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Virginia’s phased reopening plan for Virginia schools

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Governor Northam announced a phased reopening plan for Virginia schools which gradually opens up in-person instructional opportunities for students as public health conditions permit. The first three phases of the plan are detailed below. While in-person instruction may vary by division and throughout the summer and next year, all divisions must resume new instruction with all students for the 2020-2021 school year. Regardless of the delivery format, all students are expected to cover the content over the course of the year.

This phased approach closely aligns with those outlined in the Forward Virginia Blueprint which allows businesses to gradually open up activities. Specific gating criteria, as defined by public health officials, must be met prior to entering into each new school reopening phase. If conditions worsen and the public health data indicate increased risk, school operations may need to revert to requirements in earlier phases. At all times, schools should be prepared for intermittent dismissals or closures depending on local public health circumstances. Finally, the guidance and requirements of each phase are subject to revision and updates as public health conditions evolve in the Commonwealth.

The phases for reopening school provide the parameters of maximum flexibility for in-person instruction that a division may utilize. Nothing prohibits a locality or region from being more stringent than options permitted here, and some divisions or regions may choose to provide fewer in-person offerings in any given phase based on local public health conditions.

The state has outlined the details of the first three phases of reopening schools and resuming in-person instruction. Phase I continues remote learning as the predominant mode of instruction but permits some very limited in-person options including extended school year, special education programs, and child care for working families in school buildings. Phase II expands options to more children, including summer camp in school settings, and in-person instruction for preschool through third-graders, and English Learners – for whom in-person instruction is not as easily replaced. Phase III permits in-person instruction for all students, but with strict physical distancing that may require staggered schedules. In all phases, schools should follow school guidance from the CDC, including enhanced social distancing measures, physical distancing, and cleaning, disinfecting, and other mitigation strategies.

Virginia’s phased reopening plan
The following guidance is intended to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in public and private school settings while supporting the resumption of peer-to-peer learning and providing crucial support for parents and guardians returning to work. These recommendations should be implemented in accordance with the Forward Virginia Blueprint, any existing Executive Orders, CDC Interim Guidance for Schools and Day camps and CDC Considerations for Schools, and in partnership with local and state public health officials.

Phases will be determined by monitoring public health data and key measures on disease transmission, healthcare capacity, testing capacity, and public health capacity to trace contacts of cases, and other relevant factors. The phased approach is intended to allow a gradual scale-up of operations and local school divisions and private schools may choose to proceed through phases at a slower pace if local public health conditions necessitate. Community mitigation strategies (e.g. physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, etc.) will be necessary across all Phases to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

Summary of Phases

Allowable Programs
• Phase I is effective immediately but is not intended to change the school division’s continuity of learning plans as they close the 2019-2020 school year.
• Remote learning is still the dominant method of instruction.
• School divisions may elect to provide in-person instruction for students with disabilities in both extended school year services and school year special education services, including private placements, with strict social distancing. Students will only attend such programs if the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team agrees it is appropriate and the parent consents. Virtual instruction may remain appropriate for certain students who may be challenged with adherence to the strict social distancing and safety guidelines as determined by the IEP team and the parents’ consent.
• With the approval of the Division Superintendent, accommodations may be offered for students to access the school building for critical instructional needs, such as accessing a secure assessment, if all health, safety, and physical distancing measures are adhered to.
• As is currently permitted, child care for working families may operate in schools but are subject to existing operational requirements for childcare programs and should be focused on providing programming/care to children of working families and limited to children in the local geographic area.
• The State Superintendent may continue to consider variances for other in-person instruction on a case by case basis. Such programs should follow all mitigation guidance.
• Schools may continue to ensure the provision of student services such as school meal programs.

Health, Safety and Physical Distancing Measures
• Schools should follow operational guidance from the CDC, including enhanced social distancing measures, physical distancing, occupancy, cleaning, disinfecting, and other mitigation strategies.
• Physical distance should be created between children on school buses (e.g. seat children one per seat, every other row) limiting capacity as needed to optimize the distance between passengers. In Phase 1, schools should limit bus capacity to 10 persons to the extent possible.
• The number of persons in a classroom should not exceed 10, and physical distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained to the greatest extent possible.
• Other social distancing precautions should include, but are not limited to:
• Restrict mixing groups of students.
• Close communal spaces.
• No large gatherings, per the Governor’s Executive Order.
• No athletics or extracurricular activities may be offered.

