Adjustments to Virtual PLUS+
Divsionwide Virtual PLUS+ adjustments
- Defining breaks for families: included with the new schedule each school will define how many breaks will be included with each instructional block.
- Creation of a movement break resource for teachers: the instructional specialist for physical education created a movement break resources for K-12 grade. The breaks are 3-10 minutes long, require no equipment and very little open space, so they can easily be done right in a student's chair.
- Refining breakout room usage: Breakout rooms are a critical instructional tool for teachers. Refined guidance will be given to principals to ensure that all schools are using breakout rooms at all grade levels.
- English Learner (EL) office purchased headphones for EL students. These headphones will be distributed by schools to their students.
- Asynchronous work: Asynchronous instruction is vital to Virtual PLUS+, as part of the refinement for the second quarter, schools will work with teachers to assign meaning assignments, making the location of the assignments easy to find on Canvas.
Elementary Schedule Adjustments
Developmental concerns about screen time have emerged among all groups, especially among families with our youngest students.
The three K-2 sample schedules below represent the flexibility school teams will have in quarter two to create a schedule that preserves consistency with their current schedule and meets their community's unique needs. Young learners benefit from structure and consistency, and the redesign was created to preserve this as much as possible for our students.
The models reflect a reduction of one hour of synchronous screen time for grades K-2. This allows ACPS to create more asynchronous learning time to connect with small groups of students.
The hour of reduced screen time is made possible by:
- The integration of two chunks of key content: Science with Math and Social Studies with English Language Arts (reduction of 45 minutes of screen time)
- Reduction of Encore (library, art, music etc.) from 45 minutes to 30 minutes (reduction of 15 minutes of screen time)
The timeframe for the instructional school day of 6.5 hours (8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.) remains unchanged. The revised schedule includes designated time for:
- Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning (SEAL) 20 minutes
- Encore 30 minutes
- Language Arts and Social Studies 90 minutes
- Math and Science 60-70 minutes
- Intervention and Enrichment 30-45 minutes
- Lunch/Recess 60 minutes
The adjustments result in 75 additional minutes of off screen time for students (60 from the previous Science and Social Studies block and 15 from the asynchronous portion of Encore). The separate 60-minute block that was dedicated to on-screen Science & Social Studies instruction was repurposed to be totally off-screen asynchronous time.
Teacher planning time remains 45 minutes.
Twenty minutes of the Science synchronous instruction will be integrated into Math and 20 minutes of the Social Studies synchronous instruction will be integrated into English Language Arts.
Schools have varying needs based on the EL population, Special Education and the number of students requiring tier two and three interventions. These unique supports, as well as programmatic differences, will result in slight variations in the daily schedules across schools. Also, school leaders and teachers will continue to listen and work with families to address ongoing concerns.
Teacher Office Hours
30-60 minutes to enhance personal connections with students and families through phone, email, and video conferencing.
Professional work hours remain 7:40 a.m. - 2:55 p.m.
- Oct. 6 - 30 fall testing window: Will provide data to inform instructional practice and intervention for students
- PALS testing: Shows which students are meeting the minimum competency in early literacy and students who need additional support
- MAP screener testing: Every student (grades second -12) will receive a score in math and a lexile score for reading to monitor progress
- Students in kindergarten and first grade will take just-in-time math assessments throughout the school year.
Learning Activity Packets (PreK-5)
Staff has created engaging learning packets to support teachers and students with asynchronous work. These instructional packets align with the Standards of Learning (SOLs) and the pacing calendars. The learning packets will include activities from the following areas: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, the Arts, and Physical Education. Students in fourth and fifth grade Talented and Gifted (TAG) for English Language Arts will have learning packets. TAG students taking sixth-grade math will continue to follow the pacing and materials they are currently using.
Learning packets for PreK-2 will be distributed the week of November 2-6 and packets for third-fifth grades will be distributed Nov. 8-14.
Watch the Phased Reentry Presentation to the School Board
Watch video of the phased-in reopening presentation to the School Board from Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.
Watch various sections/topic areas from this Oct. 15, 2020 presentation:
- Superintendent Overview
- CDC and Alexandria Health Department Guidelines
- Survey Results
- Virtual PLUS+ Overview of Adjustments, including assessments
- Virtual PLUS+ Elementary Schedule Changes
- Virtual PLUS+ Learning Packet Update
- School Board Questions on Virtual PLUS+ Improvements
- Phased Reentry Overview
- Reentry: Citywide Program Students With Disabilities
- Reentry: Other Special Education Students
- Reentry: Safety Measures for Students in Schools
- Reentry: English Learner Students
- Reentry: Elementary Students
- Reentry: Middle School and High School Students
- School Board Questions on Reentry Plans