COVID-Reopening Info2022-03-18T12:46:35+00:00

APTS REOPENING INFORMATION

REOPENING PLAN OF ACTION

 

Click on the icon above to review APTS’s Reopening Plan.

Alan El Tagi, CEO & Co-Founder

The mandated closure of Virginia school buildings on March 17, 2020 presented many new challenges for APTS families and staff. While navigating alternative avenues of instruction and support for our students, APTS has looked forward to the day when our school buildings could safely reopen. That day has arrived. APTS intends to resume in-person instruction on September 8, 2020.

I am excited to share with you APTS 2020 School Reopening Plan of Action. Please be assured that our top priority will always be the health and safety of the families we serve and our staff. We recognize the importance of reopening our school to in-person learning safely. Our plan has been developed thoroughly based on guidance from the state and local level as well as input from our families and staff members. The information will provide you with clear guidance on how we will open our doors safely and in accordance with CDC and VDH guidelines.

In these quickly evolving times, please understand that this plan is fluid. Changes are expected based on any updated federal, state, and local recommendations and feedback from our families, staff, and partners. We look forward to continuing to serve our students, families, and community.

Sincerely,

Alan El Tagi

Students and staff have returned to buildings with increased health and safety measures in place. APTS’ leadership received input from local health departments, families, and other stakeholders to create a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our students and staff. APTS is dedicated to providing high quality instruction and behavioral support regardless of the delivery model. 

Schedule

APTS resumed full day in-person instruction from 8:10 am to 3:15 pm on February 1, 2021. APTS continues to provide a comprehensive virtual learning platform for times and situations when in-person learning is not an option (e.g., inclement weather, COVID-19 related closings/quarantines).

Sanitation, cleaning, and disinfection protocols

APTS follows the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines for all cleaning and disinfection of schools. Teachers, staff, and contracted cleaning companies work together to ensure the building is thoroughly cleaned. If a positive COVID-19 case is found, APTS follows the guidance of the school nursing department and local health department to determine the areas of the school/building that require deep cleaning and determine if a school or office closure is needed to complete the cleaning. 

Increased training for staff and students

All APTS staff members were provided with a comprehensive building orientation in the following areas: cleaning, PPE, social distancing, symptom recognition, health screening and more. This training was delivered virtually and in-person. Families and students also received important information throughout the reopening process via mail, email, the APTS website and social media.

Screening procedures

Parents, caregivers, or guardians are strongly encouraged to monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening. Students who are sick should stay home. Any students exhibiting a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 while at school will be escorted to a quarantine room and parents/guardians will be notified to come pick up their child immediately. Staff are required to self-screen prior to coming to work and stay home if sick as well.

Face coverings

The CDC follows a framework for measuring COVID-19 in the community based on community transmission level. When at a low or medium transmission level the CDC no longer requires masking in schools.

Based on this revised guidance and all APTS campuses being in low to medium transmission level areas, effective Thursday, March 10, 2022, masks were made optional for all APTS employees and students. APTS may adjust these requirements should the community transmission level change.  Staff and students are welcome to wear a mask at any time based on their own or parent/guardian preference.

Social distancing

Maintaining distance between individuals is one of the key strategies for reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. APTS staff and students are asked to maintain at least 3 to 6 feet of distance whenever possible. Environmental changes have been made, such as spacing desks and installing signage, to serve as a reminder that distance should be maintained.

APTS recognizes that social distancing may not always be possible to be maintained and has obtained a variance from the state of Virginia regarding the recommended social distancing measure as the population of students served by our program may require staff to be in closer proximity to provide necessary support.

APTS works to minimize movement of individuals within the school by: 1) limiting the interchange of students and staff between classrooms; 2) by having a designated staff complete lunch delivery; 3) by creating site-based procedures to direct foot traffic throughout the building; and 4) by ensuring that restrooms can be used with appropriate social distancing and cleaning protocols.

Education

Signs are posted in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs, such as by properly washing hands. 

When appropriate, students are provided with social narratives, visuals, and routines. Staff assist students in practicing new skills and reinforce appropriate social distancing and hygiene practices, as needed.

Limited access to visitors

Visitors are only permitted into the building when school is in session with prior approval from a Campus Director. Visitors are required to be screened for symptoms and COVID-19 contact upon entering the building. Meetings, tours, observations, etc. will occur virtually utilizing Google Suites when possible.

Continuing to improve and further develop virtual instruction program

As APTS continues to reopen its buildings, we remain committed to providing an increased, robust, and variable virtual experience for those times and situations when in-person learning is not an option (e.g., inclement weather, COVID-19 related closings/quarantines).