Phase II
• Extended school year and special education services that are allowed in Phase I may continue to operate.
• Emergency child care for working families that are allowed in Phase I may continue to operate.
• Summer camp in schools may be offered to children of all ages. Programs should ideally be limited to children in the local geographic area.
• Schools may offer limited in-person instruction to preschool – third grade and English Learners students given the unique challenges of providing remote academic and social-emotional support to young learners and English language learners. Operational requirements include enhanced social distancing measures including physical distancing and other mitigation strategies.
• The State Superintendent may continue to consider variances for other in-person instruction on a case by case basis. Such programs should follow all physical distancing and mitigation guidance.
• Schools should continue to ensure the provision of student services such as school meal programs.
• Extracurricular activities (such as clubs) may be offered if social distancing mitigation strategies can be implemented.
• Athletics should be limited to an individual or team-based practice, skill-building drills or conditioning activities that allow maintenance of physical distancing at all times.
• VDH recommends that no youth recreational/school sports competition take place in Phase II unless physical distancing can be maintained at all times (e.g. individual swimmers showing up at scheduled times to have their event timed, etc.). A competition that involves contact with other athletes should be avoided.
• If socially distancing competitions are taking place, the following conditions must also be met:
• Outdoor recreational sports are allowable if 10 feet of physical distance can be maintained by all participants and spectators at all times and all shared items can be disinfected between uses. The total number of attendees (including both participants and spectators) cannot exceed the lesser of 50% of the occupancy load of the venue (if an occupancy load exists) or 50 persons.
• Indoor recreational sports (including practices and classes) may occur if 10 feet of physical distance can be maintained by all participants at all items and all shared items can be disinfected between uses. The total number of attendees (including participants, referees, coaches, etc.) cannot exceed the lesser of 30% of the occupancy load of the room in which the sport is being held or 50 persons.

Spectators may not be present except parents or guardians who are supervising children. Spectators must wear face coverings consistent with any active Executive Orders and due to behaviors that may bring greater risk (e.g. cheering), it is recommended that spectators be separated by 10 feet of distance from other persons.

Health, Safety and Physical Distancing Measures
• Schools should follow operational guidance from the CDC, including enhanced social distancing measures, physical distancing, occupancy limits, and cleaning, disinfecting, and other mitigation strategies.
• Physical distance should be created between children on school buses (e.g. seat children one per seat, every other row) limiting capacity as needed to optimize the distance between passengers.
• Physical distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained to the greatest extent possible in all buildings.

Other social distancing precautions should include, but are not limited to:
• Restrict mixing groups of students.
• Close communal spaces.
• Limit outdoor activities/recess to 50 people, with a priority on social distancing and restricting mixing of classrooms.
• No gatherings (assemblies, graduations, etc) of more than 50 people (indoor or outdoor).
• No field trips.
• Limit extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict attendance to avoid severe mitigation.
• No athletics may be offered.

Phase III
Allowable Programs
• In-person instruction can be offered for all students, however, strict social distancing measures should be implemented.
• Remote learning exceptions and teleworking should be options for students and staff who are at a higher risk of severe illness.
• Mitigation strategies may impact operations and capacity limits. A multi-faceted instructional approach should be planned for Phase III.

Health, Safety and Physical Distancing Measures
• Social distancing and other measures will remain important prevention strategies. Additional operational requirements will include measures such as physical distancing, gathering limits, and other mitigation strategies (e.g. face coverings, class size limitations, etc). Schools should follow all guidance from the CDC.
• Physical distance should be created between children on school buses (e.g. seat children one per seat, every other row) limiting capacity as needed to optimize the distance between passengers.
• Physical distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained to the greatest extent possible in all buildings.

Other social distancing precautions should include, but are not limited to:
• Consider restricting mixing groups of students.
• Consider closing or stagger use of communal spaces.
• Limit outdoor activities/recess to 50 people, with a priority on social distancing and restricting mixing of classrooms.
• Large gathering limits to be determined by Executive Order in effect at that time.
• Athletics and extracurricular activities may continue with some mitigation measures. More guidance will be forthcoming.

Beyond Phase III
• School divisions will return to a “new normal” for instructional and extracurricular operations in consultation with public health officials.
• Some restrictions may still be in place at such a time.
• Additional guidance will be forthcoming as public health data, safety precautions, and guidance evolve.

