Last night, the Albemarle County School Board voted to move the school division, on March 15, into Stage 4 of the school division’s reopening plan. Stage 4 expands face-to-face instruction, providing four days per week for students in Pre-K through third grade and two days per week for students in Grades 4-12. This timeline is based on the Board’s desire to ensure that the maximum number of teachers and staff have been vaccinated prior to expanding in-person instruction to more students.
As a result, the school division will remain in Stage 3 until March 15. Stage 3 provides optional hybrid learning (a combination of virtual and face-to-face instruction) for all students in Pre-K through third grade, including students in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), and expands optional in-person access to students in Grades 4-12 who meet certain criteria.
Beginning in January, the school division partnered with the Blue Ridge Health District to create a vaccination program for school division employees who fall into the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 1b. As of February 11, 974 ACPS employees have had their first vaccination dose and 798 more have appointments scheduled before the end of February. Approximately 320 currently await appointments.
Dr. Clare Keiser, Assistant Superintendent for Organizational Development and Human Resource Leadership, said, “To date, the Blue Ridge Health District has provided vaccinations for close to 1,000 of our employees and there are another 800 scheduled to get their first shots in the next few weeks.” Keiser continued, “We appreciate the support of our public health officials as we work to ensure that teachers and staff are fully vaccinated by the middle of next month.”
The division’s transition to Stage 4 will begin on a limited basis on Wednesday, March 10, when schools will open to all elementary school students, including Pre-K. Also included will be students in their middle or high school transition year, sixth- and ninth-grade students. Students in all other grades will begin in-person instruction on March 15.
Details on the various stages of the school division’s Return to School plan can be found on the Stages of Returning web page. More information on Stage 4, including an instructional planning guide and answers to frequently asked questions, is featured on the Stage 4 Plan web page.
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer