Continuity Of Services

Appendix C

LEA Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

Prince William County Public Schools

Section 1: Introduction

The purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation’s students by addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. Prince William County Public Schools has been awarded $87.9 million in ESSER III funds. This plan describes how the awarded funds will be used. Questions about this plan should be directed to John Wallingford, Chief Financial Officer, at [email protected], or Rita Goss, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, at [email protected]

Prince William County Public Schools has a comprehensive plan for addressing students’ academic, social-emotional and mental health needs while safely reopening and sustaining mitigation and safety measures related to COVID-19. This ESSER III funding will support human and material resources to address unfinished learning, professional learning for professional educators and instructional leaders, social-emotional supports, and mental health healing professionals and resources, resources for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recommended ongoing health mitigation measures, and student transportation.

Section 2: Prevention and Mitigation Strategies

ARP Act ESSER III funds may be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on reopening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning. Prince William County Public Schools will use approximately 13% of its ARP Act ESSER III funds to implement prevention and mitigation strategies as described below.

Prince William County Public Schools employs the following layered mitigation strategies to maintain the health and safety of its staff, students, and visitors.

  1. The option of wearing of masks.
  2. Allow for physical distancing when possible.
  3. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette.
    • Hand sanitizer stands
    • Paper towel dispensers
  4. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation with Air Purifiers and filters.
  5. Efforts to provide vaccinations to school communities.
  6. Coordination with State and Local health officials.
  7. Encourage parents to perform daily health screening for illness and COVID-like symptoms prior to sending child to school.
  8. Wellness calls made by nurse and or building administration when a significant number of students are absent from a class.

Details of PWCS' mitigation strategy are available here.

Section 3: Continuity of Services

Prince William County Public Schools has taken and will continue to take actions to ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students' academic needs and students' and staff social and emotional, mental health, and other needs.

PWCS opened schools with 97% of students in person on August 26, 2021. We continue to assess the impacts of unfinished learning and continually make appropriate accommodations for English learners and students with special needs, including translation services, resources in Braille, ADA compliant buildings and meeting spaces, and much more. At the start of this school year, all students were provided a PWCS owned device to use for learning both in-person and virtual. Additionally, we provide free internet access in the parking lots at multiple schools across the division and support all families who lack connectivity at home. Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) takes steps to ensure equitable access to federal programs by meeting the needs of all learners. To ensure access to and equal participation of all learners, PWCS is providing funding to schools and central office departments to support the Launching Thriving Futures Unfinished Learning Plan.

In addition to the services listed above, the PWCS Food and Nutrition Services team offers no-cost meals to all students and children under the age of 18 who are residents of Prince William County through June 2022.

Section 4: Opportunity for Public Comment

In developing the ARP ESSER Plan, Prince William County Public Schools sought public input and took such input into account as described below.

  • With stakeholders, including: students, families, school and district administrators (including special education administrators), teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions - To gain community input, PWCS conducted two public meetings on June 15 and June 22, 2021. Additionally, the division conducted a stakeholder survey in which over 9,200 people responded;
  • With Tribes (if applicable); civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations); and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students - The public meetings and stakeholder survey provided multiple opportunities for organizations and stakeholders representing the interests of these identified student groups to provide input.; and
  • By providing the public the opportunity to provide input and taking such input into account.

The PWCS comprehensive plan strongly aligns the community/stakeholder input on funding use priorities. The following themes were identified from the over 9,200 survey responses and are clearly reflected in the plan's key commitments and funding priorities.

  • A focus on student social-emotional needs and mental health needs of students;
  • Support for at-risk student populations; and
  • Providing targeted, evidence-based interventions and extended learning programs (before school, after school, and Saturday school etc.).

Best practices, derived from current educational research, have been contextualized for use in our community in keeping with these priorities to meet the individual needs of students by equitably distributing additional federal resources to support acceleration in student learning and social-emotional wellness as we recover, reconnect, and re-engage with in-person learning.

Section 5: Periodic Review and Revision of Plan

During the period of the ARP ESSER award (until September 2023), Prince William County Public Schools will periodically review and, as needed, revise its plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. The plan will be reviewed at least every six months, and Prince William County Public Schools will seek and take into account public input during the review process. Plan revisions will address updated CDC guidance on safely reopening schools, if any are issued.

Section 6: Making the Plan Available to the Public

Prince William County Public Schools has taken the following steps to make this plan available to the public:

  • The plan is posted on the PWCS Unfinished Learning Plan page.
  • The plan is available in multiple languages on the PWCS webpage. It is available in the nine major languages of Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Urdu, Farsi, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Dari, Pashto plus additional languages available for selection on our webpage.
  • The plan may be orally translated. Please contact the Director of Student Opportunity and Multilingual Services, Dr. Lynmara Colon, at [email protected] to request translation; and
  • Upon request, an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA may be provided with the plan in an alternative format by contacting the Director of Communications, Diana Gulotta, at [email protected].