Instructional Model Change Requests

Instruction

Operations

Transportation

Health and Wellness

Safety

Nutrition

Athletics and Extracurricular


Instructional Model Change Requests

Can I request a change in my child’s learning model option for the second semester of 2020-21?

Yes, as long as you submit this request by November 16, 2020. See details below.

Please note that this will be the last opportunity to make changes from remote-only to in-person learning until the end of the 2020-21 school year.


Is my change request guaranteed?

No. We will do everything we can to accommodate the change, but cannot guarantee it. If we can not accommodate your request at this time, your child will be placed on a waiting list for availability based on cohort size, classroom space (social distancing requirements), transportation, etc.


Why are you asking for a decision so soon before the January 19th start date?

There are many aspects of the planning process, including transportation, meal service, social distancing requirements/classroom space, and cohort size. In order to best prepare for our students and provide timely feedback to families we need to gather information now.


How do I let LCS know that I want to switch my child’s learning model option for the second semester of 2020-21?

LCS will be releasing a form on Monday, November 2, 2020 to parents/guardians to change your child’s learning model option for the second semester. This form, which will also include questions about your transportation needs, is due no later than November 16, 2020. There will be no availability for changes after this date. We are asking families to drive their children to school if that is a practical option. Please note that your ability to drive your child to school does not guarantee placement in hybrid, in-person learning for semester 2.


Where can I find the form that allows me to switch my child’s learning model option for the second semester of 2020-21?

The form will be emailed to all parents/guardians. The form will also be posted on our website and social media platforms.


Will my child’s schedule and teacher remain the same if the learning model changes?

A change in your child’s learning model may impact your child’s schedule, including teacher changes.


Can I request a specific cohort for my child?

No. We will do our best to place siblings in the same cohort but can not guarantee a specific cohort. Siblings may be placed in different cohorts depending on the availability of seats on the bus serving the area.


If I am happy with my child’s learning model option, do I need to do anything?

No, if you are happy with your child’s learning model option there is no action required on your part. Your child’s learning model will remain the same.


Who should I contact if I am not sure whether or not to switch my child’s learning model option for the second semester of 2020-21?

Your child’s teacher(s) can offer the best insight into an individual’s learning strengths and needs. You may also talk to the school counselor or administrator to discuss options that would be the best choice for your child. If your child is a young learner (Grades PK-2) and you would like to move them from in-person learning (hybrid) to a remote-only environment, please be aware that parents/guardians are committing themselves to act as partners in their child’s learning, which requires time during the day or evening.


Instruction

When will students who have selected the hybrid model return to in-building instruction?

In-building instruction for students who have selected the hybrid model will begin the week of October 5th for grades PreK-2, the week of October 12th for grades 3-6, and the week of October 26th for grades 7-12. Students will  receive in-building instruction two days per week based on cohorts. 


Will students have an option to go completely remote for classes?

Yes, students in consultation with parents/guardians will have the option to have their child attend school remotely.


I don’t have internet access. What do I do?

All LCS schools have external WiFi available for our families and the community. WiFi is also available at six Lynchburg Parks and Recreation Centers. For a listing of the locations and the hours of internet access, please click here

For families that have limited or no internet access,  please call the LCS Help Desk at (434) 515-5090 or send an email to itsupport@lcsedu.net. We’ll need your name, your LCS student's name, student's school, and the best contact number for us to reach you.  

LCS is also working with local internet service providers on solutions for our families. For more information on Internet Essentials from Comcast, please visit this site.


Will LCS be providing devices for all students?

LCS currently provides students in grades 6-12 with a device to support their learning (LCS-ONE Initiative). To support remote learning in the division's Return to Learn plan, LCS will issue devices to students in grades 3-5.


If a family opts for remote-only instruction, will they be able to switch to a hybrid model?

Families that choose this option are asked to commit to it for a minimum of one full quarter of the school year. Families may opt to have their child(ren) move to the hybrid model in quarter 3.


What platform is LCS using to deliver remote-only/virtual content?

