It’s back to school for more than 80,000 kids in Loudoun County, Virginia, on Thursday.
Here are a few changes in the school system:
- The county is opening Elaine E. Thompson Elementary School, its first three-story elementary school, which has already received an award from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Decarbonize Your Design Challenge.
- It’s the first year of a new staggered schedule that aims to get more students to class on time.
- The school system tightened social media access for middle school students.
- This school year, the county will consider new discipline consequences for students.
Face masks are not required this year in Loudoun County Public Schools, with the exception of preschool programs.
Also, a program that provided free meals during the COVID-19 emergency is over now, and families will resume paying for student meals at pre-pandemic prices.
Principal Tim Sparbanie of Elaine E. Thompson Elementary School in Sterling said he’s expecting nearly 900 students.
“We’re all excited about the very first day of school. So that’s the exciting part; opening a brand-new building, welcoming everybody inside. Its going to be great,” Sparbanie told WTOP.
School doors open to students at 7:10 a.m. on weekdays, with classes starting 20 minutes later. He said there are “about 110 total staff members” to begin the school year.
WTOP’ Scott Gelman and Neal Augenstein contributed to this story.