With about a month before school begins, the Northampton County Board of Supervisors during its meeting Tuesday night had plenty of questions about public education in a pandemic.
Northampton County Public Schools will give students the option of fully online education or two days of in-school instruction each week, with increased deep cleaning used to keep coronavirus away.
The school system will spend $52,000 on 100 touchless faucets and a number of touchless water-bottle filling stations, to keep students and faculty safe.
But members of the board of supervisors worried that the county’s Internet reach won’t be up to the task — and many students have no online access at home.
Supervisor John Coker said he has talked to the Eastern Shore of Virginia Broadband Authority to help. He suggested the school system should use its federal coronavirus relief money to help the authority provide broadband.
“I think we should be pushing just as hard as we can,” he said.
Superintendent Eddie Lawrence said the schools are pursuing alternatives like mobile hotspots to ensure children have Internet access.
Lawrence said students who need academic assistance and special-education students will be beginning school early.
County Administrator Charles Kolakowski said Northampton’s Parks and Recreation Department is planning a continuation into the fall of its summer camp schedule to give students a place to go on their off-days from school.