2021-22 Learning Options
Since schools closed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our goal has been to get back to five days of full-time, in-person instruction. We took steps toward that goal as we progressed through the various stages of our reopening plan during the 2020-21 school year. We know that most students and families want to return to in-person learning as soon as it is safe to do so, which is why ACPS will open the 2021-22 school year with five days per week of in-person learning at all of our schools.
With the exception of implementing mitigation strategies based on the most up-to-date guidance from public health authorities, all school structures and practices will return to normal.
In an effort to keep our students and staff healthy as they return to school, APCS will continue to follow mitigation guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD), including:
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection;
- Operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems that can reduce airborne exposures;
- Social distancing;
- Masks/face coverings;
- Hand hygiene;
- Absence monitoring;
- Contact tracing in partnership with our local health department;
- Exclusion of staff and students with illness symptoms; and
- Exclusion (quarantine) of staff and students who have been in close contact with anyone who has COVID-19 or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated.
For more details, please visit our Mitigation Strategies web page.
Bus capacity will return to pre-pandemic levels, but parents are still encouraged to drive their students to and from school when possible. We are working as quickly as possible over the summer to install High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters on each of our school buses.
For the 2021-22 school year, school meals will continue to be provided free of charge, regardless of income level, to all students. Meal service details are under development and will be shared with families prior to the start of the new school year.
For more information, visit Child Nutrition's 2021-22 School Meals web page.
Athletics & Extracurricular Activities
ACPS will operate all approved athletic practices and events and all extracurricular activities in alignment with the participation guidance provided by the Virginia High School League (VHSL). Performing arts will follow social distancing guidelines recommended by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
If needed, in response to rising case numbers and evidence of transmission, individual schools may temporarily transition to fully virtual instruction for a length of time determined in coordination with our local health department. Please note that we may deviate from this approach due to unforeseen circumstances or in response to guidance from public health officials.
If you have questions about returning to school in person, please contact your child’s school principal.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and our time in online and hybrid learning, we discovered that some students and families prefer an online learning experience. In response, we will offer a full-day virtual learning experience for students in grades K-12 who choose to enroll in our Virtual School for the 2021-22 school year.
Students attending our Virtual School will be required to attend five days of virtual learning from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Learning will be synchronous (teacher-led) and students will be required to actively participate in class with their cameras on.
Virtual students will still be able to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities through their base school.
The division is hiring 40+ teachers to staff the virtual school under the direction of principal Reed Gillespie.
For the 2021-22 school year, school meals will continue to be provided free of charge, regardless of income level, to all students. In addition to providing meals to students who are learning in our schools, we will operate our School Meal Pickup Program for virtual students. ACPS will not offer a school bus meal delivery option during the 2021-22 school year.
Pickup locations and times will be announced prior to the start of the new school year. For more information, visit Child Nutrition's 2021-22 School Meals web page.
For more information, please visit our Virtual School web page.