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Hanover announces school reopening plan, allows parents to choose in-person or online learning

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Posted at 10:33 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 22:44:22-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Hanover County Public Schools has announced their school reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

The county's "Return to Learn" plan is dynamic and allows families to pick the option that is best for their students - either full-time in-person or online learning.

In Phase III, the current phase, any student can choose to return to school in-person. If the state reenters Phase I or II, in-school learning will be reserved only for pre-K through grade three students, students with disabilities, and English language learners.

Face masks will be required for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors inside of the school and on busses, with exceptions for students who are not able to wear face coverings as documented in their IEP or 504 plans.

Option #1: In-person instruction

  • Full-time face-to-face classroom instruction at the students’ assigned school, pre-K—12.
  • Available to all students during Phase III (the current phase). If the county enters back into Phase I or II of reopening, the option will only be available for pre-K through grade three students, students with disabilities, and English language learners.
  • All grade levels will look, feel, and operate differently to help reduce the spread of illness, such as limiting the movement and mixing of students.
  • The initial focus will be on social-emotional wellness, reacclimating students to the school environment, reestablishing a sense of community, and assessing where learning gaps may exist.
  • Outdoor instruction and breaks are encouraged when possible.

Option #2: Online instruction (Hanover Online Learning School)

  • Full-time online teaching and learning during all three phases, K-12.
  • Students will be assigned to classes with students and teachers from across the division.
  • Course selection for middle and high school electives will be limited in this option.
  • The initial focus will be on social-emotional wellness, reacclimating students to the learning environment, re-establishing a sense of community, and assessing where learning gaps may exist.
  • Instruction will be significantly more structured and rigorous than during the Spring of 2020, and grades will be assigned. HCPS will have extensive plans in place to transition to remote instruction and maintain daily, quality instruction for all students.

In Phase III, which the county is currently in, students will eat meals in their classroom or outside using staggered meal pick-up from the cafeteria and mobile food carts with touchless payment. If the county returns to Phases I or II, HCPS will provide student meals for pick-up at up to five locations, based upon federal and/or state waivers.

"Pupil transportation will be significantly limited to help reduce the spread of illness and comply with official guidance," Superintendent Dr. Michael Gill said. "Transportation will not be available to all students. We ask for your patience and cooperation as we work to ensure that the students who have the greatest need to receive transportation."

The County is also working to provide technology like laptops and hot spots to students who partake in online instruction. Student devices have been ordered for students in grades 3-12 and device distribution will be subject to product availability and delivery schedules and will be "prioritized by greatest need." Students enrolled in the Hanover Online Learning School option will receive devices first and HCPS will explore alternative connectivity strategies for students with limited or no internet connectivity, such as temporary hotspot devices.

Click here to view the full reopening plan.