School reopening plans for central and southwest Virginia

Coronavirus

This page was last updated on Aug. 24. For an updated list of back-to-school plans for schools beginning the week of Sept. 7, click here.


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Schools across central and southwest Virginia have announced or will soon announce reopening plans for the 2020 school year.

Below you can find the full list of re-opening plans as of Aug. 6. As new plans are announced, this page will be updated.

Alleghany County Public Schools

Schools in Alleghany County will open to students Sept. 9 with a combination of online and in-person learning.

“Adjustments to the ACPS academic calendar were considered by ACPS School Board on
Monday, June 22, 2020 and were approved on Monday, July 20, 2020. New teachers will report
on August 24; all teachers will report on August 25, and the first day of school for students will
be September 9. This adjustment delayed the school year by approximately four weeks to
provide time for the CDC and VDH to release guidance for Virginia schools to develop “best
plans and practices.”

Alleghany County Public Schools

Amherst County Public Schools

Students in Amherst County will attend school on a hybrid model, according to a plan released on July 10. In a July 30 school board meeting, the official first day of school was pushed back to Sept. 9. It was originally planned for Aug. 26.

What is the Elementary Schedule?
Group A 8:00-2:00 M-Th (Start in Hybrid, finish in Homeroom)
Group B 9:00-3:00 M-Th (Start in Homeroom, Finish in Hybrid)
What is the Secondary Schedule?
Group A will be in-person on Monday and Wednesday from 10:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ( Days at
home, students will be given specific work/tasks to complete)
Group B will be in-person on Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Friday will be used for some CTE hours, academic and technology supports”

Amherst County Public Schools FAQ

Appomattox County Public Schools

The Appomattox County School Board voted to move the start date for the 2020-21 school semester date at its board meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13.

Classes were originally scheduled to start on Aug. 24 with a combination of virtual and in-person learning.

However, following the vote at the district’s school board meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13, the Appomattox County Public Schools will now launch ‘Raider Remote’ with four days of orientation and technical support on Sept. 8. A hybrid of virtual and in-person learning will then begin on Sept. 14.

Bath County Public Schools

On Aug. 4., the Bath County School Board approved a hybrid learning model as the “Return to School” plan for the 2020-2021 school year, deciding to have students go to school four days a week and learn virtually one day a week.

Bath County Public Schools announced on Wednesday, Aug. 5 that schools will open on Aug. 26, with students attending classes at school Monday through Thursday and learning remotely on Friday.

However, officials say parents are allowed to request 100-percent online learning for their child when they register for the school year. If you have additional questions, contact your child’s school principal.

According to the school district, online registration for the 2020-2021 school year is already underway, and parents are asked to register as soon as possible. Letters with SNAPCODES for each student were set to be mailed Wednesday, officials say, but parents may also contact a school secretary.

For more information on the school district’s plans for health, safety, transportation, nutrition, technology, etc. for the upcoming school year, visit the Bath County Public Schools’ website.

For a full look at frequently asked questions, click the Facebook post below:

Bedford County Public Schools

On Thursday, Aug. 13, the Bedford County School Board voted to require students to wear face masks when they return to school after Labor Days weekend. Temperature checks, though, will not be required.

Pre-K through third grade — as well as fourth grade, if included in the elementary school listing — will return on Sept. 8 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For grades four through six, students will return on Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students will go to school every day, with times slightly scattered to allow for social distancing.

For grades seven through 12, in-person learning will begin on Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with at least two days a week through a blended learning model. This means each student will be assigned a learning coach, and teachers will be available for in-person instruction with individual students.

Some electives will be available in-person, and students will take three to four courses per semester. Times may be scattered to allow for social distancing, and the number of days a student attends will be based on individual learning needs.

Bedford County Public Schools also offers a 100% online option called ‘Bedford Connects’, which begins Sept. 8. This option will be offered to all students, and all remote learners Grades 3-12 will receive a Chromebook and still have the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities. The school system says parents and guardians will need to commit to remote learning for their child.

Bland County Public Schools

Bland County plans to begin the school year with hybrid learning. The deadline to notify the school of student enrollment and participation in either hybrid or distance learning was Monday, July 27.

Botetourt County Public Schools

School will resume Aug. 24 and will continue until the end of the first semester.

Plan highlights include:

  • Preschool through Second Grade will receive four days of in-person instruction, with remote learning done on Wednesday of each week.
  • Third through 12th Grade will receive in-person instruction two days per week and remote learning three days each week. Students will be split into two groups.
    • Group A to receive in-person instruction on Mondays and Thursdays
    • Group B to receive in-person instruction on Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Preschool through Second Grade will transition to in-person instruction five days per week beginning the first day of the second marking period on Oct. 19.
  • Third through 12th Grade will continue with the hybrid schedule and alternate Wednesday in-person instruction beginning on the first Wednesday of the second marking period on Oct. 21, as designated on the A/B calendar.