Public Health Guidance for All Phases
Schools should follow all CDC guidance for reopening schools. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• Implement strategies to prioritize the health of staff and students, mitigate disease transmission and maintain healthy environments.
• Provide remote learning exceptions and teleworking options for students and staff who are at a higher risk of severe illness.
• Daily health screenings should be conducted for staff and students upon arrival. These should be done safely and respectfully, in accordance with privacy laws.
• At this time, public health is still developing its contact investigation guidance/outbreak response guidance for school settings.
• Staff and students should use cloth face coverings when physical distancing cannot be maintained, as is medically and developmentally appropriate. Face coverings are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.
• Cloth face coverings should be worn by staff in times when at least 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained. For example, a teacher standing in a classroom 7 feet from students
could teach without a face covering. During meetings or gatherings or in narrow hallways or other settings where physical distancing may not be easy to maintain, a face covering would
be prudent to wear. Other considerations such as speaking loudly, singing, etc. should be considered and may require additional distance.
• The role of children in the transmission of COVID19 is unclear at this time. Face coverings may be challenging for students, especially younger students, to wear in all-day settings such as school.
• Cloth face coverings are most important to wear in times when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Schools will have other prevention strategies in place (e.g. health screenings,
physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols, limits on gatherings, etc.).
• Schools should encourage the use of face coverings in students as developmentally appropriate in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Schools should strongly encourage older students (e.g. middle or high school) to use face coverings in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Local Division Plans
Before entering Phase II and III, every school in Virginia will be required to submit to the VDOE, and make publicly available, a plan outlining their strategies for mitigating public health risk of COVID-19 and complying with CDC and VDH recommendations, including face-covering policies and procedures. The Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) will receive plans submitted by private schools accredited through a VCPE Approved State Recognized Accrediting Association.

Additionally, public school divisions will be required to submit to the VDOE, a plan for providing new instruction to all students in the 2020-2021 academic year, regardless of phase or the operational status of the school at the time. This plan must also include strategies to address learning lost due to spring 2020 school closures. This should include a plan for fully remote instruction should public health conditions require it. Plan templates and additional guidance from VDOE is forthcoming.

New survey: Warren County Public Schools need feedback on fall back-to-school plans

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VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for August 10-14, 2020

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The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.

*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new entry or a revised entry since last week’s report.

INTERSTATE 66
*UPDATE* Mile marker 0 to 1, eastbound – Right shoulder closures for sign installation, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

*UPDATE* Mile marker 1 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Overnight alternating lane closures for maintenance of various bridges, Sunday through Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. through August 21.

INTERSTATE 81
No lane closures reported.

PRIMARY ROADS
No lane closures reported.

SECONDARY ROADS
*NEW* Route 619 (Rivermont Drive) – Alternating lane closures just west of Route 340 (Stonewall Jackson Highway) for inspection of bridge over South Fork Shenandoah River and railroad, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Route 658 (Rockland Road) – Flagger traffic control for soil and rock testing between Route 620 (Bennys Beach Road) and Kelley Drive, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through August 14.
*NEW* Route 659 (Hardesty Road) – Stop-and-proceed traffic pattern for pipe replacement between Route 603 (Howellsville Road) and dead end, August 10 to September 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Traffic width restriction of 9 feet.

Various roads – Flagger traffic control for utility tree trimming, Monday to Friday during daylight hours.

Vegetation management may take place district wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

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Publishing And Conflict Resolution Training Company launched In Front Royal

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A new publishing and conflict resolution training company was launched in July in Front Royal, VA. Lalo Publishing, Inc. (LPI) was started by Charles and Bryane Lickson with the support of Jennifer Nicholson. The Licksons have been involved with alternative dispute resolution for over a quarter of a century. Charles Lickson (known by many as “Chips”) is a former practicing attorney who decided many years ago to turn to non-traditional conflict resolution and become a mediator.

Charles Lickson

Chips also had a background in writing –as well as law. The first edition of Ironing It Out: Seven Simple Steps to Resolving Conflict was published in 1992 and is now available in a brand new and updated edition. It is also available in a summary Pocket Guide edition. Both are available at Amazon. Lickson also wrote the Use of ADR to Resolve Technology or Innovation Disputes for the Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, a division of Thomson Legal Publishing, Inc. in 1993. In 2019, Chips Lickson published his first fact-based fiction book, A Warrior Of Many Faces.

Bryane Miller Lickson, a Chairman of the Board of the new company, had written several articles and the book, Dignified Departure in 1994. This book, “a complete national outline for preparing all necessary documents to control your death or that of a loved one,” was well-received as a ground-breaking publication on living wills and durable powers of attorney.

