Health & Safety Transportation
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Hybrid Model Implementation
When will Grades 3-5 begin Hybrid In-person Learning?
During Stage 3, most secondary students would learn virtually. The hybrid model would be implemented fully for elementary students whose parents/guardians selected the hybrid model for the first semester, conditions permitting. Stage 1 participating and eligible hybrid students with disabilities who receive instruction through the Aligned Standards of Learning (ASOL) and those receiving instruction through specialized self-contained programs, PreK through returning graduates, are eligible to receive up to 4 days of in-person instruction as determined by their IEP team. In addition to Stage 1 and Stage 2 participants in the hybrid model, Stage 3 would include approximately 7,570 students in grades 3 to 5, as well as Academy of Engineering and Technology seniors and Academy of Science seniors whose parents/guardians selected the hybrid model for the first semester. This results in a total of approximately 18,070 students participating in the hybrid model during Stage 3.
Timeline for Stage 3
When will Secondary students (Grade 6-12) start Hybrid In-person Learning?
On November 10, the School Board approved the start of Stage 4 of implementation of the hybrid model on January 21, encompassing all students who select hybrid learning for the second semester. The School Board also voted to direct LCPS staff to plan for concurrent hybrid and 100% distance learning classes for secondary students as staff prepares for implementation of the hybrid model for secondary students in the second semester, with concurrent learning involving direct instruction and interactive learning for hybrid model and 100% distance learning model participants.
Principals will have the flexibility to work with teacher teams at their school to develop and implement a variety of approaches to concurrent instruction such as time for guided independent practice, small group work, and whole group experiences.
100% distance learning for students who select it in the November parent/guardian preference survey will still be an option.
Preparations for Concurrent Hybrid and 100% Distance Learning classes.
On October 27, staff presented additional information regarding the transition to hybrid instruction with concurrent hybrid and 100% distance learning classes. District administrators are working with secondary principals to prepare to provide both hybrid instruction and 100% distance learning during the second semester, including by offering many classes that would include concurrent hybrid and 100% distance learning instruction.
Advantages to using concurrent instruction include reduced requirements for mid-year schedule changes, and consistency of course selection and teacher assignments from first semester to second semester. Challenges related to concurrent instruction include the difficulty of teachers of conducting classes for in-person and remote students simultaneously, and a potential increase in screen time for distance learning students. LCPS is evaluating these factors in making plans for second semester hybrid learning to best meet the needs of all students.
Please see Concurrent Teaching at the Secondary Level under the Instruction in the Hybrid Model section of this document for additional information regarding concurrent teaching.
Timeline for Stage 4
What will Elementary schedules look like in Hybrid In-person learning?
Once students are eligible for hybrid learning, elementary students whose families selected hybrid in-person learning will attend school in-person two days per week, either Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday, to support physical distancing practices. On the days when students are not physically present, they will work on individualized tasks that support the instruction provided during in-person learning. At the elementary level, families will be scheduled on the same day.
Elementary students participating in 100% distance learning are assigned to separate classes than those participating in hybrid in-person learning. On Mondays, all elementary students participate in a virtual morning meeting and some receive virtual small group support.
Elementary students will participate in synchronous morning meetings to build connections with classmates and support mental wellness during days they are engaged in distance learning. A sample hybrid schedule is below. Actual school schedules may vary by school and grade level.
What will Secondary schedules look like in Hybrid Learning?
Most secondary students will continue participating in 100% distance learning with limited exceptions in Stage 2 and Stage 3. Information regarding the 100% distance learning model can be found on the LCPS Reopening in Stages webpage.
On October 13, the School Board voted to transition from the current AABB schedule at the secondary level to an ABAB schedule beginning November 4, the start of the second quarter. Beginning on Wednesday, November 4, secondary schools will follow the schedule listed below. Specific times of synchronous time and Learning Lab will remain unchanged.
Wednesday, November 4 will be a B Day.
What does “Concurrent Teaching” mean?
The School Board voted at its November 10 meeting to direct staff to plan for the use of concurrent teaching for hybrid and 100% distance learning students at secondary schools beginning January 21. Concurrent teaching occurs when in-person and distance learning students are taught at the same time by the same teacher utilizing digital friendly pedagogy. Concurrent teaching uses both synchronous and asynchronous instructional strategies.
A hybrid classroom concurrently operating with distance learners will consist of hybrid in-person students, hybrid distance students, and 100% distance learning students. Hybrid students will have in-person instruction two days per week. Distance learners will experience all instruction virtually. All learners will engage in asynchronous instruction on Mondays. The table below illustrates the three groups of students that would be in each class and how they would participate in each day’s instruction.
The image below illustrates one possible design of a concurrent class. The “whole group opening” provides time for the teacher and students to complete and review a check-in, reinforce previously taught material, share a driving question, check for understanding, and/or preview upcoming learning.
Following the whole group opening in this sample lesson design, students experience small-group, targeted instruction and independent practice. This is similar to the current 100% distance learning Learning Lab. Students may work through a playlist of differentiated activities, complete a performance assessment, engage in individual practice, or receive feedback from the teacher or from peers. Teachers have touchpoints with small groups or individual students throughout this time. All students engage in a variety of instructional activities during this time, both online and away from the computer. The class reconvenes as a whole group for a reflection and closing activity. Teachers use this time for students to complete a variety of activities, such as an exit ticket or a quick formative assessment, to drive instructional planning for the next lesson. Teachers also review learning from the day, and share announcements to help students prepare for the next class. This is one sample lesson design.