Botetourt County Schools’ goal is to begin full in-person learning in January if permitted by the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education.

Buena Vista City Public Schools

Students will start classes Aug. 31 in Buena Vista. PK-7th students will be assigned to one classroom. Teachers will rotate classrooms while students stay in place. Instruction will be Monday through Thursday. Fridays are for at-home learning for students while buildings are deep cleaned.

Eighth through twelfth grade will attend two days per week and do virtual learning the rest of the week.

View the complete plan here.

Campbell County Public Schools

School will begin Sept. 1 for elementary school students, while secondary students will begin September 8.

The last day of class is scheduled for June 7 for elementary students and June 11 for secondary students.

Elementary students will attend class all day Monday through Thursday. A breakdown for each secondary school is available here.

Carroll County Public Schools

According to a statement released by Carroll County Public Schools on Friday, Aug. 14 from Superintendent Mark A. Burnette, school is set to begin on Monday, Aug. 17, with an A/B hybrid schedule.

More specifically, Carroll County Public Schools’ approved reopening plan says students in the A group will have in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays before receiving remote instruction on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Meanwhile, students in the B group will reportedly receive remote instruction on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays before having in-person classes on Thursdays and Fridays.

Even though Monday may be the first time students see their friends or teachers in person since schools shut down in March, school officials warn there are several new policies in place in order to prevent potential spread of the coronavirus, including the following:

  • There will be no large gatherings of students in the cafeteria or in the hallways.
  • Social distancing and proper face coverings by everyone in the building will be non-negotiable.
  • Hand washing and sanitizing will be promoted in the classrooms.
  • Staff and administration will enforce frequent cleaning and disinfecting of the classrooms, buildings, and school buses, as well as other safety practices.

Carroll County Public Schools also has a plan for those interested in 100 percent remote learning. According to the district’s reopening plan, approximately 10 percent of Carroll County Public Schools’ student body has enrolled in this online learning program.

“The way we attend class, enter and move about the building, eat lunch, ride buses, and socialize with each other will not be the same during our Phase III Reentry Plan. Classrooms will be
cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the school day when they are unoccupied. Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout the buildings with staff ensuring students utilize them often. Social distancing will be required and face coverings will be worn when social distancing is not possible. School lunches will be eaten in the classroom. Access to communal areas will be limited.”

Carroll County Public Schools

Follow these links to read the full statement from Burnette or to learn more about Carroll County Public Schools’ reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year.

Covington City Public Schools

Currently, the school calendar shows staff members returning on Aug. 24. Students K-12 will then return on Sept. 9 with an electronic device for academic purposes.

Schools will split into blocks and allow one block per day to attend in-person classes. Students would attend three hours per block in person. The schedule will also allow for a weekly deep cleaning.

Preschool through second grade will attend school five days a week. Third through seventh grade will use an A-Team, B-Team system where students will attend five days in class and five days of virtual learning. For eighth through twelfth grade, students will attend four days per week in person with A and B groups split for morning and afternoon sessions, with one day of virtual learning.

For example, Covington High School released this tentative weekly schedule:

Bus drop-off for CHS would be at 8:05 a.m. each day, and students would then report to their first block. The morning bus would depart at 11:35 a.m., and begin the afternoon pickup at 11:55 a.m. Students attending afternoon classes would arrive by 12:12 p.m. and end their day at 3:35 p.m.

To read the guidelines and schedules for each school, click here.

Students have the option to attend online via Google Meet and can use mornings or afternoons opposite of attending school to complete assignments or activities on Edgenuity, Virtual Virginia or
project assigned by their teachers.

One of the goals of the school system is to provide each student with a Chromebook or tablet and hotspots for internet access. Families will also have the option for students to attend all classes online.

To address the learning gap caused by the changes during the spring semester, the school system will also hold diagnostic assessments periodically throughout the year at each grade level.

The school system says flexibility will be key as they move forward with the reopening plan.

Craig County Public Schools

According to Craig County Public Schools, the school board voted on Tuesday, Aug. 11, to postpone the reopening date for Craig County schools from Aug. 24 to Aug. 31. In addition, for the first week of school, officials say 25 percent of the students will come to school for one day of the week as part of a “soft opening.”

However, on Sept. 8, the district says students will begin their normal “Return 2 Learn” plan, which can be found on Craig County Public Schools’ website.

