• Planning for Return to School 2020

    Thank you for your interest in Loudoun County Public Schools’ iterative planning process as it relates to what education in LCPS will look like beginning in the fall of 2020.
    Our work has been organized in 2-3 week periods of time which we refer to as “sprints,” borrowing from the project-planning method known as Agile Planning. The LCPS Senior Staff, which includes the Superintendent, his cabinet, their direct reports, the Director of Communication and Community Engagement, and eight principal representatives, began the iterative planning process with the help of Education Elements. Education Elements has been a long-time partner with LCPS and is very familiar with our needs. While LCPS works with Education Elements to support our Personalized Learning (PL) and Project-Based Learning (PBL) initiatives, they also work with school districts across the country to support strategic planning, leadership development, and other key areas of change management. 

    Sprint 1 (April 27 - May 8)

    During the first phase/Sprint One of the planning process Senior Staff focused on broad indicators of success and more detailed indicators of success while also initiating very simple prototype approaches to the scenarios. The group worked collectively, in small groups, and individually in a planning process that also included stakeholder interviews and observations. We assigned almost everyone to a Sprint One work group based on expressed first preferences relating to the scenarios, with a handful of exceptions.

    There were whole-group meetings on the first Tuesday and the last Thursday of the sprint, with small-group Tuesday/Thursday work sessions in between. Each small group focused on a specific scenario. We intentionally waited to determine the format of our work during the following sprint, which meant even if we continued to organize work groups by scenario, members of Senior Staff may not have necessarily continued their work with the same group. We organized the work based on our needs at the time.

    April 28 School Board Presentation

    May 5 School Board Presentation 

    Sprint 2 (May 11 - May 22)

    For the next phase, we elicited the help and participation of our Senior Staff to expand stakeholder engagement and broaden the scope to ensure that representatives of the LCPS community were engaging in this work with us. Sprint Two participants consisted of approximately 80 people, including the 45-member Senior Staff and internal and external stakeholders representing various groups.

    The commitment for sprint two was up to five meetings (approximately two hours each) with some prep work. There were mixed working groups of presenters and feedback experts for each scenario led by a non-Cabinet facilitator. We communicated early and often that there would likely be opportunities for continued and additional stakeholder engagement in Sprint 3 and beyond, but we focused on the Sprint 2 commitment. 

    Sprint 2 work products consisted of prototypes and modules for Scenarios 2 and 3 which were grounded in the following key components using “we statements” through an equity lens:

    • Wellness: We promote the physical and social-emotional well-being of students and staff members.
    • Deeper Learning: We support students’ deeper learning of important content and competencies through individual learning pathways in order to cultivate the Loudoun County Profile of a Graduate. 
    • Culture: We nurture the culture needed to thrive.
    • Operations and Systems: We organize our people, time, and resources for success, while creating and refining systems to support success.

    Prototypes under development include numerous modules, including but not limited to:

    • Student/Teacher Schedules
    • Teaching and Learning
    • Meal Service
    • Transportation
    • Professional Development
    • Facilities
    • Controls for Entering, Departing and Moving within Schools
    • Human Resources & Talent Development
    • Equity
    • Mental Health and Wellness for Adults
    • Communication
    • Family & Community Engagement
    • Social Emotional Learning
    • Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
    • Digital Innovation
    • Business & Finance
    • 100% Distance Learning Options for Students

    May 12 School Board Presentation 

    May 19 School Board Presentation

    May 20 Letter to the LCPS Community 

    Sprint 3 (May 25 - June 12)

    Sprint Three was preceded by additional communication with all parents and staff regarding scenarios and emerging connections with Northern Virginia’s implementation of the Forward Virginia Blueprint. We engaged teachers and other school-level staff in the first iteration of multiple school-level prototype narratives adapted from evolving division prototypes (involving the schools whose principals participated in Sprints 1 and 2). We also engaged principals in a deep dive review of evolving student prototype narratives and worked with principals to create comparable prototype narratives from the perspective of school administrators. Individual departments continued to revise and further develop modules within prototype narratives.

    In an effort to further expand our reach with stakeholder engagement, Sprint 3 focus groups of up to 12 participants per group began on June 1. We acknowledged that smaller groups are preferred based on research norms, but it was determined that 12 per group was necessary for Sprint 3 to ensure greater inclusivity.  The purpose of our focus groups is to gather thoughts and feedback from different stakeholders in our school division to inform updates and variables to consider within our Return to School plan. We reiterated that all of our decisions regarding when to reopen schools, how to reopen schools, and whether to extend distance learning will be condition-based, not time-based. We gave focus group participants a preview of the Return to School scenarios that we were considering by turning the modules from Sprint 2 into narratives that depicted a “Week in the Life” of a student at each level (elementary, middle, and high) for focus groups to react to: 

    • Return to School with a Blended Model: A Combination of In-person Learning (with physical distancing) and Distance Learning
      • Building occupancy limited to 30% to 35% capacity

    • Return to School with a Blended Model: A Combination of In-person Learning (with physical distancing) and Distance Learning
      • Building occupancy limited to 50% capacity

    • Return to School with Different Models for Elementary and Secondary
      • 100% in-person learning (with physical distancing) for elementary students w/building occupancy limited to 50% capacity
      • 100% distance learning for secondary students

    • Return to School with 100% Distance Learning

    External Factors


    If we are in a
    Forward Virginia phase that requires physical distancing and other public health mitigation strategies, we likely would need to return to school with a combination of in-person learning (with physical distancing) and a revised approach to distance learning. This blended model would likely be needed because in order to implement physical distancing and other public health mitigation strategies, we would likely need to limit building occupancy to a percentage of building capacity.

    For the purposes of the focus group discussions, we asked participants to focus on one set of narratives per level (elementary, middle, or high school), although we provided them with all narratives for all levels and all return to school scenarios. 

