Everything you need to know about the school’s decision for the third and fourth quarter of the 2020-2021 school year

Please note that this information is subject to change and this story will be modified as needed to reflect the decision of the county regarding the return to school.

On Oct. 22, the Henrico County School Board voted to give families the option of choosing an in-person or virtual school for the third and fourth marking periods. 

 Mills E. Godwin is expected to start in-person school in February of 2021. According to the Godwin Community Information page, students who opt to attend in-person school will meet on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Virtual “Wellness Wednesday” will include disinfecting the schools, two hours of virtual teaching, independent learning time, and academic and emotional support.

“I think it is going to be very different than what teachers and students are used to. There are going to be students in person and students continuing with virtual school, so it will be something new for all of us,” said Godwin Art I, Ceramics I, and Ceramics II teacher Dana Morris.

Guidelines given by the county and governor will be strictly enforced, including wearing masks at all times, except when eating or drinking, and socially distancing in classrooms, restrooms, and hallways. 

Masks are required to be put on before entering the building and worn on all buses and county vehicles. Masks will be provided for staff and students who do not have one, or if the mask gets soiled or lost. 

Social distancing in the classrooms will include desks being six feet apart with 30-inch tall plexiglass shields on each workspace. Work areas will be wiped down after every class. 

The school day will start at the normal time, with early bird classes beginning at 8:00 a.m. and lasting until 8:55 a.m. First period will start at 9 a.m. The school day will end with the sixth or seventh period ending at 2:55 p.m.

Students will not be allowed inside the building before 8:30 a.m., and when they arrive, they will proceed through specific doors based on how they will be arriving at school. Students arriving at school must proceed directly to their early bird or first-period class. 

Students who get breakfast or lunch at school will receive grab-and-go meals and will be able to sit in the commons, while socially distanced, to eat. 

Additionally, students can only use restrooms during class time, not before or after school, and staff will use a log for contact tracing purposes. The number of people in the restrooms will be limited and signs will mark which stalls, urinals, and sinks can be used. 

The hallway traffic will be directed using signs so that students travel through the halls in an orderly manner.

Modifications, including staggered transition, dismissal, and lunch times may be implemented depending on the number of students who return to school.

As of November, following the Richmond City school’s decision to cancel all winter sports, the Henrico County School board has decided to cancel sports through the Spring season.

“Sports have been canceled for the winter by the county. None of this is under my allowance; they are county-wide.  Every meeting of students has to be approved by the central office and follow guidelines,” said Godwin Principal Leigh Dunavant.

Additionally, AP tests will still be given, as of now. Student clubs and activities will still continue in a virtual capacity. In certain cases, some clubs may meet in-person with under 10 students. 

According to Henrico County Public Schools, snow days will still happen if the weather conditions call for it. 

For students that show signs or symptoms of Covid-19, an isolation room will be used. 

According to the HCPS Covid Health Plan, return to class/work will be based on the guidelines and recommendations set by the Henrico Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Virginia Department of Health. Methods will be used to determine any student or staff member that the student or teacher came in contact with.

“Let’s all follow the protocol and remember the three Ws: wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands. We’ve got this,” said Dunavant.


For more information, visit the following links:

Godwin Community Information: In-Person Return of Students

HCPS Covid-19 Health Plan 20-21

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