Chesterfield County Middle and High Schools reopening with Project Restart in effect

March 1, 2021

It almost seemed inevitable that Chesterfield County Public Schools would come to the decision that many people have been waiting months for as the school board has finally decided on a date for in-person learning to resume for middle schoolers and high schoolers.

Beginning on March 9, Chesterfield will have their middle schoolers and high schoolers who chose to return to in-person learning come back to school, following an asynchronous virtual day on March 8, to finalize all classroom needs for those returning. 

The decision that came from the school board to allow this to happen did not come without controversies from students, parents, and teachers alike. Many people in the Chesterfield community have been fighting against this kind of decision since school began in September.

“There’s no point in going back during this school year,” said Thomas Dale senior Alex Kanode. “Students should go back next year when everyone gets vaccinated at least.”

Many people did think that the decision to return to having in-person learning would mean that all students would have to have to go back to school physically, but this was not the case as the school board allowed for students and parents to have a choice in whether or not they wanted to return. 

Students that do decide they want to stay virtual instead of going back, must remain virtual for the rest of the academic year, which was put in place to reduce and eliminate unnecessary contact tracing from making its way into the building. 

However, if the decision to return to in-person learning is made, many rules and adjustments have been spread across Chesterfield to ensure a safe learning environment has been made for students, such as the consistent use of hand sanitizer and enforcing social distancing up to six feet within the building itself.

Other regulations such as the usage of face masks and face shields will also be mandatory within the building, with Chesterfield County Public Schools deeming face shields as an extra layer of support, similar to a seatbelt in a car. 

With students returning to the campuses here at Thomas Dale, we can only hope that the regulations and rules that have been put into place preceding the decision to bring students back for in-person learning will provide a safe learning environment for everyone involved. 

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