Other members of LALO Publishing include; Jennifer Nicholson, Director, a successful business person; Carol Cable, an experienced and well-regarded professional artist and book designer and current Manager of Arts and Design for LPI; and Jorge Amselle, a multi-published author with a background in public relations and marketing as Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

“We decided to start this enterprise when it became clear that there was room for a publisher dedicated to the field of conflict resolution and willing to take on other titles as well,” said Chips Lickson. “We try to look at conflict and resolution in a new way and our new online blog is intended to help communicate these ideas in an approachable way,” he added.

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LFCC welcomes two new vice presidents to its administrative team

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Craig Short

LFCC has welcomed two new high-level administrators during the spring and summer semesters.

In late January, Craig Short became the vice president of financial and administrative services. Dr. Anne Davis started as the vice president of academic and student affairs in July.

The vice president of financial and administrative services oversees several critical missions of the college, including the police department, information and instructional technologies, the business office and facilities, and construction.

“Everything about this role and the team I work within FAS is about service to the students, faculty, and staff of LFFC,” said Short. “All the work that we do, in one way or another, supports LFCC student achievement and success.”

Short is a strong believer in the benefits of community college – he has received them firsthand.

“I attended community college in West Virginia in my youth, and again as an adult here in Virginia,” he said. “Two of my children have also attended Virginia Community College System (VCCS) institutions in recent years, and I can tell you the benefits of community college are just as important today as they were 50 years ago when LFCC first opened its doors.”

Short earned his bachelor’s degree at West Virginia University, having transferred from Southern West Virginia Community College. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from James Madison University.

Prior to coming to LFCC, Short was vice president of facilities and business services at Tennessee Tech University. Before that, he spent 10 years at JMU most recently as executive director of facilities and construction. Early in his career, he worked on construction and urban development projects in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

“Having been involved with so many trades over the years in facilities and construction, I’m a true believer when it comes to the mission of the VCCS and their critical role in the development of the workforce,” Short said. “Some of the best professionals I’ve had the privilege of working with are products of the VCCS”.

Immediately prior to arriving at LFCC, Dr. Anne Davis was dean and chief online learning officer at Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Md. She notes that experience fits well with the mostly-all online learning taking place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anne Davis

“Given the necessity of online learning in the current environment of higher education, I am excited that I can leverage my knowledge, skills, and experience as a chief online learning officer to help advance LFCC’s virtual student services and online instructional offerings,” Dr. Davis said. “I am excited to work with faculty and academic leaders to foster collaboration across LFCC’s campuses and instructional sites to ensure that our students have a consistent and unified experience.”

Prior to her role at Stevenson, Dr. Davis was a biology professor and science department chair at Carroll Community College in Westminster, Md. She has a bachelor’s degree in dairy science from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in animal physiology from Cornell University, and a doctor of management degree with a focus on systems thinking leadership in higher education from the University of Maryland University College.

Before her foray into higher education, Dr. Davis put her dairy science degree to use while owning and operating her family’s dairy farm with her twin brother.

She said it is important that LFCC continues its holistic approach to students’ success.

“Students who enroll at community colleges are typically working full or part-time, often have family responsibilities, and many are first-generation college students,” Dr. Davis said. “Providing them with more than academic support is critical to our students’ success. We need to provide wrap-around services and connect students to resources in our community.

“In my experience, community college faculty are deeply committed to their teaching craft and are willing to meet students where they are. This deep commitment to a holistic approach to student success is what I love about working at a community college.”

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Town of FR Infuses 1+ Million into Local Businesses through CARES-Deadline Monday August 10th

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WHAT MATTERS Warren–In this video, learn about the Town of Front Royal’s ongoing efforts that are infusing over 1 million dollars into small businesses impacted by the COVID crisis. Niki Foster Cales (of the FR/WC Chamber of Commerce) discusses the FR CARES program’s simple application process and encourages businesses to get their applications in by MONDAY’S 8/10 DEADLINE.  The Chamber is overseeing the program and is proud to partner with the Town of Front Royal to support our valued small business community.


Town of Front Royal is providing financial assistance to small businesses

WHAT MATTERS:
Are you or your group in need of a free video or article that could be created to help market your cause or event?   Or do you have an interesting story to share?  Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and Youtube. They are also shared with the Royal Examiner online (most are distributed in their daily email blast to thousands of local residents). Sign up for the Royal Examiner at www.royalexaminer.com and check out the “WHAT MATTERS Warren” tab under “Features.”