    Toward the latter part of this sprint, the Superintendent’s cabinet will meet with Sprint 2 stakeholders to obtain feedback on prototype narratives to inform further revisions.The goal is to provide greater directional clarity within the community so that all can obtain a better understanding of the experiences involved with the scenarios.

    Sprint 4 (June 15 - TBD) 

    The Loudoun County School Board has and will continue to receive planning updates at School Board meetings, with consideration of action items as needed. There is a School Board work session scheduled for Tuesday, June 16. Their work will be focused exclusively on prototype narratives. Staff will provide an overview of prototypes revised based on focus group feedback, an overview of focus group feedback, and there will also be a Q & A session in order to understand prototypes and focus group feedback. We anticipate School Board input regarding prototype narratives and potential subsequent School Board action regarding policies and resource allocation.

  • Health

    1.  What can we do to protect our children from the virus?
    There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at home using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.



    2.  How do I access mental health help NOW?
    For non-urgent mental health services, contact your health insurance provider and request a list of in-network mental health providers for your zip code and surrounding areas. 

    In an emergency, call 9-1-1 and ask for a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) deputy or officer. 

    There also are resources available 24 hours, 7 days a week for youth experiencing depression, suicidal thoughts or other behavioral crises. Through Loudoun County Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Developmental Services, help is available at 703-777-0320 for youth experiencing an immediate and severe emotional crisis.  The Crisis Intervention Team Assessment Center, located at 102 Heritage Way, Leesburg, Virginia, is open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily, and mental health professionals are available for anyone in crisis. 

    Additionally, all Loudoun County emergency rooms can assess for suicide risk and make recommendations for appropriate follow-up care:

     

    StoneSprings Pediatric ER 
    24440 Stone Springs Blvd. 
    Dulles, VA 20166 
    571-349-4000

     

    Inova Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center 
    Inova Loudoun Hospital 
    44045 Riverside Parkway 
    Leesburg, VA 20176 
    703-858-6040 

     

    Inova Children’s Emergency Room at Loudoun Hospital 
    44045 Riverside Parkway 
    Leesburg, VA 20176 
    703-858-6048 

     

    Wheeler Family Emergency Department 
    224 Cornwall St. 
    Leesburg, VA 20176 
    703-737-7520 

     

    Inova HealthPlex – Ashburn 
    22505 Landmark Court 
    Ashburn, VA 20148 
    571-612-6400 

     

    Also, there are free, confidential 24/7 supports available: 

    PRS CrisisLink: 703-527-4077 or text "CONNECT" to 855-11 

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255) 

    SAMHSA National Helpline: 800-662-HELP (4357) 

    Children's Regional Crisis Response (CR2): 844-NCrisis (627-4747) in English and Espanol 

    Hopeline: Chat at http://www.hopeline.com or call 800-784-2433 

    (Added March 11, 2020.)


    3.  Should my child wear a face mask?
    Because people can spread COVID-19 even when they do not feel sick, the CDC recommends adults and children over the age of 2 wear a cloth face covering when out in public. The cloth face covering is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Facemasks meant for healthcare workers should not be used and there are many patterns for sewn and no-sew homemade face covering available on the internet. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing and should not be worn by people who are having trouble breathing, children under the age of 2, or people who are unconscious or unable to remove the mask by themselves.  

    Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html (Updated May 8, 2020)


    4. What rules should I follow regarding “Social Distancing”? 
    On March 12, Governor Northam declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19. Since that time, the Governor has outlined additional measures to ensure the health and safety of all Virginians. He has strongly urged the public to avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people, to align with federal guidance entitled, “President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America“. To inform and reinforce social distancing, LCPS has also developed the “Loudoun County Public Schools COVID-19 Prevention – Social Distancing Guidelines”.


    5.  Where can I find substance abuse prevention information and secure emergency mental health services for my child during the school closure?
    Please visit https://www.lcps.org/Page/221002 for substance use prevention information and resources. During the school closure, please visit https://www.lcps.org/Page/220727 to secure emergency mental health services for your child. (Added March 24, 2020) 

  • Instruction

    1.  Where can I find information about LCPS’ plans for Continuity of Education?
    The LCPS Continuity of Education webpage is the best source of information about how we intend to continue to provide learning experiences for LCPS students. (Added March 27, 2020)

     

    2.  How will LCPS provide continuity of education for students?
    Beginning on March 30, teachers are providing digital and non-digital learning opportunities specifically for their students addressing previously covered skills and knowledge.  As explained below, instruction will focus on new content and skills, starting April 15. 

    Teachers will engage students in asynchronous learning experiences. Teachers of some K-2 students have used a different platform this school year. To increase consistency for our youngest learners, their teachers may choose to continue to use the platform with which their students are accustomed. Learning experiences provided by the teacher will be both digital and non-digital. Packets of offline or non-digital resources will be available to families at the “meal stops.”  

    Teachers are expected to connect with students and families regularly during the closure. Here are examples of best practices for that regular communication:

    • Communication with families via email;
    • Communicate with students via Google Classroom on a regular basis during the closure;
    • Maintain consistent times at which they are readily available via Google and/or regularly checking email to answer questions; 
    • Acknowledge or respond to emails within 24 hours. (Added April 4, 2020.)

     

    3.  How and how often will teachers communicate with my child and me?
    Teachers are expected to connect with students and families regularly during the closure. Here are examples of best practices for that regular communication:

    • Communication with parents via email;
    • Communicate with students via Google Classroom on a regular basis during the closure;
    • Maintaining consistent times at which they are readily available via Google and/or regularly checking email to answer questions;
    • Acknowledging or responding to emails within 24 hours;  

    The school administration at each school is available to answer specific questions related to your student’s learning experience. 

