Frequently Asked Questions

As we prepare for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, we are committed to keeping our school community informed and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. Please check back regularly for additional information on our Responsive Return-to-School Plan. If you do not see an answer to your specific question below, please submit it using our CONTACT US form.

Thank you for your support as we work to ensure a healthy environment for our students and staff.

We are committed to keeping our families informed and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available regarding our Responsive Return-to-School Plan. All updates will be posted on our website.

1. Will assignments be graded?

Regardless of the option selected, both will provide instruction on new content and work will be graded using the district’s grading scale.

2. What opportunities for extra help will be available for students who need it?

Teachers will provide instructional support via small group or individualized intervention sessions, whether in person or online, as needed.

3. Will resource classes such as music, P.E., and art be provided at the elementary level in both options?

Our goal is to offer as many elective/resource classes as possible in both Option 1: On-Campus Continuum and Option 2: Chesapeake Online.  Our capability to do so will be based on several factors, some of which include enrollment, availability of staff, and our ability to implement safety guidelines provided by the CDC and the Chesapeake Health Department.

4. Will Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes be available online?

We will make every attempt to offer all CTE courses in all learning settings including blended and virtual. If a student needs a CTE course as a required completer for graduation and the course is not offered through Chesapeake Online, Chesapeake CTE will work with our school counselors to assist in rescheduling students into a similar course. Chesapeake Career Center courses can be used for required credits toward graduation, however, additional requirements may be necessary for a student to be eligible for a state or national licensure.

5. Where can we learn more about Schoology?

Schoology has a variety of demo videos available online; however, the district will be providing more detailed information for students and parents once students’ schedules are uploaded. As a reminder, Schoology will be used districtwide by all teachers for all students.

6. Will there be SOLs this year? If my high school still needs verified credits for graduation, how will that be handled?

At this time, the VDOE has not announced SOL testing has been cancelled for the 2020-21 school year. We are anticipating additional guidance on verified credits and testing in the weeks ahead.

7. What will special education and related services look like in both options?

Some special education and related services may be difficult or impossible to implement via online instruction.  If necessary, the IEP or Section 504 team will review the impact of the instructional delivery model on the provision of special education and related services to eligible students and consider what, if any, individualized adjustments to a student’s plan might be required.

8. Can special education evaluations be conducted online and on-campus?

Many evaluations can occur online, but some require face-to-face interaction.  The Department of Exceptional Learning is developing a plan that will allow in-person evaluations to occur in a manner that protects the safety of all involved.

9. Is there someone I can talk to if I have questions that are specific to my child?

Yes, if you have specific questions related to the unique circumstances of your child, please contact the school-based staff at your child’s home school. Responding to questions related to exceptional learners can be very individualized and requires the involvement of staff members who have knowledge of your child. The administrative team at your child’s school can connect you with the appropriate person to assist you.



1. When will a decision be made about where we will begin on the On-Campus Continuum? (Updated 7/29/2020)

Based upon current health data, students who select Option 1 (On-Campus Continuum) will begin the school year Temporarily Online. A full presentation to the School Board with details on the approved plan was presented on July 27, 2020.

2. Will students in the same family be assigned to the same on-campus day if blended learning is needed for the On-Campus Continuum (Option 1)?

Every effort will be made to ensure that siblings or students living in the same household are grouped together should the blended model be required.

3. Some teachers had Google Meets and others didn’t in the spring. Will all teachers be required to have video conferencing sessions if Option 1 is temporarily online? 

Yes, we will have a set schedule and expectations for all teachers to provide real-time learning sessions.

4. What is the criteria for determining “low”, “medium”, and “high” COVID rates? What scientific data will you use? How often will it be monitored? (Updated 8/3/2020)

Health and safety circumstances will determine if and when we must move along the continuum from on-campus to blended to online. COVID-19 rates, as reported by the Chesapeake Health Department, are monitored on a daily basis. We will continue to collaborate with our local health officials to make decisions. 

  • What is Test Positivity Rate? 
    • Test Positivity Rate is the percentage of people who test positive out of all who have been tested on any given day and can be a good indicator of COVID prevalence in your area.  According to Johns Hopkins University, “If a positivity rate is too high, that may indicate that the state is only testing the sickest patients who seek medical attention, and is not casting a wide enough net to know how much of the virus is spreading within its communities. A low rate of positivity in testing data can be seen as a sign that a state has sufficient testing capacity for the size of their outbreak and is testing enough of its population to make informed decisions about reopening.” Ideally, this number should remain consistently below 10%.  It is important to consider this measure using a 7-day Moving Average because it will likely vary from day to day.
  • What is a 7-day Moving Average? 
    • The 7-day average calculates the average of the data over the past 7 days and plots that average on a trend line. Reporting procedures may vary from day to day, such as on the weekends, giving a false sense of decline.  Monitoring the 7-day moving average is one way to avoid the daily ups-and-downs of a metric to show a clearer picture of what’s really happening in case trends.
  • What is Weekly Case Incidence? 
    • This metric measures the number of new cases that are identified each week in a particular area.  It is reported as “per 100,000 population” to allow a standard comparison of the presence of new cases across different localities, regions, or states, regardless of their variance in populations.
  • Why do you need to use both metrics?
    • It is important to consider both metrics together to determine if there are high numbers of new cases being found in an area that is doing a sufficient amount of testing to detect the presence of the virus in its population.  Using one measure alone, doesn’t paint a clear picture.

