In latest round of COVID-19 business, council outlines CARES Act money and gets briefings on JMU and EMU
The Harrisonburg City Council on Tuesday took up several tactics to mitigate the effects of the pandemic: a plan for how to distribute more than $3 million more in federal CARES Act funding, an emergency ordinance to allow the Open Doors shelter to open October 1, as well as protocols to slow the virus’ transmission among college students.
Students from around Harrisonburg will get the chance next week to make their own classroom — or at least what others will see behind them when participating in virtual lessons.
With JMU classes scheduled to start Aug. 26, the university has published reams of new guidelines about masks and apps and quarantining that all depend on one thing in order for the campus to remain open: students, faculty and staff self-policing each other. ,l
Many Harrisonburg families are trying to figure out where their children will spend their school days now that the district plans to start the fall with online learning for most students. This has set into motion a massive revamping of not only how teachers will deliver lessons but of the entire school-day scheduling process. District leaders, such as the superintendent, have been negotiating with child care providers and non-profit organizations to find places — and funding options — for children of working parents to go and learn during the day while staying safe. Meanwhile, parents and guardians are having to get creative to ensure their children have structure and supervision during the school days.
The Citizen has covered the pandemic’s effects on Harrisonburg from many angles — how it has afflicted those who have had the virus, slammed local businesses, impacted city finances — even how it’s changed the way we interact. But we’ve mostly covered adults’ points of view and wanted to know how kids in the community have been affected. So we commissioned a student contributor to find out.
Alternating students’ attendance days, more virtual learning and temperature checks at the door are hallmarks of the upcoming academic year that’s beginning to take shape for Harrisonburg city students.
Superintendent Michael Richards told the School Board Tuesday that the city schools might rely on a hybrid system of remote and in-person learning in the fall, but school officials are waiting for the state to release guidelines for reopening schools.
In a public school setting where students vastly outnumber teachers, some children need more support than what the school’s personnel can provide. For more than a decade in Harrisonburg, this gap has been filled by government-supported in-school therapy, known as Therapeutic Day Treatment. Now that schools are closed for the remainder of the academic year, though, providers are scrambling to find ways to reach the students who need them.