    Communication with Students Starting April 15 

    Starting April 15 through the remainder of the school year, teachers will communicate with students and families in a variety of ways. This communication may include:

    • Synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities
    • Teacher office hours
    • Email
    • Hyperdocs posted in Google Classroom 

    Each school will determine a schedule of learning activities and teacher office hours. This schedule will be communicated to families prior to April 15. (Added April 4, 2020)

     

    4.  Approximately how much time should I expect my child to spend on the learning opportunities provided by my child(s) teachers? 


    Student Work Time Guidelines beginning April 15

    The following student work time guidelines will be in place April 15 through the remainder of the school year:

    • K-2 - Up to 60 Minutes daily
    • 3-5 - Up to 90 Minutes daily
    • 6-8 - Up to 30 minutes per class (Up to 3-4 cumulative hours daily or 150 minutes a week per class)
    • 9-12 - Up to 30 minutes per class (Up to 3-4 cumulative hours daily  or 150 minutes a week per class)
    • AP/Dual Enrollment - Aligned to course expectations 

    Art, Music, Physical Education, and Library learning opportunities will also be provided at the elementary level and these opportunities are not considered to be part of the student work time guidelines listed above. In addition to the guidelines listed above, students are encouraged to read and write daily, engage in creative pursuits, and stay physically active, and these learning opportunities are designed to assist families with this. 

    In addition to the recommended work time guidelines above, students and families should:

    • Establish daily routines for learning.
    • Identify a space in your home where you can learn comfortably.
    • Check your Google Classroom and LCPS email daily.
    • Participate in synchronous learning opportunities to the maximum extent possible.
    • Be a good digital citizen.
    • Communicate with your family, teacher and/or school counselor or other member of your school’s United Mental Health Team (UNHT) if you feel you need additional resources or are feeling overwhelmed. (Added April 4, 2020)

     

    5.  Will student work be graded?  

    Assessment and Grading from March 30 - April 3 and on April 13 - 14

    The last day of the 3rd Quarter will be considered to be March 11, which was the last day of school prior to the closure.

     

    Elementary School Quarter 3 Grades

    Elementary Quarter 3 report cards will be based on student progress through March 11. Teachers should enter comments and finalize Quarter 3 grades by April 24.

     

    Middle and High School Quarter 3 Grades

    Quarter 3 grades for middle and high school students will be determined based on work completed through March 11, the last day of school prior to the closure. Teachers will provide opportunities for students to make up missing work and assign a grade to that missing work. 

    • Students have until April 17 to turn in missing assignments or to complete reassessments.
    • Teachers will enter Quarter 3 grades into the gradebook and complete the grade reporting process by April 24.
    • Teachers will work with and provide reasonable alternatives for students who might not have the necessary materials to complete missing assignments. 
    • No assignment or assessment entered in the gradebook from work submitted after March 11 should negatively impact a student’s grade as of March 11. (Added April 4, 2020)

     

    6.  Will SOL tests be given this school year?
    The U.S. Department of Education has approved Virginia’s request for a waiver from assessment mandates under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, allowing the Virginia Department of Education to cancel federally mandated Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in reading, mathematics and science during the 2019-2020 school year.

    The commonwealth’s student assessment system also includes tests that are not required by federal law. VDOE is exploring options for cancelling the administration of state-required SOL tests during the reconvened session of the General Assembly later this month. (Added April 7, 2020)

    7.  How will fourth-quarter and final grades be determined? 

    Assessment and Grading beginning April 15

    Assessment and grading of student progress are based on the premise that students have diverse capabilities and individual patterns of progress and learning. Assessments should not reflect behavior, but rather a student’s mastery of content and competencies of the curriculum. Assessment should, particularly during these extenuating circumstances, foster student reflection, agency and ownership through a growth mindset toward learning. Assessment will not be used for punitive measures. 

     

    Elementary School Quarter 4 Grades

    Beginning April 15, teachers will provide distance learning experiences specifically for their students that include a focus on new skills and knowledge. Teachers will use the gradebook to provide feedback and track student progress from April 15 through the end of the school year. No Quarter 4 grade will be reported in the Student Information System.

     

    Middle and High School Quarter 4 Grades

    Beginning April 15, teachers will provide distance learning experiences specifically for their students that include a focus on new skills and knowledge. Teachers will use the gradebook to provide feedback and track student progress from April 15 through the end of the school year. While teachers may assign numeric values for assignments in the gradebook to track student progress, grades will not be reflected on the report card and no Quarter 4 grade will be reported in the Student Information System.  

    The work students complete and the feedback teachers provide during this time is not meant to replace the day-to-day instruction students would have received at school. The work students complete and the feedback teachers provide during Quarter 4 is meant to maintain a continuity of learning, track progress, and foster a growth mindset for students throughout the school closure and until we are able to return to school.  

    While VDOE has stated that grading is ultimately a local school division decision, VDOE strongly discourages school divisions from assigning grades to work completed during the extended school closure. VDOE cites concerns regarding equity and access for all students. Because LCPS recognizes that each LCPS family is unique and has its own challenges associated with this global pandemic, we cannot guarantee each and every student has the same level of access to distance learning and additional resources they need to be successful. Therefore, LCPS will not assign grades to Quarter 4. 

     

    Final Grades       

    March 11, 2020 was the effective last day of school due to LCPS closure of schools on March 12 and 13, and Governor Northam’s subsequent order to close schools for the remainder of the year. VDOE has provided guidance to school divisions on awarding credits toward graduation and continuity of learning for all students during the extended school closure. VDOE has also stated that awarding of grades and determining grade point average (GPA) is a local decision. LCPS has considered multiple factors and is focused on equitable practices in determining students’ final grades for the 2019-2020 school year.  

