Many parents have been wondering what school will look like in the fall. Yesterday Governor Northam released a three phase plan for reopening schools with Phase I effective immediately. Here is the detailed plan:
- During phase one remote online learning continues for most students.
- However, the school division may decide to provide in-person instruction for students with disabilities. This includes extended school year services and school year special education services. These services have to be decided on by an IEP team and parent.
- The school superintendent or private school principal can allow students to use the school building for accessing a secure assessment. (This seems to indicate that the SAT could be offered.)
- Emergency childcare for working parents can be provided in schools following the existing operational guidelines for childcare programs.
- No athletics or extracurricular activities
- School meals will still be available.
- Social distancing and special safety guidelines will be followed.
- Buses can run with one student per seat and a max of ten students on a bus.
- There is a maximum of ten students allowed in a classroom and students must be spread six feet apart.
- All items from Phase I
- Summer camp in school settings may be offered to children of all ages.
- Schools may offer limited in-person instruction to students in preschool through third grade and students who are English Language Learners.
- Extracurricular activities can be offered if social distancing strategies can be implemented.
- Athletics and sports will only take place if physical distancing of 10 feet can occur at all times between athletes and spectators. Sports that involve contact with other athletes should be avoided. All equipment and shared items must be disinfected between uses and the total number of attendees can not exceed 50% of the occupancy load of the venue for outdoor sports and 30% for indoor sports (or 50 people). For indoor sports, spectators may not be present who are not parents or guardians, and all spectators must wear face coverings.
- Schools will follow physical and social distancing measures and will do additional cleaning and disinfection. These guidelines will also apply on the bus, but children who live together can sit together.
- Distance of six feet should be maintained in buildings. There will probably be restrictions on mixing classes and groups, close communal spaces, athletics, extracurricular activities, outdoor activities and recess exceeding 50 people, gatherings of more than 50 people, and unnecessary indoor gatherings.
- All items from Phases I and II
- In-person instruction for all students with strict social distancing measures
- Remote learning exceptions and teleworking options for students and staff who have a higher risk of severe illness
- Prevention strategies such as distancing, face coverings, class size limitations, and gathering limits may be applied.
- Consider restricting mixing classes and groups of students and staggering the use of communal spaces.
- Large gathering limits will be determined by Executive Order and more information about athletics and extracurricular activities will be forthcoming.
For all phases, schools are required to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease control. These guidelines recommend:
- Daily health screenings for staff and students upon arrival
- Cloth face coverings for staff and students (as medically and developmentally appropriate) when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- For example, a teacher can stand seven feet from students and teach without a face covering, but should consider wearing one when traveling through crowded hallways, working closely with students, or speaking loudly.
Before entering Phases II or III every school system in Virginia is required to submit a plan to the Virginia Department of Education. This plan will break down their strategies for limiting the public health risk of COVID-19. Private schools will submit their plans to the Virginia Council for Private Education. Additionally, public schools have to create and send in a plan for instruction during the 2020-2021 year and to address learning loss due to the spring 2020 school closures. Public schools must also consider and plan for fully remote instruction in the event that public health conditions require this change.
At Parrish Learning Zone, we are hearing that parents are overwhelmed, especially working parents. Please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the three-phase school reopening plan. We would also love to know what we can do and the types of programs that we can offer to best support you during the summer and throughout the coming school year. Please give us your feedback on Facebook or leave a comment below to let us know what would be most helpful to you during this time.
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Nina Parrish, M. Ed.
Co-Owner and Director of Education
Proud mom of two adorable girls. Teacher who has developed an education business that started at a kitchen table and has grown into a thriving small business... Click here to Learn more about Nina.
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