LCS teachers are creating personalized instructional materials for our LCS students to be delivered via Google Classroom (grades 3-12) or SeeSaw (grades PreK-2). LCS will not be using Virtual Virginia as a universal platform to deliver instruction to all at this time. As students choose to transition to a hybrid learning model, delivery of remote instruction will continue via SeeSaw and Google Classroom.


What does remote learning look like?

Remote learning will include instructional materials created and provided by certified LCS teachers. For students in grades 3-12, instruction will be delivered via Google Classroom. 

For students in grades PreK-2, instruction will be delivered via SeeSaw. Books, paper learning materials, and other hands-on resources will also be available to support student learning. Teachers will partner with the students’ parent/guardian to ensure the student is able to access materials. 

Remote Instruction for Elementary Students
Remote Instruction for Secondary Students

What is the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recommendation for maximum learning time for remote/virtual learning?

Recommendations for student learning time are shown in the chart below. However, self-selected reading time should be in addition and encouraged daily. Times will vary from student to student, as all students learn at different rates. Families may also have unique circumstances. 

GRADE LEVEL MAXIMUM LEARNING TIME PER DAY MAXIMUM LEARNING TIME PER WEEK
Pre-K 30-45 min daily 2 ½-3 ¾ hrs weekly
K-2 45-60 min daily 3 ¾-5 hrs weekly
3-5 60-90 min daily 5-7 ½ hrs weekly
6-12 30 min per teacher daily 2 ½ hrs per teacher weekly
Pre-K-12 self-selected reading time should be encouraged daily and outside of recommended learning time

The recommendations above are meant for any delivery model to support different learning models. Teachers may find that they have to scale back and adjust based on individual student needs. Teachers should give themselves and students flexibility during this time. Everyone is adjusting and many have multiple roles at home.  


How will my student interact with his/her teacher when working remotely?

The teachers will give timely, meaningful feedback and focus on the individual needs of each student. Students will interact with their assigned teacher via video conferencing using Zoom, which may include small group instruction or individual check-ins during teacher office hours. Teachers may also reach out via phone calls, and they can schedule reteaching sessions. Teachers will communicate with students and families regarding the best methods of contact.


Do my children have to be on the computer at a certain time to get remote instruction?

No. Remote instruction will not be bound by a synchronous (timebound) daily schedule. There will be flexible opportunities for students (individual, small groups, large groups) to engage with teachers and school staff in a synchronous environment via phone calls and/or Zoom sessions.


Will Driver's Ed and Behind the Wheel be available?

Yes. "Behind the Wheel" will be available in Phase 2 or Phase 3.

Additionally, the accompanying classroom instruction will be available in all phases.


Operations

What are the school hours during hybrid instruction?

Student in-building hours are as follows:

  • High Schools: 7:35 a.m.–1:35 p.m.
  • Middle Schools: 8:35 a.m.–2:35 p.m. 
  • Elementary Schools: 9:35 a.m.–3:35 p.m.

Can parents choose which days their child attends?

Cohorts A and B will be determined by our transportation model. Parents/guardians will be notified of their child’s assigned cohort as soon as possible prior to the start of hybrid instruction.


If we have multiple students in LCS, will they go on the same day?

It is our goal to schedule children from a single household within the same cohort, as much as possible.


How will school closing decisions be made?

All division decisions regarding school opening or reopening, as well as any recommendation for school closures will be decided in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health and Lynchburg City Schools Covid Response Team Staff. The Virginia Department of Health contact for LCS is Dr. Kerry Gateley, Director for the Central Virginia Health District (434) 477-5900.


Transportation

Will students be required to wear face coverings while riding the school bus?

Yes. Students and staff will be required to wear a face covering while on the school bus.


What will I do if I opt to drive my child(ren) to school, but need bus transportation on a particular day?

If you will occasionally need bus transportation, we ask that you request for it in advance with your building administrator. Due to the circumstances of restrictions on school buses, we will not be able to make last-minute changes to our bus schedule. While in Phase 3, if parents/guardians opt-out of bus transportation, we ask that you follow through with the commitment to drive your child to school until we enter Phase 4.


How will social distancing be enforced on school buses?