    The final grade for the course will be determined by the process below that results in the most favorable number grade for the student:

     

    Option 1

    Student receives a numeric grade based on the following calculation: The average of the Quarter 1 (Qi), Quarter 2 (Q2), and
    Quarter 3 (Q3)
    option_1

    GPA is calculated using this final grade.

    This option would be used for all elementary school students, as they do not receive a Semester 1 grade.

    Option 2

    Student receives a numeric grade based on the following calculation: The average of S1 and Q3 

    option_2

    GPA is calculated using this final grade.

    Option 3

    Student receives a Semester 1 grade and a Pass or Fail for Quarter 3 and Final Grade. 

    GPA is calculated using Semester 1 grade.

     

    Resulting grades will be shared with families and students.  At that time the option for the numeric grade or Pass/Fail will be given to the student and family.  

    If a parent/guardian does not provide input, if the student’s final grade in a course is detrimental to the student’s GPA, the grade will be Pass/Fail.  If the student’s final grade enhances the student’s GPA, the letter grade and resulting GPA will be maintained on the student’s transcript. 

    Details regarding the timeline for determining final grades and electing a pass/fail option will be shared at a future date. (Added April 4, 2020)

     

    8.  Are resources available for students with disabilities?

     

    Support for Students with Disabilities

    The LCPS Office for Special Education continues to be in contact with the U.S. and Virginia Departments of Education related to expectations around IDEA and Section 504 requirements.  It is important to know that, during this unprecedented time of school closure, LCPS and other divisions across the nation may not be able to provide all services in the same manner they were typically provided in the traditional school setting.

    The Office for Special Education has added a number of instructional resources to the LCPS Continuity of Education website.  Students with disabilities that are instructed in the general curriculum are to utilize the tools at the appropriate grade level.  Special education teachers and case managers will continue to collaborate with general education teachers and assist students with disabilities by providing support and accommodations, where reasonably feasible. 

    The LCPS Continuity of Education website also has on-line and off-line resources to support students served in early childhood special education classrooms, students instructed through the adapted curriculum, augmentative communication resources, and other accessibility supports.  

    Transition teachers that work within the high schools, CAST, and Project SEARCH will reinforce skills and knowledge related to the 21st century workplace readiness skills for Virginia in addition to independent living skills. 

    For students with a Section 504 Plan, school case managers will collaborate with general education teachers and provide collaborative assistance so that these students have needed accommodations as reasonably feasible.  

    Parents/guardians may contact their student’s case manager or school counselor if they have any questions.  The Special Education Supervisor assigned to your student’s school is also available to assist parents/guardians with any questions. (Added April 4, 2020)

     

    9.  Will instruction be provided to English Learners?
    The LCPS Office for English Learners continues to be in contact with the U.S. and Virginia Departments of Education related to expectations around Federal Requirements for Serving English Learners. It is important to know that, during this unprecedented time of school closure, LCPS and other divisions across the nation may not be able to provide all services in the same manner they were typically provided in the traditional school setting. 

    The Office of English Learners has added instructional resources to the LCPS Continuity of Education website.  English Learners are to utilize the resources at the appropriate grade level.  English Learner teachers will continue to collaborate with general education teachers and provide support and accommodations for EL students where reasonably feasible. Secondary English Learners enrolled in Sheltered EL Courses will receive assignments and instruction directly from their English Learner teacher. 

    Parents or guardians may contact their student’s English Learner teacher or school counselor if they have any questions.  The English Learner Office is also available to assist families with any questions. (Confirmed April 2, 2020)

     

    10.  Will LCPS be offering driver’s education during the COVID-19 closure?
    All LCPS Behind the Wheel (BTW) instruction is suspended. An April 23, 2020, executive order by Gov. Ralph Northam has suspended Behind the Wheel for private/commercial companies until June 10th. In addition to no in-car instruction, this includes no exchanging of paperwork (DEC-8’s and TDL’s). LCPS will monitor and evaluate this decision regularly based on information from the state Department of Education, Division of Motor Vehicles and the Governor’s Office. LCPS will communicate updates as they occur and resume paperwork distribution and in-car instruction when it is safe to do so. (Added April 30, 2020)

    11.  Kindergarten Registration Rescheduled
    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of LCPS campuses, kindergarten Registration has been rescheduled from Wednesday, March 18, to Wednesday, April 15. , LCPS will be conducting Virtual Registration Appointments. If you already have an appointment scheduled, the school registrar will be in contact with you soon to give you directions for the updated process. LCPS will maintain the current appointment time slots that were originally scheduled on Wednesday, March 18, as much as possible. If your original appointment was after March 18, please check the schools website for the contact information for the school Registrar. You can email them to discuss a time to reschedule your appointment. 

    If parents/guardians are unable to attend during the original appointment time, on the new date, April 15, they are asked to contact the school. If necessary, LCPS staff will work with parents/guardians to choose another available time slot and/or day.  Parents/guardians will not lose their place on the school’s original appointment list if they, or LCPS, have to reschedule due to this change. If you are unable to upload required documents or participate virtually, the registrar will work with you individually to complete the registration appointment.

    If rising kindergarten parents/guardians are planning to apply for special permission, please follow the special permission guidelines that can be found at this website. More information will be provided to kindergarten parents/guardians prior to April 15. If you have further questions, please contact your school directly. (Updated April 7, 2020)

    12.  Will Adult Education classes continue?
    Adult Education classes including the GED prep classes, Adult High School courses, and Young Adult English Learner program are continuing and have transitioned to an online environment. All of our current EL classes (Level 1 – 6) have been transferred to an online format and are currently in session and will be continuing in that format until further notice. 

