Will Alexandria Reopen Schools in the Fall? Here’s How You Can Follow Along with the Decision-Making

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ALEXANDRIA, VA – In their regular newsletter emailed daily and now weekly for the summer, Alexandria City Public Schools outlined a detailed plan for the processes they will consider regarding a fall school reopening.

A couple of weeks ago, the Virginia Department of Education released guidelines on the reopening of schools, which has ACPS analyzing guidance and assessing what it could mean for Alexandria reopening schools in the fall.

“Northern Virginia has been opening at a different pace than other parts of the state and we will almost certainly need to have contingency plans in place in case our buildings have to remain closed past September.

We are looking at three possible models: a traditional opening which most likely will not be an option; continuing with a fully virtual model of learning with refinements based on feedback from students, staff and families; and multiple scenarios for a hybrid of the two to meet social gathering and social distancing guidelines,” says ACPS.

The Planning Process in Detail

To follow along with all the details about the reopening schools planning processn visit the ACPS-at-Home website under the Update Center tab.

The process to define plans for the reopening of our schools is multi-step. It involves:

  • Collecting guidance from the City Schools’ Thought Partners: a group of key leaders from the city, citywide community groups and ACPS staff.
  • Collaborating with other school divisions in the Northern Virginia region to ensure alignment across key areas.
  • Five ACPS Cross-Functional Planning Teams, who utilize guidance provided by the Thought Partners and the Virginia Department of Education and establish plans to implement under the three models (shared above). Each of the five areas will have representatives from the following key stakeholder groups: student, staff, parent and community partners. This work is coordinated across the school division by team leads.
  • Feedback focus groups. It will be essential to have focus groups of principals, staff, students, parents and community partners to ensure we are addressing the needs of all students and that all concerns are addressed prior to implementation.
  • Feedback via question and answer webinars with the superintendent and a feedback form, so that we can hear from staff, students, parents and community partners before finalizing the model we will be adopting in the fall.

Want to follow along? All meetings are being recorded and posted to the Reopening Schools Planning Timeline page on the ACPS-at-Home website.

Key Dates

In the meantime, here are some key dates:

Friday, June 26: An outline of the planning process and potential models will be shared with the School Board at noon. Watch the meeting live via the School Board Meetings webpage.

Wednesday, July 1: A summary of the planning process shared at the School Board meeting on June 26 will be shared with you in ACPS Express (the e-newsletter). This will include a link to watch the section of the School Board meeting that includes the reopening of schools planning process presentation.

July 6 – July 13: Focus groups of ACPS staff, parents, students and community partners will be held to review the proposed options for the fall.

July 6 – July 13: Webinars will be held and feedback collected from the public around the opening of schools.

Friday, July 17: An update on the progress of the ACPS Cross-Functional Planning Teams will be shared at the School Board special meeting. Watch the meeting live via the School Board Meetings webpage.

Wednesday, July 22: A summary of the work being done by the ACPS Cross-Functional Planning Teams will be shared with you in ACPS Express. This will include a link to watch the section of the School Board meeting that includes the reopening of schools planning process presentation from the July 17 meeting.

Friday, August 7: The draft plans for reporting to the Virginia Department of Education will be shared with the public, and focus groups of ACPS staff, parents, students and community partners will be held to review the proposed options for the fall. An overview of the potential models and work completed so far by the ACPS Cross-Functional Planning Teams will be presented to the School Board at noon. Watch the meeting live via the School Board Meetings webpage.

Wednesday, August 12: The final plan for the reopening of schools in the fall will be shared with you in ACPS Express. Frequently Asked Questions will also be provided to help you understand what the plan means for you and your child(ren).

You can also follow along to see weekly updates about the Alexandria schools reopening in the ACPS Express, which you can subscribe to here.

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