Numerous schools around southwest, central Virginia resuming in-person learning following coronavirus-related closures

Back to School

(WFXR) — Even though several southwest and central Virginia schools are still closed on Tuesday for various reasons, students at many other school districts are heading back to the classroom following the holiday weekend.

In fact, some schools are resuming in-person learning for the first time since they were forced to close or switch to virtual learning because of coronavirus exposures.

For example, three public schools in Franklin County — Benjamin Franklin Middle School, the Gereau Center, and Franklin County High School — switched to virtual learning for Friday, Sept. 3 to allow the buildings to be thoroughly cleaned after a number of students and staff members tested positive for COVID-19, forcing others into quarantine.

However, with all three of those schools back open for in-person instruction on Tuesday, Sept. 7, WFXR News spoke with Superintendent Dr. Bernice Cobbs to find out if Franklin County Public Schools is implementing any new mitigation efforts to prevent a closure like that from happening again. At this time, there is a universal mask requirement on school grounds.

Meanwhile, students at other school districts are also returning to the classroom Tuesday after they temporarily switched to online learning last week amid a large number of coronavirus cases.

George Washington High School reverted to remote instruction for Thursday, Sept. 2 and Friday, Sept. 3 as the Danville Public Schools’ coronavirus dashboard reported 30 confirmed cases and 44 exposures at the school.

Over in Bedford County, Staunton River Middle School and Staunton River High School also implemented virtual learning on Thursday and Friday due to a number of factors, but mainly the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the area.

However, public schools in Amherst County shut down on Friday for both in-person and remote instruction and will stay not reopen until Monday, Sept. 13 due to virus concerns. There are also no extracurricular activities or meal services available during that period.

A state law that went into effect on July 1 requires every school district in Virginia to offer in-person learning. However, if coronavirus transmission is at a high level, schools can opt to provide remote or hybrid learning, but only for as long as necessary to reduce the spread of the virus.

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