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Return to school: Alexandria City Public Schools will go completely virtual for upcoming school year

School leaders call the plan the most feasible model moving forward.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Alexandria City Public Schools released their plan for a digital start to the 2020-2021 school year. Called VirtualPlus+, Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., called the plan the most feasible model for online learning.

They came to the decision following months of research, community engagement and strategizing, leaders said.

The virtual academic program will include a structured bell schedule, daily live instruction with teachers, and additional academic supports for some of our most vulnerable students, including one-on-one or small group tutoring. 

To enable students to fully participate in learning, all students in pre-K through first grade will receive age-appropriate technology in the form of electronic tablets, and students in grades 2-12 will receive Chromebooks. Childcare options will also be offered for those families who need it through the assistance of our community partners. We are working collaboratively with our community partners to provide more specific details about these child care options and will share additional information over the next couple of weeks.

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Right now, the VirtualPlus+ plan is just a proposal. It will be presented to the Alexandria City School Board to vote on on August before submission to the Virginia Department of Education on August 14.

"After much careful consideration of the facts as they stand today, we feel confident that Virtual PLUS+ will provide a quality educational experience worthy of our children while keeping the health and safety of our students, staff and families in mind. This model places equitable access for all at the heart and ensures that we can build a framework that addresses the needs of specific groups of students to ensure they stay on course this fall,” Dr. Hutchings said.

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ACPS leaders called the model a launching pad while they continue to plan for a return to in-person learning.

The model includes:

  • Enhanced and formalized social, emotional and academic learning supports
  • Childcare options with community partners
  • Continued meal distribution
  • Expanded technology resources

Officials with the school district will evaluate how to expand the services outlined in the model as they move closer to the beginning of school on September 8.

District leaders said a committee will reevalute plans every nine weeks.

Additional details will be released prior to the start of the school year.