VBEA Statement on Return to Schools for 20-21

School Mask

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the shutdown of public schools in America, the VBEA has been steadfast in maintaining that our union places the highest priority on the health and safety of our students, their families and communities, and our school employees.

We have not wavered in that commitment. As Virginia Beach City Public Schools makes plans for the 20-21 school year, we believe that we need to keep everyone safe.

VBEA rightfully insists that our local school division listen to and address staff questions and concerns, and that a return to school should not be imposed until the division can guarantee the safety of students and employees. Only when it is safe to return to school, should the school division open its doors to face-to-face instruction.

Therefore, based on the data collected from our member survey and the alarming increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia Beach, we cannot support the opening of schools to face-to-face instruction.

Furthermore, drastic budget cuts have negatively impacted the school division’s ability to protect the safety of its employees and students. We are concerned that without the proper funding, a return to a face-to face learning environment is not safe.

The decision on how to return to school will be made on Tuesday, July 28 at 6pm.  To ensure that all concerns are heard and shared with stakeholders, we will host rolling Townhall meetings, where members and non- members are free to voice their concerns. We will also host a “Pack the Parking Lot” event where the community and employees can safely share their concerns on Tuesday, July 28, at 5 pm.

Are you a teacher or education support professional for Virginia Beach City Public Schools? It’s critical that you become a member of the Virginia Beach Education Association now to strengthen the call to keep all students, teachers, and school employees safe and ensure that we all have a voice as we navigate the challenges of providing quality public education during COVID-19. Join Now.