Newsletter

ACPS Combats Early Summer Slide During COVID-19 Shutdown

The COVID-19 shutdown has brought an early summer slide to Alexandria City Public School students.

On Friday, the School Board discussed the issue in its first online meeting since canceling all in-person meetings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has closed the school system until April 14.

“I know we’re probably all concerned this is a whole new definition of summer slide that many of our lower-income kids are going to be experiencing,” School Board Vice Chair Veronica Nolan said, and asked if any additional outreach could be made to children in lower-income families.

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. said that ACPS, during the month-long COVID-19 system-wide shutdown, is legally prohibited from grading any work or providing new learning material to students. Every elementary school student was given instructional packets to take home, and students in grades 3-12 went home with Chromebook laptops.

“It is definitely important for all of us to know that summer slide is real,” Hutchings said. “And it’s not just for our students who are low income, but all of our students at this time, because we are not able to provide any new information to students right now.”

Hutchings said he is planning on opening schools back up after spring break ends on April 13, although the nature of the coronavirus has resulted in historic shutdowns throughout the area.

“Right now we are planning on opening on April 13, but we do have a continuation plan if we are ordered by either the governor or the Virginia Department of Education to keep our schools closed past that date,” Hutchings said. “We’re working on a plan if we were to have to do that and what that would look like.”

There are more than 15,700 students in ACPS, which is releasing staff updates at noon every day and notices to families every day at 1 p.m. in ACPS Express. Hutchings also hosts a daily webinar at 3 p.m. during the week.

Hutchings and other superintendents from around Virginia are meeting online once a week with James Lane, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Discussion topics include getting waivers for students to account for time lost in the classroom and what happens if school is closed for the rest of the year.

“That is our question every week, ‘So what do we do if schools remain closed through the end of the school year? How do we get that time back in regards to instructional time for our students?'” Hutchings told the board. “And then what does that look like? Are we going to have waivers for our schools for July versus September or August?”

The school system has also provided educators with instructional suggestions, and to constantly connect online with students to make sure they are thinking academically.

“We have a conference with the teachers once a week,” a T.C. student told ALXnow. “The work takes like four hours a day, normally. Most people are doing the work, because you will be very behind next year if you don’t… I do like two-thirds of it.”

School Board Member Meagan Alderton asked about erecting signs outside of schools, since receiving an email she received from a parent about a packed playground at Matthew Maury Elementary School.

“The email was about looking across the street and seeing tons of kids and tons of people playing on the playground together,” Alderton said. “Can we do something about that? Can we put some notices up to support this notion that we are social distancing, so lets please not convene 20 on the playground at our school?”

ACPS Chief Operating Officer Mignon Anthony said that signs will soon be erected warning people to not congregate. All ACPS playgrounds and facilities are officially closed to the public.

On food distribution, Hutchings said that staff are finalizing the details on a mobile pop-up, which will provide for people who can’t make it to the other food distribution locations. He also said that staff will soon have a multilingual phone hotline for parents with questions about receiving food.

The entire meeting is below.

Image via ACPS

Recent Stories

It was a busy week in Alexandria, with the City Council back in session and changes on the horizon for local restaurants. The Polk Avenue sidewalk saga came to its…

A new report on student safety should be taken with a grain of salt, according to members of the Alexandria School Board. The School Board received the report Thursday night…

Open houses in Alexandria this weekend

A 5 BD/3 BA corner lot home with hardwood floors, fenced rear yard and concrete driveway is included in Open Houses.

Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed includes a 2 BD/1 BA condo with carpet flooring and a balcony.

Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.

Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.

Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.

Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

At Nova Fencing Club, the beginner fencing classes are designed for students of all levels – including students who have never fenced before.

If you’re looking for a fun physical activity that improves your fitness, critical thinking and rapid decision making skills then come join us!

There’s no better time than now to give us a try – and take part in one of the fastest growing sports. Our highly educated, professional coaching staff includes Virginia’s only Maitre d’Armes, a member of USA Fencing’s coaching team, former members of the USA National Team, and our Head Coach, who has produced national champions.

Register for either our Youth Beginner Fencing Classes (7-12) or our Teen & Adult Beginner Fencing Classes (13 to Adult) and become a part of the club that champions call home.

Submit your own Community Post here.

Think BIG! About the Future of Movement

Join the City of Alexandria and Arlington County’s Initiative to Rethink Energy at our first ever electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable technologies showcase! Get inspired by seeing a variety of electric cars, scooters, bikes, motorcycles, police cars, buses, trucks and

Between Home and the Front: Book Talk and Signing

Join the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Zoom or in person at the museum for a special book talk with the curators behind Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family. A book signing will be

×

Subscribe to our mailing list