Colonial Beach Public Schools honored long-time employee Bev Horner upon her retirement from the school system. With more than 30 years working for the schools, Horner is retiring this year.
Horner spent time as an elementary school teacher and as director of technology for the CBPS system. She was presented with a globe that marks the school campus coordinates on it so that no matter where she roams she will always know where home is, said Superintendent Dr. Deshaun Turner.
Generations of students have been taught by Horner with many having fond memories of time in her classroom dating back to when the primary building was across from what is now the Torrey Smith Park.
Colonial Beach School Board also honored Teachers of the Year for 2019-2020 at the meeting. Jennifer Bermudez was picked by her peers as the Elementary School Teacher of the year.
Charles Boulton, CBHS Math Teacher, was picked as the High School Teacher of the Year for the 2019-2020 school term.
Turner discussed possible scenarios for the return to school in the fall. Schools are set to open August 10 in Colonial Beach but will likely look very different while the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the possibility of staggered schedules, having students split into two groups, one that goes one week to the campus, and one that goes the other, with distance learning in-between.
Guidelines from the state include mandatory masks for teachers, recommended masks for students, social distancing and cleaning protocols.
Some of the social distancing standards will allow only up to 13 students in each classroom which will mean staggered schedules will be a requirement. Usage of the cafeteria and other large group spaces will also be off-limits with students having to eat in their classrooms.
Turner spoke of the possibility of a four-day in school week with students in classrooms four days one week, then at home four days the next learning. The remaining day would allow for teachers to develop plans to teach their students and do professional development as well.
With a complete change in how school systems work, Turner said, teachers are working what amounts to two jobs, one as an in-person teacher, and one as a distance teacher.
While the school system received some funding through the CARES Act, the school is looking at raised costs for multiple bus runs, disposable trays and silverware, and the masks and cleaning items needed to keep the students healthy.
Another large cost is making sure all students have access to the needed technology while learning at home as well as an internet connection to learn through.
CBPS are providing hot spots for access to students without internet as well as tablet devices to many.
The COVID-19 pandemic is making the world look at education, and its future, in a new manner. It is likely distance learning will go on for some time while the pandemic continues and until a vaccine is developed.
Turner hopes to have a more settled plan available by the July School Board meeting to give parents, students, and faculty a chance to adjust to what the 2020-2021 school year will look like.