Covid-19 Precautions for Next School Year

Natalie Bashore

The 2020-2021 school year is coming to an end in just a few weeks. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of this school year has been done virtually, until the hybrid schedule started in February. Many teachers and students are hopeful that this next school year will be more normal and that there are more options provided that will hopefully involve in-person instruction in the next few months.

The learning plan for the next school year was released online by Prince William County Schools on May 5, 2021. Currently, students will have an option next year of staying fully virtual or going in-person every week. Students will attend school five days a week instead of four days and hybrid learning will most likely be abolished if possible.

The selection of staying virtual or going in-person for next school year is coming up soon so that teachers and staff can prepare for correct staffing and scheduling. PWCS will allow students to transition from virtual learning to in-person learning at any time. Many assignments and learning activities may still be completed online only, though. Laptops will be provided to all schools that require them.

There will still be some restrictions with in-person learning in the fall due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In classrooms, social distancing from others will still be expected to the greatest extent possible, with a minimum of three feet being the requirement. Wearing masks could also be expected. On buses and other school transportation, all passengers will be required to wear masks or face coverings.

In the school cafeterias, students will be separated six feet from each other or to the greatest distance possible from other students. Quarantine may happen if students get Covid-19 or were exposed to it. This may require those students that are impacted by Covid-19 to attend hybrid learning for a certain amount of time.

Cleaning and disinfecting practices will still be encouraged this coming school year. Some of the school’s facilities could still be monitored to make sure that the Covid-19 precautions are being followed. Facilities that could be monitored are restrooms, buses, the cafeteria, and other gathering places.

These Covid-19 precautions for next school year could change based on the county’s decisions or the individual school’s decisions on how these safety requirements will be followed and enforced. If the safety requirements for the 2021-2022 school year are followed, then students can safely attend school in-person if they choose to.