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Smyth's return to the classroom delayed until Oct. 26

Smyth's return to the classroom delayed until Oct. 26

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Smyth school board meeting Sept. 21

Parents and teachers attend a socially distanced school board meeting in the MSHS auditorium. 

After hearing from parents and teachers on the plan to return to in-person learning next month, Smyth County School Board voted Monday night to go with its hybrid plan beginning Oct. 26. 

The board held a special called meeting in the auditorium of Marion Senior High School allowing comments from the public. About two dozen speakers voiced their opinions either for a return to school or continued online instruction.

Audience members applauded both sides, with the majority favoring a return. Arguments for the return included parents having difficulty with the at-home virtual education process and teachers having issues with the technology, as well as fearing students would fall behind.

Arguments against a return to in-person school mainly noted the high and rising cases of COVID-19 in the county and the fear of students contracting the virus and spreading it to family members.

School Board Member Todd Williams made the motion to go with the board's hybrid plan mapped out earlier this summer beginning Oct. 26, the first day of the next grading period, pending a review of Virginia Department of Health data at the school board's Oct. 12 regular meeting.

Board Member Mac Buchanan opposed the motion and Paul Grinstead abstained from the vote.

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