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Portsmouth Public Schools stick with virtual learning

School board members put a halt to a plan to begin returning to the classroom in February, because the current COVID-19 positivity rate is above 18 percent.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Portsmouth Public Schools is pushing back plans to return students to in-person learning, at least until COVID-19 positivity rates see a dramatic decline.

The school board voted unanimously Thursday to keep students in an all-virtual setting.

School officials originally planned to begin a phased-in return to in-person learning, beginning February 2. But board members put a halt to the plan, because the current positivity rate is above 18 percent.

A back-to-school in-person reopening plan will not be considered until rates remain below the 10-percent mark for a period of 10 days.

Teachers and staff also will not have to report in-person beginning January 19, as was previously scheduled, and they will continue to telework when possible.

Meal distribution will also continue to be provided for families during this extended virtual schedule.