- How will school sports be impacted? PCPS will follow the VHSL guidelines
- What are attendance expectations for students? Students participating in the PCPS Virtual Learning Classroom will be considered present and attendance will reflect this status. Perfect attendance will no longer be recognized and we are looking at all of our attendance procedures. We are also looking for guidance from the state that will be coming in the near future. What is important is that if students are ill they need to stay home and take advantage of PCPS Virtual Learning activities until they are healthy.
- How will attendance be maintained? The VDOE is working on guidance for school divisions about how attendance will be maintained for a variety of instructional models.
- How will parents be notified of updates, changes, reminders? Parents, students, staff, and community members may sign up to receive email, phone calls, and/or text messages from the division or specific schools through School Messenger. We encourage all parents and staff members to be sure to sign up to receive messages. We also share messages via twitter for updates.
- What will cleaning look like? We have purchased additional cleaning supplies including hydrostatic sprayers that disinfect large areas quickly. Custodial staff will focus on regular cleaning of common areas and high touch surfaces such as door handles, stair rails, restrooms, etc. Since students K-8 will largely remain in one class throughout the day, teachers and students will be provided with cleaning supplies to regularly clean and disinfect their classroom. This will be a shared responsibility.
- How safe is the air in the building? What type of filtration system is used? At PMS we cannot open windows to bring in fresh outdoor air. Our facilities staff has reviewed the HVAC systems at each site to ensure that the systems are safe and meet the needs of the current situation. At PMS each room has its own filtration system.
- How will lunch & recess be addressed? If students are unable to gather in large spaces, they will eat lunch in classrooms. Administration will work on options for coverage for teachers during this time as needed. We are monitoring how this is working in summer school to assist with planning for the fall.
- Will Visitors be allowed? Visitors will be allowed in front office areas on a limited basis but will be restricted in other portions of the building. Visitors will be subject to temperature checks and health screening questions.
- How will trips, activities, and other large events take place? No field trips will be approved at this time. Activities required for instructional completion will be approved at the building level. We will rely on guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and the Executive Orders from the Governor's office when determining if or how large events can take place.
- What are the grading expectations in each of the models? Normal grading practices and procedures will be followed. This includes issuing report cards and providing parents with feedback of student progress on a regular basis. Further, teachers will give formative feedback to students regularly.
How frequently should the mask be cleaned? CDC recommends washing after each use - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html This is a correction to guidance provided at SB meeting July 28, 2020, from VDH.
What is recommended in doing symptom checks (including taking temperatures) of students by schools? CDC recommendations updated on 7/23 do not recommend symptom screening of students by schools: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/symptom-screening.html. This is a correction to guidance provided at SB meeting on July 28, 2020, from VDH staff.
- Will masks be required? All students, faculty, staff, and approved visitors are required to wear a face-covering while inside any Powhatan County Public School building, bus, or vehicle. (Exception: Students who are not physically, developmentally, or medically able to wear a face covering).
- How will mask exemptions be addressed? We will consult VDH for additional guidance on mask exemptions. Those who have medical conditions would not be required to wear one.
- One of my main concerns for our family with going back to school is that many community members (parents, teachers, etc.) are not taking the virus seriously. Unfortunately, I can see this causing some serious issues within the school division. It is critical that we focus on consistent education and training for staff, parents, and students. The full community needs to be on the same page to ensure a safe return for all students and staff. The climate/culture and emotional well-being of students and staff for our return is a top priority.
- Can we have the parents, students, and staff sign a document saying they will adhere to the guidelines while in school (mask-wearing, practicing social distancing, etc.) and if not, they will have to participate in full virtual learning? There will be a clear understanding of the expectations for health and safety for staff, students, and parents in each instructional delivery model.
- What social distancing procedures will be implemented? In the hybrid model, for grades 4-12 we will be able to maintain 6 ft. of social distancing in all classrooms; grades PK-3 will maintain a 3 ft. minimum.
- How will PCPS provide for the safety of my child at school? Powhatan County Public Schools will follow its health plan that was developed according to the guidelines provided by CDC, AAP, and WHO in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health guidelines.
- How will an outbreak or incident or illness be communicated to parents? PCPS will follow the guidance of the Powhatan/Chesterfield Health Department regarding communicating an outbreak or incident of illness.
- What will happen with students who refuse to wear masks? Students who attend school face to face have agreed to wear a mask. Alternate school options will be available for students who choose not to comply with school rules/expectations.
- How will students be screened for health before going to school? Parents know their child’s health better than anyone. A health screening protocol will be shared with all parents. We will ask parents to review this daily with their child prior to school. This is a collective effort to remain safe and healthy. Everyone needs to do their part. The clinic and front office will have thermometers available and we will complete temperature checks of anyone reporting to the clinic and following the same protocols, there are for students to be sent home.
- Will temperature checks be taken? Parents/Guardians will be responsible for screening for temperatures prior to leaving home. Temperature checks and/or verbal screenings at school will be made only when a need is identified.
- Will my elementary child have classes such as art, music, recess? Classes are expected to return to normal as soon as possible. However, some transitions between classrooms may be limited.
- Will children have group work? Guided reading groups? Yes, but utilizing protocols for social distancing.
- What will my child’s day look like if they return to school for face-to-face instruction? Students will remain in their classrooms throughout the day. Staff, including resource teachers, will rotate into classes. There will be structured times for movement, recess, and brain breaks throughout the day. Students will eat lunch in their classrooms.
