Franklin County Schools Superintendent Bernice Cobbs and Anthony Swann, a fifth-grade teacher at Rocky Mount Elementary School and 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year, are among more than two dozen professionals who have been named to the Virginia LEARNS (an acronym for Leading, Engaging, Assessing, Recovering, Nurturing and Succeeding) Workgroup.
The workgroup, which includes educators, school administrators, mental health professionals, parents and community leaders, is scheduled to hold its first virtual meeting Feb. 17.
Formed by Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane, the workgroup has been asked to assess the needs of students and support Virginia school divisions as they implement Gov. Ralph Northam’s directive to provide in-person instruction options for students by March 15.
The group will develop recommendations and identify resources and best practices related to equity, curricula, remediation and intervention strategies, assessments, data analysis and technology to support instruction. Lane also charged the workgroup with creating and identifying resources and best practices to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health and social-emotional well-being of students, families and school employees.
“I want to thank the members of the Virginia LEARNS workgroup for accepting the challenge of helping the commonwealth’s public schools navigate these extraordinary circumstances and meet the needs of students, especially those who have fallen behind while their schools have been unable to provide in-person instruction and support services,” Lane said. “The workgroup will assist school divisions — regardless of their current status — chart a course for the remainder of the current school year, this summer and into 2021-2022.”