2020-21 Calendar Update

Good Afternoon Students and Families:
In response to numerous concerns expressed via social media after releasing our revised 20/21 instructional calendar, we want to provide some additional clarification that may be helpful. Please know that the Governor only announced his plan for reopening Virginia schools three business days ago. Our administrative team is working diligently to develop a formal plan for reopening Hopewell Schools according to the specific guidance we have just received from the Governor's office, the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control. Please be advised of the following:
1. This calendar reflects the start of the school year instructionally. It does not indicate how instruction will be provided yet. It could be all virtual; it could be a combination of face to face and virtual, or while unrealistic, it could also be all face to face. We hope to have a draft plan for instruction not later than the first of July, and our goal is to provide both in person and virtual instruction based upon the most updated health data and information available to us.
2. We did not propose a September start. While we felt we had to delay the balanced calendar start of July 27 at our May school board meeting, we were waiting for additional data from the Governor's office and the DOE to finalize our anticipated start of the next school year. We took our administrative team's calendar recommendation to the school board at their June meeting within 48 hours of the Governor's announcement. We recognize time is off the essence to our families and wanted to get word to all at the earliest possible point.
3. We fully understand all that is unique and unpredictable during these times. We will work to be flexible and supportive of any student family's scheduling conflicts and vacation plans.
4. Student safety will always be our first priority. Parents will have choices in how their child's instruction is delivered and received. Virtual learning, face to face, and a combination of the two will be available to families.
5. We are reviewing hundreds of pages of guidance on the safest way to ultimately reopen our school buildings. We cannot rush this, as it is too important. We simply wanted to get a calendar to you as early as possible so you could see the start and end dates approved for beginning new instruction in the new year.
We sincerely hope this is helpful as we begin formal planning for next year. We miss your children so much and look forward to the day when we can all be safely together again.
Thank you,
Additional Resources:
VADOE COVID-19 Updates
Virginia's Phased Return to School Plan