Arlington County school plans for fall, summer: Masks and 3 feet of distance

About 100 school buses are parked at the Arlington County Bus Depot, in response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak on March 31, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. - Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have decided to close schools in response to the coronavirus pandemic, affecting nearly 55 million students and seven US states have closed school for the remainder of the year, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the country. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)(AFP via Getty Images/OLIVIER DOULIERY)

The superintendent of Arlington County Schools gave an update on what summer and fall learning looks like for students during Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.

About 1,900 elementary school students will be attending the in-person and distance learning, five day-a-week summer school program from July 6 through July 30.

Secondary summer school planning is still underway but superintendent Francisco Durán announced that it will be offered to the following groups:

  • Seniors who need a core class to graduate
  • Ninth to 11th graders with a D or E in mathematics and/or an E in English
  • Eighth grade students who need a core class to be promoted to high school
  • Students with an IEP who qualify for ESY/Recovery Services or in a countywide special education program
  • English Learners levels 1 and 2 who “have not demonstrated predicted growth”

“Our middle and high school summer will run five days a week for five weeks, from July 6 to August 6 in person and also fully online,” Durán said.

Although it may change, right now all students learning in-person in the summer and fall will not have to have their temperatures checked anymore, but will have to wear a mask inside school buildings and be socially distanced 3 feet apart.

Durán said that’s how it will be unless Gov. Ralph Northam’s order changes.

“Per the order, APS must continue to require masks on school property inside school buildings for the remainder of this school year,” Durán said.

Visitors will be allowed but only after a screening, and they will have to wear masks as well.

Students who are exposed to the coronavirus in the summer or fall will need to quarantine for just eight days if they have a negative test on the fifth day. Currently, students have to quarantine for 14 days. Fully vaccinated students are exempt from quarantining.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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