Giles County Public Schools shares plans to double in-person learning days for younger students starting Nov. 16

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GILES COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Younger public school students in Giles County may be able to start attending twice as many in-person learning days by mid-November.

Back in August, Giles County Public Schools said students would start the school year divided into the A group and the B group, with A group students set to attend in-person classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, B group students to attend in-person classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and all students to learn remotely on the remaining three days.

However, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, the school district shared plans to allow all PreK through 3rd grade students to transition to four days of in-person learning starting Nov. 16.

School officials say parents must decide whether to send their students to four days of in-person classes or five days of virtual learning by Friday, Oct. 30 — a decision that will remain in effect for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year — for the sake of logistics and social distancing.

However, if parents feel it would be in their child’s best interest to switch their child from four days of in-person learning to full-time remote learning, they are reportedly allowed to do so at any time.

Giles County Public Schools says this new in-person learning model will result in several updates to safety protocols, transportation, and instruction times starting Nov. 16:

  • PreK through 3rd grade students and staff will be required to wear masks at all times (except when eating) because of the social distancing goal of three feet.
  • All buses will return to their traditional routes from previous years (which will be posted on each school website on Nov. 9). In addition, more students may be on the bus, so mandatory masks and temperature checks on the bus will continue.
  • The instructional day will change from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for all elementary and middle schoolers.

This plan of increased in-person attendance for PreK through 3rd grade students is expected to proceed, but in order to make sure the conditions are acceptable and everything is in place to move forward, school officials say they will make a final decision by noon on Nov. 10 during a school board work session.

Meanwhile, students in 4th through 12th grade will reportedly continue under the current A/B hybrid instructional model until a decision is made about additional in-person transitions.

“We appreciated your continued understanding and patience as we approach the end of our 1st 9-weeks of Hybrid instruction. And, we appreciate your support as we begin to transition to more in-person instruction for our students,” said Division Superintendent Dr. Terry E. Arbogast II in a letter shared by Giles County Public Schools on Tuesday. “We have had, and will continue to have, the safety of all involved at the forefront when making decisions moving forward and will continue to look for ways to provide the best education possible for our students, while again being as safe as possible.”

For more information on Giles County Public Schools’ in-person instruction plan, click here.

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