Three schools in Franklin County to go all-virtual until Nov. 5 due to COVID-19 community spread

(Photo: Courtesy Pixabay/CDC)

(Photo: Courtesy Pixabay/CDC)

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — While Franklin County school officials originally planned to implement a weeklong virtual instruction period at one school due to coronavirus concerns, that online learning period will now be implemented at three schools.

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the school district announced that Franklin County High School will begin an all-virtual instructional format from Thursday, Oct. 29 through Wednesday, Nov. 4.

However, on Thursday afternoon, Franklin County Public Schools decided to initiate entirely online learning for Franklin County High School, Benjamin Franklin Middle School, and The Gereau Center from Friday, Oct. 30, through Wednesday, Nov. 4. The students are set to return to a normal schedule on Thursday, Nov. 5.

School officials attribute this decision to the community spread of COVID-19 and the difficulty to provide adequate classroom supervision for secondary schools in Franklin County.

This reportedly does not affect students who are part of the district’s self-contained Special Education classes at Franklin County High School and Benjamin Franklin Middle School, who will still report to school on Friday and Monday.

In addition, students who transport to schools outside of Franklin County will continue with in-person instruction as normal, according to the school district.

“Please note that the reason to go completely virtual does not mean that the virus is being transmitted within our schools,” said W. Mark Church, Division Superintendent for Franklin County Public Schools. “In fact, we believe that there has been no transmission while at school since the opening due to the proactive measures in place. The Franklin County community has had a significant rise in cases of COVID-19.”

As a precaution, Franklin County Public Schools is asking increasing numbers of staff and students to quarantine and teach/learn from home when someone who tests positive for COVID-19 comes into their classroom and possibly exposes them to the virus.

“This still leaves a coverage deficiency for the remaining hybrid students,” Church said. “We believe temporarily reverting to full virtual learning will allow our current quarantining staff to finish their quarantine and it will curb some of the greater community issues from potentially spreading within the schools.”

For more information regarding the district’s necessity to take this action at this time, click here.

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