Prince William County Schools has released updated information as to what its return to school plan would most likely look like.
PWCS voted over the summer to have student return to in-person learning via 50% “hybrid” model in the second marking period, but that is subject to change. Another option is to send only the youngest students back to class in the fall and older students in winter. The school board could also vote to keep the current model of all-virtual learning.
The 50% model has in-person students in class two-days a week, allowing students to social distance in class by at least 3 feet and social distance on buses.
PWCS asked parents to update their decision to have their students learn from home or in school via ParentVUE between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4 to inform the school board’s decision. On Sept. 22, the school division released more information regarding the 50% model on its webpage.
In-person students have already been sorted into “Houses.” House A in-person students will go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. House C students will go in-person on Wednesdays and Fridays. House B students will attend school Tuesday through Friday; those are students who are currently in-person four days a week and will continue to do so.
Mondays are conference from home days, and schools are closed for all students and teachers. On days when students are not attending school in person, they will be working on asynchronous assignments remotely and possible watching pre-recorded videos.
For all-virtual students, the plan is to have them taught by teachers at their school who qualify for telework due to medical considerations. However, in situations where this cannot be accommodated, virtual-only students may be assigned to an in-person teacher at their school, “with the potential for a virtual co-teacher supporting distance-learning only students at multiple schools for added support.”
PWCS has site-based funding, making it difficult for virtual-learning students to be assigned to teachers from different schools.
Students have already been sorted and that remains the default, but if a parent wants to change their choice from in-person to virtual or vice-versa, they need to do so between Sept. 28 and Oct. 4. If a parent has not chosen by that date, the student will be placed in-person.
Students whose parents have chose the remote learning model must stay that way throughout the second marking period. However, students who begin in-person and transfer to distance learning at any time.
Students may be with different teachers in the second marking period to accommodate all these various needs. In many cases Encore and elective courses, such as PE, may not be taught in school by via recorded sessions available through Canvass.
The hybrid model could be recalled due to health information regarding COVID-19 and phases set by the Governor or the conditions at schools. Students or staff who have COVID-19 or come closely in contact with a person who has will be required to quarantine for two weeks. Virtual learning is available to those students.
According to Superintendent Steven Walts students will return to in-person learning on Nov. 10 should the plan be unchanged.
More information is available here including information on sanitation, transportation and food and nutrition.