    The only classes that have been canceled are the enrichment classes. These are optional recreational courses for any Loudoun County resident 18 years or older (i.e. sewing, photography, etc.). (Added April 2, 2020)

     

    13.  How will LCPS celebrate the strengths, talents, and accomplishments of the Class of 2020?
    As Superintendent Eric Williams commented in the update he provided to the Board of Supervisors on March 17, 2020: 

    As I think back to my own time in school as a student but also as a parent and as a high school principal, obviously senior year is a big deal. It’s a year many students have been waiting for their entire academic career and so even thinking about the possibility of not playing in or singing in their last concert, or not taking the field for their final spring sport . . . or not receiving the awards that you’ve worked hard for, that’s not easy. But really, you know we are in this together. I am committed to working with principals and staff to ensure that seniors do not feel forgotten or overlooked. We’re committed to thinking of creative ways of recognizing our seniors, their hard work, and their accomplishments. Is it still going to be difficult? Absolutely, and we want to acknowledge that difficulty. It’s a big deal and for someone who would say (to a senior), “Oh, just be happy you have your health” you know, I respectfully disagree. Yes, we need to all focus on our health and be grateful for that, but I also understand the perspective of seniors who are experiencing some anxiety now and so we’re committed to celebrating the excellence of our seniors. (Added March 20, 2020)

     

    14.  Where can I find updated information regarding college scholarship applications and their deadlines? 
    Please visit https://sites.google.com/lcps.org/lcps-scholarship-site/home/list-of-scholarships

    (Added April 4, 2020)

     

  • Google Meet FAQs

    Google Meet is the official video meeting platform that LCPS teachers use when hosting synchronous meetings with students. In order to provide teachers maximum flexibility for teachers hosting Google Meets, LCPS recently updated the permissions for Google Meet for our users. These changes ensure that:

    • Students cannot enter Google Meets before a teacher is present;
    • Teachers always have the ability to act as the Host in a Google Meet;
    • Students cannot rejoin a Google Meet once the teacher has left.

    As a result of these changes, students do not have the ability to create their own Google Meet sessions. LCPS understands that some students had begun using Google Meet as a tool for connecting with their peers. As a division, LCPS is committed to ensuring that students have safe spaces for interacting, not only with teachers but also with their peers, during this extended school closure. Students still have the ability to engage in text-based communication with peers through school-provided email accounts and through Google Hangouts. Both of these services are monitored by Gaggle for student safety. LCPS is investigating options for providing video chat capabilities, including the possibility of enabling Google Meet for students in the future.

    The following FAQs provide additional information for parents about the use of Google Meet for synchronous interactions between teachers and students.

    1.  Will Google Meets be recorded?
    Yes, teachers will record all synchronous interactions with students. When a teacher records a Google Meet, a video file in the teacher’s Google Drive. The teacher will be able to provide a link to students that they can use to view the recording. Teachers are recording all Meets to ensure students who aren’t able to participate live have access to the content and to provide an accurate record of the events of the meeting.

    2.  Does LCPS require parental consent before a student can be recorded?
    Yes, LCPS requires parental consent to record meetings with students present. Your child’s school should provide an electronic permission form that can be used to provide consent. If you do not consent to your child being recorded, you can:

    • Ensure that your child keeps their video camera off during synchronous meetings, and/or;
    • Ensure that your child views recordings of live sessions with teachers.

    3.  How long will recordings be retained?
    Teachers are required to keep recordings of synchronous sessions with students for a minimum of seven days. Teachers may choose to keep recordings longer, but will be asked to delete all recordings at the end of the school year.

    4.  How will recordings be shared?
    Recordings will be shared with students via Google Classroom or the teacher’s primary communication platform.

    5.  Will recordings be shared with the media or otherwise shared outside of LCPS?
    No. Teachers will only share recordings of synchronous sessions with their students. Videos will be shared in such a way that the viewer must login with an LCPS account before accessing the video.

    6.  Will teachers meet one-on-one with students via Google Meet?
    In general, teachers will meet with groups of students or whole classes of students through Google Meet.

    If a one-on-one meeting is needed, the teacher will request that a parent or guardian also be present during the meeting.

    7.  Can a student create their own Google Meet? 
    Students do not currently have the ability to create a Google Meet session in the LCPS G Suite domain.

    Students can only join Google Meet sessions created and shared by teachers.

    8.  Can a student join a Meet without a teacher present?
    A teacher must be present in a Google Meet before a student will be allowed to join.

    9.  Can Meet be used to communicate with people outside of LCPS?
    Teachers can invite external users like a guest speaker to a Google Meet. The teacher must admit this external user before they can join the Google Meet session. If students share the URL of a Google Meet with an external user, the external user cannot join the Google Meet session unless admitted by the teacher. Students do not have the ability to admit external users to LCPS Google Meets.

    10.  Is Meet content monitored or moderated?
    The chat portion of a Google Meet is monitored by Gaggle. Since students cannot participate in a Google Meet without a staff member present, all Google Meet sessions will be moderated by a teacher and recorded.

    11.  My child is having trouble accessing a Google Meet. What can I do to help?
    Because of the security settings currently in place, only LCPS users can join Meets created by LCPS teachers. This means that your child needs to sign in to Google Meet with their LCPS account before joining the Meet. For students with Chromebooks provided by LCPS, the easiest way to participate in a Meet is on their LCPS Chromebook. This ensures that the student will be signed in with the correct GSuite account before attempting to join the Meet. If joining a Meet on a personal device, make sure any personal Google or Gmail accounts are signed out, then login to Meet with the student’s LCPS Google account.

  • Advanced Placement Exams

    This year, students who registered to take Advanced Placement exams will take their AP exams online at home. AP exams will be given from May 11 through May 22 and will be 45 minutes in length. This year’s exams will cover the content and skills learned through early March.

    There are many resources available to help students and parents/guardians prepare for this year’s AP exams. Visit the LCPS Gifted and Talented webpage and click on Advanced Placement Updates 2020 – Parents/Guardians to find links to the following:

    • Daily, online AP review lessons and review sessions;
    • The complete AP exam schedule;
    • Course-specific exam information;
    • A recording of the College Board parent/guardian webinar called “Helping Your Student Prepare for AP Exams” and other resources.

