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80% of Roanoke County teachers association oppose classroom return after Thanksgiving

Roanoke, Virginia – In a survey conducted by the Roanoke County Education Association, 80% of responders prefer remote learning after Thanksgiving through the 2020 holiday season.

In a position statement released this week, they say their decision is in line with the recent Virginia Department of health’s recommendation that school districts strongly consider conducting classes remotely due to the likely surge in community spread of COVID-19. With many families expected to gather and the expectation that seasonal spread will occur due to the winter temperatures and closer indoor contact among citizens, they believe their health is at risk.

688 Roanoke County Schools’ staff members responded to the survey.

“We call on the school board and central office staff of Roanoke County Schools to make the decision to keep staff, students and community members more safe by allowing a state of operations that would facilitate the social distancing and other safety protocols called for by the CDC, Departments of Health, and other agencies and members of the scientific community,” said Tim Summers, President of the Association. “We know that some students are better off learning in school face to face, but we are also aware the children depend on the adults in their lives to take care of them. Adults who are incapacitated or absent due to contracting COVID-19 are not able to provide such care.”

The statement also makes note of widespread increases in positive cases in the latest data from VDH.

In middle November, the school system hosted its “State of the Schools” event where they credited beating the pandemic to “team work.” “While I, and every other school board member, along with the school administration, fully support having all students in school full time, we can only do so following public health guidance,” said Michael Wray, chairman of the school board.

The Association, according to their position statement, would prefer remote learning from November 30, 2020 through January 19, 2021.

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

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