Smyth County Schools to Open With Virtual Instruction for All Students

Dear Smyth County Families,

During the regular scheduled meeting of the Smyth County School Board on Monday, August 10, the Board voted to revert back to Phase I. In Phase I, all students will attend through virtual learning. This decision was based on information provided by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the document VDH Guidance for Reinstating Community Mitigation Measures in K-12 School Settings. Based on VDH data, Smyth County is currently classified as ‘Substantial Community Spread’ with the number of cases continuing to increase.  

When the original decision was made to begin using the Hybrid model, the number of cases in Smyth County was much lower, and we were in the category of ‘Low Community Spread’. Unfortunately, the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to increase within Smyth County. According to the VDH, the number of positive COVID-19 cases is predicted to peak mid-September in Southwest Virginia. At the regularly scheduled meeting on September 14th, using the most up-to-date data available through the health department, the Board will decide on whether to continue with virtual learning or transition to the Hybrid model.  

 Key Points:  

  • Device pick-ups will continue as scheduled on August 11 for our elementary students.
  • Virtual conferences with your child’s teacher will be held on August 12, 13 and 14.
  • New instruction will begin on August 20.  The instruction will be live on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays will be used for teacher training and for our instructional staff to provide virtual remediation in small groups. 
  • We are aware of the concerns Virtual Instruction creates for many of our families, including food availability. We will begin our food delivery program again on Thursday, August 20.  Food will be delivered by bus routes. If you would like to have food delivery, please contact your child’s school regardless if you have received it throughout the summer.  
  • Many of our families do not have Internet access. We will work with families on an individual basis to identify solutions for getting work to those families.
  • All athletic activities with our high school and middle school students will stop during this transition to virtual learning.

 While we understand virtual instruction is not an ideal situation for our students and staff, in light of the current conditions of the spread of COVID-19, we feel this is the best option to maintain safety for all. As this situation continues to evolve, we will provide information as it becomes available. We appreciate your continued support and understanding as we navigate this difficult situation.   

Sincerely,

Dennis Carter
Superintendent