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The 4 Day a Week Solution?

March 31, 2021

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The Fluvanna County Public Schools (FCPS) system has been making many tiny steps to returning to the classic form of ¨normal¨ before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Although the school system is not quite there yet, one major step FCPS will be taking April 12 is the option of returning to in-person school four days a week.

As vaccines are rolling out to faculty, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on social distancing has changed, schools are able to open up slightly more. Students will now have the option to attend school in person on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with Wednesdays remaining as the asynchronous, virtual school day for all students. This plan will remain that way for the remainder of the school year.

One main issue some people are wondering about is how will there be enough room for both A and B day students to come back on the same days? There are rules that are being shifted in order to make the four days a week plan possible.

The CDC announced that schools can now mandate that students stay at least three feet apart instead of six feet. This new rule will allow teachers to adjust their seating arrangements in their classrooms to fit all the students in their rooms. Students, staff, and faculty will still be required to wear masks while on campus. Classrooms which do not have enough room for the increased number of students will have to move two other locations, although at this point it is not known how many classes this is likely to affect.

Teacher, husband, and father Wiley House, who teaches science, said he is excited to be able to see students’ faces more often with the four days a week plan. He is also very skeptical about how students will feel in this new environment. ¨The kids are going to struggle with all of the new restrictions taking place, and we need to manage it better to prepare the kids for a better future,¨ said House. He added that drastic changes like those students have been experiencing due to Covid-19 is not good for the mental health of children and teens.

Sophomore Kenyon Smith thinks that coming back four days a week will be beneficial for both his mental health and his education. ¨I chose to go back four days a week so I could stay on top of my school work because it is hard for me to focus at home. I am looking forward to keeping my grades up and just the feeling of normality,¨ said Smith.

On the other hand, Sophomore Ben Catlett will not be attending school in-person in order to make time for his job in the evenings. ¨My last class of the day normally ends by 2:15, so I have a lot more free time this way,¨ he said. Catlett also enjoys the freedom and relaxation that comes with staying virtually, saying, ¨Rolling out of bed and not having to get ready before school is kind of nice.¨

They are pros and cons to either staying virtually or returning to school four days a week. It is important that you evaluate your lifestyle and needs to while deciding which version of education would best suit your needs.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Bethany Cheripka
Bethany Cheripka, FCHS Journalist

Bethany is a junior in her second year of journalism and is editor of The Fluco Beat. She enjoys painting and spending time with friends. She has a border...

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