Return to Learn – September 15, 2020

Good evening, CCPS families! Thank you to those who tuned into the September School Board meeting last evening in person or on Facebook Live. We recognize our school community is anxious to receive information regarding the 2nd quarter Return to Learn (R2L) plan. While the School Board did not announce new instructional plans at the meeting, CCPS staff did spotlight the various metrics that are being used to drive the school division’s decision-making. These data will be used to formulate our recommendations which will be outlined at a special called school board on Monday, September 28 (4:00-5:00 p.m.).

In the interim, please take a look at the following Questions and Answers for some helpful information.

 

  • Is CCPS considering a face-to-face model of instruction for the second quarter?

 

Yes, face-to-face hybrid (partial virtual/partial in-person), a modified full return (four days in-person), and continuation of VIRTUAL+ are all being considered. Should the CCPS R2L metrics support any type of in-person instruction, a virtual option will remain for families desiring the continuation of online learning.

 

  • What metrics are being used to determine the feasibility of an in-person instructional model?

 

CCPS is using local and regional health data (primary driver), instructional logistics, operational needs, and survey data. More specifically, CCPS is documenting data every two weeks in the following categories: COVID burden (# of cases per 100,000) and trend (# of cases increasing/decreasing), student and staff absence rates, substitute supply/demand, current health mitigation strategies, COVID supply availability, transportation supply/demand, technology supply/demand, financials, and instructional model considerations.

 

  • Who makes the decision regarding future R2L instructional models?

 

The Health Analysis and Advisory Team composed of VDH, CCPS, and School Board representation utilizes weekly health data to evaluate the school division’s ability to safely return to face to face instruction.

 

  • How can the Caroline community help our students return to face-to-face instruction?

 

The community’s support and collaboration is essential to getting our students and staff back into the school buildings.The September 7 weekly VDH report documented Caroline County’s case incidence rate per 100,000 as orange/moderate at 7.9. The PCR Percent Positivity was red/high at 10.4%. The September 14 report documented a case incidence rate per 100,000 as red/high at 13.4, which reflects a 24 day increase. The PCR Percent Positivity decreased to a 9.5% (anything >10 is high). To lower COVID-19 transmission in our community, please use the various CDC and VDH safety guidelines (social distancing, hand washing, face coverings, etc.) to help minimize cases. Caroline County must experience a substantial sustained decline in both the case incidence rate and the PCR Positivity percentage for the school division to able to fully entertain an in-person model of instruction.

Thank you for your support. Be on the lookout tomorrow for a parent survey (complete by Monday, 9/21) that will provide us with updated data necessary for planning. Have a wonderful evening!

 

Sarah Calveric, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

CCPS Board Approves Return to Learn Plan

Dear CCPS Family,

For weeks, staff, students, and parents have anticipated the School Board’s approval of the 2020-2021 Return to Learn plan. I am pleased to report that this afternoon’s special called board meeting, the Caroline County School Board approved the VIRTUAL+ instructional delivery model for the first nine weeks (August 24-October 8). After productive deliberation, the Board’s unanimous vote (6-0) reflected their collective commitment to the health and well-being of all students and staff.

While the School Board acknowledges the unified desire for students to return to school in a face-to face environment, the hybrid hurdles outlined in today’s CCPS R2L presentation confirmed VIRTUAL+ as the most feasible and safe option. While this approved recommendation may ease many minds, we recognize the inherent challenges this model may present for others. We want to assure you that CCPS remains invested in working alongside our students and families to develop creative solutions and provide support and resources.

