Future of Lynchburg education task force uncertain amid COVID-19 pandemic | Education

The task force began its work in August 2019 and last met Jan. 30 to assess where each group was with their work. At that time, the group was set to deliver a progress report to the city in April and make its final recommendations on what changes should be made in LCS in November 2020. 

But, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the task force and subcommittees canceled all their meetings beginning in March. 

Atul Gupta, a member of the Lynchburg City School Board, said the direction of the task force may need to change. 

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“The needs have changed,” Gupta said. “Online education is in the forefront… all these needs have changed since we started this task force.”

LCS Superintendent Crystal Edwards said collaboration with the members of the task force and their combined experience with education and the city are needed now more than ever. 

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and guess what, y’all? Our kids need us,” Edwards said. “So, I think we can do some good work together, putting all the best minds together as we move forward.”

Rachel Gagen, task force member and parent in the division, said she thinks a plan should be made sooner rather than later. 

“Unfortunately, in many ways, time is our enemy,” Gagen said. “These kids who are in kindergarten right now, for the most part, this is their only kindergarten year and if we don’t start soon making a 10-year plan or a five-year plan for them, I fear for their high school years.” 

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