With Fauquier County students of all grades returning to classes on Monday, the school system is Northern Virginia’s first to offer in-person learning in all its facilities following the March coronavirus shutdown.
While families can still choose to have students continue with distance learning, the school system says 70% of its students have chosen a hybrid in-person learning model.
Under the Fauquier County Hybrid AA/BB model, students will be in their school buildings two consecutive days, either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. At all grade levels throughout the system, Wednesday will be for teacher preparation, assisting students who need it and extra cleaning.
Students are assigned to either group A or B by the first letter of their last name.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, students in the A group are in-school, while students in the B group participate in a livestream. On Thursdays and Fridays, students in the B group will be their classrooms, with desks 6 feet apart, while A group students interact with the livestream.
Students whose families choose to continue with 100% distance learning will participate in the livestreamed classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The “concurrent learning” model poses new challenges for teachers, since it requires their attention to students in class and those at home.
In addition to classrooms, the school system has reconfigured cafeterias and libraries, and instilled COVID-19 protocols, to minimize risk of transmitting the disease. Books returned to the library will be quarantined for 72 hours, before they can be checked-out again.
In a series of videos portraying what conditions will be like in classrooms, and on buses, Fauquier County says in some cases, when applicable, classes can be moved outdoors.
The reopening comes amid a rise in coronavirus cases in Northern Virginia.
In Maryland, it’s the first day of hybrid/virtual learning for pre-K to Grade 2 students in Calvert County.
Calvert’s Cohort A begins face-to-face instruction, while Cohort B participates in virtual instruction.