Could Virginia Schools Close?

Gabrielle Etchison, FCHS Journalist

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According to USA Today, Virginia has seen a growth in COVID-19 cases. Some Virginia residents think that schools could close again, and hope schools don’t shut down.

FCHS junior Olivia Banks was asked if she thinks Virginia schools could shut down and how she’d feel if they did. “Yes… If you know you have a fever, or been exposed or think you have been exposed you should not come to school. You’re risking everyone else,” said Banks. “I would be upset [if schools closed], this is my first year actually being in the school, able to make new friends and meet the staff members of FCHS.  Last year I disliked being virtual, we had to sit at computers all day not being able to interact with new people. My opinion on virtual is that it sucks. I like being able to actually see my friends and make new friends.  I also enjoy meeting my teachers face to face,” she said.

According to District Administration, Amherst County Public Schools closed all secondary schools until Sept. 2 due to an outbreak of COVID-19, and Rappahannock County Public Schools switched to virtual classes from Aug. 24-27. Some believe temporary closures can lead to long-term closures in the future. 

“I do not think the governor will shut down schools.  I feel that if they did, we are equipped to teach and learn virtually.  We did it last year, so could do this again if that were to happen.  Students and teachers have more skills and access to technology,” said FCHS teacher Stephanie Kelley.

According to ABC13 News, during the week of Aug. 27th, 2021 sixteen school districts have COVID cases and/or quarantined students and staff. “COVID-19 outbreaks have been a problem this week in several schools across our area. Thursday, Roanoke County shut down an entire elementary school because of an outbreak. In Lynchburg, one elementary school went to remote learning as a precaution because of community spread. Amherst County closed four schools this week due to outbreaks. Hundreds of students were under quarantine in Franklin County. And Liberty University moved all classes to online and suspended large activities,” says ABC13 News.

“I do think that VA schools have the possibility of shutting down. I think with so many people in such a seemingly small place you can see how COVID-19 could spread easily. I also don’t think masks or social distancing are as strictly enforced as they could be which could also lead to the spread of COVID,” said freshman Emma Pittman.