     If you have any additional questions, please contact your child’s AP teacher.

    Refunds

    The College Board has agreed to refund in full for any exams not taken. The AP exams for this year have been ordered, and the College Board registration system is closed  There is not a way to "cancel” an exam or “turn off” the access for a student who has already paid.

    After the make-up test date of June 5, counseling offices will contact students who did not take one or more of the exams they registered for. After the date of June 5, your school bookkeeper will be able to refund, in full, for any exams not taken.

  • Graduation

    Will LCPS have in-person graduation ceremonies this year?
    Loudoun County Public Schools has created a plan to hold in-person graduation ceremonies for individual 2020 graduates and their families, between June 8 and June 24. 

    The ceremonies will include a senior walking across a stage at their school, listening to their name announced as a graduate, and receiving their diploma with family members in attendance.  

    Seniors and their families will receive more information from school administrators as soon as it is available. Schools are continuing with the previously announced virtual celebrations of seniors. (Updated June 4, 2020)

  • Facilities

    1.  Can LCPS Outdoor Facilities Be Used During the Shutdown?
    Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) will allow public use of its facilities, with limitations, beginning Friday, June 5.

    The guidelines for public use were outlined by Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Kevin Lewis at the Tuesday, June 2, meeting of the Loudoun County School Board. Lewis outlined the restrictions for use in the following categories:

    Individual Use

    LCPS walking tracks, fields and basketball and tennis courts will reopen for individual public use on Friday, June 5. Those using LCPS facilities individually must maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet at all times.

    Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services

    Through its partnership with Parks, Recreation & Community Services (PRCS), the school division will allow PRCS to use outdoor fields and property. PRCS will manage all outdoor field allocations for LCPS.

    The following restrictions will apply to PCRS activities:

    • There will be no organized team activities.
    • The approved activities involve only drills and conditioning.
    • No groups larger than 10 will be involved in these activities.
    • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet will be in effect at all times.

    Religious Services

    Religious organizations that use LCPS facilities are allowed to reconvene in these facilities with a reservation approved by LCPS staff. These organizations must submit a compliance plan to use LCPS facilities, as outlined in Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order governing the easing of temporary restrictions in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    LCPS custodial staff will conduct cleaning before, during and after religious services. The cost of this required cleaning will be paid by the religious organization using the LCPS facility.

    Events for non-profit organizations – excluding religious services – remain postponed or canceled.

    LCPS Activities

    Organized LCPS activities remain postponed or canceled until further guidance is provided by the Governor’s Office. 

    (Updated June 3, 2020)

     

    2.  Can the virus be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces? How does LCPS protect against those risks?
    The Centers for Disease Control says “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” 

    The CDC and the Loudoun County Health Department recommend frequent handwashing, shielding coughs and sneezes, staying home if feeling unwell and other routine protective measures, such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, frequent handwashing and regularly cleaning “high touch” surfaces, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. 

    LCPS custodial personnel clean schools and facilities nightly, with special focus on “high touch” surfaces such as doors, door knobs, push plates on doors, and desks, to maintain a clean, safe environment.

    In addition, if a particular class or school suffers higher-than-average absenteeism due to illness, LCPS’ custodial teams are prepared to disinfect large indoor areas, as part of our effort to safeguard students.

     

    3.  Should students and staff bring their own cleaning materials to school? 
    LCPS school custodial teams are staffed, trained and equipped to handle the CDC’s recommended cleaning standards to address the COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses. LCPS requests that school staff and parents NOT bring in household cleaners for use in schools. Multiple cleaning products are effective against the COVID-19 virus, but many of these cleaning chemicals are not safe for use around sensitive groups and could chemically react with other cleaning chemicals, creating a greater hazard. Many household cleaners have strong smells that can cause respiratory distress for sensitive staff and students, while the smell and chemical residue can remain for long periods of time after the cleaning product has been used. (Added March 11, 2020.)

    4.  What can I do to help keep LCPS schools clean? 
    LCPS appreciates that staff and families may wish to assist in maintaining the cleanliness of schools. LCPS school custodial teams are staffed, trained and equipped to handle the CDC’s recommended cleaning standards to address the COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses. There are some measures that can assist custodians in being efficient, such as:

    • Clear all desks, tables and other work surfaces and chairs at the end of the day. Custodians are trained to only clean surfaces that are clear of personal items and papers. If items are left on top of the desk, the custodial team may not be able to clean it.
    • Encourage students to pick up trash, pencils, crayons, and personal items that may have fallen to the floor during the school day. Custodians often spend several minutes in each room picking up debris, which could have been placed in a trash receptacle, before they can start the cleaning regimen.
    • Place trash and recycling containers just inside the classroom door or in the hallway adjacent to the classroom door at the end of the day.
    • Do not stack chairs on top of the desks or tables. The chairs have to be taken down before the work surfaces and chairs can be cleaned.

    These simple steps may not seem like a lot of time in one classroom, but when combined across 20-30 classrooms in a school they can have a tremendous impact on the amount of time a custodian has available for proper cleaning and disinfecting of all the high-priority common touch surfaces.(Added March 11, 2020.)

    5.  Can staff perform extra cleaning in their work areas? 
    LCPS school custodial teams are staffed, trained and equipped to handle the CDC’s recommended cleaning standards to address the COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses. LCPS has been working with custodial teams to emphasize the cleaning of “high touch” surfaces each evening. We believe that our standard cleaning schedule and use of disinfectants, including Virex II 256 (a high quality, hospital grade disinfectant that has been approved by the EPA to use against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19), meet the current CDC recommendations for cleaning in schools. School instructional staff are not expected to disinfect their rooms, but some staff members have requested access to approved cleaning supplies. Facilities Services will provide properly labeled spray bottles filled with an LCPS approved disinfectant, Virex II 256, for use by staff in the classrooms and offices as needed during the school day.  Staff members should contact their principal for more information about how to obtain a spray bottle. (Added March 11, 2020.)

