children have suffered from COVID-19 as have our families,” Northam said Wednesday.
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. One of the concerns educators have is how to help students that struggled during the at-home learning phase.
While no set ideas have been decided, Northam said the need for all schools to welcome students back led to the state’s decision to put its 285,000 teachers and child care workers as part of the next phase of Virginians eligible for vaccines.
“Teachers are critical to getting schools back open, and that’s critical to people getting back to work and literally getting back to normal,” Northam said.
In its current phase, health care personnel and staff and residents at long term care facilities can receive vaccines.
While opening schools does not depend on teachers getting vaccinated, Northam said he believes it makes things easier.
“We want to get our children back in school, we want to do it safely and responsibly,” Northam said.