Schedule and distance learning

APTS resumed full day in-person instruction from 8:10 am to 3:15 pm on February 1, 2021. APTS continues to provide a comprehensive virtual learning platform for times and situations when in-person learning is not an option (e.g., inclement weather, COVID-19 related closings/quarantines). 

Students accessing virtual instruction follow a rigorous academic schedule. Hours of direct instruction include two 2-hour blocks per day, 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Asynchronous materials are provided to students remaining virtual via post or online and should consist of 2 to 3 hours of per day.  All completed asynchronous materials are reviewed and graded by the student’s classroom teacher. Additional information about the distance learning schedule can be found in the APTS COVID Response Learning Plan on the APTS website.

For those students accessing in-person instruction, the daily schedule begins at 8:10 am and end at 3:15 pm. The additional time that staff are onsite before and after the student school day, is utilized to ensure the safe transition of students during arrival and dismissal procedures, allow for thorough cleaning of classrooms and supplies and provide increased training opportunities for staff. 

For transportation information, families should reach out to their child’s county representative.

Maintaining healthy operations

Steps are in place to protect all staff and children. Information regarding risk factors for severe COVID-19 outcomes can be found in Appendix A.

  • Sick leave policies and practices are regularly reviewed and updated to address and include policies specific to COVID-19.
  • Students who were attending class and who have either been exposed and are not fully vaccinated or who contract the virus will receive their educational services from home (virtual instruction) as they are physically able to, and until total recovery.
  • Information on APTS staff leave practices and vaccine protocol can be found in Appendix I.

Continuity of services is maintained by having trained staff cross-trained to provide classroom support and step into new roles if need arises. 

Practices for gatherings, field trips and volunteer restrictions adhere to all applicable phase guidelines and remain consistent with any Executive Order in place. 

Classroom modifications and structure

The classroom and building environment are set up to encourage proper social distancing and hygiene practices. Classrooms are decluttered to allow for easy cleaning and desks are spaced 3 to 6 feet apart. The use of shared items is discouraged unless thorough cleaning can occur. Teachers maintain inventory of their materials and additional supplies are ordered to minimize shared items.

Signs are posted in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs, such as by properly washing hands. Additional hand sanitizing stations are available, and regular breaks are provided for handwashing/sanitizing. Staff assist students in learning hygiene procedures as needed and reinforce any health and hygiene promoting behaviors.

Site-based modifications such as posted signage have been established to encourage controlled movement and foot traffic throughout buildings. Walkie talkies are utilized to allow for quick communication without the need to travel throughout buildings.

Evaluation of building

APTS currently maintains a comprehensive preventative maintenance schedule. Prior to opening, facilities evaluated and completed preventative maintenance on all systems including HVAC, plumbing, and lighting. Air filters were replaced at this time and are serviced frequently. Water systems and features have been checked at each campus to ensure proper operation. Water bottle fill stations remain open; however, water fountains have been disabled or otherwise secured to prevent use.

Initial cleaning

APTS has completed the process of organizing, decluttering, cleaning, and disinfecting the classrooms. This includes removing porous materials that cannot be easily disinfected. All cleaning has been completed using CDC and/or EPA approved disinfecting agents for COVID-19.

High touch areas:

  • have been identified and explained to staff to ensure awareness.
  • high tech touch areas (phones, copiers, light switches, etc.) have contact film placed over them to allow for easy and safe cleaning.

Sourcing of cleaning supplies

APTS has been able to source approved disinfectants through a local supplier and has made arrangements to switch to another CDC and/or EPA approved disinfectant if the supply chain is interrupted. Each campus has enough disinfectant for 1 month, with resupplies scheduled to arrive regularly.

APTS has sourced sprayers to simplify the disinfection process.

Cleaning responsibility

To ensure appropriate staffing, APTS implements an “all hands” approach where each staff member has a shared responsibility to maintain their zone or area while also cleaning after themself. A facilities staff member is assigned for each building to assist with cleaning.

APTS staff members received additional training on how to appropriately clean following the CDC guidelines.

APTS contracts with an outside vendor for building cleaning after school hours. 

If a positive COVID-19 case is discovered, APTS follows the guidance of the school nursing department and local health department to determine the areas of the school/building that may require deep cleaning and determine if a school or office closure is required to complete the cleaning. 

Zone cleaning protocol

APTS has set up a zone cleaning approach where each classroom, office, hallway, and lobby acts as their own zone.

Staff assigned to a zone completes the appropriate level of cleaning required on a regular schedule.

The APTS facilities team is responsible for cleaning the hallways, hallway restrooms, and PRN cleaning. Please see Appendix B for details on cleaning levels.

Staff, family, and student preparation

Staff were provided with a comprehensive building reopening orientation. Topics covered included proactive health strategies, cleaning protocols, responding to confirmed/suspected cases of COVID-19, behavioral supports for returning students, and supporting the social/emotional needs of students and yourself.  Families and students also received important information throughout the reopening process including information on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, use of cloth face coverings, staying home when sick, and encouraging physical distancing.

