Alexandria, VA

Over a week after all of its neighboring school districts had made similar announcements, Alexandria City Public Schools announced this morning that the school year will start entirely virtual.

The program will include a structured bell schedule, live daily instruction with teachers, and some one-on-one or small group tutoring. Students in pre-K through first-grade classes will also receive age-appropriate technology, ACPS said, while students in grades 2-12 will receive Chromebooks.

“Following months of research, community engagement and strategizing, Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. is proposing a feasible model that brings the classroom into the home and aligns with the 2025 Strategic Plan, which places equity at the center of every decision,” ACPS said in a newsletter. “Our most feasible model, Virtual PLUS+, is a robust online learning experience that will engage students 100% virtually and provide additional supports for students, staff and families.”

“After much careful consideration of the facts as they stand today, we feel confident that Virtual PLUS+ will provide a quality educational experience worthy of our children while keeping the health and safety of our students, staff and families in mind,” Hutchings said. “This model places equitable access for all at the heart and ensures that we can build a framework that addresses the needs of specific groups of students to ensure they stay on course this fall.”

ACPS said it will also work with community partners to offer childcare options who families who need it, with more details to come. The program will also include a continuation of earlier meal distribution programs.

“We are working collaboratively with our community partners to provide more specific details about these child care options and will share additional information over the next couple of weeks,” ACPS said.

The Alexandria City School Board will hold two online public hearings on the ACPS proposed feasible model for the…

Posted by Alexandria City Public Schools on Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Whether ACPS can move toward in-person schools will be reevaluated every nine weeks, ACPS said.

The school system drew some criticism over the last week for a perceived slowness on its handling of whether schools would be online-only or a hybrid in-person model.

The Alexandria City School Board will conduct virtual public hearings on the matter on August 6 and 7. The board will vote on the measure on August 7 before it goes to the Virginia Department of Education on August 14. The school year is scheduled to start Sept. 8.

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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