Loudoun County Public Schools announced it will plan for a 100 percent return to virtual learning starting on Dec. 15.
The big announcement came on Dec. 10, just five days in advance.
This decision was based on the latest coronavirus date and will impact about 18,000 students who had returned to the classroom.
Most recently, about 7,000 kids in 3rd - 5th grades began the hybrid learning model just last week.
More information and details are expected following the next LCPS School Board meeting scheduled for Dec. 15.
The school system also sent a letter out to families detailing its decision.
To all LCPS Families and Staff Members,
On Thursday, December 10, the Virginia Department of Health publishing data showing that both Loudoun County core indicators have exceeded the thresholds established by the School Board for returning to 100% distance learning. In addition, the Virginia Department of Health has retroactively updated metrics for earlier dates in December that indicate both metrics had exceeded their thresholds as of December 6.
Given this new information, and the expectation that metrics will stay above the thresholds for the foreseeable future, LCPS will revert to 100% distance learning for all students beginning Tuesday, December 15. The Loudoun County School Board had determined that LCPS would return to 100% distance learning if both indicators exceed the established thresholds. In-person instruction would pause if Loudoun County stays above those thresholds for five consecutive business days.
The metrics, referred to as Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Core indicators are:
1. Total number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days reaches more than 200; AND
2. Percentage of RT-PCR tests that are positive during the last 14 days reaches more than 10%.
The metrics are reported by the Virginia Department of Health, and the VDH reporting is posted by the LCPS COVID Case Data webpage each business day.
If one of those metrics drops below its action threshold on Friday, December 11, or Monday, December 14, the five-day counter would reset to zero and restart when both metrics again exceeded their thresholds. LCPS does not anticipate that happening before December 15.
We understand that this process is disruptive for families of students who have been participating in hybrid in-person learning this fall. The safety and well-being of all students, staff members, their families and the community continues to be our highest priority, and this decision is being made consistent with our commitment to achieving that objective,
LCPS will further discuss plans for using these metrics to determine when hybrid in-person could resume at the December 15, 2020, School Board meeting. Thank you for your continued support as we adapt to the changing conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic in Loudoun County.
Eric Williams, Ed. D.