Staff and students receive ongoing training and information on proactive health strategies and cleaning protocols, mental health, as well as training to address any novel situations as they arise.

Informational guides and checklists are posted throughout the school building, sent to staff and student families, and made available on APTS website and social media platform(s).

A full training and information list is provided in Appendix C.

Entering APTS buildings

Visitors:

APTS has placed signage at all entrances requiring visitors to call front offices. Visitors are not permitted into the building when school is in session unless they have prior approval from a Campus Director. Visitors are required to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and any COVID-19 contact. Meetings, tours, observations, etc. occur virtually utilizing Google Suites when possible.

Screenings: 

All staff and students (or their families) are asked to report if they have COVID-19 symptoms or if they have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to entering any APTS building. The CDC does not currently recommend schools conduct symptom screening for all students in grades K-12 on a routine (e.g., daily) basis. In accordance with these guidelines, parents, caregivers, or guardians are strongly encouraged to monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening. Students who are sick should stay home. Any students exhibiting a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 while at school will be escorted to the quarantine room; parents/guardians are notified to come pick up their child immediately. Staff are required to self-screen prior to coming to work. 

Students and staff are asked to sanitize or wash their hands prior to or upon entering the building. 

Students and staff are required to stay home and notify the campus immediately if:

  • They are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or a fever
  • They have had close contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated
  • They have had frequent close contact (e.g., living in the same home) with an individual that is displaying COVID-19 symptoms and/or is awaiting COVID-19 testing due to symptoms

Practices inside APTS buildings:

Face Coverings:

The CDC follows a framework for measuring COVID-19 in the community based on community transmission level. When at a low or medium transmission level the CDC no longer requires masking in schools.

Based on this revised guidance and all APTS campuses being in low to medium transmission level areas, effective Thursday, March 10, 2022, masks were made optional for all APTS employees and students. APTS may adjust these requirements should the community transmission level change.  Staff and students are welcome to wear a mask at any time based on their own or parent/guardian preference.

It should be noted, food services staff and any students assisting with food services responsibilities are required to wear a face covering during all food preparation and delivery. 

Additionally, if a student displays COVID-19 symptoms they will be asked to wear a surgical mask and move to the designated quarantine room until a parent/guardian arrives to pick the student up. Individuals that develop mild COVID-19 like symptoms and have tested negative may also be asked to wear a mask while in the building until their symptoms resolve.

Social Distancing:

Upon transitioning into the building, students and staff are asked to maintain appropriate social distancing whenever possible. Classrooms are also organized to maintain at least 3 to 6 feet of space between each student’s desk. Signage is installed to serve as a reminder that a social distance should be maintained

Students and staff are discouraged from bringing outside items into the building. If students or staff bring personal items into the building, then they are provided with a bin in which to maintain their personal belongs throughout the day.

The movement of students and staff between classrooms is limited. Site-based procedures have been created to establish entrance and exit routes and direct foot traffic throughout the building. Site-based procedures have also been created to ensure restrooms can be used with appropriate social distancing and cleaning protocols to minimize cross contamination. Students eat in their classroom while appropriately distanced from other students. 

We recognize that social distancing may not always be able to be maintained. APTS requested a variance from the state of Virginia regarding the recommended social distancing measure as the population of students served by our program may require staff to be in close proximity to provide necessary support. Please see Appendix G for detailed information.

Revised Guidelines and Procedures for Student Health Services:

All classroom staff have been trained to administer first-aid to staff and students. School nurses may be called into classrooms on an as-needed basis.

School nurses exclusively deliver medications to students. If a school nurse is not available, a single back-up staff that is trained in medication administration is identified to deliver medications for that day.

Medical grade PPE is worn by nurses if:

  • A student has COVID-19 symptoms and the nurse is needed to provide services to them and/or to wait with them until a parent arrives.
  • A nurse is helping a student with using an inhaler or performing any other assistance creating a risk of airborne particulates.

Nurses request all students with prescribed nebulizer treatments bring their prescribed rescue inhaler to school. Nebulizer treatments are only to be delivered if the rescue inhaler does not work and the student’s oxygen level is dropping.

Practices for Behavioral Emergencies:

Staff receive proactive and reactive strategy training while working with students in a least to most restrictive presentation. Physical proximity as well as physical interventions is utilized only when immediate health or safety is compromised.

Once health and safety within the environment is restored, staff members can access identified cleaning locations to clean themselves and ensure disinfection occurs.

Related Services

Services that require transitional staff (Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy) to present instruction to students may occur virtually or in-person. When a related service provider works directly with a student, they are responsible for ensuring they have properly washed and sanitized prior to entering the classroom. 

