Loudoun County OKs online learning plan for new school year

Loudoun County’s school board signed off on the Virginia school system’s distance learning plan for the upcoming school year, releasing details about how the typical school day will go for students when they return to their virtual classrooms the day after Labor Day.

The goal is to get students into a new routine again, putting a structured school day in place that will start at the same time every day, depending on the grade each student is in, according to Loudoun County Public Schools.

Attendance will be taken and students will be expected to be on their best behavior, LCPS said.

The plan calls for Mondays to have all learning done online through recorded lessons and independent study.

Tuesdays through Fridays will see students take part in live, online instruction regardless of the grade they are in.

The length of those lessons will vary depending on grade level, and each block will include time devoted to what’s being called “learning labs.”

At the middle and high school level, students will have their classes broken into eight “blocks,” with the first four classes happening on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and blocks five through eight held on Thursdays and Fridays.

The elementary school day is broken into smaller and shorter class periods.

The 100% virtual schedule is similar to how things would go if students are allowed to return to the classroom in a hybrid model — when students would be in school two days a week, to go with three days of virtual instruction.

Loudoun County leaders did not commit to a deadline when that transition would begin, but are at least planning for the possibility.

In a letter to parents in July, Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams explained the decision to pivot to full-time virtual learning to begin the year, citing the delayed time it takes to receive coronavirus test results and the surge in cases across the country.

The first day of school is scheduled for Sept. 8.

See the status of all D.C.-area school systems using WTOP’s fall school plans tracker.

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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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