Prince William County School Board Highlights – October 21, 2020


Hybrid School—How Soon?

A poll of Price William County parents taken in September indicated that 60% of them wanted to continue virtual instruction for their children. The other 40% wanted their kids to return to the classroom ASAP.

That being the basis for planning on how and when to return students to their classrooms if they opt in to the hybrid plan, Superintendent Walts presented his calendar for student re-entry at the October 7 school board meeting. At the October 21 board meeting, members claimed the plan had taken them by surprise, which led to lengthy discussion before finally taking a vote on its adoption.

Dr. Walts’ plan for hybrid school is divided into House A and House B, meaning each half of the age group is on-site two days a week alternatively:

Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten: November 10, 13 —

Students will have eight days of school before the Thanksgiving holiday break.

1st grade: December 1, 2 –

            These young students will require much assistance with learning how to adjust.

2nd and 3rd grades: January 12, 13 –

The Board argued that these grades could and should begin when first graders start and there was much discussion, pros and cons.

4th, 5th grades: 6th and 9th grades:January 26, 27 –

            Freshmen will have orientation by themselves uninterrupted by upper classmen.

7th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th: February 2,3 – 

Middle and the remaining high school classes will be brought on-site. The reason cited by Dr. Walts for not starting high schoolers sooner is that the way their class schedules and rotations are designed for a non-COVID world plus the grading period parameter would cause havoc if altered.

No matter what arguments were presented by some board members to hasten the return  of all students to live learning, Dr. Walts cited reasons not as obvious but critical to the overall success of the plan for adhering to what he outlined.

The Board voted a split opinion, but Dr. Walts’ plan prevailed with the option to alter it if COVID metrics necessitate an adjustment.

Additional Information

— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance

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