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Virginia working to ensure all students on track will graduate, get diploma

Letter from Virginia Department of Education to schools around the Commonwealth says graduation requirement details still getting worked out.

STERLING, Va. — Hallways inside Park View High School in Sterling, Virginia, are eerily quiet. Classrooms once busy with students are now as empty as the academic calendar for the rest of the year.

Anticipating long school closures, WUSA9 asked Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams for answers last week. His word to local parents remains the same:

“We are in close communication with the Virginia Department of Education in terms of what the implications are in terms of long term awarding of credit and seat time requirements. The state has already indicated that there would be receptivity in terms of waivers of seat time requirements,” Williams said.

In a statewide letter Monday night, Virginia’s Department of Education said it is working to get state and federal waivers for time students spend inside the classroom – known as “seat time” requirements.

But because Richmond lawmakers have added special course requirements over the years, the Department of Education says that, by law, it will take lawmakers canceling some requirements or make-up work being issued for the following courses: U.S. & Virginia history, personal finance and emergency first aid.

Lisa Kohrnak’s son Ben is a senior at Freedom High in South Riding, Virginia. 

"The good thing is, I feel like we’re all in this together," Korhnak said. "So I think the colleges are going to be lenient. I mean, they know what’s going on. I think we’re just going to have to put some faith in them and they’re going to have to give us grace with our kids."

Credit: Lisa Kohrnak
Lisa Korhnak and son Ben, a senior at Liberty High

Another common concern from Virginia parents we talked to: unanswered questions about those rituals of senior year.

"No plans have been made thus far in terms of prom and graduation, so that’s kind of a wait-and-see for what’s going to happen. So it hasn’t been canceled, but kind of delayed at this point in time, but what will that delay look like?" said Juliet Lowery, parent of high school senior Jaren Lowery.

RELATED: Loudoun County schools filling buses with food to deliver to quarantined families

RELATED: All Virginia K-12 public schools closed for two weeks

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