So that families and students can plan ahead, the Prince William County School Board at its March 17 meeting asked Dr. Steven Walts to develop a five-day-a-week in-person learning proposal for students beginning the 2021-22 school year. He will present it at the May 5 meeting of the Board.
Agreeing that the current hybrid program is not working well, the Board agreed that on-site education is more desirable. However, there will be students who prefer to continue with virtual learning which will always be an option in the future.
As stated by the Board, on-site learning five days a week will meet the academic and social needs of the students who participate. It will allow parents to leave their children in the public school system, rather than enrolling them in alternate private schools or learning systems. Plainly, that means the enrollment in PWCS will remain at a consistent level, a critical element for receiving funding from the state based on enrollment.
Also, on-site learning will be much safer because of COVID vaccinations and other measures like social distancing and mask use. It is now very doable.
The proposition is consistent with statistics just published by Failing grades on the rise in Prince William County schools | Headlines | insidenova.com, that indicate middle- and high-school students’ failure rates have increased dramatically during the current school year as students dealt with virtual classes and did not succeed.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine, the Prince William & Manassas Family Alliance has maintained that students needed to return to the classroom as soon as possible. Already our students have lost valuable time and learning that put them at a distinct disadvantage in their future academic careers and work force capabilities.
The Family Alliance applauds the Board for this step toward normalizing school for our county’s children. It will be a huge task to implement for the incoming superintendent, LaTanya McDade, who takes the reins of the PWCS on July 1. However, her credentials underscore her ability to resolve difficult situations and bring them to an equitable conclusion. This will be no exception.
— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance