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Board opts for virtual start to school year

Students in Suffolk Public Schools will begin the upcoming school year virtually for the first nine weeks following a unanimous vote of the School Board Thursday.

The board did, however, amend part of the plan put forth by Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon IIII and other administrators to allow teachers to come into school just two days per week, rather than the four that was originally proposed.

It also decided to phase in bringing in special needs students with severe disabilities, rather than bringing them in four days per week to start the school year.

Several division administrators presented various aspects of the plan, which detailed the current situation with COVID-19 leading to the decision to recommend a virtual first nine weeks. It also outlined health metrics that would need to be met in order to phase in hybrid learning and, ultimately, regular in-person learning.

The plan also highlighted bus and classroom arrangements, COVID-19 screening, fall registration results, staffing issues and options, cleaning procedures for classrooms and buses, child care and the instructional plan.

This is a developing story and will be updated.