5. If it becomes necessary to shift from one instructional model to another on the continuum, how much notice will be given to families? 

Chesapeake Public Schools will strive to provide as much notice as possible if a shift is required. Any changes will be communicated by phone (Parent Alert System), email, social media (Facebook/Twitter), and on our website. It is vital that families verify their emergency contact information with their child’s school to ensure they are receiving important updates.

6. Is there a possibility that different schools will be on different stages of the continuum? 

Yes, if there is an outbreak at a specific school that does not impact other schools.

7. If we have to go temporarily online, will the online instruction come from my child’s regular teacher(s)? How will it be different from what we experienced this past spring? 

Yes, your child’s regular teacher(s) will provide instruction via online learning, if we need to move to temporary online learning. Teachers will be provided with clear expectations for curriculum, direct instruction, and grading as it relates to online learning. Support will be offered through online office hours, emails, phone calls, and online intervention sessions on an as-needed basis. Additionally, we have a new learning management system, Schoology, that will help streamline communication with students and families.  Professional development opportunities that focus on effective online teaching will be provided throughout the school year for our teachers and instructional staff.

8. If we move to blended learning, will parents have the option to choose which two days of the week they prefer their child to attend school? Will the days remain consistent each week?

Families will not be able to choose; however, the days will be consistent each week. For example, Group A may attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Group B may attend on Wednesdays and Fridays. 

9. What will PE and/or recess look like? Will secondary students dress out for PE?

PE and recess will occur outdoors as much as weather permits. Physical activities will be in small groups as much as possible. Secondary students will not be required to dress out as they will not have access to locker rooms.  Students should dress accordingly.

10. Are students permitted to use lockers?

No, students will not be permitted to utilize lockers.

11. In the Blended model, is it possible to send group A students two days in a row and then group B students two days in a row that way we can deep clean between rotations?

The alternating day schedule eliminates a three-day gap in on-campus learning, which was a noted preference in our employee survey results. School Operations is prepared for daily cleaning and sanitizing.

1. Will there be a cost associated with online classes?

There is no cost associate with enrollment in Chesapeake Online, unless a student is taking a dual-enrollment course with Tidewater Community College.

2. Will Chesapeake Online teachers be required to meet virtually with students?

Yes, Chesapeake Online is a 100% online program for students in grades K-12, where students participate in online instruction from home, five days per week. This program is not self-paced and will include scheduled, teacher-led learning where attendance is expected each day, and at-home learning, which may be in the form of pre-recorded instruction modules or other online independent activities.

3. If I select Chesapeake Online for my child, will they have to attend school on-campus once restrictions allow for a full return?

No, Chesapeake Online is intended to be a long-term solution that will remain available all year and beyond including future school years. This will allow families to keep their child learning in the environment that works best for their circumstances.

4. What support will be offered for struggling students?

Teachers will provide instructional support using online office hours, emails, phone calls, and online intervention sessions as needed.

5. Will all electives be available in Chesapeake Online?

Elective course offerings are contingent upon student enrollment in Chesapeake Online. In addition, courses that require the use of specific software not available on a Chromebook, or those that rely heavily on hands-on lab exercises and activities, may not be available.

6. Will there be an administrator for Chesapeake Online?

Yes, our eLearning Coordinator is serving as the administrator for Chesapeake Online, in collaboration with the Director of Instructional Resources, Services, and Technologies.

7. Will online classes be required in the evening?

Scheduled real-time classes will only be offered during typical school hours. Online teachers may offer opportunities for additional assistance after hours.

8. Are students in academy programs able to take those classes through Chesapeake Online? (Updated 7/28/2020)

Whenever possible, CCC and Academy program students will be given the opportunity to participate in on-campus instruction for courses that are not offered in Chesapeake Online. When this cannot be achieved due to scheduling conflicts, students will work with their school counselors to develop an appropriate schedule that will allow them to keep pace with their programs to the best extent possible. Many of these requests will have to be handled on a case by case basis as student schedules and needs will vary.

9. If academy students choose Chesapeake Online for the first semester, will they lose their spot in the academy? 

No, they can continue to take academy courses when they return to on-campus instruction.

