Below you’ll find answers to some commonly answered questions about our Fall 2020 Plan. Please refer back as new questions will be added and answered as the school year begins. If you’re a VBCPS staff member, please click HERE.

Custodial |  Facilities |  Food Service |  Health |  Instruction |  Technology |  Transportation


Health and Safety

Will all students be required to wear a face covering when in school?
All students are required to wear face coverings at bus stops, on school buses, and in school buildings UNLESS they provide documentation from a health care provider that they are unable to wear a face covering due to a health condition.

Will students be provided with face coverings?
VBCPS is evaluating whether face coverings can be provided to students. Disposable face coverings will be available for emergency use.

Will staff be required to wear a face covering when in school?
All staff are required to wear face coverings when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

Will staff be provided with face coverings?
VBCPS is planning to provide a limited supply of face coverings for staff use in school buildings.

Will visitors be required to wear face coverings?
Yes, all visitors must wear a face covering as they enter, while inside and when they leave school buildings. Appointments are encouraged and preferred.

How will students and staff be screened before coming to school?
All staff and students are expected to review the Health Screening Questionnaire Form each morning before leaving their home. Staff or students who answer “yes” to any of the questions and/or exhibit symptoms noted on the screening tool are not to report to school. The screening tool symptoms include a fever of 100.4 or higher; a new cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, change in sense of smell or taste, headache, or muscle or body aches that cannot be attributed to another health condition. Schools will not be conducting screening temperature checks upon arrival.

What happens if a student or staff member becomes ill while at school?
Students or staff who become ill at school should report to the clinic and be seen by the school nurse. All schools will have a designated isolation area that will separate ill individuals from others who are well in the school.

Will students be sharing school supplies?
VBCPS will work to limit the sharing of school supplies, but when sharing is necessary, handwashing and cleaning protocols will be in place between student uses.

What are the building health and safety mitigations that will be used in school buildings?
Schools have many health and safety mitigations in place. These include: loading and unloading of school buses one at a time; disinfecting of buses between each route; limiting number of entrance doors; one-way hallways; taping or roping off areas to help promote social distancing; eating breakfast and lunch in the classroom; staggering class releases within the school day; using plexiglass dividers to provide another layer of safety in the classroom or office setting; frequent hand-washing and sanitizing in the classroom setting; frequent cleaning; sanitizing and disinfecting in the school building by the custodial team; signage posted throughout the building and frequent announcements related to health and safety protocols.

Will staff be trained in the health and safety guidelines?
All staff will be required to complete training before the start of school Sept. 8, 2020. All staff hired after Sept. 8, 2020, will be required to complete the same training as a part of onboarding. The school nurse will be a resource for staff and students.

What supplies will be provided in each classroom?
All classrooms have hand sanitizer, disinfectant and gloves to be used for cleaning of high touch areas (i.e., student desks, doorknobs, pencil sharpeners) before, during and after each class change.

What happens if a student or staff has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
Schools must comply with FERPA regulations in maintaining the privacy of the individuals name or position, and they follow guidance from the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health regarding notifications and recommendations to the parent of students and staff who have been identified as exposed to a known case of COVID-19

What will trigger a school closure?
VBCPS has established health and safety benchmarks in collaboration with public health and area health experts that will determine if/when and the duration that a school or schools should close. When a school closes, students and staff will pivot to virtual learning.

What is cohorting and how does it work?
Cohorting means grouping students to limit cross-over with other students, teachers, and staff to the extent possible, and is a recommended strategy of the CDC. It has traditionally been a very common practice in many elementary schools in which students have the same teacher and classmates during the entire day. Implementation of this strategy will vary depending on the school setting. Schools may keep cohorts together in one classroom and have teachers rotate between cohorts rather than have students rotate.

What is the procedure for contact tracing at the schools and what happens when a child is exposed, do they complete online learning while they are in a Restriction of Movement Status awaiting symptoms from being exposed to a positive case in the schools?
The school division, and the VBCPS Office of Health Services reports and works with the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health (VBDPH) on all contact tracing investigations related to employees and students that are confirmed positive for COVID-19 in our schools. We follow the VBDPH recommendations for the identification of exposure risk contacts (e.g. close contact at a higher risk, low-risk, or no-risk) in the school, cleaning of impacted areas in the school, and notification. Individuals in a close-contact exposure risk group will be notified individually and will receive VBDPH guidance information for self-quarantine and not attending school. An employee or student positive for COVID-19 must be well and provide a medical clearance from a healthcare provider to return to school.  Their name, or if a student or employee, will be kept confidential per public health guidance in our notifications. The VBCPS Office of Health Services receives all reports to principals and supervisors related to employees and students that have a possible or known exposure to an individual with COVID-19 outside of the school. VBDPH and CDC guidance is communicated and followed regarding the attending or working in a school.

Similar to other health reasons that require a student to not be able to attend school, accommodations for continued learning will be developed through the student’s school principal and teacher. 

