Last Updated: April 10, 2020
What is Coronavirus COVID-19?
COVID-19 (“Coronavirus Disease 2019”) is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a new (novel) virus that was initially detected in China in December 2019. Some people with the infection have no symptoms. For others, reported illnesses range from mild symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing) to severe illness and even death.
What is WJCC Schools doing to address this health issue?
WJCC Schools is in regular communication with our local health department and linked to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for regular updates. The division is following its pandemic response plan that includes deep cleaning and disinfecting of buildings, development of activities for continuity of learning, cancellation of activities and school closure.
Are WJCC Schools open or closed?
On March 23, Governor Northam issued an executive order closing all public schools in Virginia for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. WJCC Schools staff is teleworking in order to provide virtual learning for students.
How will my children continue to learn?
The WJCC Schools continuity of learning plan includes three phases. Phase one (during the first weeks of the extended closure) focused on providing students with resources and engaging activities that reinforced previously learned content. Assignments were reviewed by teachers; however, the activities completed March 16-27 were not graded. Phase two of learning begins April 20 with the launch of a four-day, at-home blended learning schedule. What does that mean? Every Monday, teachers and staff will hold virtual meetings for professional development and lesson planning. Then, Tuesday-Friday, students will use StudentVUE, online video modules, and other materials prepared by teachers to complete coursework. The learning schedule and grading practices will be different at the elementary, middle and high school. The final phase of the continuity of learning plan will be implemented when schools are allowed to re-open. This phase will include a review of previously learned materials to help ensure that students are set up for success in the new school year.
What do learning plans and schedules look like?
Students who were on track for graduation or promotion to the next grade level before schools closed on March 13 will advance, provided that they continue to be engaged in learning and show mastery of learning objectives in each content area. Therefore, instruction will continue and will be documented appropriately.
The learning schedule will be different at the elementary, middle, and high school. There are, however, some things that will be consistent across all grade levels. All students will participate in a combination of online instruction and activities to practice and master key skills and concepts. Teachers will use StudentVUE and other online platforms to post instructional videos and related content.
Will students receive grades for worked completed during the school closure?
Yes. The third marking period will end April 17. A student’s grade will be determined based on grades earned on or before March 13. Secondary students have the opportunity to improve their grade by completing missing assignments and assessments that would have been allowed prior to the school closure.
The final marking period will be April 20 – June 12.
My child has an IEP. How are updates being handled?
Given Governor Northam’s “stay home” order, IEP meetings will be conducted virtually through phone calls and using platforms such as Zoom. Every plan will need to be amended to reflect services that can be provided in the current learning environment. This will take significant collaboration between families, teachers, and administrators; however, we are committed to providing the most comprehensive services possible within the limitations of COVID-19-related restrictions.
My child is enrolled in an Advanced Placement or Dual Enrollment class. What about exams?
Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses will be allowed to take their AP exam online at home. For more information and resources to prepare for the test, visit: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates
Students enrolled in Dual Enrollment courses at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) will continue to take part in the college’s virtual learning and receive graded assignments through TNCC.
What about graduation ceremonies and Spring formal dances?
WJCC Schools is committed to honoring the hard work of our graduating seniors with a ceremony. Staff is working on several options to do this in both a memorable and safe way – virtually and/or in-person. More information will be shared as soon as plans are finalized.
In keeping with Governor Northam’s “stay at home” order, we must cancel all formal dances this spring, including Ring Dances and Proms.
When can I pick up my child’s personal belongings from school?
WJCC Schools worked with parents to pick up prescription medications before the governor’s “stay home” order. School nurses are following up individually with the small number of families who still have prescription medication at schools. Families whose child left eyeglasses or a dental retainer at school should contact the principal to make arrangements for pick up. All other personal belonging will remain at the school until it is deemed safe for more widespread community travel.
I paid for a school field trip. How will I receive a refund?
Planning for the continued delivery of instruction has been our priority. We are now establishing refund procedures for bookkeepers to gain limited access to buildings (while practicing social distancing) to issue any necessary refunds. Information will be communicated directly to families soon.
Is WJCC Schools providing meals to students during the school closure?
“Grab and Go” meals with two days’ worth of breakfast and lunch items are being distributed 8-10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at the locations below. Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA) is providing free rides to and from these school locations to allow families to receive “Grab and Go” meals.
“Grab and Go” Meal Locations:
- James River Elementary School, Front Entrance – WATA Route 1
- James Blair Middle School, Bus Parking Lot – WATA Route 2 & Route 5
- Toano Middle School, Front Entrance – WATA Route 9
In addition, WJCC Schools is partnering with Meals on Wheels to deliver meals to hotels where some students live. This schedule is subject to change based on the number of meals distributed at each location.
What other help is available?
A growing number of community organizations and local restaurants are stepping forward to support WJCC Schools students and their families who may be in need of food and supply assistance. A list of participating organizations and services is available on the school division website. These efforts are being led by organizations outside of WJCC Schools. Families are encouraged to call ahead to all agencies to ensure they are still open before visiting.
My children are feeling anxious about COVID-19 and being out of school. What can I do to help reduce their stress?
Your children need to know that you are open to discussing the topic and that you will listen, but it is also important that you reassure them. We recommend you stay up to date with factual information through resources such as the CDC. This information will help you know how to best respond to your child’s questions. To help limit stress and anxiety, try minimizing your child’s screen time or setting limits to how much of the news your child watches. Instead, provide time for relaxing activities such as going for a walk, reading a book, listening to music, stretching, and breathing exercises. For additional resources on talking with your child about COVID-19 please review “Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)” on our main coronavirus page.
What other educational resources are available to keep my children interested in learning?
Numerous WJCC Schools teachers have created videos and activities to engage their students during the school closure. In addition, several museums and zoos are offering virtual tours and online activities. A list of activities and links to videos are available on the WJCC Schools’ main coronavirus page. Simply click “Online Resources” on the left side of the page.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
We will update this site with any new information specific to WJCC Schools and our region. The best sources of information and updates about COVID-19 are:
What if I have additional medical concerns?
Questions specific to your family’s health should be directed to your doctor or healthcare provider. General medical questions about COVID-19 may be directed to the Virginia Department of Health Hotline at 877-275-8343.