10. Will the online class sessions be recorded for those who are unable to attend during the regularly scheduled time and/or want to reference them later?

Due to privacy concerns, teachers will not be required to record live instructional sessions.  While live class sessions may not be recorded, online teachers may choose to record instructional videos and post them to Schoology for student access. Students who miss a session will also have an opportunity to request individual assistance to get makeup work from their teacher and/or meet with their teacher during their weekly office hours.

11. Will gifted and talented students at the elementary and middle school levels still be clustered and receive the GATE curriculum?

Similar to a traditional school setting, we cannot guarantee a homogeneous gifted cluster in the online setting; however, online teachers will use gifted strategies and provide extension and enrichment learning experiences for identified gifted students.  This may include additional small group sessions and independent learning activities.

12. Will students receive hard copies of textbooks, math manipulatives, materials for science experiments, and other learning resources? 

Chesapeake Online will rely on online resources and learning experiences. Hard copies of textbooks are available upon request from the student’s assigned school.

13. How will teachers be selected for Chesapeake Online?

Teachers who are interested in participating in Chesapeake Online can apply for this opportunity through ePass, a performance task, principal recommendations, and previous professional evaluations. All teachers who are selected will receive specialized training in online teaching strategies.

14. If a student transitions from Chesapeake Online to on-campus learning for the second semester, what can my student expect? 

Students will return to their assigned school and be placed in classes for the courses they are currently taking. Teachers will receive transfer grades to enter in their gradebooks. Since teachers in both options will be using the same curriculum and pacing guide, students will be able to transition without losing content. HS students enrolled in semester courses will begin with new courses in the second semester.

15. If students select Chesapeake Online for the first semester, are they unable to take year-long A/B alternating classes? If so, how will that affect teachers of those classes, their enrollment levels, and the ability to teach those students?

High school students in Chesapeake Online will be able to take A/B classes. All classes, on-campus and online, will be determined by student enrollment.

16. Will AP course be available through Chesapeake Online?

AP course availability will be determined based on enrollment. 

17. Are AVID classes available through Chesapeake Online?

AVID classes can be taught online, but the availability of these courses will be dependent upon enrollment.

18. How many students will be in the Chesapeake Online courses?

We are staffing Chesapeake Online courses using the same student:teacher class ratios as our on-campus classes.

19. When will we be notified if a course is not going to be offered through Chesapeake Online? What will be our options?

If your child has selected a course that will not be available in Chesapeake Online, the school counselor will contact you to discuss your options. This may include moving a more hands-on course to the second semester, selecting another elective, or looking at other online providers.

20. What does a sample schedule look like for students in Chesapeake Online courses? 

Schedules will vary, but a sample schedule for elementary, middle and high school students is available for review.

1. Will student attendance be monitored in both options?

Yes, student attendance will be required and monitored in both options.

2. Will the attendance policy change for students who attend on-campus?

Students will still be required to come to school on the days they are assigned. As in the past, students who need to apply for extenuating circumstances will be able to do so with medical documentation. 

3. What about the exam exemption policy?  Will it apply in both options?

We will be suspending the exam exemption for attendance this year.

4. How do families new to Chesapeake select their option? What if we are still waiting on documentation to come in to complete our child’s enrollment?

Families who are new to Chesapeake, who have used Online Registration to register their child(ren), must have their enrollment packet “Accepted” by the registrar before they can complete the Family Choice process.  In this case, parents can contact their child’s school directly for assistance.

5. Can the School Board change the plan?

As with any recommendation, the School Board has the authority to approve the recommendation, request adjustments/revisions to what has been presented, or request additional information before taking action. The Responsive Return-to-School Taskforce is working to provide as much information as possible for consideration by the Board. In addition, citizens are invited to share comments on this issue in a variety of ways prior to final action.

6. What if we change our mind? Can we change from one option to another?

We know there will be circumstances that may cause an employee or a family member to need a change. We also know that it is not possible to continually restaff both options if enrollment numbers continuously fluctuate between the two. We are discussing the best way to allow flexibility when needed, that will not undermine the integrity of either option as a result. Yes, requests can be made to make a change, and these requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We will provide additional details about this process and the criteria used to evaluate these requests as decisions are made in reference to this issue.

7. If a student in Option 1 gets sick, can they switch to Option 2?

We will follow current medical homebound criteria, which requires documentation from a physician after a student has been absent for 10 consecutive days. At that time, we will review the request on a case-by-case basis.

8. Do parents who select Option 1 have to sign a liability waiver?

At this time we are not asking parents to sign a liability waiver.

9. Is there an option to change from Option 1 to Option 2 in the second semester?

Yes, there is. Families must notify the school by December 15, 2020, if they want to change their instructional delivery model for the second semester.

