Despite parental opposition, Lynchburg City Schools returns to hybrid learning

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Lynchburg City Schools recently returned to a hybrid learning platform, but many parents aren’t happy about the move.

The topic was a big concern at the school board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, where leaders were faced with a difficult decision.

“We are doing the best that we can,” said Dr. Crystal Edwards, Superintendent for Lynchburg City Schools.

The school system’s “Return to Learn” plan has been met with opposition from local families.

With rising coronavirus cases in the region and Lynchburg General Hospital under a code red, parents say they don’t want their kids back in the classroom so soon after winter break. In fact, some teachers agree.

“We’re not going to lose a generation of kids to this. The only way we’re going to lose a generation of kids is if we don’t put safety first,” said Karl Loos, President of the Lynchburg Education Association.

Loos was one of several community members who sent in remarks to Tuesday’s meeting.

A total of 13 letters and one voicemail were presented to school board members. One of the letters was submitted by Anna Smith, a parent who created a petition against the learning model.

The petition was signed by over 100 people.

Despite the rise in COVID-19 cases, Edwards noted a decrease in positive cases within the school division.

As of Monday, Jan. 11, there were nine total cases. On Tuesday, the number dropped to three cases.

While LCS plans to continue hybrid learning, Edwards says it’s ultimately up to parents and the interests of their children.

“We’re not forcing anyone. It’s a choice,” Edwards said. “If you want to stay remote, we’re going to do the best we can with you because we know you’re making the best decision for your kid. If you decide to send them to hybrid, we got our arms open and we’re waiting.”

Approximately 500 additional students who opted for remote learning are expected to transfer to hybrid learning for the second semester of the school year, which begins next Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The school system is expected to see a 7% increase in it’s hybrid learning population.

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