Custodial Services

Will custodians be taking special precautions to clean school buildings?
All custodians continue to practice enhanced cleaning procedures in all buildings since the onset of COVID-19.


Facilities/Maintenance Services

What’s being done to ensure HVAC systems in buildings are operating properly?
In addition to maintaining mechanical system operation across the school district since the beginning of the pandemic, VBCPS continues to capitalize on the school district’s unoccupied period to focus concentration on routine maintenance that includes but is not limited to: changing filters, performing HVAC preventative maintenance, performing HVAC coil cleaning and disinfection, increasing daily system runtime and ventilation, and assessing indoor air quality through analysis and data logging.

What guidance have contractors who have been/are working in VBCPS facilities been given regarding COVID-19?
All private construction contractors/architects/engineers have received communications from the Office of Facilities & Maintenance Services regarding expectations on wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing while on school grounds.


Food Services

Will the school division continue to offer a full menu during virtual instruction?
To the extent that USDA allows, virtual learners will be provided a mechanism for receiving school meals.

When receiving face-to-face instruction, will students eat in the cafeteria?
A flexible food service model will utilize cafeteria serving lines as well as flexible serving stations to provide schools with the ability to serve and feed students while practicing established safety protocols. This flexibility allows students to be served in the cafeteria or at flex stations and eat meals in the classroom, cafeteria or other appropriate locations that allow distancing.

What safety precautions will be utilized in the cafeteria?
Food safety and meal accountability training will be delivered to school staff and volunteers as needed with an emphasis on mandatory face coverings for cafeteria staff, frequent handwashing and enhanced cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures. This is in addition to routine stringent cleaning measures for food safety.

Cafeterias will use cashless transactions only during daily sales to reduce physical contact. Barcode scanners instead of the traditional keypads will be used by students at cashiers’ stations so student ID information can be accessed for payments. Parents will be encouraged to pay for meals online via their SchoolCafé account. Protocols will be developed to send in checks or cash in advance of meal service.


Transportation Services

What will be the cleaning/sanitizing procedure for school buses?
The driver/assistant disinfect school buses with a CDC approved disinfectant after the morning and afternoon routes. The driver/assistant will wipe down high touch areas between runs.

What if a student shows up at a bus stop without registration through transportation services?
A student will be permitted on the bus regardless of social distancing on the first offense. School administrators will communicate with parents to register their child in order to be assigned to a school bus stop.

What if a student does not have a face covering or refuses to wear one?
A student will be permitted on the bus and provided a disposable face covering on the first offense.

School administrators will communicate with parents to ensure compliance by their children and to inform them that students must wear a face covering to be admitted on the school bus.

What does the driver do if students do not remain in their assigned seat?
Parents/guardians will be notified, and disciplinary referrals will be provided to school administrators for the appropriate corrective actions.

What if the child does not use the assigned school bus stop?
A student will be permitted on the bus on the first offense. School administrators will communicate with parents to inform them of the need to use the assigned school bus stop.

How do I request a different bus stop for day care?
The school bus transportation form allows for parents to identify pickup and take-home address locations.

How long will it take to make changes to my child’s school bus schedule if needed?
Transportation changes may take up to three weeks due to the ridership restrictions on the school bus to provide appropriate social distancing.


Instruction and Learning

Will student assignments be graded?
Regardless of the option students and families select for the 2020-2021 school year, student performance and learning will be graded according to VBCPS grading policy.

Will extra help be available for students who need it in the virtual setting?
Teachers will provide data-driven instruction to differentiate and meet the needs of their students. Office hours and synchronous lessons will be provided to support real-time support for students. In addition, support staff and specialists will provide specialized intervention or enrichment, as needed.

The Department of Technology will continue to have their help line, 757-263-1111, available for technology support.

Will music, P.E. and art be provided at the elementary level in both options?
Our goal is to offer as many elective/resource classes as possible in both options. However, our capability to do so will be based on several factors, including enrollment, availability of staff, and our ability to implement safety guidelines as provided by the CDC and the VB Public Health Department.

Will Technical and Career Education (TCE) classes be available online?
We will make every attempt to offer all TCE courses in all learning settings including remotely.

Where can we learn more about navigating Schoology?
The district will be providing more detailed information for students and parents on how to better navigate Schoology once students' schedules are uploaded including links to demo videos from Schoology and VBCPS videos on access. As a reminder, Schoology will be used districtwide by all teachers for all students.

Based on feedback from students, parents, and teachers, recommendations have been made for a consistent way in all grades to set up Schoology courses that will assist students and parents with navigating the materials and assignments. 

Will there be SOLs this year? If my high school student still needs verified credits for graduation, how will that be handled?
At this time, the VDOE has not announced whether SOL testing has been canceled for the 2020-21 school year. We anticipate additional guidance on verified credits and testing in the weeks ahead.

Will attendance count in the virtual learning scenario?
Students are expected to follow attendance policies. We anticipate additional guidance on attendance from the VDOE soon and will communicate with our community at that time.

