Join our Community Chats on the Reopening of Schools

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Day 81 — Reopening of Schools Update

Today I want to thank each and every one of you who completed the reopening of schools survey. Although we know we will not be able to deliver a plan that meets every family’s individual needs as we work to reopen schools in the fall, your feedback will help us deliver a plan that takes your input into consideration, while keeping health and safety and academic growth and achievement at the heart of our final plan. It is wonderful to have such engaged parents and staff who have brought new perspectives and ideas to the table. Please keep your thoughts coming. We read each one. We will share the survey results in next Wednesday’s ACPS Express.

Next week, we are embarking on a series of community chats during which our staff will be available to answer your questions and listen to your feedback. Read more about the multiple chat options.

Today, we are sharing an update on the reopening planning. On July 10, ACPS staff presented to the School Board an outline of the work being done by the Cross-Functional Planning Teams that will be used to develop plans for the reopening of schools in the fall. The five teams summarized their discussions and progress around: Social, Emotional Academic Learning; Human and Capital Resources; Health and Safety; Financial Management; and School and Community Relations. It is highly unlikely that we will be able to return to school in a traditional way in the fall. Instead, our Cross-Functional Planning Teams are looking at alternative options and coming up with the best solutions possible for our students and staff. Read more about this planning work below or on the ACPS-at-Home website.

Last Friday, the Alexandria City School Board began another important process. It is one that will begin robust public engagement in the fall to consider the name of Thomas Chambliss (T.C.) Williams High School. The time is now to look again at this issue and ask ourselves as a community whether Alexandria’s only high school — a diverse and inclusive place — should be named after a person who opposed desegregation. I look forward to presenting next steps to the School Board during the August 27 Work Session, including the planned process and considerations to move this conversation forward, all in support of our city and our young people.

Finally, I hope your students remained committed to our summer learning during week two. Last week, The Washington Post highlighted the program and I am proud of all those who have helped to make it a resounding success.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed.


Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

Reopening Planning Update

On July 10, ACPS staff shared an outline of the work being done by the Cross-Functional Planning Teams that will be used to develop plans for the reopening of schools in the fall. The five teams summarized their discussions and progress around: Social, Emotional Academic Learning; Human and Capital Resources; Health and Safety; Financial Management; and School and Community Relations.

It is highly unlikely that ACPS students and staff will be able to return to school in the traditional way on September 8. Our Cross-Functional Planning Teams are focusing their efforts on planning for either a hybrid or a fully-virtual learning model. Which one we adopt depends on the practicalities of the situation with which we are faced and the ever-changing guidance that we are receiving from the Virginia Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is an incredibly complex situation and there is no easy solution.

The health and safety of our students, staff and their families must be our overriding priority. The model we will ultimately be able to offer depends on how many students and staff we can fit in a building in a safe way. Our goal is to maintain safety at all times. ACPS is using a 65 square-foot factor for everyone in a classroom. People are not standing points, so we need to assume that once in a classroom everyone will need space to move. Many of our classrooms also have built-in shelving that cannot be moved, plus we must consider our aging facilities, which require additional consideration when it comes to air quality. Using cafeterias and gyms for classroom space is one option, and this would require additional staff. There is no simple solution.

Our Cross-Functional Planning Teams began to publicly address some of these issues during the School Board Reopening presentation on Friday.

Explore all the information on the Reopening of Schools on the ACPS-at-Home website.

Read the FAQ on the Reopening of Schools Process & Considerations.

Watch the superintendent’s Video Q&A on reopening planning.

Join our Community Chats on the Reopening of Schools

Next week, Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., along with several community stakeholders, will be hosting seven virtual community chats as ACPS continues to seek input in the reopening plan. Come and have your say as we continue our outreach.

The aim of the Reopening Community Chats is to hear in greater depth about the particular issues that specific communities may face in the fall, and begin to work through potential solutions to these issues.

ACPS will be using the information from these conversations to help inform our detailed plans around: Health and Safety; Delivery of Instruction; and Transportation, logistics and movement during the school day.

Join us during our Reopening Community Chats:

  • Monday, July 20 at 4 p.m. Reopening Community Chat moderated by Gaynelle Diaz, Director of Resident and Community Services at Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority — in English with Spanish, Amharic and Arabic interpretation
  • Tuesday, July 21 at 12:30 p.m. Reopening Community Chat for ACPS Staff — in English
  • Tuesday, July 21 at 4 p.m. Reopening Community Chat for Families with Students with Disabilities — in English, with Spanish, Amharic and Arabic interpretation
  • Wednesday, July 22 at 4 p.m. Reopening Community Chat in Arabic
  • Thursday, July 23 at noon Reopening Community Chat with Parent Teacher Advisory Council (PTAC) — in English, with Spanish, Amharic and Arabic interpretation
  • Thursday, July 23 at 4 p.m. Reopening Community Chat in Spanish
  • Friday, July 24 at 4 p.m. Reopening Community Chat in Amharic

Learn more about the Reopening Community Chats, including Zoom links to join in.

Send us your questions about reopening and we will address them during the Community Chats and/or in the Reopening FAQ.

Student reopening chats are in the process of being planned for next week. We will share the details with you as soon as they are set up.

