Schools temporarily revisit virtual learning

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

With winter weather and the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, local schools say they are prepared to do what is needed to keep students and staff safe while moving forward with learning.

On Jan. 19, Buckingham County, Cumberland County and Prince Edward County public schools announced that they would teach virtually on Jan. 20 and 21 and return to in-person learning on Jan. 24.

Buckingham County Schools cited the rise in cases of COVID-19 as the Omicron variant has proved to be more contagious than the previous strands. According to a Facebook post on the BCPS Family & Community Engagement page, the closings were due to “the number of absent students and staff due to illness.” There is no word at this time whether the school system plans on holding more virtual learning days as students and staff return to in-person learning.

Cumberland County and Prince Edward County schools both announced closings due to the winter storms and low temperatures Thursday and Friday. Despite these closures taking place due to weather, both school districts are monitoring COVID-19 cases and are prepared to take action when and if it is needed.

“Prince Edward continues to monitor student and staff COVID-19 cases,” said Dr. Barbara Johnson, superintendent of Prince Edward County Schools. “At this time, we are keeping our options open for potential classroom or school closures. Our teachers and students are prepared for possible virtual learning days for weather or illness-related instances.”

“Due to the recent weather forecasts, Cumberland County Public Schools had remote learning days,” said Dr. Chip Jones, superintendent of Cumberland County Schools. “Yes, additional remote days are still possible depending on the circumstances.”