May I change between Option 1 or Option 2 anytime?
If families select Option 1 or Option 2, the expectation is that students are enrolled in that option for at least one semester.

If we must go temporarily virtual, will the virtual instruction come from my child’s regular teacher(s)?
If the need arises for a temporary shift to virtual instruction, the teacher of record at your child’s school will be providing instruction. Support will be offered through online office hours, emails, phone calls, and synchronous and asynchronous instructional sessions with a schedule as similar as possible to what the student receives in face-to-face instruction.

Will all teachers be expected to use a video conferencing tool?
Teachers provide real-time, synchronous learning that involves the use of video conferencing tools. Google Meet is the recommended platform for teachers to use with students. The Schoology conference tool is also an option.

How will English learners, students with IEPs and 504 plans be supported?
English learners receive direct instruction from an English as a Second Language teacher.

Students with Section 504 plans will continue to be supported by the Section 504 Administrator, Section 504 Coordinator and teachers at each school site. Contact your child’s schools with any questions.

Regardless of the scenario in which we open, students with disabilities will receive special education services to address IEP (Individualized Education Program) goals as determined by the IEP team. Explicit instruction with clear expectations and practice will be provided to support any student receiving virtual instruction. In addition, students will receive access to instructional materials and assistive technology tools, as required by the IEP, for use at home. Collaborative teaching practices and supports will be implemented to ensure students with disabilities continue to be educated in the least restrictive environment. The IEP team will meet to discuss any needed modifications to the IEP based on parent/legal guardian selection of instructional option. For those parent/legal guardians who selected Option 1: Face-to Face Learning, the IEP team will also discuss needed modifications to the IEP, which may be required due to a transition to virtual instruction based on health metrics.

If I select Option 2: Virtual Learning Center, will my child have access to all courses and programming options such as ODS or an Academy?
Every effort will be made to provide students with access to programs as they normally would if enrolled in the Virtual Learning Center. Some courses and programming options may not be offered if there are not enough students registered for a course or if the course cannot be effectively taught in the virtual environment.

Will students with disabilities continue to receive transition support as identified in their IEP?
Students with disabilities will continue to receive appropriate activities and support aligned to their transition plan.

What’s the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning activities?
Both occur online. The difference is that synchronous learning happens in real time, whereas asynchronous learning occurs without real-time interaction. An example of a synchronous activity would be a video conference session via Google Meet or Zoom. Asynchronous activities, on the other hand, allow students to access materials, ask questions, and practice their skills at their own pace and at any time that works for them. 

If I select Option 2 for my child, will my child be grouped only with students from his/her school?
We will make every effort to keep students from the same school enrolled for the same classes/courses. However, our ability to do so will depend on how many other students at your child’s school select Option 2 with the same grade-level/schedule/subjects as your child.

If I select Option 2 for my child, will my child be assigned teachers from their school?
We will make every effort to assign students to teachers from the same school, particularly if/when the majority of students enrolled in a course come from that school. However, our ability to do so will depend on how many teachers from your child’s school also indicate a preference for Option 2 and are assigned to the VLC.

If I choose Option 1, when will my MS or HS child (in either grade 7, 8, 10, 11, or 12) be eligible for face-to-face instruction? Do both of the health metrics need to be green?
When both of the identified health metrics are green, all students whose parents have selected Option 1 will receive their instruction in school. However, when both of the identified health metrics are in the yellow ranges, as long as the data reveals a positive trend over time (i.e., trending down towards green ranges), VBCPS may begin to include additional students in grades 7-8 and 10-12 in a phased return to in-person instruction. Any decision to do so would be made in consultation with our local health advisory panel. Families and staff will be given ample notice of any changes to the instructional delivery plan.

If I choose Option 2, will my child receive all of their instruction virtually for the entire school year? 
As we near the end of the first semester, we will check with parents of students enrolled in the VLC to determine their interest for the second semester of the school year.

If I choose Option 2, and virtual is not going to be available for the second semester, can I then apply to homeschool my child?
You can apply to homeschool your child at any time and can move your child in/out of homeschool status.


How do I request a Wi-Fi hot spot?
Information about how to request a hot spot can be found at our customer support site.

How/when does my newly enrolled student receive a Chromebook?
Students are provided a device by staff at their home school. Contact your student’s school.

My child is unable to connect to Wi-Fi, what should I do?
Tips and answers related to many common technical questions such as this can be found at our support site.

How do I get a Parent Portal/ParentVUE account?
Instructions for how to setup your Synergy ParentVUE account can be found here. Additionally, general information about the ParentVUE mobile app can found at this link.

What do I do if my child is experiencing problems with his/her Chromebook?
Tips and answers related to many common technical questions such as this can be found at our customer support site.

How do I reset my password?
Tips and answers related to many common technical questions such as this can be found at our customer support site.

What digital resources are used by VBCPS students?
Your child’s teacher can provide information about specific resources that are being used with your child, however a comprehensive list of apps and resources for VBCPS can be found here.