Hancock students will return to virtual learning for three weeks starting Monday

Washington County Public Schools officials announced this week that students will start learning from home again, starting next Monday, November 16, for at least three weeks.“In-person activities may resume on Monday, December 7, 2020, depending on community health metrics,” the school board said in a statement Tuesday. “WCPS will continue to monitor and review community health metrics and further reassess the return to in-person learning for students. There will be no in-person instruction any sooner than December 7, 2020.”

The number of confirmed COVID cases in Washington County rose during the last week by 138 cases, according to county data. The county’s positivity rate — the percentage of people tested for the coronavirus who were positive for the virus — was at 5.9% on Tuesday afternoon, November 10. Twenty-two county residents are hospitalized with the respiratory disease caused by the virus. Seven of those residents — nearly a third of the patients — have been hospitalized in the last five days.

County school officials acknowledged the temporary closure of school classrooms will impact families significantly.

“WCPS recognizes this decision may come with feelings of disappointment, uncertainty, and even additional stress as families make arrangements for their children during this period. We hope our community will take the proper precautions to help reduce the COVID-19 virus in the Washington County area, so that we may continue our progress with returning students to classrooms.”

Washington County schools began the academic year with all students logging into their class online. School officials brought students back to buildings and classrooms in phases over the first two months of the academic year.

Hancock families can access free meals for children in the community each day during the school closure. Grab-and-go meals can be picked up for any children at Hancock Middle-Senior High School between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are multiple sites around the county where families can get meals. The meals are available to any childĀ 18 years old or under.