In June 2020, the Commonwealth of Virginia release Phase Guidance for Virginia Schools (
updated July 6, 2020) to correspond with the Forward Virginia Blueprint used to guide the reopening of business. This document provides an overview of the three phases for reopening schools in order to provide opportunities for new learning to take place. School divisions are required to create both a health plan and an instructional plan. For each phase, guidance is provided in terms of programmatic recommendations; and health, safety, and physical distancing recommendations. Phase I is the most restrictive of all phases, limiting most instruction to remote learning, with Phase II increasing the opportunities for face-to-face learning to a wider group of students, and Phase III allowing for face-to-face instructional for all students. Currently, the entire Commonwealth is in Phase III.


As a first step, Hanover County Public Schools identified the lenses through which planning would proceed.

Alignment with Mission, Vision, and Beliefs – Are the decisions in concert with the division’s current Long-Range Plan?

Health and Safety – Are the decisions based upon utilizing mitigating strategies promoted by health-related organizations?

Resource Capacity – Are the decisions based upon the best use of existing or obtainable resources of the school division?

Instructional Best Practices – Are the decisions based upon the division’s ability to provide for new instruction for all students while implementing strong recovery strategies to eliminate learning gaps?

Resource Capacity – Are the decisions based upon the best use of existing or obtainable resources of the school division?

Compliance – Are the decisions based upon current requirements from the federal, state, and local authorities and government agencies?

Social and Emotional Wellness – Are the decisions based upon the social and emotional needs of students, staff, and families?

Equity – Are the decisions based upon meeting the needs of all students through allocation of resources and supports, with specific focus on vulnerable populations?


After the Commonwealth of Virginia released Phased Guidance for Virginia Schools and its larger guidance document, Recover, Redesign, Restart 2020, Hanover County Public Schools convened a task force to examine the process for reopening schools and providing new instruction in all phases. The task force included approximately 100 stakeholders to include students, parents, teachers, administrators, division-level leadership, and community members.

Staff organized the work of the task force in order to align with the Recover, Redesign, Restart 2020 document and address issues and questions through the identified lenses. The five groups included Instruction, Infrastructure, Employee Wellness and Health Plan, Social-Emotional Wellness, and Equity. Although the groups worked independent of one another, team leads met regularly to share information and align the work. All groups were tasked with reviewing available guidance, provide feedback on potential scenarios and develop new ones, create recommendations for implementation, and identify any policy and/or compliance issues.

Additionally, staff created a community feedback questionnaire to collect information related to technology, transportation, and parental preferences related to instructional models. Staff is using this information to plan for implementation. Parents were also able to ask questions and provide comments.

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