Prince William Co. school board considers mostly virtual school year due to coronavirus crisis

Prince William County’s School Board has three options to consider before next week’s vote on how to keep students safe and learning when the 2020-2021 school year begins amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Superintendent Steve Walts presented the possibilities to the school board Wednesday, and the board is expected to vote July 15.

Regardless, the start of school would be moved from Aug. 25 to Sept. 8, to allow teachers to prepare.

The options include:

  • Plan 1: All-virtual model with live and recorded lessons.
  • Plan 2: In-person, at school, one day per week. Offline or online learning four days per week. Special education students could attend four days per week.
  • Plan 3: In-person, at school, two days per week. Offline or online learning three days per week. Special education students could attend four days per week.

For all plans, one day per week would be used as a virtual workday, allowing for virtual office hours and additional cleaning of the classrooms.

Walts is recommending that in-person instruction would include social distancing in reconfigured classrooms and school buses, with six feet recommended between students.

Masks would be required for staff and all students over the age of 10, and recommended for younger students, and in cases where the six-foot distance can’t be maintained — for instance, in hallways, during passing periods.

Parents in the nearby counties of Fairfax and Loudoun are being afforded the choice to determine the best option for their child and family.

The Prince William County plan includes detailed sick-leave policies that would enable students, faculty and staff to self-quarantine at home if they’re sick.

Walts also recommended training backup staff in the event teachers become ill.

More Coronavirus news

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.

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