  • Schedule Changes

    1.  How long will LCPS schools and facilities be closed?

    • On March 23, Governor Ralph Northam ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia to close for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year in response to the continued spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. 
       
    • Effective at the close of business on March 20, all LCPS worksites, including the Administration Building, were closed for employees, aside from specifically approved exceptions. 

     

    2.  Will the Loudoun County School Board Continue to meet during the closure?  

    • The Loudoun County School Board is now meeting virtually to ensure it complies with the Governor’s order discouraging gatherings of more than 10 people. School Board meetings will be available for public viewing through the live-stream telecast on LCPS.org, and live on Comcast channel 18 and Verizon FIOS channel 43.
       
    • Live public comment is accepted virtually and aired in real time during School Board meetings at the direction of the Chair. Citizens who wish to make live public comment may register by visiting the Citizen Participation link on the School Board Webpage. Online and telephone registration will open at 8 a.m. two business days prior to the meeting. Registration closes one hour before the start of the meeting. For example, registration for a meeting being held on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. will be open Friday at 8:00 a.m. through Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Member of the public may receive a system generated email  after the registration closes, but the School Board is unable to accept registration after the registration cut off time.

    3.  Which district events have been canceled or postponed?  

    Regional Science & Engineering Fair Cancelled
    Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), in response to the rapidly changing public health situation and the need to prepare for distance-learning experiences (digital and non-digital) has decided to cancel the Loudoun County Virtual Regional Science & Engineering Fair (RSEF).

    Outstanding Teacher Recognition Dinner Postponed
    The Loudoun Education Foundation has rescheduled the Outstanding Teacher Recognition Dinner from May 1 to Friday, August 21. This event will be taking place at the Washington Dulles Marriott at 6:30 p.m.

    Summer in the Arts
    The Summer in the Arts program, scheduled for June 16 through June 25 at Heritage High School, is now cancelled. Current registrants will receive refunds for the payments they have already made to participate in the program. (Added April 2, 2020)  

  • Operations

    1.  Continuing Meal Service
    Loudoun County School Nutrition Services (SNS) is supporting families by continuing to provide meal service in our school communities while schools are closed. SNS staff will serve free breakfast and lunch daily (both meals will be available for pick-up at the same time) between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

     

    Meals will be available for pick-up at 28 schools:

    Briar Woods High School
    Broad Run High School
    Dominion High School
    Frederick Douglass Elementary School
    Freedom High School
    Guilford Elementary School
    Harper Park Middle School
    Heritage High School
    Hutchison Farm Elementary School
    Independence High School
    John Champe High School
    Leesburg Elementary School
    Loudoun County High School
    Loudoun Valley High School
    Lovettsville Elementary School
    Park View High School
    Potomac Falls High School
    Riverside High School
    Rock Ridge High School
    Rolling Ridge Elementary School
    Round Hill Elementary School
    Sterling Elementary School
    Sterling Middle School
    Stone Bridge High School
    Sugarland Elementary School
    Sully Elementary School
    Tuscarora High School
    Woodgrove High School

     

    2.  Food Deliveries
    LCPS is using its school bus fleet to increase the availability of meal service to students that rely on schools for meal support. Each day, 57 buses cover routes totaling 699 miles making 266 stops. An average of more than 5,000 meals per day are delivered. The sites for the delivery of meals to locations throughout the county may be found on this interactive map. Please arrive at the meal stops early to ensure buses can remain on schedule. 

     

    3.  Will employees receive pay on their regular schedule if central administrative offices are closed?
    As part of its continuity of operations plan, LCPS has contingency plans in place to continue payroll operations in the event of disruption to normal operating procedures. LCPS will deploy those protocols if necessary so that employees are paid on schedule. (Added March 11, 2020.) 

    4.  Can I receive a refund for fees paid to Loudoun County Public Schools?
    Refunds will be issued as quickly as possible.  School activity fees for spring athletics, student parking, student behind the wheel, and field trips paid by credit card will be refunded  to the credit card used and those fees paid by check will be refunded by check and mailed to the address on file.  Please allow 30-60 days for refunds to be processed.  AP fees will be refunded by request only, due to the college board offering virtual testing.  Please contact your school Financial team/Bookkeeper to  request AP refunds. 

    Facility Rentals Refunds

    Refund requests for facility rentals can be submitted by email to facilityuse@lcps.org

    Due to the volume of requests, please allow up to 30 to 60 days for receipt of your refund. (Updated April 17, 2020)

    5.  Can I receive a refund for Advanced Placement Testing?
    The College Board has agreed to refund in full for any exams not taken. The AP exams for this year have been ordered, and the College Board registration system is closed  There is not a way to ``cancel” an exam or “turn off” the access for a student who has already paid.

    After the make-up test date of June 5, counseling offices will contact students who did not take one or more of the exams they registered for. After the date of June 5, your school bookkeeper will be able to refund, in full, for any exams not taken. (Added May 7, 2020)

  • Travel

    1.  What should students who have traveled recently do?
    Public health recommendations for travelers have recently changed and guidance depends on when the travel occurred and whether they feel ill.  The most up to date information on risks and recommendations is available from the Centers for Disease Control.
     
    The CDC currently recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and the following 29 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.
     
    The CDC guidelines say travelers returning from any of these countries must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
     
    While these recommendations are in place, any current student or staff member returning from the listed countries will not be allowed to attend school for 14 days from the date of their departure from those countries. Any student from the listed countries that wishes to enroll in LCPS, will not be allowed to enroll for 14 days from the date of their departure from those countries. These precautions are being taken to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in our schools.
     
