Staff Days and Attendance: Coronavirus Updates


Sydney Haulenbeek

“Handwashing and staying away from people who are sick or coughing will definitely help,” said Martha Ward, Kempsville’s nurse. “If anything, soap and water will do more than hand sanitizer.”

Read our previous story, “The Coronavirus: What it is and How it Impacts You,” for information on what the coronavirus is, where it came from, and how to keep yourself from keeping sick. 


On Thursday, March 12, VBCPS posted an update to their website making announcements regarding schedule changes, canceled events, preparations, and attendance. 


Monday, March 16, will be a staff day and there will be no school for students. “This will give teachers time to work on lesson plans and activities and to arrange for virtual and alternative learning methods should they be required,” the statement said. Tuesday will be a B day. 


SOL testing for 8th and 11th graders will also be adjusted to take place on Wednesday, March 18, and Thursday, March 19, rather than their original testing dates. All after school and extracurricular activities, with the exception of educational programs (such as tutoring), have been postponed until further notice. 


Events throughout the division have also been postponed, including the Health and Wellness Exposition and the Career Exposition. Field trips have been postponed as well.


Volunteer opportunities have also been suspended, in the interest of the health of everyone involved. Visitors not attending the school for official business will be prohibited from entering during the school day.


Although attendance is important for students, VBCPS is insisting that anyone feeling ill should stay home. Doctor’s notes are not needed for an approved absence. Any absences after March 1 are not counted towards any attendance-based awards. 


For those who do not have access to the internet at home, it is recommended to contact the school in order to make arrangements for alternative learning methods. Students were also administered a survey concerning their availability to WiFi during their first blocks on Friday, March 13.  


Children who take medication during the school day are told to contact the school nurse to ensure medication is available at home. Several services are available for those who rely on the school to provide breakfast or lunch. Making contingency plans for child care is advised for an extended period of time. 


UPDATE March 13 at 2:54:  Governor Ralph Northam ordered all K-12 schools to close for minimum two weeks in response to the coronavirus.


Updates from VBCPS will continue to be emailed out to the public and their frequently asked questions page will also be updated. This story is in progress and will continue to be updated with current information.