How are tests and grading being handled now?
Unlike the emergency school closure in spring 2020, both in-person and distance learning will be assessed and graded. Teachers will implement and adhere to the new assessment and grading policy that was created for fall 2020, Policy 5030, Assessment and Grading. Flexibility in the percentages assigned to summative assessments in the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year was provided by the School Board on September 22, 2020. Teachers will assess student readiness in September based on diagnostics, formative assessments, etc. LCPS will support staff with identifying where students are academically and create academic plans to support all students. Grade-level or collaborative learning teams will meet virtually to plan for personalized interventions or enrichment based on diagnostic data.
How Is LCPS Preparing for In-Person Learning?
Preparations for Stage 2 hybrid in-person learning included the development of instructional resources to support hybrid in-person learning for young learners (kindergarten through grade 2) for teachers. Additionally, Division Transition Teams for various categories of students, such as English Learners, special education and K-2, met weekly to discuss transportation, routing, scheduling, and instruction. Teams also worked with school leadership teams and teachers to prepare schedules to simultaneously operate both distance learning and the hybrid model.
Preparations for Stage 3 and beyond include development of additional instructional resources to support grades 3 - 12, revised Scope and Sequence documents for second quarter and second semester, and school simulations involving concurrent hybrid in-person and distance learning instruction.
Pilot and Simulations
School simulations began the week of September 21 to inform strategies for safe and effective hybrid in-person learning for Stage 2. The simulations are short (two hours up to a half-day experience) activities that provide an additional learning experience for administrators and school-level staff, and informed strategies for safe and effective hybrid in-person learning.
Each simulation may include the following components and may also include school-specific components:
Additional simulations were conducted during October and November as staff prepares for Stage 3 and beyond. Simulations included concurrent teaching of hybrid in-person learning students and 100% distance learning students. The purpose of classroom simulations includes testing classroom setup, technology, and instructional strategies for concurrent teaching.
Pilots are longer in duration than simulations, ranging from a full day of school to a week or more. Pilots are scheduled at multiple middle and high school locations in November and December. The purpose of the pilots, in contrast to simulations of concurrent teaching or other specific aspects of a school day, is to practice all aspects of a school day, from entering the school from buses and cars to classroom instruction, transitioning between classes, meals, activities, and dismissal. Pilots may also include students (with parent/guardian permission) participating in school and from home.
What supports are available to students with disabilities?
Staff will continue its commitment to provide a free appropriate public education which includes meaningful learning experiences for all students with disabilities and operate within the following considerations in the hybrid and distance learning models:
- Maintain collaboration with parents/guardians and adult students to review the last agreed upon Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the student’s progress since school closure, and support the individual student needs as an IEP team.
- Offer flexibility to convene as an IEP team in a virtual environment to accommodate family schedules. The parent is integral to the development of the IEP and IEP addendum and must provide consent prior to implementation.
- Recognize and accommodate medically fragile students that may require additional support through the virtual or hybrid learning environment to mitigate COVID-19 risks that may still exist.
- Student health staff will facilitate collaboration with the school-based team and parent/guardian/student to facilitate the health care planning process.
- Maintain collaboration with private day providers to review and support the implementation of student IEPs to support their intensive needs.
- Maintain collaboration with parents/guardians to review and support the implementation of student 504 Plans and accommodations based upon student needs.
- Leverage new skills learned through distance learning (synchronous and asynchronous instruction) and collaborate with parents/guardians and the student to determine the schedule and special education services needed within the context of the student’s individual circumstance to include limitations due to public health mitigation requirements.
- Maintain continued focus on the whole child, leveraging the Unified Mental Health Team (UMHT) members to support the social and emotional learning needs of the student using the Multi-Tiered System of Support framework.
- Re-engage business partners to support the community independence instruction needs of our students’ implementation of workplace skills within a “new normal” business environment.
- Continue to monitor and analyze student progress and convene as an IEP team as appropriate to address unique student needs through specialized instruction related services.
- Teach and reteach routines to support health and safety requirements using Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and family involvement for reinforcement at home and school.
- Complete the special education eligibility process through virtual and in-person practices while adhering to mandated timelines and health mitigation strategies.
How will LCPS work with English Learners in Hybrid instruction?
In hybrid instruction, teachers of English Learner students will utilize their in-person time with students to concentrate on the language instruction strategies and opportunities that are most challenging to complete in a virtual environment. These learning experiences will include oral language opportunities, authentic communication during collaborative work with classmates, and targeted small group reading and phonics instruction. Distance learning will focus on independent reading and assignments through Schoology, and will also include asynchronous learning opportunities that help to develop English Learners’ background knowledge. Virtual office hours led by EL and general education teachers will be scheduled to support independent learning at home. Distance learning will also include student participation in digital learning tools, depending on their language proficiency level (i.e. Imagine Learning, Reading A-Z, No Red Ink, Newsela, System 44, Digital Textbook Tools such as StudySync). EL teachers will embed language accessibility and supports in their lessons, activities, and learning experiences. EL teachers and general education teachers will collaborate in order to support students accessing the general education curriculum through comprehensible input while also providing frequent check-ins with their EL students. Co-planning and co-teaching both in-person and virtual instruction will be vital to ensuring the needs of ELs are met in both the in-person and distance learning environments.