Students will be asked to adhere to an approved seating arrangement on the school bus that has them sitting on opposite ends of seats, one child per seat. Students who reside in the same household will be permitted to sit two per seat. Students will be asked to keep 6 feet between them as they enter and exit the bus. Students and staff will be expected to wear a face-covering while on the school bus. Additionally, the buses will be loaded from back to front. The bus will also unload at the school from front to back and students will be required to remain seated until it is their turn to exit the bus.


Health and Wellness

What if a student or staff member exhibits symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19?

Parents/guardians should notify their school administrator or school nurse in the event that their child shows symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19. Children should remain at home in accordance with the CDC guidelines for isolation.

LCS employees will notify their immediate supervisor of any suspected or positive case of COVID-19. The immediate supervisor will notify the Superintendent or designee who will notify the local health department while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and HIPAA rules.

LCS staff will work with the local health department to institute contact tracing and notify any staff and parents/guardians of any student who may have been exposed based on the local health department criteria.

LCS staff will follow appropriate protocols for cleaning and disinfecting all exposed areas in which a symptomatic individual or an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 spent considerable time.

LCS staff will consult with the local health department to determine if closure of offices, areas, facilities, school building, or entire division is warranted, and if so the duration of that closure


What mental health supports will schools have to help students who may experience mental health issues?

National Counseling Group day treatment services will be available to help students who may experience mental health issues. They will provide a variety of services including: in-home, telehealth, and day treatment services at school. School-based outpatient services will also be available. Lynchburg City Schools will continue to make referrals to mental health supports within the community. Families who are interested may contact Anne Bond-Gentry at (434) 515-5035 and Jessica Ripley (434) 455-6232.


Safety

Will students be health screened each morning? If so, will it be at school or at the bus stop?

Yes. Parents/guardians are asked to pre-screen students at home by taking a temperature before sending them to school. Once a student arrives at school, LCS has a plan to screen every student by asking key questions about potential exposure and taking temperatures upon arrival. This is inclusive of bus riders, car riders, and walkers.


What if I don’t want my student’s temperature taken? Will he/she be allowed to enter the school building?

No. For everyone’s safety, LCS will screen all students. Should a parent/guardian not want his/her child to have a temperature screen at school, they will need to meet with the principal prior to the beginning of hybrid learning to discuss their concerns and to develop the best plan for their child.


Will face coverings be required in LCS?

Yes, at this time, face coverings will be required while on all LCS property. This is a fluid process and LCS will continue to monitor COVID‐19 within our community for changes as necessary. Refer to Policy JHCCAZ/GBEY.


Why are face coverings required?

Face coverings are being required based upon best available data and input from the Virginia Department of (VDH), Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), local health authorities, CDC guidelines, and stakeholder groups, including teachers and parents. According to the VDH, face coverings have been shown to be an effective tool in stopping the spread of COVID‐19, along with physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.


Who will be required to wear face coverings?

All students are required to wear a face covering or mask when riding in school-provided transportation.  All students, staff, visitors, and vendors will be required to wear face masks or covering while in LCS school buildings or facilities and/or another campus for a  LCS sponsored event(s).  Any medical exemptions will be addressed on a case by case basis.

Under the current policy, visitors and vendors will be required to wear a face mask or covering.


Will students, staff, and visitors need to bring their own face-coverings or will they be provided by the LCS??

Yes, students, staff, and visitors need to bring their own face-coverings. Parents/guardians may provide their child with their own masks/face coverings; however, if a mask/face covering is needed, the school will provide a mask/face covering as appropriate. Please note that we have a limited supply of face coverings for staff and visitors. Parents/Guardians should regularly clean and sanitize all reusable cloth face coverings. Students should be frequently reminded not to touch the mask/face covering and to wash their hands frequently.


Will staff have to wear face coverings all day?

Until further notice from the Superintendent/ Designee all staff of LCS will be required to wear a mask or face covering while working or attending a school function in any school building, facility, or other area of a school campus and on school provided-transportation. Staff who need a break from wearing their face coverings and/or masks while on school property, may do so if alone in their own office or classroom or outdoors maintaining social distancing. A staff member may not utilize common areas, for example a conference room, restrooms, break room, hallway, stairwell or any unoccupied location for a face covering and/or mask break.