- What school supplies will my student need? School supply lists are available on the websites and at larger stores. It will be important that all students have their own supplies, as sharing will be limited. Students must bring their own water bottles, as water fountains will not be available.
- Are IEP resources going to be available remotely? Yes, we are required to do this and will continue to do so. This could include face to face time in our buildings individually or in small groups as dictated by IEP.
- What will Elementary resource classes look like within a hybrid model? All models will include resources to be determined after survey results.
- Who is developing the schedule for virtual, pacing, teacher workload, schedules, materials in the Hybrid model? If the Hybrid model is chosen, the Instructional Team and School Administrations will work together to identify students and teachers for each component and to revise the master schedule.
- What will my child’s day look like?
- At PMS, students will remain in classes during core instruction (Math, English, and Social Studies). Teachers will rotate into those classes. Science will be a mix of instruction in the classroom and travel to science classrooms for labs and hands-on work. Students will travel to elective courses as needed. Lunch will be in the classroom and there will be structured times for movement, recess, and brain breaks throughout the day.
- At PHS, there will be movement between classes in ways that maintain social distancing.
- How will students' social and emotional well being be addressed? PCPS will continue to work with students using our social-emotional curriculum. Teachers and guidance counselors will be available to students in each model.
- What will you do for families who are not comfortable sending their children to school? We will have an opt-in option for full virtual learning.
- Screen time? While the plan is to follow a normal school day students will not be in front of a screen all day. Further, it will be developmentally appropriate academic screen time so it would be even less for a 5-year-old. There will be independent learning, playtime, outside learning activities, and more throughout the day.
- What will a Virtual Learning day look like? We plan for the virtual day to mirror a school day. There will be breaks, lunch, outdoor activities, and well as independent work coupled with videotaped instruction and 2-way interactive video with a teacher. There could be some homework or independent practice and reading. There will be multiple virtual opportunities for students to get help from a teacher including in person if needed.
- If a child is in the TAG program, are they going to be able to participate remotely? Yes, our gifted resource teachers will follow their normal schedule and interact with TAG students in as similar a way as is possible.
- If students are Virtual or Hybrid, how will we teach them the tools prior to school starting? During the first weeks, we will train students in technology use, hygiene, social distancing, and new procedures.
- What will happen if students who are working virtually cannot work during the scheduled times? Direct instruction and tutorials will be videotaped so that students will be able to work on activities if they are out sick or unable to join their class. Teachers or other staff will be available to provide additional support as needed.
- Will teachers be allowed to virtually teach from their classrooms? Depending on the mode of instruction chosen to start the year, the answer is yes. Regardless, virtual teachers will be expected to report to their workplace unless there is a documented medical reason. Access to technology, materials, and supplies will make it important for staff to be in their classroom or other teaching spaces to interact with their students.
- If you do have worksheets, how will they be provided? We have a printer but it doesn't work very well. Will the county be providing worksheets and you pick them up each week or every 2 weeks? Unlike the Spring when all schools were closed due to the Governor’s Order, we will be able to provide paper copies of activities to those that need or want them. We will have a pickup system advertised at a later time.
- Will hard copies of materials be available to students? Yes. Unlike spring, we fully expect our facilities to be open. Staff will make hard copies of assignments and materials available for pickup.
- Will there be a consistent schedule or structure for the school day in the Virtual Learning model? Yes, there will be a consistent schedule of the school day. This will include resource, electives, intervention, and enrichment as scheduled.
- How long will virtual learning be per day and how many days during the week? A friend's son did virtual learning through zoom/videos in the spring and they did 9 a.m. to noon. Is Powhatan looking at something similar? Or are you looking at more like a full school day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.? At this time we would be looking at a full school day, but the day would have breaks built-in.
- How much screen time? Will children all be looking at videos and doing computer assignments or will they have some hands-on work? I ask this because one of my children didn't do well at the computer the whole time. He actually liked having a worksheet in front of him rather than doing the activity on the computer. Screen time will vary and it will look very different since teachers will be in classrooms interacting virtually with students. There will be break times including time for outdoor activities as well as independent reading and math time that do not have to be screen-centered.
- What would be the maximum student/teacher ratio for a virtual learning class? This is one that is dependent on the model chosen and how many students opt for Virtual Learning if it isn't the only option to begin the year. If it is the only option then teachers will have their regular class load. If it isn't we should be able to keep it close to that. We will also have other staff such as instructional assistants, counselors, and resource teachers who will be interacting with students similar to what they do in person.
- Could a Parent Support Boot camp be offered to assist with technology at home? Yes, we will be scheduling virtual sessions that will be available for parents to participate in during back to school week. Face to face options will be available as needed.
- Are Chromebooks going to be provided for all students? Yes, all students working virtual will have access to a Chromebook. Families will also be able to use personal technology at home.
- What is the Learning Management System that could be used for all students in a Virtual Learning Environment? Schoology will be the learning management system that will be used k-12. This tool has been used for several years at the secondary level. Elementary teachers will be trained in the coming weeks.
- Based on conversations, we heard you are using a new learning program for virtual learning. What is the plan to get all teachers trained on this? Has this already begun? Gloucester county is implementing the program, Canvas, and teachers started training on July 6th. Kenbridge is another county that teachers are already doing online training. We have used Schoology in secondary grades for years with some exposure at the elementary level. Our plan is to roll that out to elementary teachers moving forward as our Learning Management System K-12. It is very similar to Canvas.
- Will transportation be provided? Yes, regular transportation routes will be provided.