    LCPS recommends that families who have made plans for non-school-sponsored trips through booster clubs, PTA/PTO organizations and others, should review the terms and conditions of their agreements with those groups to understand the risks and costs associated with changes. In addition, families should be aware that CDC could issue new or different guidance while students are traveling, potentially resulting in delayed returns to the U.S. or other schedule impacts.
     
    Our highest priority is the well-being of students and staff, and we will continue to update our plans, processes, and guidance to families based on the latest information available. (Updated March 14, 2020.)


    2.  My family or student is traveling for Spring Break on a trip that is not sponsored by LCPS. What do I need to know? 
    Out of an abundance of caution, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) suspended all school-sponsored international travel through June 30, 2020. That decision does not affect non-LCPS-sponsored travel, including trips run through booster clubs or PTA/PTO organizations, as well as individual or family trips and other independently organized activities. For travel guidance, LCPS is working closely with the Loudoun County Health Department and is also following U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. The CDC has not issued any specific guidance regarding isolation of healthy travelers from countries where no travel alert has been issued, or about domestic travel.

    The CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and the following 29 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.
     
    The CDC guidelines say travelers returning from any of these countries must stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
     
    While these recommendations are in place, any current student or staff member returning from the listed countries will not be allowed to attend school for 14 days from the date of their departure from those countries. Any student from the listed countries that wishes to enroll in LCPS, will not be allowed to enroll for 14 days from the date of their departure from those countries. These precautions are being taken to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in our schools.
     
    LCPS recommends that families who have made plans for non-school-sponsored trips through booster clubs, PTA/PTO organizations and others, should review the terms and conditions of their agreements with those groups to understand the risks and costs associated with changes. In addition, families should be aware that CDC could issue new or different guidance while students are traveling, potentially resulting in delayed returns to the U.S. or other schedule impacts.
     
    Our highest priority is the well-being of students and staff, and we will continue to update our plans, processes, and guidance to families based on the latest information available. (Updated March 14, 2020.)
     
     

  • Family Resources

    1.  The National Association of School Psychologists has created a webpage with useful information for parents to use in communicating with their children about the COVID-19 virus. Please visit Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource for more information. Downloadable PDF

     
    2. Contact Us Email Link and Hotline: 571-252-6499

    Community members with questions are encouraged to review the responses to Frequently Asked Questions on the FAQ page. If the responses to Frequently Asked Questions don’t provide the information community members seek, they are welcome to submit questions via the Contact Us function on the FAQ page, as well.

    LCPS will launch a COVID-19 telephone “hotline” at 1 p.m. Monday, March 16 to provide another option for information. The hotline number is 571-252-6499.  Community members should feel free to call with any questions about the status of school operations, current schedules, and the latest information on other topics. Calls will be answered until 5 p.m. on Monday. Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the hotline will operate between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Updated March 13, 2020)

    3.  My child does not have access to a laptop or other device with internet connectivity. Is there a way for my child to gain access to a laptop or other device with internet connectivity?

    Chromebooks

    Plans are being developed to ensure all students enrolled in LCPS in grades 3-12 are assigned a Chromebook.  There are no plans to distribute devices to students in grades K-2.  Additional details about the rollout plan are forthcoming and will be subject to the latest guidance from health officials.

    Mobile Internet Hotspots

    LCPS has made an initial purchase of mobile internet hotspots to help with continuity of access to internet-based instructional resources for students and staff during an extended closure. LCPS is prioritizing the distribution of hotspots to students in grades 3-12 in households with the greatest needs, with a limit of one hotspot per household. Hotspot devices could be available for distribution as early as the week of March 23.

    Families and staff will need to formally request a mobile hotspot via the described process. To request a device, families/staff must:

    • Complete the online form or
    • Call the LCPS Technology Support Center at 571-252-2112 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Translation services are available.

    Each hotspot supports up to 15 device connections. The hotspots come with pre-configured internet content filtering, meeting the requirements set forth by the Children’s Internet Protection Act. Submitting a request does not guarantee access to a hotspot.

    The LCPS hotspots are configured to operate on the T-Mobile cellular network. For a hotspot to work T-Mobile cellular coverage must exist in your area. T-Mobile cellular coverage is not available in all areas of Loudoun County, though most of our high need areas in Loudoun do have T-Mobile cellular coverage. LCPS continues to explore options for connectivity in areas of Loudoun without T-Mobile cellular coverage; identifying a solution for these other areas may take several weeks.

    LCPS is planning for the pickup of the hotspots by parents and guardians at locations throughout the community. The distribution will be subject to ongoing guidance from the Loudoun County Department of Health and other experts to ensure appropriate measures are in place to meet public-health recommendations. Each household receiving a hotspot will be required to sign a hotspot usage agreement before a hotspot can be taken home.

    Please note that many commercial vendors have made available increased services to support schools and the community.  We recognize that people without connectivity may not be able to access the following links, and are including the information for broader community awareness.

    Verizon offers unlimited data on hotspots and cell phones

    4.  Where can I find substance abuse prevention information and secure emergency mental health services for my child during the school closure?
    Please visit https://www.lcps.org/Page/221002 for substance use prevention information and resources. During the school closure, please visit https://www.lcps.org/Page/220727 to secure emergency mental health services for your child. (Added March 24, 2020)

    LCPS Social Distancing Guidelines

    The President's 15 Days to Slow the Spread

     

  • Preventive Actions: COVID-19 Video Library

    LCPS Social Distancing Guidelines

    Guía para Distancia Social

    Arabic

    The President's 15 Days to Slow the Spread


  • Please submit additional questions here if you need more information.

    LCPS will update this page as more information becomes available.

    Updated June 4, 2020

Last Modified on June 23, 2020