Parents asked to pick up learning packets Tuesday and Wednesday
Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson announced in a Friday afternoon, March 27, letter to parents and guardians that the school division had developed a distance-learning plan for students extending through May 15 amid efforts to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
She also announced the delay or cancellation of some key school events.
“Please note that regulations and practices concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19) change rapidly,” she wrote. “Therefore, our goal is to provide you with the most current information, at that time. With that in mind, below are the plans for Prince Edward County Public Schools through May 15, 2020.”
Johnson noted in PECPS’ continued efforts to mitigate the loss of classroom instruction, its teachers have prepared a second learning packet for students.
“This packet will focus on a review of specific skills and content covered this year that presented some challenges for our students,” she wrote. “By continuing to review and practice, it is our hope that students will strengthen the skills and content knowledge they acquired during the year, in the absence of direct instruction.”
Learning packets can be picked up at each child’s corresponding school cafeteria Tuesday, March 31, and Wednesday, April 1, from 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Johnson noted.
“While we initially planned for students to return the first packet at this time, we are asking parents to keep the initial packet so those students who have not completed the material will be able to do so and will have access to the material that they might need to complete the second packet,” Johnson wrote.
She stated that as noted in her previous correspondence, PECPS continues to practice ‘social distancing’ as a community. She said the school system asks that parents/guardians initial for Learning Packet No. 2 and immediately leave the premises.
“This will prevent large crowds and expedite the distribution process,” she wrote.
At this time, PECPS plans to have a third packet ready for students after spring break, she continued. The dates for the pickup of Learning Packet No. 3 are April 21-22 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
“When parents pick up Learning Packet No. 3, we ask that you return Learning Packets No. 1 and No. 2 at that time for teacher review,” Johnson stated. “Learning Packet No. 3 will be due to your child’s school on May 13-14, 2020. You will receive additional information as the date nears.”
Johnson noted that though not required, many teachers have held digital learning sessions and called homes in hopes of continuing to engage their students.
“As we continue our efforts locally, statewide and nationally to provide educational resources, please know that we are closely following the guidelines provided by the Virginia Department of Education and working regionally to create innovative learning opportunities for our students,” she stated.
PRE-K ENROLLMENT FOR 2020-21
Parents who will have a student enrolling in PECPS’ pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) program for the 2020-21 school year may pick up a registration packet when they pick up the second learning packet March 31 or April 1, Johnson wrote. Pre-K registration materials will be available at all three schools. Specific instructions for returning the registration packet will be included with the registration materials.
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION, PROM AND K-8 PROMOTION ACTIVITIES
Johnson announced that because of the current COVID-19 regulations, PECPS will not hold a high school graduation ceremony on May 21, but an in-person ceremony will happen later.
“We know that graduation is a milestone in a child’s life and a memorable event for families,” she wrote. “Therefore, Prince Edward County Public Schools will schedule a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 once the local and state restrictions have been lifted. That may mean that graduation does not occur until July, August or September, and some students may be off to their next ‘milestone.’ Nonetheless, we are committed to honoring those students and their accomplishments.”
The Junior-Senior Prom, originally set for April 25, is canceled, Johnson stated.
“Again, noting the restriction that no more than 10 persons can be in a room at one time, it is not plausible to have this activity,” she wrote.
She also added that although some of the dates have not been published, activities such as pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, fourth-grade and eighth-grade “Stepping Up” ceremonies will not be held.
Johnson stated that additional information regarding high school-specific guidance and supports could be found at https://sites.google.com/pecpsk12.org/counselingcorner/.
Continuing to utilize the U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program to provide bagged breakfast and lunch meals during the COVID-19 school closure, PECPS will provide meals to students through the week of May 18-22, Johnson wrote. Meals will be available to all children up to age 18 regardless of income level.
“However, beginning April 13, 2020, the meal schedule will change,” she noted.
Beginning the week of April 13, meals will be distributed twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.-noon at the current designated locations, she continued. Tuesday distribution service will cover enough meals for breakfast and lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thursdays will include meals for Thursday-Monday (weekdays only), Johnson wrote. Meals will be served “drive-thru style,” and an adult must be present with children when picking up meals.
“We can only provide meals for children who are present at the time of pickup,” she stated. “Please contact the middle school cafeteria at (434) 315-6111 if you have questions.”
She noted that during spring break, which is scheduled for April 6-10, meals will only be distributed on Tuesday, April 7, between 10 a.m.-noon at the current locations. That distribution will include breakfast and lunch for the entire week.
Johnson wrote that she wanted to assure parents/guardians that the staff at PECPS is working diligently daily to meet the needs of the students.
“As I communicate with you every week or two, I want to address your questions and concerns as well as address topics/areas that we are considering as we plan for next steps,” she stated.
She noted she plans to address topics including kindergarten registration and material collection and the creation of a PECPS dropbox to address community questions.