Food preparation:

Students and staff are encouraged to use cold packs to keep their lunches cold enough to be kept in the classroom or office. If a lunch requires additional refrigeration, a designated food service staff places it in a separate plastic bag, label it and put it in the school refrigerator.  Staff preparing food are trained through ServSafe to ensure safety while preparing and distributing food.

Staff preparing food wear masks, gloves, and hair covering while preparing or handling food. 

Cleaning schedules and procedures are posted and reviewed. Please see Appendix D.

Mental health services and monitoring

School counselors provide mental health training and resources to staff, students, and their families.

Mental health resources are made available to staff, students, and their families on a regular basis.

School counselors meet student counselling needs in-person and virtually. School counselors also provide evidence-based resources and lessons for teachers to utilize to support the social and emotional needs of all students at APTS.

Transportation:

Community-Based Instruction (CBI) Trips:

Community-Based Instruction (CBI) Trips may occur with prior approval from a Campus Director. All locations are thoroughly evaluated for CDC compliance, appropriateness, and availability. Additionally, parental consent must be obtained prior to the trip. 

Transportation 

Alternative Paths operates both cars and vans at each location to transport students for CBI trips and for students who have engaged in behavioral episodes and are not safe to transport on county vehicles. If a student is not safe to board their afternoon transportation, Alternative Paths may attempt to stabilize the student’s behavioral episode and contact the parent/guardian to arrange pick up. If the parent/guardian is not able to provide transportation due to lack of operational vehicle, an APTS car, van, or bus may be utilized if ATPS administration determines that the conditions of the circumstance, including the student’s behavior, are safe to allow transportation.

The student will be encouraged to maintain safety through proactive behavioral measures.

Staff will attempt to maintain distance; dependent upon the type of vehicle used to transport. When available, APTS will attempt to utilize the larger vehicle to maximize social distancing.

If recommended by the nursing department, staff will wear a mask during transportation and the student will be encouraged to wear face coverings. After any use of APTS vehicles, the vehicle will be thoroughly disinfected. All seats and surfaces will be wiped down with a disinfectant. A cleaning checklist will be maintained to ensure all areas have been cleansed.

Bus Transportation:

Alternative Paths does not currently provide bus transportation on a regular basis to students.  Buses may be used in emergency situations/situations with prior approval from a Campus Director if it is required. 

Social distancing will be in effect with assigned seating for staff and students. Staff will utilize proactive behavioral strategies to encourage safe and cooperative behaviors.  If recommended by the nursing department, staff on transportation will wear masks and students will be encouraged to wear face coverings. If students are engaging in maladaptive behaviors on the buses, additional supports including staff presence and physical interventions may be utilized to maintain health and safety.

In bus emergencies, when health and safety is at risk, staff may be required to be in close proximity. Staff will utilize appropriate strategies to de-escalate the behavioral episode including verbal prompting, verbal redirection, and physical presence.

By-My-Side strategies including possible physical restraint may have to be implemented to maintain health and safety.  Staff will attempt to move back to the recommended social distancing when the behavioral episode has de-escalated.

Alternative Paths will document behavioral episodes and review behavioral episodes with both operations and the behavior department to ensure best behavioral and safety practices are followed.

After any use of APTS vehicles, the vehicle will be thoroughly disinfected. All seats and surfaces will be wiped down with a disinfectant. A cleaning checklist will be maintained to ensure all areas have been cleansed.

On-call and in-home behavior support:

Alternative Paths is committed to continuing to provide support to our students in the home setting when appropriate. In order to minimize risk, Alternative Paths is changing our current practices to allow for screening and to encourage safety.

Upon receiving a request for behavioral assistance in the home setting, the call-taker will first determine if this call is suited for APTS or if emergency services should be contacted. If the call-taker believes APTS can assist, then they will attempt to provide advice to the family or deescalate the behavioral episode verbally over the phone.

If deescalating the behavior by telephone is not possible, then the call-taker will again evaluate if emergency services should be contacted. If it is concluded that an APTS staff member can assist in the home, the call-taker will ask the family if anyone in the home has been exposed to COVID-19 or has had any symptoms of COVID-19. 

If the parent confirms no COVID-19 exposures, positive tests, or symptoms, then the staff member may provide in-home support. If upon arrival the staff member feels that safety is at risk, the APTS staff member shall exercise the right to discontinue support and request that the family contact emergency services.

At the conclusion of the behavioral services, the staff member will complete a Serious Incident Report and debrief with their POD Manager, Behavior Specialist, and Regional Program Director. These departments will evaluate if the family can benefit from additional support or training.