All masks and face coverings must cover the nose and mouth of the staff member. Bandanas, neck gaiters, scarves, and face shields without an underlying mask or acceptable face covering described in Policy JHCCAZ/GBEY are not permitted.


Will students have to wear face coverings all day?

Students who need a short break from their face coverings and/ or masks, may do so with teacher permission provided social distancing of 6 feet and all desks and students are facing forward. Masks breaks should take place outside whenever possible. If held indoors, windows should be opened, when possible, for the duration of the break.


Will there be exemptions for face coverings?

Yes. The following approved exemptions apply: persons eating or drinking; persons for whom a face covering would cause an impairment due to a medical documented existing health condition or disability. However, face coverings are required for participants not actively engaged in a game or practice, such as when standing on the sidelines, in a dugout, and off the field of play any time six (6’) feet or other physical distancing measure as approved by LCS is not possible (Coaches, Spectators, Athletic Trainers, Visitors, etc.).


What happens if students or staff forgets, loses, or damages their face covering?

If students or staff forget, lose, or damage their face covering, LCS will provide a face covering for use that day.


What happens when students or staff refuse to wear a face covering or continually fails or forgets to bring a face covering to school?

Just as any other instance in which a student refuses to follow school rules, teachers and other staff will work with the student to ensure understanding of the importance of using face coverings for health and safety and how compliance with this important new rule is not negotiable. If a student continues to refuse to wear a face mask, families will be notified and the student will be enrolled in the remote learning option.

Staff who refuse to wear a mask or face covering at school, at a school function, or continually do not wear or refuse to wear a face covering shall be subject to discipline under School Board Policy GBEZ and GCPD, and applicable state law regarding the violation of School Board policies.


Are there any rules regarding the face coverings that staff may wear?

Yes. Face coverings must comply with the Standards of Conduct for Employees that is found in the School Board Policy JHCCAZ/GBEY.

Any face coverings that disrupts positive interactions of staff with their colleagues, students, parents, and the community because they contain language or images that: (1) are profane language, gestures, pictures, objects and/ or images; (2) promote illegal or violent conduct, such as the unlawful use of weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, nicotine vapor products, or drug paraphernalia; (3) threaten, intimidate, or harass, including Confederate images and other symbols of hatred, such as the swastika and gang symbols; or (4) endanger the health or safety of themselves or others are prohibited.


Are there any rules regarding the face covering that students may wear?

Yes, Face coverings must comply with the Standards of Conduct that is found in the School Board Policy JFCY.

Students are expected to dress appropriately for a K-12 educational environment. Any clothing that interferes with or disrupts the educational environment is unacceptable. Clothing with language or images that are vulgar, discriminatory, or obscene, or clothing that promotes illegal or violent conduct, such as the unlawful use of weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or drug paraphernalia or clothing that contains threats such as gang symbols is prohibited.


What happens when a visitor or vendor refuses to wear a face covering?

Face coverings will be required to be worn by visitors and vendors unless an approved exemption applies.


Will face coverings be required everywhere on a school campus?

Face coverings will be required everywhere on a school campus and at class trips or function venues and athletic sites when physical distancing measures approved by the LCS cannot be met unless an exemption applies.


What types of face coverings are allowable?
  • Paper or disposable mask
  • Cloth face mask
  • Religious face covering

The covering should cover the nose and mouth completely, should not be overly tight or restrictive, and should feel comfortable to wear. A face covering is not meant to substitute for social distancing.


Will face coverings be required for students that come in for individualized assessments (special education or instructional)?

Yes. Students will be informed prior to entering the building that they will be screened and have to wear a face covering while on LCS property. Students who arrive on site will be given a face covering. The face covering will be made available by the serving school.


What steps will be taken to ensure that surfaces are clean in classrooms and restrooms?

LCS is working with our facility staff to make sure school buildings are cleaned according to the CDC recommendations. Spot-disinfecting of high-touch areas will be taking place throughout the day and custodial staff will be conducting deeper cleaning on days when students are not in school.


Nutrition

Where will students eat breakfast and lunch?

Schools have worked closely with School Nutrition to develop a plan for eating breakfast and lunch that is safe and efficient for students, which can vary from school to school. Models utilized could be food kiosks, food delivery to classrooms, or eating in the cafeteria following social distancing recommendations.


