By Cody Mello-Klein | email@example.com
Alexandria City Public Schools will return to entirely virtual learning for students the week after spring break in order to avoid the potential for community transmission of COVID-19 caused by spring break travel, ACPS announced on Thursday.
This year, spring break for ACPS students starts on Saturday, and students whose families had opted for hybrid learning were set to return to their hybrid schedule on Tuesday, April 6. Students will now return to classrooms on April 13, according to ACPS.
“After review of current community health metrics and our desire to limit a potential community spread within our school buildings, we have decided to continue to follow our proactive approach of prioritizing health and safety, and transition to virtual learning for all students for the week after Spring Break, April 5-9,” according to an ACPS news release.
“With members of our school community potentially traveling outside of the National Capital Region, transitioning temporarily to virtual learning is a precautionary step to protect against COVID-19 transmission in our school buildings after Spring Break,” according to the release.
ACPS parents responded to ACPS’ decision with varying degrees of frustration and disappointment.
One parent on the Open ACPS Facebook group, an online community of parents and ACPS community that has been calling for ACPS to open in-person for months, wrote, “They find new and staggering ways to disappoint children and parents, without fail.”
Other members of the group said the week-long return to virtual learning was an unfortunately necessary step to prevent a longer shutdown.
“I would rather keep everybody home for one week then shut down schools for a month because there was a Covid bloom,” wrote another parent.
Despite precautions around the transmission the week after spring break, ACPS could potentially open up hybrid learning opportunities to more students as soon as April 20 due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decreased distancing guidelines for children.
At the March 18 School Board meeting, Superintendent Gregory Hutchings Ed.D. also said ACPS is planning to open five days a week in the fall, with a virtual option for parents who are still uncomfortable with in-person learning.