Alexandria Schools: Virtual PLUS+ Might Be Answer to Fall Reopening

Pixabay photo by Pixels

ALEXANDRIA, VA – After months of planning and community engagement, this morning Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) distributed a virtual learning proposal backed by Superintendent Dr.Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

The learning program, Virtual PLUS+, is a comprehensive online experience that will allow students to learn from home while supporting them, their families, and ACPS staff. The program will be submitted to the school board for approval on August 7, a week before submission to the Virginia Department of Education.

“After much careful consideration of the facts as they stand today, we feel confident that Virtual PLUS+ will provide a quality educational experience worthy of our children while keeping the health and safety of our students, staff and families in mind,” Hutchings said. “This model places equitable access for all at the heart and ensures that we can build a framework that addresses the needs of specific groups of students to ensure they stay on course this fall.”

CDC and state guidelines were paramount during the creation of the program. ACPS knows it is crucial to protect the health of students staff, and their families.

Virtual PLUS+ will include a structured bell schedule, daily live instruction with teachers, and additional academic supports for some of our most vulnerable students, including one-on-one or small group tutoring.

To enable students to fully participate in learning, those in pre-K through first grade will receive age-appropriate technology in the form of electronic tablets. Students in grades 2-12 will receive Chromebooks. Childcare options will also be offered for those families who need it through the assistance of our community partners. ACPS is working with community partners regarding childcare. More information will be released when available.

Virtual PLUS+ also includes:

  • Enhanced and formalized social, emotional and academic learning supports
  • Childcare options with community partners
  • Continued meal distribution
  • Expanded technology resources

ACPS will continue to reevaluate how to expand services to build on the outline of this Virtual PLUS+ model as the September 8 start date approaches. The school division is asking parents, students, and staff to complete the Virtual PLUS+ poll to share their thoughts on specific additional supports needed for the fall. Responses from this poll are vital in assisting ACPS to further refine the the program.

ACPS believes that the Virtual PLUS+ model is a strong launchpad from which to build as the division continues to plan for the return of in-person schooling as soon as it is feasible.

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