Loudoun parents will have a little more time to decide whether to send their kids back to the classroom, at least on a part-time basis, next fall.
On a day when President Donald J. Trump was grabbing headlines with his push for get students back in classrooms, Superintendent Eric Williams and members of his senior staff participated in a virtual town hall Wednesday evening to provide parents with more details on two options being offered for fall classes. Loudoun will offer a 100 percent distance learning program that will keep students at home, and a hybrid model that will include two days of in-person, in-class instruction each week.
Previously, the school division had announced that parents must submit their selection by Monday, July 13. Williams announced at the beginning of last night’s session that the deadline had been extended until 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 15.
Williams and his staff answered dozens of questions during the session that ran over its planned 90 minutes.
Williams acknowledged the difficult decision parents and student face, especially without having all the details fully worked out. However, the urgency is created by the many weeks of work required to build student schedules and create low-occupancy bus routes before classes begin Sept. 8.
This afternoon, administrators focus on another important element of the planning puzzle when they hold a similar town hall session with teachers and teacher assistants. After that meeting, educators will submit their preferences for returning to the classroom or leading distance learning classes.
Parents’ questions ranged from how administrators will keep ill students from attending class, to the procedures for serving lunch in classrooms, to the accommodations that will be made to students with individual education plans. Based on yesterday’s session, administrators will be expanding the Frequently Asked Questions section of its Return to School 2020 Planning section of the division’s website.
Among the new information presented Wednesday, in addition to the deadline change, was that administrators still are awaiting guidance from the Virginia High School League to learn about the fate of fall sports, with more information expected after a meeting next week; and that parents will be offered training on Schoology, the online platform that will be used by all students during their distance learning instruction.
More details of the Return to School Plan can be found here.