Phase II

REVIEW OF PHASE GUIDANCE


According to the document, Phase Guidance for Virginia Schools, Phase II guidance includes:

PROGRAMMATIC RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Extended school year and special education services that are allowed in Phase I may continue to operate.
  • Emergency child care for working families which are allowed in Phase I may continue to operate.
  • Summer camp in school settings may be offered to children of all ages. Programs should ideally be limited to children in the local geographic area.
  • Schools may offer limited in-person instruction to preschool through third grade and English Learner students given the unique challenges of providing remote academic and physical emotional support to young learners and English language learners.
  • Divisions should notify VDOE of their intent to provide in-person instruction or programming that varies from the phase guidance. This notification is only required when exceeding the recommended programmatic offerings, or deviating from the recommended health mitigation strategies in any phase.
  • Schools may continue to ensure provision of student services such as school meal programs.
  • Extracurricular activities (such as clubs) may be offered if physical distancing mitigation strategies can be implemented.
  • Athletics should be limited to individual or team-based practice, skill-building drills or conditioning activities that allow maintenance of physical distancing at all times.
  • It is not recommended that youth recreational/school sports competition take place in Phase II, unless physical distancing can be maintained at all times (e.g. individual swimmers showing up at scheduled times to have their event timed, etc). Competition that involves contact with other athletes should be avoided.
  • If physically distanced competitions are taking place, the following conditions should also be met:
    • Outdoor recreational sports are allowable if 10 feet of physical distance can be maintained by all participants and spectators at all times and all shared items can be disinfected between uses. The total number of attendees (including both participants and spectators) cannot exceed the lesser of 50% of the occupancy load of the venue (if an occupancy load exists) or 50 persons.
    • Indoor recreational sports (including practices and classes) may occur if 10 feet of physical distance can be maintained by all participants at all items and all shared items can be disinfected between uses. The total number of attendees (including participants, referees, coaches, etc.) cannot exceed the lesser of 30% of the occupancy load of the room in which the sport is being held or 50 persons. Spectators may not be present except parents or guardians who are supervising children. Spectators must wear face coverings consistent with any active Executive Orders and due to behaviors which may bring greater risk (e.g. cheering), it is recommended that spectators be separated by 10 feet of distance from other persons.

HEALTH, SAFETY AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Schools should follow operational guidance from the CDC, including enhanced physical distancing measures, physical distancing, and cleaning, disinfecting and other mitigation strategies.
  • CDC advises that individuals maintain six feet of distance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that schools maintain a distance of at least one meter (approx. three feet) between everyone present at school, and is monitoring ongoing research. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says spacing as close as three feet may have similar benefits if students wear cloth face coverings and do not have symptoms of illness. Physical distancing is not limited to distance between children; physical distancing between adults is a key mitigation measure. It will be important to continue to monitor the community context of COVID-19 prevalence into the fall and winter. In areas where the community transmission of COVID-19 is more substantial, distancing of at least 6 feet will need to be strongly considered; this guidance may be subject to change as we learn more.
  • Therefore, in school settings, schools are encouraged to aim for six feet of physical distance to the greatest extent possible however, if six feet of distance is not feasible (inclusive of buildings and school buses), schools should implement a combination of face coverings and a minimum of three feet distance between everyone present.
  • Physical distance should be created between children on school buses when possible (e.g. seat children one per seat, every other row and/or staggered, aisles and windows) limiting capacity as needed to optimize distance between passengers. If three to six feet of distance can not be maintained, wearing of face coverings is strongly encouraged and may help reduce disease transmission. Children (such as siblings) living together may sit together on the bus, and assign seating where possible. If possible given the age of students, weather conditions, etc., consider opening windows to improve ventilation.
  • In addition to physical distancing described above, other physical distancing precautions should include, but are not limited to:
    •  Restrict mixing classes/groups of students. 
    •  Close communal spaces. 
    •  Limited athletics and extracurricular activities. 
    •  Limit outdoor activities/recess to 50 people, with a priority on physical distancing and restricting mixing of classrooms. 
    •  No gatherings (assemblies, graduations, etc) of more than 50 people (indoor or outdoor). Indoor gatherings should be held only as necessary, and be limited in duration.

