On Wednesday, Oct. 21, after a robust discussion about the proposed phased reentry plan for the reopening of our schools, the School Board unanimously approved the Virtual PLUS+ Phased Reentry Plan with some contingencies.
The School Board voted to pursue a phased-in approach for in-person learning for students grades Pre-K through 12, beginning with our most vulnerable Students with Disabilities and English Learners, and later consider expanding student participation, contingent upon staffing and building capacity.
While this is a positive step forward, we have to remain cautious of our capabilities given the changing landscape we live in. Please know that our phase-in plans are solely contingent on adequate staffing and sufficient building capacity while adhering to the CDC’s social distancing guidelines – which were updated to be even more stringent just prior to this week’s School Board meeting.
We concluded that presently, due to constraints of building capacity and staff, we would only be able to bring back the remainder of the K-5 and 6-8 students, one day a week. As a result, we made a decision that one day a week would be impractical to implement and not a good option for students at this time. To that end, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff, and provide the best educational programming possible during these unprecedented and difficult times.
We believe it is prudent to be methodical and strategic rather than create a situation which presents more challenges and false expectations by moving too swiftly. The path to get to this point has been complex and we may still be required to close schools or classrooms or sections of buildings again once we transition some of our students into in-person learning due to the uncertainties that the pandemic brings.
Our phased re-entry plan is ever evolving and creates a path for our team to move forward and pivot when needed. Simultaneously, we will continue to refine our Virtual PLUS+ program through adjustments to the schedules, enhanced professional learning and feedback from families and staff to make the virtual experience even more engaging and effective.
Our School Board, superintendent, staff, students and families will continue to work collaboratively; especially during these unprecedented times to find solutions, ask the right questions, provide guidance and instill confidence in our decision-making. We will provide continuous updates on our reopening planning and transition of students at the following School Board meetings: Nov. 12 and 23, Dec. 3 and 17, and Jan. 21.
We need to pull together and support each other, now more than ever, which will ensure we all come out stronger in the end.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed.
Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools
Board Vote on the Phased Reentry Plan
The Virtual PLUS+ Phased Reentry: Enhanced Continuity of Learning Plan 5.0 ensures a safe and healthy school environment for our students, staff and families. This plan continues to ensure fidelity to Virtual PLUS+ while planning for a phased-in approach for reopening schools and buildings. As we work to reopen, we will continue to seek feedback from our leaders, staff, students, families, and community as well as provide progress updates based upon data and feasibility factors. This plan will start on Nov. 5 and expand through the second semester.
For highlights of the Virtual PLUS+ Phased Reentry Plan (Transition to Hybrid) see the ACPS website.
Key Reentry Dates
- Nov. 5: Begin with Students with Disabilities in grades K-2 who are enrolled in the Citywide Special Education program who opt into in-person learning. Citywide self-contained students are students with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Multiple Disabilities or Emotional Disabilities.
- Nov. 17: Expand to include Students with Disabilities in grades 3-5 who are enrolled in the Citywide Special Education program who opt into in-person learning
- Nov. 30: Expand to include Early Childhood Special Education students who opt into in-person learning (to be housed at the Early Childhood Center).
- Nov. 30: Expand to include Students with Disabilities in grades K-5 who receive self-contained Language Arts and Math instruction who opt into in-person learning.
- December 2020: Expand to include Students with Disabilities in grades 6-8 who are enrolled in the Citywide Special Education program who opt into in-person learning.
- January 2021: Expand to include all remaining students in grades preK-5 who opt into in-person learning.
- February 2021: Expand to include all remaining students in grades PreK-12 who opt into in-person learning. Draft plans for secondary students are under development.
Watch the presentation from the Oct. 21 Special Called School Board meeting.
Your Phased Reentry Questions Answered
The Identity Project: Hear from a ‘71 Titan About Their Views on the Name Change
You have just one more week to take the Identity Project survey and make your opinions known on the consideration to rename T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School. But first, make sure you are informed: see the community conversations, watch the highlights of the read-ins, learn about student opinions or hear how the ‘71 Titans feel about a name change.