What opportunities exist for Gifted Learners during Hybrid Instruction?
SEARCH (K-3 students)
In hybrid instruction, gifted resource teachers will utilize their face-to-face time with students to conduct third grade SEARCH lessons. The lessons will focus on the SEARCH curriculum. This curriculum includes critical and creative thinking activities and problem solving tasks which highlight the SEARCH thinking keys (perceiving, reasoning, connecting, creating, and evaluating). The lessons may include read-alouds paired with problem solving or creative writing activities, logic activities, and/or hands-on activities such as tangrams or pentominoes. During third grade SEARCH time, portfolio lessons will be conducted that are part of the gifted eligibility process. Face-to-face time will also be used to work with EDGE students in small groups. Distance learning will focus on K-2 SEARCH lessons. These lessons will be conducted asynchronously. Packets of hands-on materials may need to be shared with students to use during independent, distance learning activities (e.g. cardstock tangram sets). Enrichment activities will be available for K-3 students in the form of choice boards, which provide a variety of interdisciplinary, higher level thinking activities for students who need the additional challenges. Gifted resource teachers will hold virtual office hours to support independent learning at home. To support classroom teachers, gifted resource teachers may provide resources to support differentiation such as above-level activities to be included in student playlists.
FUTURA/School-Based Gifted Model (Grades 4-5; identified gifted learners)
In hybrid instruction, gifted resource teachers will provide a combination of synchronous and asynchronous distance learning opportunities for identified gifted learners. FUTURA students will not take buses to gifted centers, but rather will receive gifted services via synchronous and asynchronous activities on their distance learning days. During weekly synchronous learning sessions, gifted resource teachers will conduct gifted lessons that focus on the overarching themes of the gifted curriculum (e.g., Structures and/or Innovation). Asynchronous distance learning opportunities will focus on extension and enrichment activities and assignments through Schoology. Enrichment activities may be in the form of choice boards, which provide a variety of interdisciplinary, higher level thinking activities. Virtual office hours led by gifted resource teachers will be scheduled to support independent learning at home.
Spectrum (Grades 6-8; identified gifted learners)
In hybrid instruction, gifted resource teachers will utilize their face-to-face time with students to conduct gifted lessons that focus on the overarching themes of the gifted curriculum (e.g., Business & Economics, Communication & Culture, Technology & Engineering, and Ethics & Perspectives.). Gifted resource teachers will also provide a combination of synchronous and asynchronous distance learning opportunities for identified gifted learners. Asynchronous distance learning opportunities will focus on extension and enrichment activities and assignments through Schoology. Enrichment activities may be in the form of choice boards, which provide a variety of interdisciplinary, higher level thinking activities. Virtual office hours led by gifted resource teachers will be scheduled to support independent learning at home.
Will extracurricular activities continue during Hybrid Instruction?
The Department of Instruction and Support Services have developed guidance for schools to have limited in-person activities beginning on October 19. The guidance aligns with the LCPS COVID-19 Mitigation Health Plan submitted to VDOE. Schools must have the mitigation strategies outlined in the health plan in place prior to starting any extracurricular activity. Participation in these activities is optional and not contingent upon a family’s selection of 100% distance learning or hybrid in-person learning; students selecting 100% distance learning may participate in extracurricular activities.
How will VHSL athletics and activities take place?
On September 17, 2020, the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Executive Committee voted unanimously to adopt a “Championship + 1” schedule for the current school year and begin Season 1 on December 7. LCPS VHSL sports and other activities will follow the VHSL guidelines and schedules outlined in the VHSL FY21 Championships +1 Athletic/Academic Activity Calendar.
In preparation for athletics and other activities beginning in December, LCPS is developing a Return to Play Protocol for student athletes who test positive for COVID-19 to accompany the existing the LCPS Sports and Activities Expectations. Ongoing training has been implemented with school staff and coaches to include mitigation strategies for activity, daily health screening protocols, disinfecting of equipment, and reacclimation guidelines for student-athletes to return to activity safely
Participation in VHSL activities and other extracurricular activities is optional and not contingent upon a family’s selection of 100% distance learning or hybrid in-person learning; students selecting 100% distance learning may participate in VHSL activities and other extracurricular activities as long as they meet all other VHSL requirements.
Has LCPS surveyed stakeholders about their experiences?
Secondary Student Survey
All students in grades 6 through 12 were asked to complete an optional and anonymous survey during Advisory between October 9 and October 16. Students were asked about their experiences in distance learning since the start of the school year, including their feelings about distance learning, the amount of time spent in synchronous learning, asynchronous learning, and homework, and the AABB schedule. Results will be used to inform next steps in distance learning.
Instructional Personnel Survey
During the week of October 13, a survey similar to the secondary student survey was sent to instructional personnel to gather their feedback on their experiences in teaching in distance learning since the start of the school year. The survey included questions about their feelings about distance learning, the amount of time spent in synchronous learning, asynchronous learning, and the AABB schedule. Results will be shared with the School Board on November 10.