In addition, face coverings will be mandatory for all students while in the hallways and in areas where social distancing cannot be practiced, but not while students are at their desks in the classroom, according to school officials.

“The highlights of the Return 2 Learn Plan. Grades PreK-8 will attend school Monday – Thursday for in-person learning and Friday reserved for Virtual learning. Grades 9-12 will attend school 2 days per week with three days of virtual learning. Students riding the school bus will sit one student per seat (siblings may sit together) and will be required to wear a face covering.”

Craig County Public Schools

Danville City Public Schools

The original proposal for Danville Public Schools’ reopening plan — which the school board discussed on July 16 — was based on a mixture of in-person and at-home learning that varied between the various grades of elementary, middle, and high school, as well as for preschools and special education programs.

However, based on the rapid changes in data and guidance from health officials with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, staff members recommend the following “scalable” plan:

  • 100% — All students attend school on a regular schedule
  • 50% — Two days per week
  • 25% — One day per week
  • 0% — All students participate in remote learning

In addition, the “scalable” plan allows for families to choose 100% online learning for their children.

Floyd County Public Schools

Floyd County offers a 100% online option for learning in grades K-12. A Chromebook will be provided by the school district and there will be support from teachers.

Transportation will be provided, though social distancing will be observed with no more than one student in a bus seat. The students will also be staggered with the seat behind the driver left empty.

View the full back to school plan here.

Franklin County Public Schools

Franklin County Superintendent Dr. Mark Church says he anticipates schools re-opening in August as scheduled, though social distancing will be in place and reduce the number of students in a class at a given time.

View all Franklin County Public School coronavirus information here.

Galax City Public Schools

Classes resume Aug. 19 for Galax City Public Schools.

There will be two options for learning – online and in-person.

View the full re-opening plan.

Giles County Public Schools

The back-to-school plan for Giles County Public Schools, as it stands on Aug. 5, is similar to some of the hybrid approach to learning that other school systems are also implementing.

In Giles County, students will be divided into two groups: an A group and a B group.

Starting Aug. 24, A group students will attend in-person classes on Mondays and Wednesdays while B group students will attend in-person classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other three days for both groups will be online.

“Kindergarten through second grade will receive tablets, third grade will receive pro-books, and fourth through 12th graders will receive chrome books,” described Superintendent Dr. Terry Arbogast.

There’s been a concern, however, of internet access and students’ ability to effectively learn from home. Arbogast says a survey went around the district earlier in the summer, and the board has the solution to fix this.

“We are working with the county to secure air cards that individuals could use to help with the issue to be able to access their learning modules.”

Giles County Schools will implement this A/B staggered schedule for four weeks. After that period of time, the board will reassess the approach. If cases are kept to a minimum among students, the board is likely to move toward a more in-person approach to learning.

Parents should expect a letter from the board on what group their kid(s) will be put in on Aug. 7.

Grayson County Public Schools

Grayson County Public Schools plans to enter Phase III of its re-opening plan when students return to class on Aug. 13. The school system released the following to parents:

  • PreK-12 students will return to Grayson County Schools on Thursday, Aug. 13. A schedule of in-person includes Monday-Thursday for all students, followed by the reservation of Friday for remediation and remote learning hours. Remote students may schedule appointments with the classroom teacher on Friday for in-person learning. GCPS plans to return after Labor Day Holiday on a regular five-day schedule.
  • Some remote learning and/or staggering schedules may be needed to help with mitigation in all schools.
  • Remote learning will be accessible to students upon the request of parents. Request forms available at the schools and central office, along with the Remote Learning Plan.
  • School meal programs will continue during phase 3 both in-person, as well as pick up availability for remote learning students.
  • Schools are encouraged to aim for six feet of physical distance to the greatest extent possible; however, if six feet of distance is not feasible, schools will implement a combination of face coverings and a minimum of three feet distance between everyone present.
  • Transportation Plan may adjust the number of students on the buses in order to provide safe space.
  • With evaluation of student numbers, schools may adjust the number of student groupings for in-person instruction if needed with limited use of communal spaces restricting the mixing of groups of students.
  • Staggered schedules may be implemented based on number of students in attendance in order to meet Health Plan guidelines as needed.
  • No large gatherings will be held before, during or after school.
  • Communal spaces will only be utilized when required physical distancing is possible.
  • Limited outdoor activities/recess to 50 people, with a priority on limiting physical distancing and mixing of groups.
  • Field trips or staff travel are not allowed during Phase 3.