HCPS VARIATION FROM GUIDANCE


Hanover County Public Schools is not varying from the guidance provided.

OPERATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

TRANSPORTATION

During Phase II, the following will be in place for transporting students with disabilities only as required in the IEP. All other students who are allowed to and elect to continue face-to-face instruction will provide their own transportation.

  • Parents of students with disabilities are also encouraged to transport their own students.
  • A bus attendant will be present on each route.
  • Students will be seated one per seat alternating every other row. Siblings or occupants of the same household may sit together.
  • Drivers, attendants, and students are required to wear face coverings.
  • Students will undergo a health screening before entering the bus.
  • Drivers will clean seats and high touch areas after every route.

SCHOOL SCHEDULES

During Phase II, school schedules (in physical buildings) will be modified based upon transportation schedules, employee contract hours, and instructional needs of the students being served. 

Students enrolled in the Online School or learning remotely from home will adhere to a published schedule.

TECHNOLOGY

Through CARES Act funding allocation from Hanover County and original budgeted monies in the 2020-2021 adopted budget, student devices will be procured for distribution to students in grades 3-12. A timeline for distribution will be created based upon division priorities and product availability.

In Phase II, the majority of students will be learning in a remote setting, accessing lessons through a variety of methods, including synchronous and asynchronous instruction. In order to support learning in this phase, the following actions will take place:

  • Students enrolled in the Online School will be provided a device for accessing instruction. Students in grades 3-12 will receive devices as they become available.
  • Staff will provide extended HelpDesk hours for students and staff. Students will be able to schedule a visit for troubleshooting or student device swap.
  • Division will expand wireless connectivity at some elementary school parking lots.
  • Division will maintain inventory of student devices onsite for swapping to the extent that inventory is available.
  • Division will continue to explore alternative connectivity strategies for families in rural areas.

FOOD SERVICES

During Phase II, HCPS will provide meals for pick-up for students at up to five locations, based upon waivers, and make every effort to locate students attending school face-to-face at those sites. Staff will consider the efficiency of limited food service onsite or delivering meals from feeding sites, depending upon the number of students by school. 

FACILITIES

During Phase II, all buildings will have normal operations for any face-to-face instruction. Maintenance staff will also follow normal operations. The following practices will be in place: 

  • Custodial services will stock spaces that will be utilized with cleaning supplies for staff use throughout the day. 
  • Staff will be trained to clean high-touch areas throughout the day.
  • Custodial services will ensure emphasized cleaning for occupied spaces using a cleaning checklist by room type.
  • HCPS will provide custodial support to County Parks & Recreation for any emergency childcare programs, as requested.

NEW INSTRUCTION

FRAMEWORK FOR INSTRUCTION

During Phase II, only students in grades PK-3, students with disabilities, and English Language Learners will be permitted on site for face-to-face instruction. All other students will engage in Remote Learning. In this framework, new instruction and recovery strategies will continue in order to support student learning. Student accountability will also continue.

For students who will continue face-to-face learning in Phase II, regrouping to encourage increased social distancing will occur using existing staff. For elementary schools, staff may also be reallocated from middle and high schools to support smaller grouping of students. 

 For students who elected to receive instruction online in Phase III, instruction will continue uninterrupted. For students who elected to receive instruction face-to-face in Phase III who are no longer permitted to attend school face-to-face, a shift will be made to remote learning. 

Remote learning will include continuation of instruction provided by assigned HCPS staff. While all efforts will be made to support access to technology, high-quality instructional resources will also be available in hard copy. All online learning resources and communication during Phase II will originate from Schoology, the learning management system for all grades in HCPS.

