Question: Will students who chose distance learning for second semester be allowed to switch to hybrid learning?
Answer: The parent choice made in November is binding for the remainder of the school year. Though schools may seem emptier, factors in play include capacity, classroom physical size, and percentage of students in a school that have made the hybrid choice. Large spaces, such as the cafeteria, gym, auditorium and chorus/band rooms cannot safely hold more students unless state guidance changes. Scheduling also would be adversely affected by additional students attending in-person. Teacher assignments could change for elementary students. Schedules for physical education, art, music and other “specials” would be impacted and itinerant teachers’ schedules and building assignments could be impacted.
Question: Will there be any exceptions to this status?
Answer: Schools may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis and only when space is available in a grade level or class. In rare instances where space is available, priority will be given to students receiving special education or English learner services, students who do not have internet access at home, are below grade level or are in danger of failing, or have been identified by staff as needing additional support. Many schools do not have space available for any exceptions. However, if you wish to contact your school to discuss a unique situation, families may do so between April 5 - 9. All notifications of changes will be made by April 14; no changes will be made after that time.
Additionally, students who request to go from hybrid to distance learning may be regionally assigned if space is not available in the home school distance learning classes.
Question: Could students be placed in distance learning once the four-day-a-week hybrid instructional model is enacted?
Answer: Yes. The Interim Superintendent could send a classroom, school or high school cluster into temporary 100 percent distance learning based on the number of transmission events, staffing levels or other conditions which could indicate a need to do so.
Question: Will students and staff be required to wear a mask in school?
Answer: Yes. All students, staff and visitors are required to wear masks in all LCPS facilities, including buses. Exceptions will be allowed in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Question: Will students and staff be required to complete the LCPS Symptom Tracker before being allowed to enter an LCPS facility?
Answer: Yes. All students and staff are required to complete the LCPS Symptom Tracker each day before being allowed to enter an LCPS school or facility.
Question: Will LCPS be changing its health-mitigation practices?
Answer: Overall, LCPS health mitigation practices remain in place; however, physical distancing will change. LCPS has installed plexiglass shields at every desk. LCPS also has installed thermal cameras at the most-used entrance to each school. These cameras can scan up to 45 individuals per second and are set to identify individuals with a temperature at or exceeding 100.4 degrees. Health-mitigation monitors are checking to see that health-mitigation practices are followed in LCPS facilities. Each LCPS school will have a Care Room that is separate from the Health Office. The Care Room will be used only for students and staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. There will be frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
Question: Will physical distancing be affected?
Answer: As recommended by VDOE, distance between students will be reduced to 3 feet nose-to-nose in classrooms.
Question: What will the distance between students be?
Answer: In most instances, students will be less than 6 feet apart.
Question: What will the spacing be in the cafeteria?
Answer: In places like the cafeteria, if this spacing is not possible, parents will be notified. Schools will consider a combination of in-classroom dining and rotating cafeteria scheduling to provide additional spacing.
Question: What will the distance be between teachers and students?
Answer: Each classroom has been evaluated to accommodate six feet of nose to nose distancing between the teacher and their students. We are maintaining a separation, marked by tape.
Question: Will teachers still be allowed to bring their own children to school each day?
Question: Do teachers and staff need to be vaccinated in order to be in school?
Answer: No. LCPS does not require employees to be vaccinated.
Question: Will bus stop locations be changing?
Answer: Current, established bus stops will continue to be available and we do not anticipate many changes to stops; however, additional stops may be needed as hybrid students return. There is a shortage of bus drivers, so second loads will increase. The school bus Transportation Concern Registry is available to families in the event there are challenges in routes and return.
Question: Will 3-feet spacing between students be maintained on the bus?
Answer: Students will be seated one person per seat which is slightly less than 3 feet. Where more than one student is assigned to a seat, families will be advised of the situation. Mitigation measures, such as masks and having bus windows open, are still in place.
Question: Will spectators be allowed at sporting events?
Answer: Governor Ralph Northam issued new guidance related to entertainment venues and recreational sporting events on Tuesday, March 23. Though under state guidance our schools are considered “educational instructional settings,” this guidance may impact spring performing arts and athletic events. More detailed information regarding the impact of this new guidance on athletics and other activities will be forthcoming after Spring Break. (Updated March 25, 2021)
Question: Can elementary students use the playground equipment?
Answer: Playground equipment is now approved for use. LCPS follows updated Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and Virginia Department of Health guidance. The following procedures should be followed when students use the playground equipment:
• Students will be supervised while using apparatus/equipment to ensure safety and adherence to mitigation strategies.
• Students must sanitize their hands immediately before and after using the equipment.
• Students must wear masks while using equipment.
• Students should physically distance to the greatest extent possible.
• LCPS will continue to monitor data and make adjustments as necessary. (Updated March 25, 2021)
Question: Will guidance for sharing equipment (PE, recess, CTE, art, manipulatives) change?
Answer: LCPS will continue to follow guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
Question: What about “specials”? Will they be affected?
Answer: There will be minimal changes to schedules to include specials only when necessary.