There have been several important changes regarding distance and hybrid learning options in Loudoun County since our last update. We encourage you to support the advocacy efforts of your members by helping to keep them informed of these changes.
On October 27th, students in Grades PK-2 and English Learners (Proficiency 1.0-1.9) whose families previously chose hybrid returned to school for in-person instruction two days per week.
On November 10th, the Loudoun County School Board voted to approve the implementation of Stage 3 of the hybrid model. As a result, students in Grades 3-5, seniors at the Academy of Engineering and Technology, and seniors at the Academy of Science whose families previously chose hybrid will return for in-person instruction two days per week beginning on December 1st.
The School Board also approved the implementation of Stage 4 of the hybrid model on January 21st , the first day of second semester. In Stage 4, all students in grades PK-12 who choose hybrid will attend school for two days per week of in-person synchronous instruction and two days per week of distance synchronous instruction. Mondays will remain asynchronous for all students. In addition, the Board approved the concurrent learning model for middle and high school students during second semester. Concurrent learning involves direct instruction and interactive learning for both hybrid and distance learning participants at the same time and in the same class. As a result, there should be minimal disruption to student schedules and teaching will be continuous throughout the week for both hybrid and distance learners. The Board also directed LCPS to reduce the space between desks from 8 feet to 6 feet from center to center if the demand for hybrid necessitates this change. This change could result in additional quarantines, should a student test positive.
All families are currently being asked to complete a survey to select either distance learning or hybrid for their students for second semester. The survey opened on November 11th and will close November 20th. Every family will need to make a new selection even if they plan to continue in the learning method they previously selected. Any family that does not respond will be placed in hybrid by default. We encourage you to remind your families to complete their surveys by November 20th.
ACTION ITEM:On November 9th, the Hunt District PTA sent an email to Superintendent Williams and the School Board encouraging them to provide specific metrics, such as percent positive and case number ranges, that would clearly identify when LCPS would determine it safe for students and staff to be learning in-person versus learning online. Several other jurisdictions around the state are currently relying on such metrics to make these decisions and we provided some of those examples for reference. We stressed the importance of clearly communicating these guidelines with families and staff, especially as families prepare to make their learning format selections for the second semester. We are happy to report that the School Board will address the issue of metrics at their next meeting.
The next School Board meeting is scheduled for December 1st at 4:00pm. Visit https://www.lcps.org/Page/226240 to see additional info from the November 10th meeting, watch videos of previous meetings or live stream upcoming meetings, and access contact info for School Board members. This continues to be a busy time for advocacy…stay informed and stay involved to ensure your voice is heard.