Parent/Guardian Preference Survey
A second parent model-selection process was conducted from November 11 through November 20 for parents/guardians to select their preference for their child(ren) to participate in hybrid in-person learning or 100% distance learning during the second semester. Parents/guardians will receive information regarding the semester 2 Stage 4 model for secondary students and details regarding how LCPS will respond if the proportion of parents/guardians choosing hybrid learning increases significantly.
Health & Safety
What metrics is LCPS using to evaluate community conditions?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chart below lists core indicators for decision makers to consider when deciding to open, close, or reopen schools over time. The core indicators include measures of underlying community transmission as well as a measure of the school’s ability to adhere to five (5) key mitigation strategies. The CDC also states that schools should ensure the use and layering of additional mitigation measures to the largest extent possible, practical and feasible. Loudoun County Public Schools has developed procedures and implements CDC recommended COVID-19 mitigation strategies as outlined in this document (see “Public Health Mitigation Strategies” section) and the LCPS COVID-19 Mitigation Health Plan.
The Virginia Department of Health endorses the CDC K-12 School Metrics and has developed a School Metrics website to indicate the most current core indicators of underlying community transmission. The chart below illustrates how the Phase Guidance for Virginia Schools can be aligned for the consideration of school activity based upon the CDC transmission levels of risk in schools.
The Virginia Department of Health monitors what it refers to as disease burden and trend by region, as well as community transmission extent. Burden and trend individual metrics include the following metrics: case incidence rate; PCR test percent positivity; outbreaks; cases among healthcare workers; emergency department visits for Coronavirus-like illness; ICU hospitalizations; hospital beds currently occupied; and hospital PPE availability.
The Director of the Loudoun County Health Department encourages LCPS to consider LCPS-specific public health data. He observes that a positive correlation may or may not exist between the extent of local and regional community transmission, on one hand, and transmission within our schools, on the other hand. For example, substantial community transmission might occur within Loudoun County, even while low transmission is occurring within LCPS schools. Conversely, low community transmission might occur within Loudoun County, even while substantial transmission is occurring within our schools. In making decisions regarding transitions between stages, LCPS will consider public health data relating to LCPS in addition to county and regional public health data.
Consistent Implementation of Health Mitigation Practices
School-level leaders, with support from LCPS employees trained as health mitigation monitors, collect data regarding the consistency of implementation of health mitigation practices, such as those shown below. The Department of Pupil Services and the Department of Support Services (including the Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator) are responsible for working with schools in the collection and use of this data. The data will be used to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in the consistent implementation of health mitigation practices. The information will also be used to assess the potential transition between stages.
Our ability to meet current and next stage staffing needs is important as we transition to each stage.
Our ability to meet current and future needs for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), face coverings, cleaning supplies and other consumable goods necessary to support students and staff members safely is also important as we transition from stage to stage.
Continuity of Learning in the Hybrid Model
LCPS will track disruptions to learning caused by quarantining or isolation of students or staff members. Continuity of learning will relate greatly to the consistent implementation of health mitigation practices.
How is LCPS protecting the health of students and staff members?
A variety of public health mitigation strategies are being implemented. The following chart was originally prepared for use by LCPS staff members and provides numerous examples of public health mitigation strategies that are in use in LCPS. While the practices described below and in other places in this document reflect our current approach to mitigating the spread of the COVID virus, we expect they will change over time as our experience or additional guidance from public health agencies may recommend.
Daily Online COVID-19 Symptom Check Questionnaire
Protecting the health of students and staff members through the consistent implementation of health mitigation strategies is a priority for Loudoun County Public Schools. All students and staff members who participate and support in-person learning are expected to practice community care by completing the required COVID-19 Symptom Check Questionnaire every morning of a scheduled onsite school day. The online questionnaire can be completed within a few minutes on a smartphone or computer.
Parents/guardians of students who are scheduled to attend hybrid in-person learning will receive an email from LCPS_Symptomcheck@qualtrics-survey.com with a link to an online questionnaire. Each link is unique to each student; therefore, parents/guardians will receive an email for each enrolled student. Parents may also choose the option to receive the questionnaire in a text message instead of email.
If a student is NOT scheduled to attend school, their parent or guardian may indicate that the student is NOT scheduled to attend school and the parent or guardian will not be required to complete the rest of the questionnaire.
If a parent/guardian checks YES to indicate the student has been informed to self-isolate or quarantine by a healthcare provider, has been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive, or is experiencing symptoms, the student must not report to school. Parents/guardians are asked to call the Attendance Hotline or use ParentVUE to inform the school that their student will be absent.
Once the online symptom check questionnaire is completed, the school health staff, attendance secretary, and administrator will receive an electronic report of students that are approved to attend school, reportedly without COVID-19 symptoms.
If a parent/guardian does not complete the required COVID-19 symptom check questionnaire for their student prior to the student arriving at school, the student will be asked the questions by school staff.
If a student arrives at school and is not on the list of approved students, based on the symptom check questionnaire, or is demonstrating symptoms, the student will be escorted to a designated Care Room at the school for further assessment by a Care Room monitor and health office staff.
Visitors: COVID-19 Symptom Check Questionnaire
The questionnaire will also be posted at each school or LCPS building for completion by visitors prior to entering the building. Visitors are asked to complete the questionnaire prior to entry into the school. A QR code or electronic link will be available at the front entrance of the school for their convenience. If a visitor is unable to complete the checklist electronically, they will be asked by school staff to verify YES or NO to the symptom check questions prior to entry.
