Stages of Returning

At the special school board meeting on July 30, Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) staff presented five stages of returning to school for the 2020-21 school year. Options presented for the board's consideration were developed in accordance with guidance provided by the state, public health officials, and the school division’s Return to School Planning Guide and ranged from a fully virtual model to a return to in-person learning for all.

Ultimately, the board approved starting school on September 8 in Stage 2, which includes virtual learning for most students and in-person access for a limited number of students.

Five Stages of Returning

Transition Between Stages

The school board's decision to open the 2020-21 school year in Stage 2 applies for the first quarter (first nine-week period) of the school year, from September 8 to November 6. Halfway through this period, the superintendent will make a recommendation to the school board for the second quarter (second nine-week period) that begins on November 9.

Four-and-a-half weeks prior to the end of each quarter, the superintendent will recommend to the school board whether the school division should stay in Stage 2 or progress to the next stage for the coming quarter. As part of this recommendation, the superintendent may make changes to the details of each stage.

Any shift in the division's stage of operation would go into effect at the beginning of each quarter, unless it is necessary to revert to a previous, lower stage—a move that could occur sooner if needed.

The following factors will be considered in determining the school division's stage of operation:

  • Current COVID-19 conditions in the Albemarle County region and within Albemarle County Public Schools, including, but not limited to, community transmission, testing positivity rates, and other public health data.
  • Status of COVID-19 testing and tracking capabilities in the Albemarle County region.
  • Guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health authorities.
  • Applicable executive orders and local ordinances that may impact our ability to provide successful classroom learning.
  • The school division's ability, including staffing and resources, to implement our instructional and health plans.
  • Feedback and input from stakeholders and school communities.

The most current public-facing data about COVID-19 conditions in our area can be found on the Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) Data Portal.