Strategies and supports for transitioning to remote learning will be an integral part of the classroom experience and family engagement opportunities prior to a shift to Phase II, if at all possible. Teaching and learning expectations will be shared in advance, as well. In contrast to the emergency situation in Spring 2020, HCPS will have extensive plans in place to transition to remote instruction and maintain daily, quality instruction for all students.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS

Professional learning is critical regardless of phase or instructional framework. Recognizing that all staff must attend to a wide array of challenges and opportunities for the upcoming school year and beyond, the division is offering professional learning opportunities in the following areas:

  • Behavior management, classroom management, and de-escalation: Even prior to the closure of schools in Spring 2020, HCPS had identified student behavior as an area for growth and had begun developing professional learning around this topic. With the disruption to the learning community and the uncertainty related to COVID-19, staff must be equipped to proactively manage classroom behaviors, teach appropriate behaviors, and build a strong sense of community in the classroom.
  •  Instructional planning: During the 2019-2020 academic year, the division began work to enhance teachers’ instructional planning skills by introducing John Hattie’s work around visible learning. This work centers around making learning intentions and success criteria clear to students. In the upcoming year, this work takes on greater urgency across all learning environments. Students and teachers alike must be able to articulate the what, why, and how of the content so that streamlined instruction can take place in introducing new learning and recovering any learning gaps from the prior year.
  • Blended learning: Staff has created numerous modules for teachers across the division to increase skills in creating blended learning opportunities for students. The work in this area is needed to support instruction both in the face-to-face and online instructional environments.
  • Social-Emotional learning and mental health awareness: Teachers will receive training on signs of mental health issues in order to best support students. Additionally, the county has purchased a K-12 social-emotional learning curriculum. On-going professional learning on implementation will be provided.
  • Diversity, inclusion, and equity: The division is collaborating with Virginia Centers for Inclusive Communities to bring professional learning to staff on culturally responsive teaching and other areas related to racial equity. This builds on early work conducted by the division.

DIVISION RESOURCES FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PLANNING

As Hanover County Public Schools moves from the planning stage into implementation, the division will be providing significant resources for teachers to use in their instructional planning. These resources may be specific to grade level, content area, or instructional model. The following list of topics for guidance prepared by the division should not be considered exhaustive:

  • Pacing Guides: recommendations for length of time needed on each unit of study, connections to past learning, connections to future learning, and strategies for remote learning
  • Streamlining Tools: criteria to prioritize emphasis within a given course or unit based upon relationship to future learning, Profile of a Hanover Graduate skill development, and needs of current students
  • Assessment and Grading Guidelines
  • Remote Learning Strategies
  • High-Yield Blended Learning Strategies
  • Social-Emotional Learning Strategies
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain (Z. Hammond work)
  • Recovery Strategies: recommendations for building in “just-in-time” assessments of prior learning needed for the upcoming unit, providing scaffolded supports, and monitoring progress
  • Intervention Strategies
  • Planning for Work-Based Learning Opportunities

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

As schools begin a new academic year, Hanover County Public Schools recognizes that its most vulnerable learners may return with increased learning gaps over their peers. In order to provide an equitable learning experience, deliberate supports and strategies will be developed and implemented in all phases. In Phase II, learners who have enrolled in the Online School will continue in that instructional model. More specific information regarding the support of those students can be found in the Instructional Model section later in this document. Many of the students who elected face-to-face learning will be served in a remote setting as only PK-3rd grade students, students with disabilities, and English Language Learners may be served face-to-face in Phase II. While many of the decisions related to support should be made at the individual student level, the following considerations are provided for those students receiving instruction in a remote setting:

  • Students with disabilities will be served according to their IEPs. IEP teams should consider how IEPs can be implemented in a remote setting. 
  • English language learners may need adapted materials. Careful structures must be considered to ensure a strong school-home partnership given that language barriers may exist.
  • Community-based internet access resources should be considered to assist families with accessing instruction during remote learning.
  • Take-home resources and manipulatives should be provided during remote learning periods, as needed.
  • Schools should promote increased family engagement strategies to work collaboratively in meeting learning needs. Materials for parents and caregivers on strategies for monitoring and supporting learning at home will be made available.
  • Attendance issues need to be addressed swiftly as transitions between phases may occur suddenly. Schools will develop and implement attendance supports using a core group of employees.
  • Schools and teachers will design and implement enrichment and extension activities within given units for gifted students.
  • During remote learning, teachers will continue to employ appropriate recovery strategies embedded in core instruction and available as additional interventions. On-going progress monitoring will inform instructional decisions.
  • During remote learning, a specific point of contact for each student will be identified and well-communicated to the student and family.