Halifax County Public Schools

Halifax County Public Schools voted August 10 to start classes virtually and reevaluate the status of coronavirus and virtual learning by a vote of 6-2. The virtual model is in place for the first nine weeks. The first day of school is scheduled for September 8. The school system could transition to a hybrid AB schedule in the second nine weeks. You can watch the full school board meeting in the Facebook LIVE video below.

Henry County Public Schools

Henry County students will start back to school 100% online when schools resumes August 10, the school district confirmed to WFXR News.

Highland County Public Schools

Highland County Public Schools has not updated its website with re-opening plans as of July 27, 2020.

Lexington City Schools

Lexington City Schools will begin classes on Sept. 8. This is a revised date announced on Aug. 24.

There are also revised plans for students to take classes completely virtually.

Lynchburg City Schools

Lynchburg City Schools will start the first nine weeks completely online. The decision was announced at an Aug. 4 school board meeting. LCS had previously approved a hybrid learning plan.

Martinsville City Public Schools

Classes will resume in Martinsville on Aug. 10 as a 100% online model, the school district confirmed to WFXR News on Aug. 7. Laptops and materials will be available for all students.

Montgomery County Public Schools

Classes in Montgomery County will resume Sept. 8.

“Students with disabilities may be offered in-person instruction based on the needs of their IEP. Students who receive ELL services, students without access to the internet through MCPS- provided MiFi devices, students of employees, and fifty percent of all students in grades PK-12 will attend four half days per week. MCPS will operate childcare services as provided in the plan.”

Montgomery County Public Schools

A full breakdown of school schedules based on grade is posted here.

Nelson County Public Schools

The school board decided to open Nelson County schools in a “leveled approach,” which consists of three levels.

From Aug. 24 to Oct. 2, students and teachers will operate under Level 1: virtual/remote learning for most students. Nelson County Public Schools (NCPS) will offer in-person services only to special education students and to the most vulnerable special populations, as determined to be instructional appropriate and feasible.

At Level 2, the school board intends to open schools in a hybrid format for the second quarter.

Level 3 will begin at the start of the second semester, in which in-person instruction will return to the school district. However, virtual learning options will still be available for those who choose that mode of instruction.

The Nelson County School Board has suspended all extracurricular activities until at least Aug. 13.

Patrick County Public Schools

Students in Patrick County will observe social distancing when school resumes. Face coverings will be encouraged by not required for students.

“Depending on the level of risk in Patrick County throughout the school year, schedules
may be altered to reflect 25 percent capacity in buildings as illustrated below.”

Patrick County Public Schools

Two options will be available for students – blended learning or virtual/remote learning. View the COVID-19 plan here.

Pittsylvania County Schools

Students in Pittsylvania County will start classes virtually on August 24. Administrators will monitor coronavirus data from the Virginia Department of Health to determine when in-person instruction may resume.

Read more about the plan here.

Pocahontas County Public Schools (West Virginia)

A back to school plan for Pocahontas County, West Virginia, Public Schools has not been posted to its website.

Pulaski County Public Schools

Pulaski County Public Schools’ plan — which was proposed on Tuesday, July 14 — would begin the school year on a tiered system, where elementary and high schools would be on the same schedule. School officials released the following checklist for the Phase III reopening plan for elementary and high schools:

  • Step 1 (Sept. 8-11): 25 percent of enrolled students attend school each day of the week based on the alphabetical order of their names. If there are no confirmed cases within a school during the first week of Step 1, the school will move to Step 2.
  • Step 2 (Tentatively Sept. 14-25): 50 percent of enrolled students will attend school Mondays and Tuesdays, staff will conduct online lessons while the school buildings undergo deep cleaning on Wednesdays, and 50 percent of enrolled students will attend school Thursdays and Fridays. A school will move to Step 3 after going two full weeks with no confirmed cases within the school.
  • Step 3 (Tentatively Sept. 28-?): 100 percent of enrolled students will attend school Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with Wednesdays still reserved for virtual lessons and deep cleaning.
  • Step 4: A full return to school five days per week, but the parameters for Step 4 will remain undetermined until receiving additional guidance from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).

However, the middle school is set to be on a different system due to the delayed construction on the new school.

For middle schoolers, their Phase III reopening plan will bring them in for a half-day between Aug. 31 and Sept. 3 in order to receive a Chromebook and set up their virtual course schedule, which all middle school students will participate in from Sept. 8-18. Officials say Phase III’s plan means middle schoolers will attend in-person classes starting the week of Sept. 21, lining up with other schools’ schedules from that point forward.

For more details about the instructional breakdown for the various schools in both Phase II and Phase III, you can read the full copy of Pulaski County Public Schools’ instructional reopening plan here.