While additional communication will be provided in the coming days and weeks, the following information outlines high-level aspects of the VIRTUAL+ plan:

  1. PK-12 students will participate in virtual instruction from August 24 through October 8.
  2. The VIRTUAL+ model reflects direct teacher instruction (synchronous) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Students will engage in asynchronous instruction on Wednesdays, while teachers utilize this day for parent/student communication, remediation, intervention, planning, and CTE lab completion for industry certification.
  3. The VIRTUAL+ delivery model will utilize a structured schedule for synchronous learning with a more flexible asynchronous time period. This will enable parents to support their children with completion of independent assignments/tasks (asynchronous) when most convenient. Attendance will be taken daily (PK-12) and by course at the secondary level (6-12).
  4. Equity populations (+) inclusive of students with special needs (per IEP services), English Language Learners (levels 1-4), and students with no/limited internet service will be eligible to receive instruction at school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Families will be contacted to confirm student participation and share logistical details.
  5. The Technology Department will be communicating information related to device distribution (iPads and Chromebooks). If preferred, students will be permitted to use personal devices.
  6. Based on the R2L 2.0 Parent Survey data, CCPS has begun purchasing hotspots to support families without internet access. Distribution information will be forthcoming.
  7. Food Service (breakfast and lunch) will continue for in-person learners as well as virtual students. More information will be provided regarding how families can access meals.

To learn more about the Return to Learn logistics, please take a moment to review the CCPS Instruction Plan. Additionally, we encourage you to visit our R2L website for frequent FAQ updates and VIRTUAL+ information.

Thank you for your continued engagement and support. We look forward to designing developmentally appropriate instructional experiences for every CCPS student.

Sarah Calveric, Ph.D.
Superintendent

CCPS Return to Learn Site

CCPS is excited to announce the launch of its new Return to Learn website. For your convenience, the site contains the latest “draft” information regarding the opening of school for the 2020-21 school year: Introduction, Resources, Timeline, Guiding Principles, Survey Trends, Health and Safety, Delivery Models, Special Services, Social and Emotional Resources, and Athletics and Extracurriculars.

The R2L site will be updated regularly based on the latest guidance from the CDC, VDOE, or VDH, so be sure to visit it regularly to keep up-to-date regarding your student’s return to school.

CCPS Return to Learn

CCPS COVID-19 Information and FAQs

Caroline County Public Schools is concerned about the health of its students and staff.  As a result, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and keeping our community informed about the latest developments, best preventative practices, and steps that CCPS is taking to ensure a safe environment.

CCPS COVID-19 Information Page

CCPS COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Continuity of Instruction Plan (PDF)

Resumen de Planes de la Continuidad de Instrucción (PDF)

 

Calendar Revisions 2020-2021

Due to our August 24th school start date for secondary schools and the September 8th start date for elementary schools, the Caroline County School Board approved the following revisions to the 2020-2021 Instructional Calendar. The following days will now be full school days:
Monday, October 12
Monday, January 4
Friday, February 12
Friday, April 2
Wednesday, May 26 is still the last day of school, but now is a full day and not a half day.

The approved revisions will satisfy the core instructional time requirements defined by the Code of Virginia for grades Prek-8 and bring Caroline High School closer to meeting the required 140 clock hours for verified credit. We thank the School Board for approving the additional 4.5 instructional days as Caroline County Public Schools continues to empower the next generation of learners, thinkers, and leaders.

Joseph Robinson Announced as the Coordinator of Virtual Learning and Innovation

We are pleased to announce Mr. Joseph Robinson as the newly appointed Coordinator of Virtual Learning and Innovation. Mr. Robinson joined Caroline County Public Schools in 2006, serving as a Health and Physical Education teacher, as well as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (ITRT) until 2014. After serving for two years in the role of Lead Technology Trainer and Developer at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Mr. Robinson returned to Caroline in the role of ITRT in 2016. Most recently he has served as an ITRT at Caroline High School.

Mr. Robinson’s technical IT expertise partnered with diverse instructional knowledge will support CCPS with continued enhancements essential to technology proficiency, virtual teaching and learning, professional learning, and STEM programming. This CARES Act funded position will oversee all VIRTUAL+ instructional programs and online credit recovery options. Additionally, the Coordinator provides leadership to Innovation Specialists and supports staff with crafting and deploying effective online instruction resulting in measurable student achievement. As Coordinator, Mr. Robinson will direct the design, development, and delivery of professional development related to virtual learning and integration of technology into the classroom and beyond.