Will LCS be providing lunches for students on their out of building days?

Yes. Students will receive meals on the two days they are in the building. On their second day in the building, they will receive a take-home bag with food for the next 3 consecutive school days for breakfast and lunch. Meals for students participating in remote learning will be available for curbside pick up at the five secondary schools—which include E. C. Glass and Heritage high schools, and Dunbar, Linkhorne, and Sandusky middle schools—Monday through Friday (no holidays) from 11:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. When grades 7-12 begin hybrid instruction, curbside service will switch to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, providing two days worth of meals each serving day. In the event that we move to Phase 1, food will be available at the five schools listed above for all LCS students. Transportation will no longer be delivering food along bus routes after October 2nd.


Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Will sports still be offered this school year?

The VHSL recently voted to approve its “Championships + 1” Condensed Interscholastic Plan.

  • Season 1 (Winter) December 7 – February 20 (First Contest Date: December 21)
    • basketball, gymnastics, indoor track, swimming and diving, wrestling
  • Season 2 (Fall) February 4–May 1 (First Contest Date: March 1)
    • competition cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, volleyball
  • Season 3 (Spring) April 12–June 26 (First Contest Date: April 26)
    • baseball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field
  • Academic Activities (December–June)
    • theatre, scholastic bowl, forensics, debate, robotics, film festival, creative writing, publications evaluation, multimedia contest

Please visit the VHSL website for further information.


Will athletes be required to wear face coverings?

State, local or school district guidelines for cloth face coverings should be strictly followed. Executive Order 63 allows an exemption for face coverings when individuals are exercising or using exercise equipment. Cloth face coverings are considered acceptable. There is no need to require or recommend “medical grade” masks for physical activity. All students should wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible. This includes wearing face coverings during arrivals, pre-screening, and departures. One piece plastic shields covering the entire face will not be allowed during participation due to the risk of unintended injury to the person wearing the shield or others. Coaches, directors, sponsors, and supervising adults should wear cloth face coverings at all times and are required to wear cloth face coverings whenever physical distancing is not possible. Face coverings should be laundered on a daily basis and hands should be washed after touching/adjusting face covering.


Will LCS provide transportation for student athletes to and from practice while they are learning remotely?

Any attendance at athletics and extracurricular activities will require the student securing their own transportation. No activity buses will be available to start.


What guidelines will be in place for increased athletic activity? Is LCS developing its own standards separate from what the VHSL puts out?

LCS has adopted the VHSL guidelines in full for athletics and added necessary guidelines for extracurricular activities. Currently, LCS athletics and extracurricular activities are following the LCS Guidelines for Reopening Sports/Activities Phase 2 and Phase 2 Enhanced guidelines. The guidelines will be updated as we progress through both LCS and VHSL phases. LCS Athletics & Extracurricular Phase 3 guidelines will be available as we transition to the hybrid learning model.


The LCS Return to Learn plan says a quarantine period may be enacted if athletes travel outside the local area during Phase 2. Define local area and how this will be enforced?

Local area is defined as the Central Region by the Virginia Department of Health. This includes: the City of Lynchburg as well as Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell counties. Quarantine requests would come from the Office of the Superintendent if necessary with guidance from the local health department.


When competition is allowed to begin, what kind of restrictions do you anticipate enacting for games?

Competition information has not been released from the VHSL currently.  LCS will release division specific guidelines following the review of VHSL guidelines.


If the health situation prompts buildings being shut down, does that apply to athletics as well?

Yes, it could also apply to athletics and extracurricular activities. The division has specific phases for Return to Learn and phases for athletics and extracurricular activities.


Would a particular sport be shut down if students or coaches begin getting sick, and would that affect schools as a whole?

Any positive cases will follow the division Health Mitigation Guidelines, which involves contact of the local health department. They would give directives on contact tracing and procedures moving forward following a positive case.


What kind of reporting requirements are there on teams?

All students and coaches/directors/supervising adults complete a pre-screening prior to any on campus activity. Any positive symptoms reported are escalated by following the Health Mitigation Guidelines.