- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2021

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is considering year-round school to help students who have fallen behind amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our children have suffered from COVID-19, as have our families. And one of the things that we certainly are entertaining is looking at perhaps year-round schooling for the next year [and] perhaps adding increased days this summer to really help our kids get caught up,” Mr. Northam said during a press conference Wednesday.

The Democratic governor said he is discussing the possibility with local school superintendents and state education department officials.

Schools across the state have taken different approaches to teaching during the pandemic, including virtual, in-person and hybrid instruction models.

“The bottom line: we want to get our children back in school and we want to do it safely and responsibly,” Mr. Northam said.

The state’s 285,000 teachers and childcare employees are in the next phase of people to receive the virus vaccine, he said. Phase 1B also includes people aged 75 or older, police, firefighters, correctional officers, as well as postal service, grocery store and transit employees.

“Teachers are critical to getting schools back open, and that’s critical to people getting back to work and literally getting back to normal,” Mr. Northam said, adding that schools do not have to wait until teachers are inoculated to reopen classrooms.

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