Use of building for afterschool activities and public use

APTS does not have after school, extracurricular activities, or student drivers. The school building is not open to the public or rented for any use. We continue to monitor access to the building during non-school hours. Approval from an administrator is required for any individual to be onsite when school is not in session. Any staff arriving on campus must maintain social distancing when possible and disinfect any high touch areas with which they may have come into contact.

Participation in community response efforts

Practices for gatherings, field trips and volunteer restrictions remain consistent with all federal, state, and local guidelines. Additionally, further restrictions may be implemented based on APTS’ internal evaluation of the ability to maintain a safe, healthy environment during outings, parent/guardian approval, and county representative and community input.

COVID-19 Response Team members

APTS has created a COVID-19 Action Team consisting of employees from the nursing department, central office administration, regional campus administration and Executive Level Directors. Please see the complete list in Appendix H.

The Action Team meets weekly to develop, review, and revise the following practices and procedures.

Contact information for local health departments

APTS adheres to or exceeds all Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), state, and local guidelines for contacting and reporting all suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases to the local health departments. APTS submit reports to the proper health department based on the residence of the student or staff. The phone numbers for the local health departments can be found in Appendix E.

Staff and student health and absentee monitoring

Staff and students or their parents/guardians are required to sign a disclosure form indicating that they shall promptly notify the school nurse if they have a positive COVID-19 test, if anyone living at their residence is diagnosed with COVID-19, or if they have a known exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, all staff and student families shall notify the campus as soon as possible if the staff or student are absent for any reason.

If a staff member has an unplanned absence and does not notify his/her direct supervisor, then campus staff will call the individual and ask specific screening questions developed by the nursing department to ascertain if the staff member is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If the staff member is unable to be reached, then APTS will contact the individuals listed as the staff member’s emergency contact.

If a student has an unplanned absence, the student’s parent/guardian will be contacted immediately to ascertain if the student’s is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If the student’s family is unable to be reached, the student’s county representative will be contacted. The student’s county representative will be updated on any COVID-19 related health concerns.

Communication strategies

Staff are trained on the updated practices and procedures within their campuses.

All COVID-19 practices and procedures are made available by e-mail to APTS families and are located on the APTS website.

APTS follows the direction of the local health department in collaboration with the recommendations of the APTS nursing team to communicate suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to families and staff while maintaining and adhering to HIPAA and FERPA regulations.

Procedures for those suspected of contracting COVID-19

APTS follows detailed procedures if an unvaccinated individual is suspected to have been exposed to COVID-19 or if a staff member or student is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 per the local area health department’s recommendation and guidance from the APTS nursing team. COVID-19 Response Teams established at each campus/building assists with quick, efficient, and informed responding. These procedures include:

  • Immediately removing student/staff or to the designated quarantine area, with staff support, as needed;
  • Notifying the parent/guardian to pick up the child in the designated time frame;
  • Reporting to the local health department and completing contact tracing;
  • Notifying staff and families in accordance; and
  • Providing guidance on criteria to return to school based on guidance from the APTS nursing team.

Comprehensive COVID-19 response procedures can be found in Appendix F.

For those students accessing virtual instruction, the hours of direct instruction increased to 2 2-hour blocks per day, 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm starting January 4, 2021.  Asynchronous materials are also provided to students remaining virtual via post or online delivery and consist of 2 to 3 hours per day.  All completed asynchronous materials are reviewed and graded by the student’s classroom teacher.

Our dedicated staff encourage students’ critical and creative thinking while providing engaging and interactive activities that allow for review, practice, and continued learning of knowledge and skills through virtual learning sessions and assignments mailed/emailed to students’ homes. In addition, lessons and activities address IEP goals, as appropriate to each student to meet their areas of academic needs. 

Lessons may assist students in learning hygiene procedures as needed and reinforce health and hygiene promoting behaviors. Lessons may also work toward increasing task completion/attention to task in a virtual learning model.

Please refer to APTS distance learning plan for more detailed information.

APTS will follow the guidance of the local health departments as well as any directives from the Commonwealth of Virginia to determine which conditions will trigger a reduction in in-person classes as well as a complete school building closure.

Multiple options may be considered including but not limited to: Students attending in-person instruction for less time/days per week, reducing the number of students attending in-person instruction, and a return to complete virtual instruction until circumstances allow the physical buildings to reopen.

 

 

Please click icon above to view the FULL reopening plan with appendix information. 

INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN

 

Click on the icon above to review APTS’s Instructional Plan.