Radford City Schools

In an update on Aug. 24, officials with Radford City Schools announced that classes would be held completely virtually for the first two weeks.

“RCPS became aware of a recent, close social gathering in the community involving individuals (including RCPS students, staff and parents) who appear to have not been practicing public health recommendations of physical distancing and face coverings.  Out of an abundance of caution, concern for the safety and well-being of our school community, and upon guidance from the New River Valley Health Department, RCPS is transitioning from the hybrid model to a full virtual model for all students PK-12 for the next two weeks.”

Radford City Schools Superintendent Rob Graham

ORIGINALLY-ANNOUNCED PLAN:

Students in Radford will attend classes on a hybrid A-B staggered schedule.

“Families with underlying health issues or other concerns will have the opportunity to take advantage of remote learning options. At the same time, we are prepared to revert to some version of virtual learning at a moment’s notice. Several factors were considered as this path to reopening was developed.”

Radford City Schools

View the complete plan here.

Roanoke City Schools

Roanoke City Schools’ revised plan proposal from the Roanoke City Schools’ Transition Task Force includes students receiving instruction online for the first nine weeks of the school year.

Roanoke County Public Schools

The approved plan will have Kindergarten through 2nd-grade students attend school in-person five days a week. Students in grades 3 through 12 will attend school in-person two days a week.

Students have the option of receiving 100-percent online instruction if they wish.

Students in grades 3 through 12 will be split into two groups.

  • Mondays: Group 1 (A Day) will receive in-person instruction. Group 2 gets online instruction.
  • Tuesdays: Group 2 (A Day) will receive in-person instruction. Group 1 gets online instruction.
  • Wednesdays: Group 1 and Group 2 both receive online instruction.
  • Thursdays: Group 1 (B Day) will receive in-person instruction. Group 2 gets online instruction.
  • Fridays: Group 2 (B Day) will receive in-person instruction. Group 1 gets online instruction.

*A/B Day schedule only applies to middle and high school students

The modified schedule also changes the start date for students from Aug. 13 to Aug. 24. The last day for students has also been revised from May 25 to May 28, 2021. The final teacher workday of June 1, 2021, stays the same.

Teacher workdays will move to Wednesdays.

View the full Roanoke County back to school plan here.

Rockbridge County Public Schools

School begins on Aug. 31 in Rockbridge County and elementary, middle, and high school schedules will vary. You can view the plan here.

Parents in Rockbridge, like the rest of Virginia, can elect for 100% distance learning.

“Teachers of learners enrolled in full digital format (learning from home) will make contact with
each learner at least two times per week (phone call, virtual chat). Those learners without internet access will have the opportunity to download content from a wifi connection at any of RCPS’s six schools or the RCPS Central Office (former Effinger Elementary School). In the rare event that we have a learner who has absolutely no access to an internet connection, RCPS will provide a thumb/flash drive in order to deliver assignments and assessments.

There will also be a help desk available for parents to contact if there are any challenges accessing
content in a digital format. Teachers will provide weekly feedback to each digital learner to ensure that they are receiving the necessary support for an authentic learning experience.”

Rockbridge County Public Schools

Salem City Schools

In an update submitted to WFXR News on Aug. 12, Salem City Schools will open for the semester on Aug. 31 with the first two weeks of the semester being a “soft opening” for both students and teachers.

A total of 25-percent of all students in all grades will be in attendance one day per week for the first two weeks.

Each student will be assigned an A, B, C or D day for in-person attendance.

“This will give us a chance to properly evaluate all of our processes and procedures, at each level, to make sure we are on track with both our students and teachers. This period should also help ease any elevated anxiety levels that some may understandably have.”

Mike Stevens, Salem Communications Director

Students can still elect a full online course-load. Stevens says that about 21-percent of students and their parents have chosen that option.

Wythe County Public Schools

On Thursday, Aug. 13, Wythe County Public Schools announced the school board approved a plan to move the first day of school from Monday, Aug. 24, to Tuesday, Sept. 8.

In addition, from Sept. 8 to Oct. 26 — which was scheduled to mark the end of the school year’s first quarter — officials say the district will follow a 100 percent virtual instruction model for all students. However, there were reportedly no other changes made to the 2020-2021 school calendar.

After the Wythe County School Board receives an update at their meeting on Sept. 10, school officials say they will determine if they need to take any additional actions beyond those introduced Thursday.

Wythe County Public Schools says students and families will be provided with more detailed information with regard to the virtual instruction plan in the “very near future.”

Latest Stories

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

News tips

Do you have a news tip or breaking news to share with WFXR?  Submit your tip here.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form

Restaurant Service Guide