As Students Struggle with Workload, COVID Committee Recommends February 1st In-Person Start Date for CHS


Photo Courtesy of COVID Committee Slide Show

A slide from the COVID Committee’s Secondary Group talking about returning to school for Buford and CHS students.

Caldwell Boyles, Sports Section Editor

The COVID Committee had its latest meeting on Thursday, October 14th. During this meeting, they made it public that their recommendation to the School Board, and the superintendent was to push back the date for students to return to in-person learning to February 1st, 2021. The recommendation will be voted on by the School Board during their next meeting on November 5th. The COVID Committee released, to the public, multiple slide shows that entailed their process and decision making. This recommendation came as a surprise to a lot of students and families in the Charlottesville City School system since the original return date was scheduled for November 9.

During the school board meeting on Thursday, October 22nd, CHS teacher Pamela Brown and Buford Middle School teacher Samantha D’Alessio, both on the COVID Committee, took to the stage to go in-depth on the recommendations moving forward for both the middle and high school. The buzz around the city and within the school system is that the School Board will very likely vote in agreement with the February 1st restart date for in-person classes. 

The COVID Committee and School Board’s largest concern right now is having schools and classrooms up to the health standards that are necessary to keep students safe. Another big concern that was talked about at the Board Meeting was the transition for teachers from online school to in-person. The COVID Committee wanted to make sure that teachers and faculty have enough time to adjust to new procedures/protocols, prepare classrooms appropriately, and plan for teaching the hybrid schedule of in-person and virtual.

As teachers and students are still overwhelmed with virtual learning, another quarter will likely add on to that stress. As taken from a student survey done very recently, students have felt extremely swamped with homework and class assignments. A majority of the responses from the survey felt that virtual learning was going pretty well, except for the workload. Teachers are somewhat in the same boat. Robert Cox, an Environmental Science teacher at CHS, said teachers more-or-less agree with the pushed back start date for in-person learning. Mr. Cox expressed that he thinks if the date was left the same (November 9th), teachers would accept it, but there won’t be much pushback from teachers against the conservative decision of moving to February 2021. 

Lucas Fuller, a current junior at CHS, expresses the same opinions as most students regarding the workload and returning to school. He says, “most students are likely having trouble with the work overhaul from teachers.” He also agrees that most students want to go back to school, but respect the recommendation of February 1st due to the risk of COVID. This is the overall feeling and expression from most students and faculty members within Charlottesville High School.

Overall, most students and faculty respect the COVID Committee’s recommendation to push back the start date for in-person learning, due to the looming threat of COVID-19 and the current rising number of cases in the country and around the world.