10. If I decide to homeschool my child, can he/she participate in sports?

Chesapeake Public Schools follows VHSL regulations, which at this time, do not recognize homeschooled students as eligible participants in VHSL sports. Chesapeake Online students will be eligible to participate in sports and extra-curricular activities with their zoned school once these activities resume.

11. What if a student or staff member tests positive?  Will families be notified?

The Chesapeake Health Department will conduct contact tracing to help prevent further spread of the virus.  Read more information about contact tracing on the Virginia Department of Health website.

12. If my child tests positive for COVID-19, will the school send everyone a notice?

Chesapeake Public Schools will work closely with the CHD on a case-by-case basis, being careful to protect identifiable information, and provide public notice only when required.

1. Will there be daily health screenings, including temperature checks, for students and employees?

Health screenings, including temperature checks, will be administered to all who enter our schools and support buildings.

2. How will physical distancing be maintained throughout the day?

Classrooms will be arranged and hallway traffic patterns will be adjusted to allow physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.

3. Will visitors be permitted in schools?

We will be limiting the number of visitors that are allowed in our schools and support buildings.

4. Will students and staff be required to wear face coverings? Will they be provided?

As CDC guidance suggests, cloth face coverings will be required for employees and middle or high school-aged students when physical distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained, and will be strongly recommended for elementary-aged students. For those students who forget their mask, one will be provided.

5. What are the consequences for a child who removes or refuses to wear a mask?

Students that disregard the health and safety mitigation strategies in place will be subject to disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct outlines consequences associated with unsafe behaviors.

6. Are middle and high school students expected to stay in the same room all day? How will you maintain physical distancing during class changes?

No, middle and high school students may need to change classes. We will provide additional structure for hallway traffic and students and staff will be required to wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including during arrival, class changes, and dismissal.

7. How will you sanitize the buses between routes?

We will be using electrostatic sprayers to clean the buses with surface guard and Holt in between AM and PM runs. Drivers will use disinfectant spray to wipe down high-contact areas in between routes.

8. What should I select for “Transportation Needs” in ParentVue if I can drive my child to school in the morning but he/she will need to ride the school bus in the afternoon?

Please select “YES” if you feel you will have partial transportation needs.

9. If students are eating in classrooms, how will mealtimes be handled to ensure students with allergies are safe?

Families will need to inform the nurse of their child’s allergies and those food items will not be permitted in the classroom.  The Health Advisors will provide a list to all of the teachers with student allergies at the start of the year.  Signs will be posted on the outside of the door to serve as a reminder.

10. Will our custodial staff be properly trained on effective/mandatory sanitation methods and practices?

Yes, the Custodial team is working on protocols for intermittent cleaning during the day which will include the restrooms. A night staff member will also be moved to the day shift to assist with the intermittent cleaning during the school day.

11. Will CPS provide schools with disinfecting wipes?

All teachers and staff will be provided with a safety kit to include disinfecting wipes, gloves and masks. These items will also be provided for high traffic areas such as the security desk, office area, and copy machines.

12. How will we handle students with disabilities who cannot or will not wear masks?

In cases such as this, students will be given a face shield to wear instead of a face mask.

13. What are the rules for using water fountains?

Students and staff will be encouraged to bring their own water bottles. This request will be on the school supply list at each level.

14. What are the expectations for screening visitors?

All visitors entering schools or office buildings must wear a mask and complete a health screening.

15. Where will students congregate in the morning before class begins?

Students will report directly to their homeroom class when they arrive at school. If they arrive to school prior to staff start times, they will be required to report to a designated area in the school which will enable students to maintain 6-foot distancing until the bell rings.

16. How often will the bathrooms be sanitized?

Bathrooms, in addition to other frequently used areas in the school, will be sanitized several times throughout the day. We will also be stressing the importance of frequent hand washing to students and staff and will ensure ample soap and paper towels are available.

1. If offered, will all students be able to participate in sports, extracurricular activities, and school celebrations at their home school (i.e., clubs, homecoming, prom, ring dance, etc.)?

Under both options, students will be eligible to participate in sports and extra-curricular activities with their home school once these activities resume.

1. My child qualifies for free/reduced lunch.  Will meals be provided on days that students are learning from home?

Yes, meals will be provided at distribution sites across the city while students are learning at home.

2. How can students without Internet access or technology participate in online learning?

We do not want access to technology to be a barrier that limits family choice.  So, in addition to our one-to-one initiative, we will offer a device loan program for students in need of technology regardless of the option they choose.  We are also in the process of developing a plan to provide access to WiFi for families in need.

3. Will all of my children be able to get their own loaner laptops?

Parents will have the opportunity to note their access to devices for each of their children when they complete the Family Choice form. If you need a device for each of your children, we encourage you to respond accordingly. Priority will be given to students enrolled in Chesapeake Online, and secondary students in Option 1. Should additional devices be available, we will extend the loaner program to elementary students in Option 1.