PURPOSE OF THE APTS COVID RESPONSE LEARNING PLAN

The Alternative Paths Training School (APTS) COVID Response Learning Plan has been developed to communicate to stakeholders our approach to providing continuity in students’ learning, behavior support, and social-emotional support. APTS is committed to providing support using multiple means of communication and work assignments during the transitional period as we return to a more traditional academic model. Our dedicated staff will provide a variety of instructional methods to assist and support APTS’ development of new curriculum while continuing to develop students’ critical and creative thinking skills, appropriate interactions, and academic and behavioral growth. This instruction will be provided using virtual instruction and supports or, in person instruction, dependent upon the student’s and family’s needs as determined by their IEP teams. Based on mandates and/or recommendations by the federal, state, and local government, these services will remain fluid to meet students’ needs while maintaining health and safety requirements outlined by the CDC. We recognize that all APTS stakeholders have been affected by the challenges of the current pandemic; therefore, we will continue to plan, discuss, and assess the students’ schedules to ensure health and wellness while providing curriculum to meet their individual needs and supports. APTS remains true to its mission as we …” provide students with the knowledge and practical skills essential for their successful integration into the community.” The decision to reopen the physical buildings has been very challenging for APTS’ Leadership. Since our top priority is now, and has always been, the health and safety of our students and staff, APTS sought much guidance and input from local public health officials as it was critical in our planning. Given the needs of our students, the grave consideration of public health risks, and the individual schools’ capacities, APTS has assessed, with careful planning, to effectively mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our developed plans have been reviewed by the local health agencies and the state.

CONSIDERATIONS

● Health and safety of students and staff

● Guidance from the CDC, VDOE, and VDH regarding mitigation strategies are addressed within the APTS Reopening Plan

● The physical, mental, and social-emotional health of our students

● In person instruction is most effective for most students

● Virtual instruction must provide equitable services that progress the curriculum and instruction must meet the needs of the students 

● In person and remote instruction must be structured and include mandatory participation, assignments, feedback, and grading

INSTRUCTION

Educational

● New curriculum will be provided throughout the school year using all models of instruction

● All families will be offered the option to choose 100% remote learning

● Students will receive individualized supports reflecting their learning needs to accommodate them

● Given the more recent directives/guidelines from the State, student accountability through their participation is required, and will be graded.

● Any changes to learning options, service modifications, accommodations, and/or support will require an IEP addendum

● Remediation, behavioral supports, and instructional guidance will be available throughout the school day between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm, both during, and outside of direct instructional times

● Face coverings and handwashing will be enforced/emphasized; social or physical distancing will be maintained for increased safety

● APTS’ model will provide students with five days of instruction that will include daily direct instruction as well as remote learning, asynchronous student learning, extension activities, and resources for student enrichment

● Lessons and assignments will be individualized to accommodate student academic and developmental levels.

● Staff will communicate expectations to students and families about the instructional plans for the week, including learning objectives, required activities, assignments, links to resources, and assessments, along with any associated due dates.

● IEP goals will be addressed in assignments, as appropriate to meet areas of need.

● Feedback will be provided by teachers (oral and written) via submitted work, emails, phone calls, and video sessions.

● Lessons will focus on promoting independence for students.

● Teachers will work with the student’s educational team (teachers, educational supervisors, behavioral specialist, program facilitators, team leaders, POD managers) to support and respond to parent and student questions and needs.

● Physical Education teachers will provide lessons and instructions to students via direct instruction using Google Meets as well as online resources.

     o PE teachers will also provide activities that can be accessed at home.

     o PE teachers will be available via email and provide feedback and support as requested.

● Related services will be provided to students as identified through their IEP.

     o Related services will use Google Meet to provide virtual learning experiences weekly (scheduled times are dependent on academic, developmental, and behavior levels).

● Office hours will be available during school hours to communicate with families, answer questions, and provide strategies and supports.

● Specific emails and phone numbers, of specific supervisors, will be provided for the student’s specific campus, classroom, and team members. Behavioral

● A Behavior Specialist will remain assigned to each student, virtually and in person.

● Office hours will be maintained during school hours to communicate with families, answer questions, and provide behavioral strategies and supports

● The behavior team will initiate weekly communication with families via phone calls, emails, and/or Google Meet to discuss any behavior concerns at home to create protocols and interventions to be used by the caregiver to decrease unsafe behaviors that are observed; and offer modified work with collaboration with the teacher.

● The behavior team will create modified behavior protocols to aid in behavioral support and stability within the home environment.

● Regional Behavior Directors will share work cell phone number and emails with families in the event they need behavioral support outside of “regular” school hours.

● Behavioral team will work with families on individual needs as well as provide universal behavioral strategies and supports.

● Specific emails and phone numbers, of specific supervisors, will be provided for the student’s specific campus, classroom, and team members.

● In collaboration with the classroom teacher, the behavior team may assist students in learning health and hygiene promoting behaviors such as increased tolerance for face masks, PPE, and social distancing. Lessons may also work toward increasing task completion/attention to task in a virtual learning model. Classroom Staff

● Program Facilitators, Team Leaders, and POD Managers will support the educational and behavioral instruction of the students.

