First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam, Visits Oscar Smith Middle School

Virginia’s First Lady, Pamela Northam, visited Oscar Smith Middle School on Thursday to celebrate the academic achievements of the students and staff during this unprecedented and historical time for public education. She met with district and school leadership to discuss the obstacles faced when trying to educate students during a pandemic. She was also given the chance to visit classrooms to see how teachers and students are conquering these challenges.

“This school year has presented a unique set of challenges for the educators and staff at Oscar Smith Middle, but they have risen to the occasion,” said Northam. “I am so impressed with the dedication of the teachers and administrators to make learning personal for each student, whether in-person or virtual.”

Oscar Smith Middle School has been offering in-school learning for their students since the start of October. Approximately 44% of the student population at the middle school has selected Option 1 (in-school learning), while the other 56% have selected Option 2 (online learning). This has required teachers to adopt a blended learning approach to instruction, teaching both in-school and online students simultaneously at times.

“I continue to be impressed with our teachers’ ability to navigate in-school learning, online learning, and blended learning, while keeping students safe,” said Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton. “Our goal is to continue to safely keep students in school learning and to provide our teachers with the support they need to connect with our students.