We want to ensure that those taking the survey are aware of the histories of T.C. Williams and Matthew Maury, understand how the schools came to be named and the roles they played in Alexandra’s history. We want our community to be able to make an informed decision!
The survey will close on Oct. 28 at 11:59 p.m.
Hear from ‘71 Titan Earl Cook
The ‘71 Titans have had their own discussions about the T.C. Williams name change. Hear what former chief of police and ‘71 Titan Earl Cook has to say about what they think.
‘71 Titans Talk Race
Want to know more about the real stories behind Remember the Titans? Watch this fascinating nine-minute video from2018 during which a few of the ‘71 Titans discuss T.C. Williams and their high school experiences from 1971.
Student Forum #2 Highlights
See the highlights from Student Forum #2.
Community Conversation #2: The Secret Seven
Did you catch the second Community Conversation on Wednesday evening with our panelists Gwen Day Fuller, Erika Miller and School Board Member Michelle Rief?
Our panelists this week were all related to the Secret Seven, a group of civil rights activists from the 1950s and 1960s, a time when ACPS superintendent T.C. Williams was resisting desegregation.
Watch a video of the children of Alexandria’s Secret Seven as they recall their fathers’ efforts to push for fairer treatment of the African American community.
In November the Alexandria City School Board will make a decision around the names of the two schools. See the timeline of events.
Public Hearing on the Renaming of Schools
The Alexandria City School Board will hold an online public hearing on proposals to rename T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School during its Virtual School Board Meeting on October 29 at 4 p.m. Requests to speak at the public hearing must be received by noon on Wednesday, October 28.
Missed Monday’s Budget Forum?
ACPS has multiple distribution meal site locations throughout Alexandria for all ACPS students and children over the age of two. See a map of food distribution locations.
GRAB-AND-GO MEAL LOCATIONS:
Grab and Go breakfast and lunch meals are available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 7:30 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
- Mount Vernon Community School
2601 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
- Patrick Henry K-8 School
4643 Taney Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304
- T.C. Williams High School
3330 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
And available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at our “Pop-Up” sites located at:
- Mason Apartments at 75 South Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- Brent Place Apartments at 375 South Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
11:20 to 11:50 a.m.
- Ruby Tucker Family Center at 322 Tancil Court, Alexandria, VA 22314
10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- Community Lodgings at 607 Notabene Drive, Alexandria, VA 22305
10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- Old Towne West Apartments (parking lot) at 500 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
11:20 to 11:50 a.m.
- Corner of Florence Drive and Four Mile Road, Alexandria, VA 22305
10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- The Fields at 4309 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
- Bennington Crossing Apartments at 441 North Armistead Street, Alexandria, VA 22312
11:30 a.m. to noon
- 2727 Duke Street (behind Bank of America), Alexandria, VA 22314
10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
NO SIGN UP OR REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE MEALS.
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 www.hungerfreealexandria.com 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.
TEEN WELLNESS CENTER IS OPEN
The Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams is 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.
UPDATES FROM THE ALEXANDRIA HEALTH DEPARTMENT
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.
Effective October 1, face coverings will be required in indoor and outdoor public places, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City of Alexandria ordinance (PDF) expands on a state executive order (PDF) that has required masks in most indoor public settings since May 29. Read the news release.
Additional updates can be found at www.alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.
Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there is a crisis or emergency during the time of the closure, students and families can access the supports below:
- Crisis Text and Crisis Link:
- Text: CONNECT to 85511
- Call: 703-527-4077
- Alexandria Safe Place
- Alexandria City 24-Hour Emergency Mental Health Services
- Alexandria City Health Department and AHD Contacts
- Inova Alexandria Hospital (ER)
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.
Wash your hands regularly. Regular soap is OK.