Return to School 2020 Planning
UPDATE: LCPS resumed 100% distance learning for all students on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
On Thursday, December 10, the Virginia Department of Health published data showing that both Loudoun County core indicators had exceeded the thresholds established by the School Board for returning to 100% distance learning. In addition, the Virginia Department of Health retroactively updated metrics for earlier dates in December that indicated both metrics had exceeded their thresholds as of December 6.
Previously the Loudoun County School Board had determined that LCPS would return to 100% distance learning if two core indicators exceed the established thresholds. In-person instruction would pause if Loudoun County stays above those thresholds for five consecutive business days.
The metrics, referred to as Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Core Indicators, are:
- Total number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days reaches more than 200; AND
- Percentage of RT-PCR tests that are positive during the last 14 days reaches more than 10%.
LCPS will provide more information about the status of indicators and future plans for instruction as it becomes available.
Loudoun County Public Schools, under the leadership of the Loudoun County School Board, is planning how we will continue to fulfill our educational mission during the 2020-2021 school year, even in the face of continued uncertainty and challenges.
In the video below, we illustrate examples of what in-person learning with a revised approach to distance learning might look like for elementary-school students and high-school students. There would be similarities between middle-school and high-school experiences.
Dr. Williams has also recorded this message in Spanish.
LCPS wants to maximize in-person, safe learning experiences for all our students in the 2020-2021 school year, and we know that many families and students share this priority. Our preference would be for 100% in-person learning, as long as we can provide learning experiences safely and in accordance with the requirements and recommendations of state and public health officials.
As LCPS looks ahead to the new school year, the announcement by Governor Northam on Tuesday, June 9, set forth guidance for LCPS and other Virginia school divisions for the 2020-2021 school year. The Virginia Return to School plan and the accompanying Recover, Redesign, Restart 2020 report aligns school reopening phases with the Forward Virginia Blueprint phases, and outlines public health precautions for the new school year.
The health and safety of students, staff members and their families is paramount in Virginia’s guidance, and it continues to be top of mind for LCPS. The announcement of the Virginia Return to School plan was accompanied by the issuance of a new order by Virginia’s Public Health Commissioner. The order mandates that every public and private school in Virginia submit plans outlining their strategies for mitigating the public health risk of COVID-19 and complying with U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) mitigation recommendations prior to reopening schools for the new year.
The approach we are able to implement at the start of the new school year will depend on which phase of recovery Northern Virginia is in at the time, based on the health conditions in our community then. Each phase of recovery involves different levels of mitigation to protect students and staff. Each level of mitigation will allow different numbers of students to occupy buses, classrooms and other common areas which must be considered in determining return-to-school plans.