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Henrico Schools Push In-Person Return to Jan. 25

Glen Allen High
Crixell Matthews
Glen Allen High School in Henrico. HCPS high school students can return to in-person learning on Feb. 4. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM)

Henrico County Public Schools is pushing back its timeline to reopen public schools. While they originally planned on returning to in-person learning on the week of Jan. 11, classrooms will now welcome back elementary students on Jan. 25.

Middle school students will have the option to return to in-person classes on Monday, Feb. 1, and high school students can return later that week on Feb. 4. All students will still have the option to continue attending school virtually.

Students who choose to return to classrooms will attend in-person classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. For the remainder of the school year, classes will be held virtually on Wednesdays, to make time for sanitizing school buildings, teacher planning and additional support for students.

The decision to delay the return to in-person classes was made as Henrico County sees worsening COVID-19 numbers. As of Jan. 5, HCPS is in the “highest risk” category for two of the three main health metrics monitored by the Virginia Department of Health. The third metric, key mitigation strategies, is self-assessed by the school district.

In a Tuesday letter to HCPS staff and families, Superintendent Amy Cashwell expressed confidence in those mitigation tactics. She says she anticipates that the delay to Jan. 25 will be the last adjustment to the district’s reopening plans.

“I do apologize for any inconvenience this additional delay may cause,” Cashwell’s letter reads. “As we prepare to welcome more students back into our schools, let’s continue to model the expectations we have as a community. Let’s wear our masks, practice physical distancing and respiratory etiquette, wash hands frequently, and stay home when sick!”

In addition to the delay to in-person instruction, HCPS made the following schedule changes:

  • Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is now a half-day for students in grades pre-K through 5 only. This will take the place of the student half-day scheduled for Jan. 29., which is now a full instructional day.
  • Thursday, Jan. 28, and Friday, Jan. 29 are now asynchronous (independent learning) days for middle and high school students, and planning days for teachers.
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