Last Thursday the Appomattox County School Board laid out four potential plans to open the Fall 2020 school semester amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and phase-based mandates from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. 

The most restrictive plan would be to pick up where the Spring 2020 semester left off, with all students doing classwork online and the school providing necessary virtual learning tools. 

The least restrictive plan would entail a full reopening, or business as usual. However, that would only happen if government restrictions on social distancing and gatherings are lifted. 

Option two would have all grade levels from PreK-12 attending school on a staggered basis with two days at school and three days of at-home study. The county’s students would be divided by east and west with half coming to school on Mondays and Tuesday and the other half coming on Thursdays and Fridays. 

Option three keeps grades 6-12 on the staggered schedule with grades PreK-5 attending class every weekday except Wednesday.

In both options two and three, Wednesdays are reserved for deep cleaning of school buses, staff meetings and at-home work time for students. 

Appomattox County Public Schools (ACPS) Superintendent Annette Bennett said the four-day week for PreK-5 is the preferred option because it presents less problems for parents when it comes to childcare needs — although the option presents its own challenges with energetic little kids. 

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Times Virginian newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at www.timesvirginian.com/subscriber_services to view the full article in the e-edition version.