Learn more about Beth’s nonprofit,  WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com–check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.

About WHAT MATTERS:
WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters.  Every cent donated goes to the cause.  If you’d like to get involved with her local or international nonprofit work, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com. Be sure to check out the “projects” tab for her current WHAT MATTERS Initiatives.

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Town Talk: A conversation with Dr. Chris Ballenger, Superintendent, Warren County Schools

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In this Town Talk, we’ll have a conversation with Dr. Chris Ballenger. Dr. Ballenger joined the Warren County School System on July 1, 2020. One of his first challenges was the two high-school graduations, which were a great success and well-received by both parents and students. This success he credits the hard work of his team of staff and teachers who made it happen.

In this conversation with our publisher Mike McCool, Dr. Ballenger outlines the plan for re-opening our schools and addresses some concerns of parents. He said, “As you can imagine, a tremendous amount of thought and planning has gone into the reopening plan for our students.  We have progressed through the development of our plan with guidance from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).” He went on, “It is possible that adjustments will be made to our plan as we receive new information and guidance as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.  This year will require the entire school community to be flexible and patient as the school year progresses.”

The WCPS Reopening and Instructional plan can be found on our website along with the WCPS Health Plan (https://www.wcps.k12.va.us/index.php/parents/wcps-re-opening-options).

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com


This is an overview of the re-opening plan:

The two instructional delivery choices for families for the start of the 2020-2021 school year are the Hybrid Model and the Full Virtual Model.

Hybrid Model:

Grades PreK-4:  In-person instruction four days per week and one day virtual.  In-person instruction will be supported and reinforced by online learning with students physically in the school buildings four days per week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Virtual instruction will occur on Wednesday for all PreK-4 students.

Grade 5: In-person instruction four days per week and one day virtual.  In-person instruction will be supported and reinforced by online learning with students physically in the school buildings four days per week–Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Virtual instruction will occur on Wednesday for all fifth-grade students.

Fifth-grade students at E. Wilson Morrison, Hilda J. Barbour, and Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary Schools will report for in-person instruction at identified middle school buildings.  Fifth-grade students at A. S. Rhodes and Ressie Jeffries Elementary Schools will continue at their own elementary schools.  Classes will be taught by elementary teachers from their home schools.

Grades 6-12:  Students will attend in-person instruction one day per week and work remotely four days per week.  A flipped classroom model will be used where students use online instructional resources that have been assigned through the classroom learning management system.  In a flipped classroom model, students use online instructional resources that have been assigned through a learning management system.  Teachers support online learning with face-to-face instruction.  The face-to-face time is structured to include activities, practice with feedback, and collaborative tasks or projects

Teachers will support online learning with in-person instruction one day per week utilizing an A or B day schedule that is structured to include activities, practice with feedback, and collaborative tasks and projects.

Teachers will provide virtual lessons to students that are working remotely on a daily basis.  Students are encouraged to attend the virtual lesson every day that a student is not being provided with in-person instruction.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
PreK-5 PreK-5 Remote Learning for All Students PreK-5 PreK-5
WCMS A Day WCMS B Day Remote Learning for All Students SMS A Day SMS B Day
WCHS A Day WCHS B Day Remote Learning for All Students SHS A Day SHS B Day

Full Virtual Model:

Students will participate in full-time remote learning, including both interactive, teacher-led live instruction and independent learning tasks.  Families interested in registering their child for full-time remote learning must contact their child’s school by Tuesday, August 18, 2020, to select the virtual model.

  • This virtual option is available to all students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12.
  • Students will be assigned to a WCPS teacher and receive a learning device that will enable students to access the division’s learning management systems.
  • Teachers will provide daily instruction via a learning management system so that students are provided quality instruction.
  • Teachers will also assign daily/weekly lessons through the learning management system and support students through in-person and virtual meetings.

School Schedules:

Daily Schedule for E. Wilson Morrison, Leslie Fox Keyser, and Ressie Jeffries

8:00 A.M.                    School day begins

1:30 P.M.                    School day ends

Daily Schedule for Hilda J. Barbour and A. S. Rhodes

9:00 A.M.                    School begins

2:30 P.M.                    School day ends

Middle and High School Schedules

9:00 A.M.                    School day begins

3:05 P.M.                    School day ends

High School Schedule for 2020-2021

For the 2020-2021 school year, we are going to utilize a 6 period day for the entire school year.  As we begin the year classes will be broken into two sections.   Each school will have two in-person instruction days, each section will be assigned one in-person day.  As soon as it is safe the two sections will be combined to create one in-person class that will meet together for the remainder of the year.    This change was made to make the best use of limited in-person time and to create an opportunity for daily instruction.

