School buses will be rolling tomorrow as more than 3,000 Prince William County students begin a return to in-person learning.
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will be the first to go back to classrooms under a 50/50 hybrid model voted on by the school board last month. First grade students are expected to follow, coronavirus numbers allowing, on Dec. 1. Second and third grades are expected to return Jan. 12.
Students will attend two alternating days per week, with Mondays remaining all virtual.
Routines and classrooms will be much different as students return. There will be far fewer students per class to accommodate COVID-19 distance requirements, and every one will be required to wear face masks.
In addition, teachers in many classrooms will be teaching both in-person and virtually at the same time, so cameras and other unfamiliar equipment might be a new classroom feature.
Students in fourth through 12th grades will remain virtual through the second quarter, with a plan for fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth grades to start returning Jan. 26. Students in grades seventh, eighth, 10th, 11th, and 12th would begin returning Feb. 2.
At the Nov. 4 Prince William County School Board meeting, Superintendent Steve Walts cautioned that plans are dependent on health metrics and staffing.
“We continue to monitor local health metrics, and the trends are not positive, as COVID cases grow locally, regionally, and nationally,” Walts said.
Families can opt to continue remote learning for students.