We continue to monitor local, state, and national updates from health officials about coronavirus (COVID-19). The situation is changing quickly as more cases are being confirmed across the nation and here in Virginia.

WJCC Schools is now moving into the next phases of the WJCC Schools Pandemic Flu Response Plan that was posted online this morning. This includes making adjustments to school operations in order to limit student and staff travel while also minimizing outside access to our school buildings. Please make note of the following important updates and information:

SAT

The SAT test administration scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at Lafayette High School has been cancelled. CollegeBoard will contact students that were registered for this test directly with more details.  Additionally, students and parents may visit collegeboard.org for more information.

Afterschool Activities

Effective March 13, all afterschool activities and athletic competitions are canceled through April 17.  REC Connect, a before- and after-school care program led by Parks and Rec, will remain open. Any decision to close this program will be announced by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Field Trips

UPDATE: All field trips and sports competitions are canceled through April 17. This is an update to plans announced previously to families.

Staff Travel

All WJCC Schools work-related travel for staff and travel for professional development is canceled beginning March 13 through April 17.

Student Absences

Based on current guidance from the Virginia Department of Education, if families choose to keep their child(ren) home, and they are not ill or have not been asked/advised to self-quarantine by health officials, the child(ren) will be marked absent.

Preparing for an Extended School Closure

In alignment with the WJCC Pandemic Plan, division staff are developing resources to support ongoing learning for students in the event of a planned extended school closure. Specific plans and resources will be available to teachers for distribution prior to any announced closure. These resources are designed to keep students engaged in learning and reinforce essential skills. Assignments will be reviewed, and feedback provided by teachers once school reopens. Ultimately, the results of the learning options provided to students will be used by our teachers to inform their planning and instruction upon the reopening of school.

Please know that the resources and learning activities may look different for younger students when compared to middle and high school students. For example, at the elementary level extended learning plans may include grade level appropriate reading and writing resources, math activities, and science and social studies learning opportunities. Middle school students, who have individual laptop access, may have downloadable learning activities which can be completed with or without internet access. High school content coordinators and teachers are developing content specific learning opportunities. Questions regarding the planned learning activities should be directed to the individual teacher or principal of your student’s school.

Volunteers

We value and appreciate the many volunteers who contribute their time and talent to support student learning in our schools. In the interest of both volunteer and student health, we are suspending volunteer opportunities in our schools through April 17. We look forward to welcoming our volunteers back into classrooms after that time.

Talking to Children about Coronavirus

In times of uncertainty, children look to the adults in their lives for guidance on how to react to stressful situations. Understandably, children may be anxious about the spread of COVID-19. To assist families in speaking with children about the illness, their fears, and preventative measures, the National Association of School Psychologists has developed a list of tips and resources. You may access that information here: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – A Parent Resource

Personal Travel

With the approach of Spring Break, families and staff members are encouraged to become familiar with current travel warnings and guidance available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. As a reminder, traveling to a country with a Level 2 or Level 3 health notice will result in self-isolation for 14 days after returning to the United States.

WJCC Schools Pandemic Flu Response Plan

Initially developed as an internal framework for central administration, The WJCC Schools Pandemic Flu Response Plan is posted online for families and staff to become familiar with the many actions the school division takes before, during, and following a pandemic such as COVID-19.

Rest assured that WJCC Schools will continue to rely on guidance from with our local health department partners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Virginia Department of Education to guide our actions through the pandemic period. As such, it may be necessary to revise or deviate from the published plan to meet the health and safety needs of our students and employees.

Healthy Habits 

WJCC Schools custodial teams remain vigilant in their efforts to clean and disinfect schools and offices. Frequent handwashing throughout the day is encouraged. Any student or staff member who exhibits symptoms of the flu will be given a disposable face mask and sent home.