For students who will be served in a face-to-face setting, the following should be considered:

  • Students with disabilities will be served according to their IEPs. 
  • English language learners should be served with push-in instruction to the greatest extent possible. Careful structures must be considered to ensure a strong school-home partnership given that language barriers may exist.
  • Take-home resources and manipulatives should be provided if needed to support students in practice opportunities at home.
  • Schools should promote increased family engagement strategies to work collaboratively in meeting learning needs. Materials for parents and caregivers on strategies for monitoring and supporting learning at home will be made available.
  • Attendance issues need to be addressed swiftly as transitions between phases may occur suddenly. Schools will develop and implement attendance supports using a core group of employees.
  • Schools and teachers will design and implement enrichment and extension activities within given units for gifted students.
  • Classroom teachers will employ appropriate recovery strategies embedded in core instruction and available as additional interventions. On-going progress monitoring will inform instructional decisions.

IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENT ACADEMIC NEEDS

In all phases, teachers and other staff must be able to assess student needs to begin recovery strategies in tandem with new learning. The following strategies will be utilized by staff:

Fall Screenings at Elementary: Staff will continue to use PALS, VKRP, Fountas and Pinnell BAS, and an HCPS math screener in the fall to identify student skill level.

“In-the-Moment” Screening: Throughout the division, at all grade levels, teachers will be using running records, division-led assessments, and other teacher-based assessments to capture information about student skill and knowledge acquisition in advance of teaching new content. These in-the-moment snapshots will focus on prior knowledge and core skills necessary to engage in new learning.

Recovery Strategies: With differentiated learning approaches, such as Math Workshop and a balanced literacy approach, student learning activities will match student needs in order to build in recovery learning. Additionally, students whose skill deficits are more pronounced will be assigned to interventions to receive more targeted opportunities to build skills in addition to the work during core instruction.

Progress Monitoring: Teachers and their teams will continuously review student data on formative assessments to measure the progress of individual students and plan for appropriate recovery strategies.

Summer 2021: The division will create a summer program to continue to serve students whose learning gaps persist. The scope of these programs will be determined based upon need and division capacity.

ATHLETICS AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

In Phase II, all athletic and extra-curricular activities require division approval. The following guidelines ensure alignment with the Hanover County Public Schools Health Plan. Should modifications be made to that plan, guidelines for these activities may also change. 

  • Coaches must complete health and safety training prior to any activity.
  •  All schools will follow VHSL guidelines for Phase II out-of-season practices.
  •  All athletic activities must take place outdoors.
  •  Online School students are eligible to participate provided that they meet all VHSL eligibility requirements. Parents must provide transportation for practice.
  •  Coaches will develop individual plans for students to return to satisfactory physical condition. 
  •  As all athletic activities must have administrative oversight, work schedules for Directors of Student Activities may be staggered. 

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL SUPPORTS


The task force team for social-emotional wellness created a set of recommendations for staff to use in implementing universal supports for all students, employees, and families and providing more specific interventions for those who need them. For Phase II, when most students are involved in remote learning, the following are important considerations.

  •  Schools must develop a school-based team for social-emotional wellness that provide resources and supports for students and families during remote learning.
  •  Clear expectations for teaching and learning must be communicated.
  •  Communication approaches must meet the needs of all stakeholders and be consistent.
  •  Results from universal screenings for social-emotional wellness should be used to provide on-going remote support utilizing social workers, psychologists, school counselors, and other trained staff. If students have not been universally screened prior to entering Phase One, efforts to screen remotely should be considered.
  •  Schools should have protocols in place to engage with all families, with particular emphasis on those needing additional social-emotional supports or those identified as vulnerable learners.
  •  Schools should provide activities and strategies for students and families to remain connected to their school communities throughout Phase One.
  •  Schools should provide links to resources to students and families to outside mental health resources, as needed.
  •  Schools should provide parents and other caregivers with strategies on helping students develop the necessary skills for working remotely (resiliency, time management, and independence).
  •  School administrators, faculty, and staff should receive training on Mental Health First Aid.
  •  School administrators, faculty, and staff should participate in professional learning that focuses on cultural responsiveness, cultural awareness and cultural competency to include topics such as anti-racism and racial equality in order to create an inclusive learning environment.
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