Please note: Visitors to LCPS buildings are currently limited to those who are essential for school operations. See “Limit/Restrict Non-Essential Visitors to Building” in the table below.
- Promote and enforce the practice of maintaining 6 feet of separation between self and others. If individuals are closer than the length of two arms, they are likely within 6 feet of each other. Actively monitor and ask colleagues to stay 6 feet apart if feasible.
- Refrain from side-by-side instruction and activities.
- Avoid fist bumps, shaking hands, high-fives, or hugs as a social greeting.
- Ensure signs are posted throughout the buildings on the walls to help people maintain appropriate 6 feet of separation from one another.
- Assign space to students in classrooms and other areas in the building to provide 6 feet of separation from other students.
- Establish meal schedules that allow for staggered entry/exit to and from serving locations (classrooms and/or cafeteria).
- Establish class change schedules that allow for staggered transitions limiting the number of people in an area at the same time.
- Develop a duty schedule to assign staff to promote and enforce physical distancing during bus/car rider/walker arrival and dismissal.
- Do not conduct large-group gatherings such as assemblies or large in-person meetings, instead conduct them remotely/virtually.
- When possible, avoid more than 1 person in the elevator at a time.
- Maintain the 6-foot distance between staff and family members when families are picking up food.
- Remind individuals waiting their turn for food pick-up to maintain the 6-foot space between one another.
- When handing a food item to a family member, place it on the table in front of you, step back and allow the family member to step forward to pick up the item.
- Limit the number of workgroup participants to 10 individuals.
- Maintain a 6-foot space between individuals.
- Staff working side-by-side should spread their arms straight out to the side and move far enough apart to keep their fingers from touching.
- Staff should not be directly across from one another when staff are working on both sides of a table.
- Increase the number of work surfaces used to help maintain the required 6-foot space between individuals.
- When handing off boxes or other items from one individual to another, do not hand the item over directly. Instead, place the item on a table or counter, step back and allow the other individual to pick up the item.
- When taking turns at the sink, make sure you leave 6 feet between you and the individual in front of you while you wait your turn.
- Do not talk over the food you are preparing.
Limit/Restrict Non-Essential Visitors to Building
- Administrative controls related to crowd control, to include, limiting visitors to only those essential to the school operations must be in place and communicated.
- Inform parents/faculty and staff of the school’s efforts to limit non-essential access to the building.
- Restrictions to building entry during COVID-19 mitigation includes non-essential visitors and volunteers.
- Instead of in-person presentations, authorized guest speakers can be invited to present information remotely.
- Implement a process for pick up/drop-off of a student that does not involve the parent/guardian to escort the student beyond the front office.
- Assist parents/guardians in the main office if something must be dropped off for their student.
- Encourage parents/guardians to not exit their car when dropping off/picking up students to limit mixing and crowding at drop-off/pick-up point.
Cloth and Disposable
- Ensure the employees assigned to your building are aware of the requirement and associated LCPS Protocol for Face Coverings, as linked in the left-hand column.
- Issue the LCPS provided cloth face coverings to the employees assigned to your building. Maintain a supply of disposable masks for staff, students, or visitors. Contact Business & Financial Services for the face coverings/additional disposable masks.
- LCPS will supply 5 cloth face coverings per employee.
- Employees may wear their own face covering in accordance with the LCPS Protocol for Face Coverings.
- LCPS has purchased face coverings for students from economically disadvantaged families, and these are available upon request from the school health office.
- Keep disposable masks available in the classroom and during morning arrival duty for students not wearing a face covering.
- Enforce the consistent wearing of face coverings by staff, students, and others visiting the school campus as required by LCPS.
- Remind parents/guardians, vendors, and visitors that face coverings are required while inside a school. If a visitor is not wearing a face covering, ask them to put on a face covering in accordance with the Governor’s executive order regarding face coverings and CDC recommendations.
- Provide a disposable mask to visitors if they do not have one.
- Students: If a student continues to not wear a face covering after the school-based team has met to support the student’s compliance, disciplinary consequences may be given and the student may be removed from participation in the hybrid (in-person) instructional model.
- Employees: If an employee continues to demonstrate non-compliance with the requirement after consultation with their supervisor, the employee may be disciplined according to school board policy.
- Parents/guardians, vendors, and visitors will be reminded that face coverings are required while inside a school or administration building and asked to put on a face covering in accordance with the Governor’s executive order regarding face coverings and CDC recommendations.
- OSHA requires the use of respiratory protection to protect the health of employees during any potential worksite exposure to respiratory hazard(s). The Support Services Coordinator, Department of Support Services, oversees the LCPS Respiratory Protection Program.
- Employees identified by position (because of the level of risk associated with that position) for a N95 mask must be “fit tested” prior to wearing the N95 mask.
- N95 masks are designated for Student Health Services employees responsible for the care of students with known or suspected infectious diseases requiring airborne precautions.
- Certain teachers, teacher assistants, behavioral assistants, and others who may serve as a Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) member may require the use of a N95 mask due to the unique needs of the student(s) assigned.
Develop a Culture of Cough Etiquette
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Refrain from talking over documents, equipment, or food items that will be distributed to others.
No Touch Thermometers Temperature Checks
- Each school and LCPS facility have been issued 10 no-touch thermometers to check student, staff, and visitor temperatures.
