PWCS announces 2021-22 Learning Plan
Posted on 05/06/2021
Students and staff in bus loop 2021-22 Learning Plan

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Walts presented the 2021-22 Learning Plan to the School Board on Wednesday, May 5. The reopening plan provides for five days a week of full-time, in-person instruction for all students in all grade levels. Students at all grade levels will have the option to remain virtual.

All students will be considered in-person unless their parent/guardian opts-in to virtual learning. The selection for 100 percent virtual can be made in ParentVUE between May 24-28. In order to ensure proper budgeting, staffing and scheduling, it is important for schools to have information on fall attendance by May 28. More details about the 2021-22 Learning Plan. 

Note:  Plans are subject to change.

See additional questions and answers below.

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When is the first day of school?
The first day of school is August 23, 2021.
How many days a week will students attend?
  • All students will attend school five days a week Monday-Friday.  
  • Virginia state law requires school divisions to provide in-person learning to all students five days a week, and that school boards may provide a virtual option during the pandemic.
  • The Prince William County School Board further directed that a 100 percent virtual option be provided to students at all grade levels.
What will the bell schedule look like?
Exact times will be communicated by each school before the first day and will vary by school. Bell times will be approximately:
  • High school 7:30 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.
  • Middle School 8:10 a.m. – 2:25 p.m.
  • Elementary Schools 1st run 9 a.m. – 3:10 p.m. and 2nd run 9:30 a.m.-3:40 p.m.
Why are there two bus runs for elementary schools?
Schools will follow modified bell schedules to accommodate extra runs for elementary school buses to ensure no more than two students to a seat.
Will there be a virtual option?
  • All students will be considered in-person unless their parent/guardian opts-in to virtual learning. Virtual learning attendance requirements will be different for 2021 new school year including having a camera on.
  • Virtual students will be grouped with other virtual students to the extent possible and may be grouped across schools. Additionally, virtual students may be enrolled into classes through Virtual Virginia and Virtual Prince William.
  • Please note not all classes may be available virtually (such as certain hands-on CTE classes). 
  • School counselors and schedulers will work with students on individual schedules.
  • Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to opt-in to virtual learning via ParentVUE from May 24–28.
Why must the selection for virtual be made now?
Planning for the fall school year is occurring at schools now. Schools must plan staffing and budgeting to match student needs at each school. In order to ensure proper staffing and scheduling it is important for schools to have information on fall attendance as soon as possible.
If my child starts virtual can they change to in-person?
Per VDOE guidance, PWCS must allow any virtual students to transition seamlessly to an in-person setting at any point.
Will concurrent teaching occur?
  • Concurrent teaching (students in-person in the classroom, some at-home virtual) will be eliminated to the greatest extent possible.
  • Concurrent teaching will occur if students are quarantined.
  • Scheduling of virtual-only sections will be maximized within schools, and may include students across schools, and may require limited use of concurrent teaching in some cases.
What will be the health mitigation requirements?
PWCS will follow the orders of the Governor, Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and Virginia Department of Education in effect at that time. The following are current planned mitigations and subject to change:
  • Classrooms — physical distance to the greatest extent possible with a minimum of three feet, face coverings will be worn.
  • Buses — students will share seats, and all passengers will be expected to wear face coverings. 
  • Cafeteria — students will be separated six feet to greatest extent possible.
  • Quarantine may occur — requiring impacted students to have concurrent teaching during that time.
Will students receive technology?
All students will be provided a laptop and will have access to free internet at-home if needed.
Will school-aged child care be available?
Before and after school child care will be available via AlphaBest. Registration information is available on the AlphaBest website
Will COVID-19 vaccines be required for students to attend?
Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are not required for students.