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June 2, 2020

Guiding Principles 

  1. Increase equitable access to improve learning outcomes for all students
  2. Ensure the voices of parents, families, and students
  3. Study lessons learned and data for preparation and execution
  4. Value community coordination and distribution
  5. Build trust and allow creative ideas for reopening
  6. Embrace flexibility while facing unprecedented challenges
  7. Ensure clear, consistent, and frequent communication

At the initial Thought Partners meeting on June 2, 2020, they were asked to provide their thoughts on the following questions: 

In your opinion, what did the city and school division do well in response to the COVID-19 crisis? What modifications and additions would you recommend?

  • Technology availability
  • Connecting with underserved communities
  • Regular, clear and excellent communications
  • Food distribution for those in need
  • Inter-agency city and school communications
  • Clarity around priorities
  • Quick implementation of transition plans

What are the positive and negative implications for school reopening in the fall?

  • Knowledge of what can be expected 
  • Scheduling consistency
  • Challenges of maintaining a safe environment
  • Social, emotional issues of returning students and staff
  • Clear communication channels to relay changes to the situation as they occur
  • Continued options regarding online learning for those who cannot or do not wish to return to a physical learning environment
  • Continued flexibility to adapt to changing situations as they occur across the city
  • Parent, staff and community feedback loops
  • Planning based on data
  • Need for current contact data to help communications across all student groups
  • Need for increased student spacing in learning environments
  • Increased lesson time familiarizing students with relevant technology and platforms
  • No blame about parental/student choices 

What internal and external factors will help guide and inform our decision-making process on when and how to reopen schools?

External Factors: 

  • Community spread of the virus
  • Inclusivity and openness in the political environment as a whole
  • Changing daily information regarding the situation
  • Public fear and anxiety
  • Local and state mandates
  • Virginia Department of Education regulations  (SOLs, grading, number of attendance days required)
  • Economic issues

Internal Factors:

  • Inability of some staff and students to return for health reasons
  • Fear among staff and students
  • Stigmatization of students and staff living in apartments and crowded environments
  • Space within schools
  • Spread among certain staff and student subpopulations
  • The need to balance the right safety protocols with opportunities for staff and students to return to the learning environment
  • Access to technology
  • School division access to funding
  • Coordinate with ACPS’ school division neighbors, the region, and the Commonwealth

View the presentation  and video from the June 2, 2020 Thought Partners meeting