Mitigation Strategies – Minimizing Exposure

  • Designate six feet of spacing between desks and student seating
  • Reduce the number of students assigned to each classroom
  • Increase circulation of outside air, where possible
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces as much as possible
  • Deep clean and disinfect entire school on Wednesdays
  • Monitor arrival and dismissal of students to discourage congregate settings
  • Ensure students report directly to classrooms and designated areas
  • Designate, where possible, hallways and stairwells as one-way
  • Check the temperature of students daily as they enter school
  • Require daily health checks performed by the parent prior to coming to school
  • Require staff and students to wear face coverings at all times at the middle and high schools
  • Encourage staff and students at the elementary schools to wear face coverings while in school. Staff and students will be required to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not attainable.
  • Require frequent hand washing and utilization of hand sanitizer for all students
  • Provide hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for all classrooms
  • Ensure students have their own learning materials and supplies
  • Reduce class interactions and hallway traffic, group gatherings and movement throughout buildings
  • Minimize exposure to other students by keeping the same groups as much as possible
  • Install water bottle filling stations are being installed in all schools
  • Limit access to schools to essential personnel and students. Parent conferences will be by appointment only. Visitors will be required to wear face coverings and submit to temperature checks.
  • Increase virtual field trips and cancel in-person field trips and assemblies to ensure there are no large gathering of students
  • Provide breakfast and lunch to elementary and middle school students in their classrooms

Transportation

  • Face coverings are required for students to ride the bus
  • The spacing of passengers, personal safety materials for operators and passengers with coverings being required of both, frequent cleaning and disinfection of buses
  • Parents/guardians are asked to not send their child(ren) to their bus stop if he/she has a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath or feels ill. This will lessen the chances of an entire bus load of children and bus driver being put at risk
  • Parents/guardians are asked to speak to their children about social distancing at bus stops. If possible, students remain in their parents’ cars until the bus arrives at the bus stop
  • When the bus arrives at the bus stop, students are to enter one at a time
  • Load to back of the bus first; unload front of the bus first
  • At schools, unload and load one bus at a time
  • Each bus will have a seating arrangement; students will sit in the same seat daily
  • There may be no more than 1 student per seat; if students are siblings or live in the same household, they may sit three to a seat
  • Students are not allowed to ride a bus home with a friend or make last-minute bus changes until further notice due to capacity rules on school buses. If riding a different bus in the afternoon than in the morning is part of a student’s regular schedule, for example riding to a caregiver’s house on a daily basis, would be allowed if there is sufficient space on the bus. This plan must be approved with the school’s principal and the Transportation Director at the beginning of the school year
  • If a bus driver suspects a student is sick when he/she enters the bus, the school will notify the parent if not at the bus stop. If the parent cannot be reached, the student will be given a face covering and socially distanced in his/her own seat at the front of the bus. The principal of the school will be notified that a possibly ill student is on the bus.  The principal and/or staff will meet the bus when it arrives at the school in order to care for any sick child
  • Buses will be sanitized after each run and at the end of the day
  • Any route changes will be communicated to parents through the school messaging system

Child Nutrition

  • All staff will wear face coverings and gloves during food preparation and service.
  • Grab and go breakfasts will be available at elementary, middle, and high school so students can go directly to their classroom on arrival.
  • At elementary and middle school, lunch will be served in the classroom with a teacher present.
  • Bagged lunches may be brought from home. No drop-offs of food items. If a student forgets lunch, they will be provided a school lunch for the day.
  • Visitors will not be permitted in school cafeterias.
  • Students participating in virtual learning will have the option to pick up 5-day meal packs once a week.

Technology

PreK – 2nd Grade:
Email applications will not be accessible by students.  Accounts will be created for Classroom and LMS accounts only.

Grades 3 – 8:
Email applications will be set to work within our WCPS domain only.  Incoming emails from sources outside of the school system’s domain will be blocked to the student’s email account.

Grades 9 – 12:
Email applications will be open for outside communication with restrictions on threats as monitored by SysCloud.

