Loudoun County Public Schools administrators announced today that hybrid learning students will switch to four days of in-person learning starting April 20.
Students who opted to continue distance learning when schools began re-opening during the second semester will be required to continue on that track. Only about one-third of students opted for the hybrid program, which currently offers two days in the classroom each week.
According to information provided by the school division as part of the announcement,the parent choice made in November will be binding for the remainder of the school year. Administrators cite space limitations, scheduling challenges and teacher assignments as reasons for not allowing more students to opt-in to the expanded program.
However, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis when space is available. Students receiving special education or English learner services, students who do not have internet access at home, and those who are below grade level or are in danger of failing, or have been identified by the staff as needing additional support will be given priority for those available seats. Families seeking to switch into hybrid learning may contact their school between April 5 and April 9, with decisions to be made by April 14.
Schools will continue to employ COVID-19 mitigation measures, including the requirement for all students, staff and visitors to wear face coverings. However, the schools, for the first time, will be reducing the distance between students to as little as 3 feet from nose to nose. That reduced spacing is based on the latest guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, which previously listed a 6-foot separation recommendation.
Under the school division’s policy, in-person learning could be suspended for individual classes or entire schools if outbreaks of the virus occur. Since returning to in-person classes last month, only one outbreak has been reported. That was at Independence High School and traced to students who traveled together to a cheerleading competition in Richmond.
Additional details of the transition can be found here.