Want your kids to attend in-person classes school this summer or fall? Today is the deadline for families to tell Alexandria City Public Schools whether they want their kids to participate in either in-person or virtual instruction.

While the Learning Choice Form informs ACPS on a family’s preferences, the school system is filtering students allowed for in-person instruction with a prioritization matrix.

That means that not everyone who opts to attend in-person instruction will get in, as certain students are prioritized. Students with disabilities and students with social and emotional support are at the top of the priority list, followed by students who have earned a grade of D or F, students unable to access technology effectively, students who want to come back per the family choice form, and new students.

“The Summer Learning program will be offered virtually to all students, and in-person instruction will be offered to targeted students according to a prioritization matrix,” ACPS told ALXnow in an email. “If a family does not make a choice on the form about whether or not a student will participate this summer, then the student will not be enrolled in Summer Learning 2021.”

The move has angered many parents, including members of the Open ACPS! Facebook group.

“OMG, I really need to move away,” lamented a parent on the page. “I was just on the phone with the HelpDesk because I submitted the survey and called for all my kids to be in-person both over the summer and for the fall, and ONE of my kids was converted to virtual in the summer, so I thought maybe I had made a mistake in selection and wanted it fixed… It’s showing that only two of my kids are prioritized for in-person over the summer and would be receiving invitations, the ones on IEPs (Individualized Educational Programs). But I’m like, they’re kind of a package deal, and all these kids have been screwed equally. So now I have to wait to see if the school registrar will change it so all my kids can go. ”

The school system plans to fully reopen without a prioritization matrix for five days a week of in-person instruction for the fall semester, which starts in August.

“The decision you make now is important to our comprehensive planning,” ACPS says on its website. “Please note that for Fall 2021, your decision is binding for the first semester (until January 2022). May 24, 2021 is the last day for families to inform ACPS of your selected learning model for 2021-22. We are strongly encouraging our families to select the in-person learning model. If a family does not choose a learning model before the deadline, the student will automatically be enrolled in in-person learning for the fall semester.”

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