Connectivity:

Students will require high-speed internet access for virtual learning.  We recommend at least a home internet to be at least 5 Mbps per student.  If parents do not have access to high-speed internet at their homes the following options are available:

  • Available internet options:  Please check the internet options for your area.  WCPS keeps a detailed list of currently available internet services in our area.  WCPS will update this information as new services are available.
  • Wifi hotspots:  These will be available at the school library for check out.  Please note, they will not work in every area of the county.  If this option does not work, please return your hotspot to your school library.
  • Drive up hotspots.  WCPS is working on adding new hotspots in areas that have poor internet access.

Technology Support:

Parents may require tech support for virtual learning.  The technology department will provide support for parents regarding Chromebooks, login information, and any other school related technology needs.  These supports will include:

  • Documentation:  These may include directions on how to login into accounts, common troubleshooting tips, and standard WCPS technology practices.
  • Help Desk:  This may include contact information through web, email, and phone, support hours during both business hours and after hours.  If a tech needs to handle a device we will provide a drop off location for parents to leave the device with us for repair or device exchange.

Grading

All students will be required to complete work assignments and participate in class activities, regardless of hybrid or distance learning choice.

Teachers must be mindful of the transition back to school and the likely instructional gap/loss students may have. Varied instruction and opportunities for attaining the content must be presented for struggling learners and accelerated learners.

Participation and Attendance

Participation in school, no matter the mode of instruction, is required. Participation and attendance will be monitored.

  •   Full Virtual Model:
  • After 5 days of no interaction, school administration will attempt to make contact with the parent/guardian and develop a plan to address the issue
  • After 10 days of no interaction, school administration will refer the student to the Warren County Schools Truancy Officer
  •   Hybrid Learning:
  • After 5 unexcused absences, school administration will attempt to make contact with the parent/guardian and develop a plan to address the issue
  • After 10 unexcused absences, school administration will refer the student to the Warren County Schools Truancy Officer

Tracking Student Attendance in Various Instructional Delivery Models 

In-Person Remote – Online Remote – Other
Time-based Physical presence during the scheduled instructional day · Virtual presence for a synchronous online lesson

· Login time to a learning management system

· Activity log on a learning management system

· Total time log on a learning management system

· Phone call or real-time online chat

· Time-stamp for posts or submissions

· Submission of a time log

· Phone call

· Face-to-face meeting (may be an option for divisions have students come in for packet or work collection/drop-off)

Task-or Product- based Participation in classes/ submission of coursework · Participation in a synchronous online lesson

· Demonstrated evidence of engagement with peers for collaborative work

· Engagement on a discussion board

· Email exchange

· Phone call

· Submission of task or assignment

· “View” tracker for asynchronous online lesson

· Submission of task, product, or assignment

 Summary

This educational plan for Warren County Public Schools is designed with commitments to a high-quality educational experience while maintaining a safe learning and work environment for our students and staff.  Extensive work has been completed after the release of the Virginia Department of Education “Recovery, Redesign, and Restart” document.   This document provides key components and considerations for our reopening plan.   Please note that our plan may be altered due to evolving conditions and recommendations.

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Local News

Virginia Supreme Court grants temporary statewide eviction moratorium

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Governor Ralph Northam today, August 7, 2020, announced a temporary statewide moratorium on eviction proceedings in Virginia. The moratorium, which will begin on Monday, August 10, and remains in effect through Monday, September 7, halts all eviction proceedings related to failure to pay rent. Governor Northam requested this moratorium in a letter to Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons on July 24.

“Today’s decision comes at a time when we are still battling this public health crisis and need all Virginians to maintain safe, stable housing,” said Governor Northam. “As the ongoing Congressional stalemate leaves hundreds of thousands of Virginians without federal housing protection or unemployment relief, this is a critical step towards keeping families safe in their homes. I am grateful to the Virginia Supreme Court for granting this order, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly this month to develop more permanent legislative protections for Virginia homeowners and tenants.”

On June 29, Governor Northam launched the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP), which provides an initial $50 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for Virginia households facing eviction and foreclosure due to COVID-19. Eligibility and application information for the RMRP is available here.

Tenants are encouraged to know their rights and responsibilities and pay their rent on time if they are able. Please visit StayHomeVirginia.com for additional information and resources on tenant rights.

Governor Northam’s letter to Chief Justice Lemons requesting this moratorium is available here. Today’s order from the Virginia Supreme Court can be found here.

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