ACPS looking ahead to possibility of all hybrid instruction by February

Updated: Jan. 4, 2021 at 8:55 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many schools are all virtual this week to curb the spread of COVID-19, but a month from now things could look completely different.

Albemarle County Public Schools is weighing the options of possibly moving to all hybrid instruction by February.

Although ACPS is currently in Stage 3, this week the school division decided students should have all virtual instruction in an effort to limit possible COVID-19 exposure after the holiday.

“We could remain in Stage 3, we could drop back to Stages 1 or 2, or go to Stage 4,” ACPS Communications Officer Phil Giaramita said. “Stage 4 would about double the number of students who are in our buildings from 2,500 to 5,000.”

Superintendent Matthew Haas will come out with a new recommendation next week, suggesting how the division should move forward.

The third quarter starts on February 1. By then, ACPS could move to Stage 4, possibly allowing hybrid instruction for all students who opt for it.

“What we’re really talking about doing if we make a recommendation to Stage 4, is to give more parents the choice to send their kids into schools,” Giaramita said.

For ACPS and many other school divisions, the vaccination of teachers is a large factor in the decision-making process.

“People who work in the school divisions are likely to be considered essential employees which may give them the ability to be vaccinated a little earlier in the process,” Giaramita said. “That also will play into this.”

After recommendations are presented and discussed, the board is expected to vote on the next stage of learning on January 21.

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