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Virtual or Hybrid? School Board Getting ACPS Reopening Survey Results

Updated at 5:30 p.m. — A previous version of the story said that families and staff made up the 60% who preferred a hybrid model. Staff were reportedly not asked the question

The survey results are in and 60% of Alexandria City Public School families prefer a hybrid model for reopening schools this fall. Only two options were presented to the community in the survey, meaning that when school reopens it will either remain completely virtual or there will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning.

“One possibility is that we may remain 100% virtual when school reopens,” ACPS Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr., said on Thursday. “Another option is to create a hybrid, or what we call a blended model.”

At noon today (Friday), the School Board will discuss the latest findings of the community survey on reopening, which was filled out earlier this month by 11,852 families and 2,077 staffers. The school system shut down in March and had to quickly adapt with a virtual-only model for the remainder of the year, and like districts throughout the country was forced to hold a virtual graduation ceremony for T.C. Williams High School in June.

The final plan will be approved by the School Board on Friday, August 7, and it will be sent to the Virginia Department of Education on August 14, Hutchings said.

“It really behooves us to not rush to get our plans out,” he said. “The decisions that we make must be educationally sound and they must be equitable.”

Hutchings also said that staff are reviewing school capacities so that students can appropriately socially distance.

“We’re also looking at multipurpose rooms and gyms to help with social distancing,” Hutchings said.

ACPS will conduct seven community chats from July 20-24 on the matter.

“Our survey has already shown us your preferred options for reopening in the fall,” notes ACPS. “However, ACPS is required to follow the guidelines from the Virginia Department Education and those requirements may limit our options for the reopening of schools on September 8, 2020.”

Photo via T.C. Williams Minnie Howard Campus/Facebook

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