In August, Halifax County Public Schools launched the HCPS Community COVID-19 Task Force to strengthen communication and collaboration with local stakeholders in an effort to better meet the ever-evolving needs of students and families during the pandemic.

The task force includes representatives from a variety of community organizations as well as educators, parents and students, and it exists to identify gaps and needs for HCPS, leverage resources of community stakeholders to assist in filling those needs, provide feedback to HCPS leaders and be positive messengers for HCPS throughout Halifax County and the region.

The work of the task force is being facilitated by Virginia Ed Strategies, an education nonprofit that works in collaboration with K-12, business and community stakeholders to develop and implement innovative solutions that aid schools in improving academic and career outcomes for students.

Virginia Ed Strategies President and CEO Jennifer Stevens said, “The task force has helped form a partnership and give a voice to the community and HCPS to allow for stakeholder feedback and collaboration. Virginia Ed Strategies is thrilled to assist with the facilitation of this important endeavor.”

The HCPS COVID-19 Task Force has been meeting via video conference since August to discuss how the pandemic is impacting students and families in the county.

During the meetings, HCPS leaders have provided updates and shared details about specific needs, and taskforce members have offered suggestions for ways resources within the community might fill those gaps. 

The alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in the local region coupled with slow community access to the vaccine is impeding the return to in-person learning.

In response to this challenge, the task force recently partnered with students and parents to create an informational video seeking to encourage the community to help drive down the positive COVID-19 cases in Halifax County.

The video stresses the importance of social distancing, wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds and staying home if you are sick.

HCPS shared the video this week on their website and social media page.

“Students and families, we need your help. We need you to remember the importance of social distancing and wearing a mask. The future of our children depends on us doing our part today. We’re counting on you to help us get our children back in school. Please avoid large crowds, wash your hands, stay home if you are sick and wear a mask,” said superintendent Mark Lineburg.

The video can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/xvWuDnwIy2E

For more information about Virginia Ed Strategies, visit https://virginiaedstrategies.org/about-us/