- Daily, LCPS staff will randomly check student temperatures as they arrive at school during morning arrival and late arrivals.
- Random temperature checks may be conducted in the following manner (day 1-bus riders/every other bus, day 2 - car riders, day 3 - walkers, etc.)
- Staff members using the no-touch thermometer should review the training voice-over PPT and consult their Student Health Services staff member or Student Health Services for more information.
- If the temperature of the student is greater or equal to 100.4° Fahrenheit, the student will be escorted to the designated Care Room for further attention.
- Visitors expecting access to any location beyond the main office are required to have their temperature checked prior to leaving the office area to go to another location within the school. Refer to Limit/Restrict Non-Essential Visitors to Building section for additional context.
Daily Symptom Check Questionnaire
- Staff members and students participating in in-person learning are required to submit the symptom check questionnaire on a daily basis. LCPS has contracted with Qualtrics, a vendor that makes the survey available through links, daily emails, and daily texts.
- Schools are to make paper copies of the questionnaire available to families that do not have access to the online document.
- Parents/guardians will complete the symptom check questionnaire for their student(s) at home prior to sending/bringing them to school.
- If the answer to any question is “yes”, the student must stay home.
- If the student does not have a completed questionnaire, upon arrival at school, staff will ask the student the same questions, as developmentally appropriate, during their first block or homeroom morning meeting. If a student answers “yes” to any of the questions, the student will be escorted to the designated Care Room.
- Staff will complete the online symptom check questionnaire symptom check and temperature check at home prior to reporting to work. The employee is directed to stay home if the answer to any question is “yes”.
- Post a laminated copy of the Symptom Check Questionnaire outside of the building, next to the security camera portal. Visitors requesting access to the school will be asked to verify if they have answered “yes” to any of the screening questions posted by the security camera portal. The visitor is not to be allowed to enter the building if they answer “yes” to any of the questions.
- Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence among teachers, students, and staff.
- Build time into daily routines for students and staff to wash hands, or use hand sanitizer especially at key times like after bathroom breaks, before lunch, or after being outside.
- Implement physical distancing and avoid crowding around the sink/sanitizer dispenser.
- Make available hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol available for staff, students, visitors.
- Hand sanitizers can be placed near frequently touched surfaces (e.g., water fountains, doors, shared equipment) and areas where soap and water are not readily available (e.g., cafeterias, classrooms, gyms).
- Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol or contact with eyes.
- Promote hand hygiene throughout the school by placing visual cues such as handwashing posters in highly visible areas.
Care Room Protocol
- Each school is to identify a “Care Room”, an area/room that is separate from the health office for students and staff who may demonstrate symptoms of COVID-19.
- The Health Office will support students that need to take medication, require first aid, or have scheduled visits.
- The Care Room will be used to monitor or observe students that have symptoms that may be related to COVID-19.
- If feasible, schools should identify a secondary Care Room that may be used in the event the primary Care Room cannot ensure physical distancing and to allow for disinfecting the primary Care Room.
- The CDC recommends closing off areas used by the persons with COVID-19 and waiting as long as practical, up to 24 hours, before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets.
- The Care Room should be the same size as a regular classroom (when possible), separate from the health office, near the health office (when possible) and in close proximity to an exit.
- The school nurse or health clinic specialist will supervise the Health Office and support the Care Room monitor.
- Each school should identify at least 2 or more Health Office backup staff (depending on the size of the school) to monitor the Health Office for support in an emergency or when regular staff are absent, and substitutes are not available.
- The Care Room will be staffed by a trained full-time LCPS substitute or contracted vendor. Care Room responsibilities include:
- taking the student’s temperature with a no-touch thermometer,
- asking the student to identify their symptoms using the symptom check questionnaire,
- recording the information,
- consulting with the school nurse or health clinic specialist to contact the parent/guardian for student pick up.
- All Care Room staff will be trained on the following procedures:
- COVID-19 Emergency Plan
- Handwashing and Cleaning Protocol
- Use of the no-touch thermometer
- Symptom Check Questionnaire
- Donning and Doffing full PPE
- Documentation and Communication Plan
- Internal school radio etiquette
- Students and staff reporting to the Care Room will be provided a cloth face covering if not wearing one as required.
- The parent/guardian will be requested to come to school to pick up the student as the student will not be permitted to ride the bus home.
Care and Testing for People with Symptoms
- See Health Office and Care Room Protocol section for additional information.
- Students and/or staff that are exhibiting, reporting or have been observed with symptoms related to COVID-19 will report to the designated Care Room for further observation.
- If the student or staff member does not have a cloth face covering, they will be provided one as developmentally appropriate, and
- Information regarding the COVID-19 testing referral process will be provided to students and staff who report symptoms related to COVID-19. The referral process includes a standing order from Dr. Goodfriend, LCHD Director, and an expedited COVID-19 at INOVA that will be provided at no cost for uninsured individuals.
- Students sent home due to COVID-19 related symptoms may return to school when cleared by a health professional which may include a quarantine or isolation period or the presentation of a negative test result.
