At the June 25 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán presented the recommended APS plan for the 2020-21 school year based on state guidance for reopening Virginia schools. In this plan, APS families will be able to select the instructional delivery model that works best for their student(s) during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are two choices:
- Hybrid In-School and Distance Learning – Two consecutive in-person instruction days per week combined with three days per week of asynchronous distance learning.
- Full-Time Distance Learning – Students in this program will participate in full-time distance learning, including both interactive, teacher-led (synchronous) instruction and asynchronous instruction.
The plan is being developed as the Virginia Department of Educational (VDOE), Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the CDC continue to release and revise their guidance for safely reopening schools, and APS will continue to fully align our plan to that guidance. APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions.
APS is eager to return to school on a normal schedule and to welcome all of our staff and students back into the classroom; however, we must adhere to the state’s guidance to resume in-person instruction with strict physical distancing measures in place. While Virginia is in phase 3, it is not possible to return at 100% capacity and adhere to federal, state and local health requirements for safe reopening. In order to adhere to safety guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must adjust our in-school schedule to reduce classroom and school bus capacities and ensure that six-foot distance can be maintained to the extent possible. We will continue to monitor health and safety guidance and adjust our plans for in-school instruction when possible.
Synchronous learning is interactive, two-way online or distance education that happens in real time with a teacher, whereas asynchronous learning occurs virtually online and through prepared resources, without real-time teacher-led interaction. Both instructional delivery models will incorporate a blend of these two delivery methods for distance learning.
Families that have not responded to select the preferred model by July 20 will be automatically placed in the hybrid in-school and distance learning model. APS strongly encourages all families to respond so that APS can proceed with clear knowledge of each family’s choice for their student(s), based on their individual circumstances and learning preferences.
Decisions regarding schedules and student group assignments for each school will be made centrally based on multiple factors. Siblings will be assigned to the same in-school schedule to simplify family arrangements, when possible. Details regarding student assignments and scheduling will be finalized and communicated in August once family selections are received and processed.