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Virginia Public Schools Go Online

Photo Provided by BallotPedia. Map of state status for national public school openings and closings.

After the spread of COVID-19 in March 2020, Loudoun County and other public school organizations were tasked with finding a sufficient online alternative for students to continue their courses and finish out the 2019-2020 school year. Now, public school systems have been presented with a new challenge to determine which plan works best for their counties to keep COVID-19 cases down, while also providing students with the best education possible. While Loudoun County chose the program Schoology to teach their students, other public school systems around the area have chosen different methods for their scholars to adapt and finish the 2020-2021 school year. 

Neighboring counties like Fairfax, Prince William, and Fauquier County have all developed full time online courses for their students which all differ from the one Freedom students have been accustomed to with Schoology. 

Fairfax County public schools have created a modified system for their high school students including synchronous direct instruction and support from an online FCPS teacher. Their high school students will be served through a combination of Online Campus courses, Virtual Virginia courses, and specialized course instruction from FCPS staff. 

Fauquier was late to the virtual course switch, but eventually decided to offer virtual instruction through the Virtual Virginia program which Fairfax is also using. 

Prince William County came up with their own virtual program called Virtual Prince William, which allows it’s students to communicate within the learning management system utilizing tools such as secure email, audio, video, web conferencing, live lessons, and messaging. All courses are aligned with PWCS and Virginia SOL objectives and state standards.  Virtual Prince William instructors provide direct instruction to students online and communicate directly with parents to help ensure student success.  

On the national scale, 37 states declared that the in person and online curriculums vary depending on the school district while the remaining 13 states either have a state-ordered closure, state-ordered regional closure, hybrid or remote instruction only, or a state-ordered in person instruction. Virginia lies within the hybrid or remote instruction only category along with North Carolina and Delaware. 

While Virginia may be one of the few states only to allow hybrid or remote instruction, LCPS has worked towards creating an effective system to keep both it’s educators and students safe during the pandemic. 


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