Responding to Reported Positive COVID-19 Results
- LCPS is working closely with the Loudoun Health Department (LCHD) and following Policy 8415, “Bloodborne, Contagious, Communicable or Infectious Diseases”
- The school nurse/health clinic specialist or employee supervisor will communicate with the parent/guardian or employee to determine:
- when the individual’s symptoms began
- the individual’s last day at school or work
- individuals who may have had close contact with the individual
- The Supervisor for Student Health Services will be notified.
- The Supervisor for Student Health Services will notify the LCHD and share the pertinent details as detailed above.
- LCPS and LCHD will collaborate to identify any close contacts of the individual and provide instructions for those individuals.
- The school nurse/health clinic specialist or administrator will notify the custodian to perform cleaning/disinfecting.
- The administrator will work with the LCPS Public Information Office to notify the school community when a case of COVID-19 has been reported at a school or LCPS workplace.
Returning to School or Work:
- Students or employees sent home due to COVID-19 related symptoms may return to school or work:
- when cleared by a health professional which may include a quarantine or isolation period; or
- the presentation of a negative test result.
- LCPS will notify the Loudoun County Health Department (LCHD) of any reported or suspected positive COVID-19 cases.
- If a staff member or a student tests positive for COVID-19, a contact investigation will be conducted by the LCHD.
- LCHD will notify close contacts of positive cases and advise them to self-quarantine at home.
- If the LCHD becomes aware of a potential exposure within a school, it will contact the LCPS Student Health Services to help identify those who may be close contacts within that school to enable LCPS to exclude identified students and staff until they are safe to return.
- LCPS, based on consultation with the LCHD, could determine that self-quarantining is required among groups of students and staff who are exposed to a positive case. The volume of close contacts of positive cases would determine the extent to which in-person learning/work would be paused.
- In-person learning/work would be paused for students/staff who are close contacts of positive cases, as determined by LCHD. The self-quarantine would not involve pausing virtual learning or work for these individuals.
Food Allergy Awareness
- Accommodate students with allergies as appropriate per the LCPS Procedural Handbook, Supporting Students with Allergies.
- Ensure students and staff practice physical distancing when eating lunch in any location.
- If food is consumed in the classroom, a staff member will use the appropriate LCPS cleaner to wipe down the desks after food is consumed in the classroom.
- Embed procedures to allow students to wash their hands before and after eating.
Is LCPS providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to employees?
The following matrix outlines the PPE that is provided to employees based on their position.
Cloth Face Mask (5)
Gloves (non- medical)
Face Shields with Goggles
Face Shields (general/ medical)
All FT and PT Employees
School Nurse, Resource Nurse, Health Care Assistant
Athletic Director, Athletic Trainer
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Bus Driver, Bus Attendant
Drivers Ed Teachers
*N95 masks are provided for some individuals in specialized programs within the categories above.
Consumption, ordering, and delivery timelines are monitored and managed to ensure adequate supplies of PPE and other supplies, such as cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer, are readily available.
All expenditures related to COVID-19 are tracked via project codes within the financial management system. This supports financial reporting requirements for receipt and usage of CARES Act funding, as well as other possible reimbursement opportunities.
How is LCPS keeping schools clean?
Enhanced cleaning procedures have been put in place for LCPS facilities. LCPS’s Enhanced Cleaning Program is to clean with EPA approved Virex II 256 disinfectant on all hard, nonporous high touch surfaces throughout the school’s common areas and bathrooms at least 3 times per day. LCPS will disinfect a 4th time after school has finished along with the regular cleaning of the entire school.
For events in the school, custodians will disinfect all high touch surfaces after set-up and before the event starts; every 1.5 to 2 hours all common area high touch surfaces and bathrooms will be cleaned with disinfectant; after the event has finished, all surfaces will be cleaned with disinfectant with a final disinfecting spray left to air dry.
- Custodial Team should clean all common area high touch surfaces outside the classrooms, three (3) times during the school day and again each evening.
- Office and classroom high touch surfaces, including tables, desks and chairs, will be cleaned each evening if they are left clear of school and personal items.
- Custodial Team will perform grounds maintenance outside of normally scheduled work shift.
- When two care rooms are utilized, each care room will be used on an alternating day basis, with a room remaining vacant for 24 hours after use. Each room would be deep cleaned using standard chemicals and personal protective equipment at the end of the 24 hour period of non-use.
- Care Rooms will be provided with a HEPA filtration system
- Enhanced cleaning duties are expected to require all available custodial time.
- School Custodial Team will also be scheduled to clean inside common area high touch surfaces every two (2) hours during all scheduled facility use events, including Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS).
What is LCPS doing about air quality in schools?
LCPS’ Facilities Services has conducted a systemwide assessment of classroom ventilation. The existing Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems operate in a variety of ways in terms of the recirculation of classroom air as well as the introduction of fresh air into the system. The volume of circulating air and fresh air is somewhat related to the age of the facility and the most recent upgrades in the HVAC systems. All classrooms that were constructed without the infusion of fresh air have been supplied with HEPA filter units that clean the air within a particular space. HEPA filters have also been installed in all Care Rooms to enhance the quality of air in spaces where students or staff may have been exposed to COVID-19. All newer school HVAC systems provide a large volume of fresh outside air into each classroom every minute that the building is occupied, resulting in an interior air exchange within each classroom multiple times over the course of the school day. Further, Facilities Services has conducted an engineering study to determine which HVAC systems will accommodate highly efficient MERV 13 filters within the equipment to enhance system performance. MERV 13 filters have been installed in a number of facilities and continue to be replaced as the highly demanded filters become available.