● Classroom staff will use proactive strategies to assist students working through assignments and be available for family questions and supports.

● Office Hours – all APTS staff will be available between school hours, to communicate with families, answer questions, and provide strategies and supports.

● Specific times can be set up via email or during virtual instruction, with classroom staff to provide academic supports, positive engagement, social interactions, and reinforcement times. Families

● Remain connected with staff support personnel (e.g., teachers, behavior, counselor, school directors).

For students receiving virtual instruction, we suggest that you create a comfortable and consistent location for students to work on assignments and participate.

● Assist students in connecting to virtual learning sessions at designated scheduled times on Google Meet.

● Encourage family participation for students working in the Aligned Standards of Learning and/or Standards of Learning curriculum with daily work and virtual learning sessions via Google Meet.

● Read daily to your child and ask questions about the story/book.

● Provide breaks during the day for students to get up and move and exercise.

● Provide feedback to APTS staff as to the effectiveness and efficiency of instruction and need for supports. Students

● Keep a daily routine to work on assignments.

● Keep completed work organized by creating a daily schedule and “to do” list.

● Participate in virtual learning sessions via Google Meet.

● Discuss challenges with staff (e.g., academic, social-emotional).

METHODS OF INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY AND COMMUNICATION

Students that begin the school year with remote learning:

● Will be assigned to a teacher of record; students may have multiple teachers depending on the appropriateness and collaboration between instructional content or topics

● Will access direct instruction through virtual sessions within three-hour blocks, five days a week.

● Virtual session schedules will include online meetings with teachers and staff, peers, independent proficiency with a specific tasks or topic, and academic remediation when appropriate.

● Attendance is mandatory and APTS attendance policies will be strictly enforced/emphasized: o One virtual session will equal one physical day in school o Parents will be contacted when students do not attend virtual instruction sessions o 3 consecutive unexcused absences will be reported to county LEAs o 15 consecutive unexcused absences will be considered a drop unless otherwise determined by the LEA or, an IEP team

● New instruction: all students will participate in new instruction that is aligned to state standards as well as addressing goals outlined in the student’s IEP.

● Recovery Strategies: All grade levels will use formative assessments and teacher-made assessments to gather information about student skills and knowledge acquisition.

● APTS staff will continue to collect and maintain progress data which will be presented quarterly via student report cards and IEP quarterly reports.

● Classroom teachers will create and maintain courses through appropriate programs

● Direct instruction will consist of group and individual instruction and include:

     o Class meetings

     o Lessons and presentations o Discussions

     o Hands-on activities and tasks o Posted assignments

     o Student content assessments

     o Provide instructional and task specific feedback

     o Direct remediation

     o Planned reviews

● Instructional time will consist of both synchronous and asynchronous instruction

● Work packets will continue to be mailed home via email or post. o Work packets will be developed by classroom teachers to address students’ learning needs, while providing opportunities for growth and enrichment.

● Feedback will be solicited from families to ascertain any observed and documented learning patterns, growth or lack thereof; information supporting any progress made through academic instruction or behavioral support will be used to guide future instruction.

● Emails and academic work will be sent home weekly; any requests for specific supports or questions may be sent daily.

● APTS will utilize Google Meets for virtual learning; Google Classrooms have been established to provide instructional materials as well as enrichment activities.

● Edgenuity will be utilized by students registered in online courses.

● A variety of academic resources and preferential opportunities will continue to enhance virtual lessons, academic materials, behavioral supports, and options for student specific reinforcement will be provided to the families. Students attending school in person:

● Students will begin in person instruction using a modified half day schedule

● Student’s schedules will be developed to align academic instruction and appropriate peer grouping

● Student census will be reviewed and adjusted to maintain appropriate staff and student ratios, and to promote continued health and safety.

● In the event of a mandated school closing, all students will receive virtual instruction, with the new guidelines and mandatory participation

● Parents are not allowed to choose which sessions their child will attend as schedules are developed to benefit the majority of students

● New instruction: all students will participate in new instruction that is aligned with state standards as well as addressing goals outlined within the student’s IEP.

● Recovery Strategies: All grade levels will use formative assessments and teacher-made assessments to gather information about student skills and knowledge acquisition.

● APTS Staff will continue to collect and maintain progress data which will be presented quarterly via student report cards and IEP quarterly reports.