How ACPS Plans to Communicate During the Reopening

ACPS shares information in many different ways, including but not limited to: website, ACPS Express, email, school newsletters, ACPS and school social media, FAQs, video Q&As, videos, hotlines, text messages, postal mail, robocalls, personal phone calls, etc. We also respond to the many individual questions that come in each day on our feedback form, by email, and on social media. As often as possible, all communication is in four languages (English, Spanish, Arabic and Amharic).

This is the process we have followed during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to follow for communicating information about the reopening of schools.

See our internal and external communication processes during the COVID-19 pandemic and the reopening of schools.

Our Summer Learning is Making Headlines

Last week The Washington Post came along to class to learn about our summer learning. Find out what they discovered: “‘Who’s ready for their brain to get bigger?’: To fight virus learning loss, Alexandria schools launch summer class”

School Board Votes to Consider Renaming T.C. Williams High School

The Alexandria City School Board voted unanimously on Friday to consider the renaming of T.C. Williams High School.

Thomas Chambliss (T.C.) Williams was superintendent of ACPS from the mid-1930s until 1963. He vocally opposed desegregation, arguing that Black and white children learned differently and should remain in separate schools. To guide next steps, the superintendent will present findings from the public engagement process to the School Board by the spring of 2021.

Read more about the process and watch Friday’s meeting.

Code of Conduct Feedback Needed

ACPS would like to hear your thoughts on the Student Code of Conduct, which outlines expected student behavior. What would you like to see added, removed or adjusted to this important document?

Submit your feedback by Wednesday, July 22.

We are also holding three feedback sessions for you to share your comments:


ACPS has multiple distribution meal site locations throughout Alexandria for all ACPS students and children over the age of two.


Grab and Go breakfast and lunch meals are available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the following locations:

  • William Ramsay Elementary School
    5700 Sanger Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22311
  • Francis C. Hammond Middle School
    4646 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304
  • Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology
    3600 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
  • Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School
    1501 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
  • T.C. Williams High School
    3330 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22304

And available at our “Pop-Up” sites located at:

  • Mason Apartments at South Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Brent Place Apartments at 375 South Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
    11:20 to 11:50 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Ruby Tucker Family Center at 322 Tancil Court, Alexandria, VA 22314
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Community Lodgings at 607 Notabene Drive, Alexandria, VA 22305
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Old Towne West Apartments (parking lot) at 500 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
    11:20 to 11:50 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Corner of Florence Drive and Four Mile Road, Alexandria, VA 22305
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • The Fields at 4309 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Bennington Crossing Apartments at 441 North Armistead Street, Alexandria, VA 22312
    11:30 a.m. to noon, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

NO SIGN UP OR REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE MEALS. Meals consist of breakfast and lunch, and include, for example, fresh fruits and vegetables and sandwiches for multiple days.

NOTE: No food distribution will occur on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The limited days for distribution is to support the practice of social distancing and to limit social gatherings. Meals for two days will be provided on Mondays and Wednesdays, and meals for three days will be provided on Fridays.

Other Food Resources in the City of Alexandria

For food pantry locations and schedules in Alexandria, visit or call ‪703-662-1067.

Questions? Or Need Translation?

Send us your question in Spanish, Arabic or Amharic:

  • Text ACPSMEALS to 797979 (English and Spanish)
  • Call or text 703-927-6866 (Amharic)
  • Call or text 703-927-7095 (Arabic)


Call the FACE Center’s Bilingual Parent Information Lines, available Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

  • For Spanish/English, call 571-775-9719
  • For Amharic/English, call 703-927-6866
  • For Arabic/English, call 703-927-7095

SAFETY REMINDER: Please remember to observe social distancing practices while at the food distribution site by maintaining six feet of personal space between you and other families or individuals.

Anyone exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory illness like fever, runny nose, sore throat, coughing or difficulty breathing on the day of food distribution or in the previous 24 hours should not visit a food distribution site but call a health care provider instead. If you do not have a primary care physician and are not enrolled in a clinic, you may CALL an urgent care center or emergency room.


The Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams is still open regular hours Monday through Friday for all Alexandrians ages 12-19. All services are provided in the clinic and if the teen is ill with an elevated temperature (100.0 or more) we will see them through our telehealth video format. Make an appointment over the phone by calling 703-746-4776.


The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. For other questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Hotline at 703-746-4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Additional updates can be found at

Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty

Check out the City of Alexandria webpage Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty which includes the COVID-19 Wellness Resource Guide.


Please consider donating through ACT For Alexandria and the COVID-19 Response Fund if you are able. 

Community members who would like to volunteer should reach out to or 703-836-2176 to register for any additional potential volunteer opportunities.


Continuity of School Support and Academic Advisement

School Student Support Team staff, including school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, and school social workers will be available during school hours throughout the closure. Monday — Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. staff will be connecting with students and their families. The Department of Student Services, Alternative Programs and Equity staff members are also available during this time and can be contacted by voicemail and at

Emergency Supports

If there is a crisis or emergency during the time of the closure, students and families can access the supports below:

We know that this is a challenging time. ACPS will continue to share information through the ACPS website, social media, and email. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your student’s school counselor or school social worker with any questions.


Don’t Feel Well?
Contact your primary health care physician. Don’t have insurance? Contact Neighborhood Health at 703-535-5568.


Have questions, concerns or feedback? Contact us.

Stay Healthy!
Wash your hands regularly. Regular soap is OK.

ACPS, Coronavirus, School Board