Update 10/7: Revisions have been made to the elementary and middle school hybrid/in-person instructional models and adjustments have been made to the student groupings for Return Levels 2 and 3. The selection process window has also been extended to Weds., Oct. 21. More Info
At the September 24 School Board Meeting, APS Superintendent Dr. Durán announced the APS plan to begin having select groups of students return to school for hybrid, in-person learning in mid to late October and early November based on their student grouping level. Families will be able to decide if they would prefer for their child to return to school to receive in-person hybrid learning, or if they would like to continue receiving full-time distance learning when school buildings reopen for students. Additional information on the transition is available on the Transition to Hybrid/In-Person Model webpage.
The selection process opens for Level 2 families on September 29 and ends on October 13. The following provides more information regarding student grouping levels and the ParentVUE process for updating preferences for full-time distance learning or hybrid, in-person learning, depending on student return level.
Student Grouping Levels
The following are the student grouping levels and projected timing for the transition to hybrid, in-person learning. Please note that we are planning for these timeframes; however, implementation is subject to meeting the health and safety and operational metrics defined on the APS COVID-19 Dashboard:
- Level 1: Projected Return Date – Mid to Late October
- Students with Disabilities (SWDs) who require direct support to access the curriculum as presented via distance learning.
- Level 2
- Level 2, Phase 1: Projected Return Date – Week of November 9
- Early Learners – All PreK-3rd grade students, including PreK-3rd grade English Learners and SWDs with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs),given that they need more support in accessing their education in early years of learning.
- Career and Technical Education (CTE) Students – CTE students enrolled in many Career Center courses given that they need to have access to industry tools and equipment to become proficient in their field of study. Some in-person, hands-on work is required in order to meet VDOE competencies not waived and industry credentialing requirements.
- Level 2, Phase 2: Projected Return Date – Week of November 16
- English Learners/SWDs – English Learners identified as WIDA levels 1-4 in grades 4-12 and all SWDs with IEPs in grades 4-12, because both groups of students need additional in-person support for language acquisition (ELs) and access to the curriculum. Note that English Learners and SWD with IEPs in grades PreK-3rd transition on November 9 in Level 2 Phase 1.
- Level 3: Projected Return Date – Early December
- All other APS general education students who select hybrid, in-person instruction and are not identified as belonging to any of the specialized groups identified for levels 1 & 2. Students whose families indicate a preference to remain in the distance learning will remain in this model. Level 3 is tentatively planned for early December depending on health and safety and operational metrics.
- Level 2, Phase 1: Projected Return Date – Week of November 9
For assistance with determining a student’s grouping level, please contact your child’s school. Please note that teacher assignments for elementary and middle school students are subject to change depending on student needs and the results of the staff and family surveys.
Selection Process Timeline
Level 1: In Progress
Families of students in Level 1 will be contacted by school staff throughout the week of September 28 to determine and select the instructional delivery method and transportation selections for their student(s).
Level 2: Tuesday, September 29 – October 13
Families of Level 2 students will have from Tuesday, September 29 to Tuesday, October 13 at 5 p.m. to choose an instructional delivery method or to update the selections they made in mid-July in ParentVUE. If families do not select one of the two options by the deadline during the upcoming window, their selection will remain the same or will automatically default to the hybrid instructional delivery model if they did not make a selection in July. It is important that families select one of the instructional delivery methods by the deadline so schools can begin planning for both full-time distance learning and in-person class schedules.
Level 3: Late October to Early November
Only the selections for students in Levels 1 & 2 will be able to be updated in ParentVUE during the upcoming selection process window. Families of students in Level 3 will be able to confirm or change the instructional delivery method and transportation selections for their student(s) at a later date, depending on health and safety and operational metrics. APS is planning ahead for a late-October to early-November timeframe for the Level 3 selection process and will communicate additional details once the Level 3 Return timeframe is solidified.
Instructional Delivery Methods
The two available instructional delivery choices are as follows:
- Hybrid In-School and Distance Learning– Students will participate in two consecutive in-person instruction days per week combined with three days per week of independent (asynchronous) distance learning. High school students will still receive synchronous learning four days a week in Level 2 and Level 3, even while some high school students are in the hybrid instructional delivery method and some are in full-time distance learning.
- Full-Time Distance Learning– Students will participate in full-time distance learning, including both interactive, teacher-led (synchronous) instruction and asynchronous instruction.
Additional details on the instructional delivery methods and sample school schedules are available on the 2020-21 School Year webpage.
Important Transportation Information & Changes
As a part of the return to school process, APS is requesting that families not only select their instructional delivery method for the start of the school year, but also their transportation preference. If selecting the full-time distance learning instructional delivery method, there is no need to complete the transportation information. For families selecting the hybrid, in-person instructional delivery method, transportation-eligible families should select if a student(s) will ride the bus. If they will not ride the bus when in-person learning begins, please select the mode of transportation that will be used.
Only students who are assigned to a bus/bus route will be allowed to ride the bus for health and safety reason. All students must pass a temperature screening to ride the bus. Due to the state’s physical distancing guidelines, buses will only be able to transport approximately 11 students each. As a result, buses may need to make several trips back and forth to school to get all students eligible for transportation to and from school. In order to reduce the number of students APS will transport, APS has expanded 16 elementary walk zones in areas close to schools. A map of those locations can be found online.
To help buses move quickly between trips to and from school, all option schools will start using hub stops and some bus stops for neighborhood schools will be consolidated. APS will also identify remote locations near schools where parents can park and wait to confirm their child is able to enter their school. If a student’s temperature is 100.4 degrees or above, they will not be able to enter the school and must return home.
APS will not provide regular bus service to students residing in the expanded walk zones. APS is working with the County to provide crossing support in the expanded walk zones with major crossings. APS is also developing route maps to help families find their way to and from school when walking and is also preparing materials for school communities to use if they wish to form physically-distanced walking school buses and bicycle trains to support walking and biking access to schools.
How to Select or Change Your Selection in ParentVUE
Families will need to complete the following steps in ParentVUE to select their choices for the instructional delivery method and transportation questions:
- Log in to ParentVUE with your username and password.
- As soon as you log in, the default tab you will see is the “Student Info” tab.
- On the top of the “Student Info” page, click “Edit Information” to select your choices to the instructional delivery method and transportation questions.
- Scroll to the middle of the “Student Info” page to select your choices for the instructional delivery method and transportation questions.
- After selecting your choices, scroll to the top or the bottom of the page to select “Save Changes.”
- If you have multiple students, you will need to complete this process for each student by selecting their name in the box located in the upper-left corner of the screen in ParentVUE.
Families are able to use the following link to access ParentVUE when they are ready to select their instructional delivery methods and transportation choices for their student(s): https://vue.apsva.us.
For additional information or assistance with accessing ParentVUE, families should contact their student’s school or call the Family Technology Call Center at 703-228-2570.
Instructional Delivery Method Changes
Due to limitations on classroom space, staffing, and scheduling needs, students in PreK-3rd grade will be unable to change their instructional delivery method preference once they participate in the upcoming selection process window unless individual space at their school of record becomes available. If needed, the families of level 2 students in grades 4-12 may change their instructional delivery method preference once APS transitions to level 3 students returning.