● Classroom teachers will create and maintain courses through appropriate programs

● Teachers will address critical content and content that requires in person, hands on instruction; ancillary instruction will be offered and followed up by APTS staff while the students are at home

     o Students and families will have access and supports to APTS staff during the school hours of 7:30 am and 3:30 pm to assist with instruction and behavioral supports

● Related services will be scheduled to meet students’ specific IEP services.

     o Related services will be provided both in the school as well as to those students remaining on virtual instruction

     o To maintain health and safety as well as confidentiality, services may continue to be provided via the tele-services both within the physical classroom and home environment

ASSESSING STUDENTS’ KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

● Students’ knowledge and skills will be assessed using the following methods: o Completed work emailed to the classroom teacher.

     o A picture taken of completed work and emailed to teacher.

     o Visual completion of an academic task or verbal response while on virtual learning o Teacher will use formative assessment during virtual learning sessions.

     o Edgenuity progress reports will be collected. o Online assessment resources (e.g., quizlet, NearPod) will be used.

WHERE TO GO FOR SUPPORT

Campus specific emergency numbers and email addresses for the student’s specific instructional teams will be provided.

TEACHER LESSON PLANS FOR VIRTUAL LEARNING SESSIONS AND WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS

Classroom teachers will provide each student with a minimum of three hours virtual learning opportunities per day. Classroom teachers will be available via email during school hours and will provide feedback either via email or scheduling a Google Meet to discuss.

VIRTUAL LEARNING LESSON PLAN EXAMPLE AND DIRECTIONS

Directions: Under each student’s times, identify the Subject, key Topic, and a brief sentence/statement of the Activity to be presented during virtual lessons. Teachers will also review work completed since the last session and build in breaks appropriate for the length of the session. Scheduled times for virtual sessions are dependent on a student’s academic level, developmental level, behavior status, and length of time a student can work online (scheduled times can be adjusted).

● S = Subject of focus           T = Topic            A = Activity

8:00 – 11:00

● Teacher and APTS staff will begin the day with check in, attendance, announcements, and reviews.

● Classroom specific and small group instructions will be provided via Google Classroom and Google Meet.

● Staff will use group and individual instruction as well as breakout sessions to address the academic, social skill development, and behavioral needs of the students. ● Students will be paired with appropriate academic and social groupings.

● Classrooms will rejoin for larger group discussions, instruction, activities and break back into small group on one on one instruction based on the appropriateness of the assignments/activities and levels of supports needed.

12:00 – 3:00

● Structured activities

● Related services

● Electives

● Remediation

● Enrichment activities will be scheduled for students based on their academic and identified needs

● Activities will be provided in larger classrooms, small groups, one-on-one or as independent work.

WEEKLY LESSON PLAN TEMPLATE AND DIRECTIONS

Lesson plans will provide daily instruction as well as activities that students can do at home, based on their academic and developmental level. A lesson template for each student will be completed and maintained to document goals and objectives of instruction both direct as well as for ancillary materials. Attachments and/or directions for activities will be included with the activities. APTS Behavioral and Academic teams will work together with requesting families to support the creation of daily or weekly schedules. Structuring will provide flexible to provide academics as well as reinforcements based off the student’s needs. 

Student Scheduling

● 3 hours of direct virtual or in-person learning opportunities will be provided daily for students through individual, group, or both depending on their needs and abilities.

● Academic lessons and work will be based off student’s current courses and provide instruction both through virtual lessons and independent work.

● Additional activities and subjects will be provided as both instruction; based off current courses as well as for educational enhancement and engagement: Art/Crafts, Vocational, Movement, Vocational, Life Skills, individualize goals and objectives.

● A variety in subjects will be provided throughout the week in all learning formats and will address maintaining as well as increasing skills.

● Activities will be designed to address IEP goal as well as be highly engaging and focus on academic and behavioral retention.

POTENTIAL SCHOOL CLOSURE CONTINGENCY PLAN

In the event of a school closure due to changes in phase status as directed by the Governor of the Virginia Department of Health, APTS may move to a 100% remote learning environment. A time period may be necessary to effectively transition students from the in-person model to a return to virtual model. Training and resources will be available to parents and students. IEP addendums may be requested to reflect the change in location of services.

 

Please click icon above to view the FULL Instructional plan information. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

QUICK-ACCESS RESOURCES

Nursing & Health

Hand Washing

Cross Contamination 

PPE 

08/12/2020 – All students entering the 7th grade for the 2020-2021 school year must receive a Tdap booster as required by the Virginia Department of Education. Please click here to see the memo send out by the VDOE. Should you have any questions, please contact your student’s campus nurse.

Other Resources

 
Virginia COPES
New COVID-19 Response Warm Line!   
 
Mental Health America of Virginia is now operating a second Warm Line specifically to support anyone in Virginia struggling with trauma, grief and distress caused by COVID-19. Trained staff provide strength-based support, resilience building strategies and community resources and referrals.
 
(877) 349-6428
Call or TEXT
No cost. Anonymous.
 
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday-Friday
5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
 
Compassionate, Optimistic, Person-Centered, Empowering, Support
 
The project is a coordinated effort between the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Mental Health America of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.