Family Update – Sept. 16, 2020

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Email highlights

  • Students in Cohort No. 1 are eligible to start returning to school for in-person instruction on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
  • The Public Health Committee will continue to meet, and could recommend in two weeks that Cohort No. 2 students are eligible to return to school for in-person instruction the week of Oct. 12.
  • Details about the four cohorts of students are available here.
  • Monday’s School Board presentation can be reviewed here.

Team Chesterfield families,

We are excited to share that the Public Health Committee created to advise the School Board and school division has reported that health metrics identified for the eventual return to in-person instruction in Chesterfield County have been met, and that Chesterfield County Public Schools can begin the student re-entry process.

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 29, the first of four cohorts of students will be eligible to return to school for in-person instruction. Cohort No. 1 includes select K-12 Level 2 special education students with disabilities as determined by individualized education plans (IEPs). These students with disabilities are in Cohort 1 and will receive in-person instruction up to four days per week:

  • Those who receive instruction through the Aligned Standards of Learning curriculum, or
  • who attend one of the following self-contained classroom programs: Early Childhood Special Education Program (ECSE), Intensive Day Program (IDP), Autism Day Program (ADP) and Severe Intellectual Disabilities Program (ID-S). All services will be provided in the self-contained (special education setting) as determined to be appropriate by the IEP team and with parental consent.

Families with special education students in Cohort No. 1 will be contacted by their child’s school within the next several days with specific information and to confirm their plans to return.

Pending further data review and approval from the Public Health Committee, additional cohorts could be reintroduced to in-person instruction every two weeks moving forward. The earliest possible return dates for the remaining three cohorts are: Cohort No. 2 the week of Oct. 12; Cohort No. 3 the week of Oct. 26; and Cohort No. 4 the week of Nov. 9. As they re-enter, these cohorts will return to school during the normal school operating times. (More information about the cohorts is available here.)

Students will return in a hybrid scenario. To avoid information overload, we will be sharing updates about what this looks like at the elementary and secondary levels next week.

As students return, we will continue to follow health and safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health. Facial coverings will be required for all students and staff, and social distancing guidelines will be monitored and enforced as possible.

The School Board, my leadership team and I appreciate all of the work that has gone into preparing for this school year. Our school buildings will look different, but we are excited about the opportunity to see our first students return on Sept. 29. And, we can’t wait for more students to join them!

Dr. Merv Daugherty


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