2021-22 Learning Options
Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) plans to open the 2021-22 school year on Monday, August 23, with five days per week of in-person instruction at all school sites. Additionally, we will offer an all-virtual school for interested students in grades K-12.
Since schools closed on March 13, 2020, our goal has been to get all of our students and staff back to five days of full-time, in-person instruction. This year, we’ve taken steps toward that goal, moving through multiple stages of our reopening plan over the past several months. We know that most students and families want to get back to in-person learning as soon as it is safe to do so, which is why we will be offering in-person learning for five days a week at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
With the exception of implementing mitigation strategies based on the most up-to-date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all school structures and practices will return to normal.
APCS will continue to follow CDC mitigation guidelines in an effort to keep our students and staff healthy as they return to school, including:
- Masks/face coverings
- Room ventilation
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Contact tracing
- Social distancing
These strategies may be adjusted according to the most up-to-date guidance from the CDC.
How will students socially distance?
Students will be required to maintain 3 feet of physical distance at all times. Greater social distance will sometimes be required (i.e., 6 feet of distance when eating and 10 feet of distance when participating in physical activity).
How will social distancing be achieved?
Maintaining 3 feet of social distance in classrooms will require additional staff and space. We are analyzing the staffing impact of reducing class size where needed at all levels.
Planning is underway to install four 8-classroom modular units. These units will be installed at Albemarle, Monticello, and Western Albemarle high schools and Henley Middle School.
All staff will be expected to work their full schedule in person.
Bus capacity will return to pre-pandemic levels, but parents are still encouraged to drive their students to and from school when possible.
HEPA filtration units will be installed on all ACPS buses.
Meals may continue to be free to all students, pending an extension of the USDA Waiver through June 2022. We are still waiting for more details from the Virginia Department of Education.
The logistics of serving and eating are still under development.
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, individual schools may transition temporarily to fully virtual instruction for a length of time determined in coordination with our local health department. Such a decision would be made in response to case numbers and evidence of transmission at that particular school.*
*Deviation from this approach may occur due to unforeseen circumstances or in response to guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia Department of Health, or Blue Ridge Health District.
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. This is why we will be offering a full-day virtual learning experience for students 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 learning virtually from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Learning will be synchronous and students will be required to actively participate in class with their cameras on.
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.
School meal pickup will be available at some school cafeterias. Locations will be updated once they are confirmed.
For more information on our Virtual School, please visit our Virtual School web page.