Please join us in congratulating Mr. Robinson as he takes on these new responsibilities.

Joey Robinson

LINQ

Reminder: Caroline County Public Schools is using a new online student registration/annual forms system called LINQ. LINQ provides a parent/guardian with the opportunity to electronically update demographic information such as address, phone number, and emergency contacts… and the system populates this information on all forms! Additionally, you may digitally sign school opening forms such as code of conduct document, acceptable use of technology, web access, and the student digital citizenship agreement – no more paper copies!

All 20-21 school opening forms should be completed in the online LINQ system no later than Wednesday, September 16, 2020. To access the system, simply navigate to our district website. Under the Parent Tab, select LINQ Registration.

Click on the following guidance documents to help you create an account attach a child access back to school forms. If additional support is needed, please view the attached video for assistance with creating an account and attaching your child. You can obtain an invite code by reaching out to your child’s school.

Parent Account Video

We hope you find LINQ to be easily navigated, efficient, and accessible at all times! Should you have any questions, please contact bhausler@ccps.us.

LINQ Registration Picture

pictures of teachers teaching, two people in front of a building and students sitting in desks.

NAME THE BUS VOTE!

The Federal Programs Department is excited to announce the CCPS Community Bus! We hope to start traveling through the county sharing school supplies and educational resources very soon. We appreciate all submissions and we have selected the four most popular names. Please help us by selecting your favorite name by clicking on the link below. Voting is open until Friday, September 11th at noon.

Thank you in advance for your vote!

Vote here!

hand holding horn saying we need your help!

Welcome Back – Superintendent’s Message

Good evening, CCPS families! Faculty and staff are eager to welcome our Cavaliers (9th-12th graders) and Eagles (6th-8th graders) back to school tomorrow! It will be an unprecedented start to the 20-21 VIRTUAL+ school year, and truthfully, what the first day experience entails will be dependent upon each person’s individual situation. As a staff member and student, you may be kicking the year off at school in a VIRTUAL+ learning hub, wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from your colleagues/peers, and regularly washing those hands. Or, you may be starting the school year from home, stationed in front of a computer in a spare bedroom, at the kitchen table, or at a family desk.

As I welcome our secondary students (6th-12th) and staff back on the “Eve of Day 1”, I know that the work truly began days, weeks, and even months ago in preparation for this unique school year. Thank you – thank you for the grace and mercy shown to one another, the patience that have been offered and will be needed, and the solution-oriented mindset that both families and employees have embraced.

We begin the year confident in the established, in-person safety measures outfitting every school facility. We begin the year proud of our food service department’s ability to provide meals for all CCPS students. We begin the year appreciative of our transportation department’s ability to prepare our VIRTUAL+ equity groups’ individualized bus route needs. We begin the year pleased with our special educators’ communication with families to appropriately amend individualized education plans to meet the needs of each child. We begin the year celebrating educators’ admirable commitment to professional learning, relationship building, and communication with students and parents. We begin the year thankful for the engagement of our school community in the evolving details associated with a pandemic reopening.

We are also grateful for technology! While a blessing, it can simultaneously cause emotions and stressors that are less than ideal. And… while we have recently experienced an elementary demand for devices beyond our currently available supply, the collective stakeholder response has been understanding and heartwarming. Thank you for adopting this supportive approach as we embark on this new VIRTUAL+ journey on August 24th (grades 6-12).

We anticipate device hurdles this week. We expect some connectivity issues. We know, while we strive for excellence, there will be numerous opportunities for growth and improvement. Every one of us, student, staff, and parent, is climbing a steep learning curve – but we are doing it hip-to-hip with one another – #OneCaroline.

And so, on the “Eve of Day 1” for so many of you, I wish you a safe, healthy, and growth-producing school year. It will not be void of challenges – use these opportunities to be innovative and courageous. It is not the time to pause our collaborative efforts – reach out, communicate, share thoughts and ideas. Most importantly, we share a common goal – the success of every CCPS student.

Let’s get this year started!
Sarah

Sarah Calveric, Ph.D.
Superintendent