What resources are available to support students’ mental health?
In the hybrid and distance learning models, students have access to the full continuum of mental health and wellness services to support the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students in the educational setting. Through the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework, all students receive Tier 1 universal strategies to promote social-emotional and mental wellness with a focus on prevention, Tier 2 intervention strategies focused on early intervention and reducing the frequency and intensity of problem behaviors to improve skills and functioning for students who need additional support, and Tier 3 intensive supports to meet more individualized needs and to lessen problems and complex behavioral concerns.
All students are provided with synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to support social and emotional learning and mental health and wellness. Tier 1 universal prevention services focused on mental and behavioral health include morning/classroom meetings and advisory lessons/activities, as well as student leadership and empowerment through Sources of Strength, SOS Signs of Suicide, and Positive Experiences in Educational Relationships (PEER). School counselors and other members of the school Unified Mental Health Team (UMHT) also facilitate and support bullying prevention, substance use prevention, attendance and engagement monitoring, and staff training in mental health awareness and trauma-informed practices.
Students needing Tier 2 and 3 social/emotional or mental health support or those in crisis will be able to access UMHT staff in the school building on in-person learning days or via telecounseling during asynchronous learning days. The UMHT staff consists of the School Counselor, School Psychologist, School Social Worker at all school levels, and also the Student Assistance Specialist at the middle and high school levels.
Tiers 2 and 3
Individual and group telecounseling will be offered for students identified as in need of these Tier 2 and Tier 3 mental health services in order to promote educational success, regardless of the instructional model in which they are enrolled. In order to maximize the student’s time spent engaged in in-person learning, individual and group counseling will be offered using a video platform (i.e., telecounseling). However, in-person services can be offered if it is determined that the student is not able to participate in telecounseling effectively (e.g., the student is too young to fully engage in a remote format). Additionally, mental health teleconsultation will continue to be offered to help parents/guardians and educators promote the social and emotional development of students in their care.
Other Tier 2 and Tier 3 intensive intervention services to support social-emotional skills and functioning include crisis intervention, Restorative Practice circles and conferences, suicide screenings, substance use intervention groups, and Return to Learn transition planning.
Contact the Unified Mental Health Team (UMHT)
If uncertain about the best approach for supporting your student’s mental health needs during hybrid or distance learning, parents/guardians can contact members of their school’s UMHT to ask questions and receive support.
LCPS Website Resources
Mental Health and Community Resources for Families
Multi-Tiered System of Supports
Will meal service continue for students?
USDA has extended its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Daily breakfast and lunch meals will be offered free of charge to all students. Students can choose between a hot and cold entrée for lunch.
Distance Learning students will continue to receive meals via walk up at any school or by bus in the community 7 days per week (weekend meals delivered on Friday). Hybrid in-person students attending in person will be able to receive breakfast in the classroom. Lunch will be served in the cafeteria. Physical distancing and other health mitigation measures will be in place.
Elementary school students will order meals via Phoenix (teachers will enter meal selection, and middle and high school students will select a hot or cold entree meal from the appropriate serving line upon entering the cafeteria).
Monday - Friday
Daily Bus Delivery of Breakfast and Lunch Meals throughout Loudoun County
- 2 Runs: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
- For delivery: Click here for stop locations and times
Prior to arrival at school and/or the bus stop, ALL students are required to complete the daily health screening questionnaire.
How will arrival be managed at schools?
Principals are encouraged to synchronize the unloading of buses with the number of available doors to reduce traffic congestion and are also encouraged to maximize staff participation during arrival. As each bus arrives, students will remain seated and drivers will keep the doors closed until receiving clearance from the school administration staff who are conducting the screening and intake. Once the driver receives a signal, they will open the doors and students will unload in an orderly fashion. Flexibility in arrival time (up to 20 minutes before bell) will be required at all levels to accommodate arrival procedures.
Is there a special process for dismissal?
As buses arrive, their order and location in the bus loop should be posted so students can easily find their assigned bus. At secondary schools, as each bus is available for loading, the bus numbers should be announced on the public address system and students should be released accordingly. At elementary schools, school staff should escort kindergartners and assist other students to their assigned buses. Once buses depart, remaining buses will stage in the loop for the next round of students that are being dismissed, if needed.
How will students be seated on buses?
Each student will be required to have an assigned seat on the bus to and from school. The bus driver will have a seating chart which can be used for quick accountability and can also be used for contact tracing should that be needed. Where possible, students will be seated one to a seat in every other seat, alternating rows on each side of the bus to create a zig-zag pattern to maximize distancing on the bus. Exceptions to this guidance will be made for students sharing a home or on a case by case basis.
What health mitigation measures will be used on buses?
All students are required to wear face coverings while on the bus. Bus Drivers are required to wear masks and have been provided with face shields to use during loading and unloading. Bus Attendants who are required to be in close contact with students where there is a likelihood of body fluid transmission will be provided with additional PPE consistent with that provided to school-based staff.
Each bus will be thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant spray after morning and afternoon runs. This will include wiping down all high-touch surfaces and seats.
Where possible, LCPS will limit the occupancy of students on a bus to one student per seat (except those sharing households), every other seat, in a zig-zag pattern. All students are required to wear face coverings while on the bus.