HCPS COVID-19 Plan

Updated March 30, 2020


Dear Parents and HCPS Families, 


The changes to your lives as caregivers and our work as teachers and educators have emerged in unbelievable ways these last few weeks.  We so very much appreciate your patience as we put together plans for continuing student learning this spring while school buildings are closed.  As this crisis continues to change each day, the guidance and rules from the state have also been evolving, including as recently as over the weekend.  


We are now at a point where we do have some updates we can share with you as we plan for continuing the learning with your children through the end of the traditional school year.  

First, we want to acknowledge that this new “distance learning” will not be able to duplicate what we are able to do with our students when we are in school.  So, while we can’t replace that learning, what we want to do is provide learning opportunities so that your child can keep progressing and be ready to take off again when we are all back together in school.  


While we are providing these opportunities, we want to give you grace to choose what is possible for your family right now, as there are unspeakable hardships faced by many during this crisis.  So please know, we provide these learning opportunities with respect and love, and we understand that some may be able to follow these more than others.  


Here are key details of the distance learning plans for this spring by level:


Elementary Schools

  • Plans will cover two weeks at a time, with suggested daily learning activities of about 1-2 hours for K-2nd grade students and 2-3 hours for 3rd-5th grade students.  We will provide these learning plans each two weeks, starting April 14th, electronically. For families who wish to have paper copies, we plan to make paper copies available in front of the school every other Tuesday (starting on April 14th).  Links will be provided for additional learning for students who may be able to go further. 

Middle School

  • Plans will be released for the spring starting on April 14th, and the learning activities are planned for about 2-3 hours of work each day.  There will be a “Table of Contents” that guides students through the work each week. Updates and reminders of work will be provided every two weeks.  For families who wish to have paper copies, we plan to make paper copies available in front of the school every other Tuesday (starting on April 14th). 

High School

  • Plans will be released for the spring starting on April 14th, with learning activities planned for about 3-4 hours of work each day.  Because of the wide variety of course types at high school, some of these will look slightly different by course. Additional details will be coming out about high school courses later this week.  

As for grading, we are keenly aware that students and families have very different circumstances at home.  We also know that you appreciate our limitations in providing some of the services routinely available to students when they are at school.  For these reasons, and under guidance of the state, grading for this year will focus on work assigned up through March 13th (except for the high school 2nd semester courses and dual enrollment courses).  


Thus, grades for students in all courses except those high school courses will be calculated using three quarters.  The first two quarters were completed and grades were distributed. For the third quarter, we completed most of the quarter and will use the shortened quarter as a full quarter grade.  Teachers will reach out to students who had work to still turn in or make up so that it could be counted for that third quarter grade.  


Beyond the grades, our teachers plan to reach out to students to both check-in and provide feedback on their work so students can continue learning and growing.  We ask for your help in partnering with us as we teach students that learning is important for the future - beyond whatever grade they may earn.  


We realize that these updates may create additional questions, and we appreciate in advance your patience as we work through all sorts of new challenges in this crisis.  We will continue to provide you regular updates. Please know that what is of the utmost importance to us right now is that our students feel loved, connected with their teachers, missed at school and secure even as our nation navigates the greatest crisis of our lifetime.  


We thank you for your partnership as we all work together to get on the other side of this pandemic.  Please know we miss your children very, very much and all look forward to being together with them again.  Until then, learning continues and our respect for what you do together with us for your children grows each and every day. 


We have regular daily phone coverage at the School Board Office.  If you need us, call us. We are all working Monday through Friday from our homes.  While we find this extremely difficult, we are doing our part to slow the spread of this deadly disease.  We love you and pray for your health and safety. Blessings to all until we can be together again. With much love and respect,


Melody Hackney, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Updated March 17, 2020 (See attached for letter en Espanol)
 
Greetings Students and HCPS Families:
 
These are challenging times, and we are all in this together! While we are sorry we cannot safely provide "traditional schooling" as we know it to our precious children right now, we are extremely proud of the work our teachers and administrators have prepared to ensure that we continue to create magical learning opportunities for our students during the Commonwealth's required school closure.
 
We have three goals we hope to accomplish during this time. First, we want to ensure that every HCPS child has access to a variety of learning opportunities while at home. Second, we want to ensure all HCPS students have adequate materials, both digital and hard copy, with which to learn at home. Third, we want to design learning experiences that allow for student choice and family involvement.
 
We invite K-12 students to embark on a learning adventure where they READ, REFLECT, WRITE, and CREATE. All resources and activities are meant to be content adapted, easily accomplished, fun, and practical for all ages. Enclosed please find an overview of "learning adventures" we would appreciate your child completing while out of school. Materials and resources will be available at each school and also on all of our social media platforms. Please assist us with working together as a family to support your child with his/her daily learning adventure goals. We look forward to celebrating the learning experiences of all of our students and will be planning special rewards upon their safe return to school.
 
Please know that all related guidance we have had on this mandated closure should apply at home too. We ask that as much as possible, families "self-quarantine" so as not to contribute to the unnecessary spreading of the virus. Hopefully, these learning adventures will help, and we can all be back together in school again soon!
 
Please routinely refer, if possible, to our Hopewell City Public Schools' Facebook page, website, Instagram, Twitter account, and specific school websites. We will be using these sites for maintaining ongoing connections between school and homes as well as for scheduling various virtual activities during the day. We will also routinely use our ongoing automatic telephone communication system for messaging when appropriate. Please be sure your information is up to date by visiting Powerschool.
 
For the time being, each building, including the School Board Office, will have TELEPHONE coverage Monday-Thursday weekly from 10am-2pm. At present, buildings will not be open for visitors until further notice. Starting Thursday, March 19, learning plans of student work will be available outside the front entrance of every school, on the Blue Devil Food Bus, and at Dupont Elementary where meals are also being made available for pick-up. For HHS and CGW, Chromebooks will be available for check out. This can be coordinated with the office administration.
 
We are grateful for your trust, support, and partnership and are confident in our ability to navigate through these unprecedented times together. We love you all and will miss you terribly! We look forward to our children coming back to us and celebrating the work they have done while at home.
 
Sincerely,
drhackneysig
Melody D. Hackney, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Updated March 16, 2020
 
Please be advised that Hopewell City Public Schools will be closed for all staff tomorrow with the exception of those involved with meals for students. All buildings will be closed to the public. In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are enhancing our social distancing measures in accordance with the new federal guidelines. We will continue working to provide students with continuity of instruction and meals during this time. Please continue checking our website and social media for updates as the guidelines are continuously changing.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
  • During this time, HCPS is conducting deep cleaning of all of our facilities.
 
  • Many of our students depend on the meals provided during the school day. We have created a schedule of grab and go meal locations for students. Schedules and information can be found on our Student Meals page.
 
  • We are working to create distance learning opportunities for our students. Links and more information can be found on our Distance Learning page.
 
  • Updates during this crisis can be found on our District News page as well as our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and through our automated call system. You will find directions to update your information here.
 
  • Please take the time to make sure that the phone number and email we have listed for you in Powerschool are correct. Directions for how to update your contact information can be found here.