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.

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 is our new Learning Management System. Schoology has a variety of demo videos available online. Our Teaching & Learning site hosts a page dedicated to CPS Schoology information! Parent and Student resources will be added to this page as they are developed. As a reminder, Schoology will be used districtwide by all teachers for all students in all learning models (Online Learning and On-Campus Learning).

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 Virginia Department of Education (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.

10. If my child typically sees an instructional specialist and we elect to do 100% online can he/she still receive the extra help virtually? 

Instructional Specialists (reading, hearing, speech, etc.) and other instructional support staff will be working with students in both programs- the On-Campus Continuum and Chesapeake Online. Additional information about expectations for these employee groups will be provided by supervisors.

11. What is the plan for our district preschool program?  

The Chesapeake Preschool Initiative program and Reverse Mainstream programs are only available under Option 1 (the On-Campus Continuum). The Early Childhood Special Education program will be offered under both options.

12. How will students be trained to use Schoology?

Teachers will instruct students in the use of Schoology as part of their back-to-school routines and procedures, using video resources created by the Office of Instructional Resources, Supports, and Technologies.

13. Will we provide printing services for students?

No, we will not provide printing services; however, in cases where students encounter technical difficulties, teachers may need to provide printed resources.

1. How will shifts to the On-Campus Continuum work?

Based upon current health data and enrollment, status for the On-Campus Continuum throughout our district varies by grade level. Current status for each grade level can be found on our On-Campus Continuum page. Health data and reports presented to our School Health Advisory Board (SHAB) are available on our Metrics page. As we continue to monitor current public health data, additional shifts to the continuum may be necessary. When determining who will engage in traditional on-campus learning, we will prioritize special populations (grades K-12). These groups include students receiving special education services, as identified by IEP team decision; our English Learners who receive level 1 or level 2 EL support; and our students who receive intensive tiered interventions.

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? 

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

4. What is the criteria for determining “low”, “moderate”, and “high” COVID rates? What scientific data will you use? How often will it be monitored? 

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. Chesapeake Public Schools will utilize two metrics, the 7-day moving average for Test Positivity Rate and the Weekly Case Incidence per 100,000 population both for the Eastern Region. 

  • 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 our 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 at least two weeks notice 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. In the temporarily online model, 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. If metric data causes a shift along the Continuum, your child’s assigned teacher will continue to provide instruction. 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 P.E. and/or recess look like? Will secondary students dress out for PE?

P.E. and recess will occur outdoors as much as weather permits. Resource classes may be scheduled as push-in services to the classrooms. Physical activities will be in small groups as much as possible. Small groups of students may also be scheduled for outdoor areas for P.E. and recess, weather permitting. 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 associated 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?

Electives will be determined based on student enrollment in Chesapeake Online as well as the limits of online instruction for specific software not available on a Chromebook or those courses which rely heavily on on-campus lab exercises and activities.

6. Will there be an administrator for Chesapeake Online?

Yes, our Supervisor of Chesapeake Online and eLearning 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

Whenever possible, Chesapeake Career Center 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?

Academy students may select either option. Academy students who select Option 2 will still be able to remain in their program and can resume Academy courses not offered in Chesapeake Online when they return to on-campus instruction. The division will work with students on a case by case basis to help them remain on track with their programs to the best extent possible. Academy students selecting Option 2 are encouraged to contact their school counselors to help them develop an appropriate schedule and academic plan.

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? 

To support families with online learning, teachers will record scheduled, online learning sessions and/or will provide recorded videos of lessons. These recordings will be housed in the Schoology platform and will be available for any students who were not able to participate in real-time sessions, or for those who may need to review a previous lesson.

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 all gifted students will be in the same online class; 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 textbooks and online resources. Additional physical resources may also be available at schools to distribute to students. 

13. How will teachers be selected for Chesapeake Online?

The selection process is twofold. Initially, teachers who expressed interest applied to teach for Chesapeake Online and were processed based on completion of a Schoology application task and principal recommendations. Secondly, principals designated teachers to teach for Chesapeake Online, due to the increased demand by family choice.

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 courses be available through Chesapeake Online? Can students take AP courses through Virtual Virginia (VVA)? 

AP course availability will be determined based on enrollment. If some AP courses are not offered through Chesapeake Online, the Chesapeake Online school counselor and Supervisor of Chesapeake Online and E-Learning will enroll these students in VVA courses if they are available or contact students to discuss other options.

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?

We know you must be wondering how attendance will work now that we will begin the year online. Daily attendance for teacher-led learning sessions is important to student success; however, we recognize the scheduling challenges families may face. Meaningful interaction between a teacher and a student will count as daily attendance. In order to accommodate the needs of our students and families, students may participate in any of the following meaningful interactions: 1 – Attending a teacher-led learning session. 2 – Collaborating with a teacher 1:1 or in a small group during teacher office hours. 3 – Submitting an independent learning activity, assessment, or participation in an online discussion board in Schoology. 4 – Communicating with a teacher via email, videoconferencing, or phone call.

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 recommendations, request adjustments/revisions to what has been presented, or request additional information before taking any 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. Parents wishing to make a change, should contact their child’s school to complete a change request form.  

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

Please review our Communication Plan for COVID-19 positive cases.

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

Chesapeake Public Schools will work closely with the Chesapeake Health Department (CHD) on a case-by-case basis, being careful to protect identifiable information, and provide public notice only when required. For more information, please review our Communication Plan for COVID-19 positive cases

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

Students should have a daily digital health screening completed in ParentVUE by a parent or guardian each child before they report to the building. Employees will complete a health screening electronically when they report to work.

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. Teachers, along with their administrators, will arrange rooms that provide the maximum social distancing that can be maintained within each classroom. This may require furniture and other items that are not a necessity be removed from the classroom to maximize space.

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? 

The expectation will be that all wear masks when physical distancing is not possible. Students who ride a school bus will be required to wear masks. As CDC guidance suggests, cloth face coverings will be required for employees and all* students when physical distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained.
*Due to recent guidance from the CDC and the School Health Advisory Board, we will now require elementary school children to wear masks as well.

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. Guidelines for disciplinary action, specific to health and safety concerns of COVID-19, are in development.

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 individual sprayers to clean the buses 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?

Parents should contact their child’s school administration to make any changes to submitted requests.

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, have temperature taken, and answer COVID related health questions.

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, extracurricular activities, and school celebrations with their home school once these activities are approved to resume.

2. Will high school sports be held this year? 

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) Executive Committee voted to delay all VHSL sports and activities until December 14, 2020, and proceed with the Condensed Interscholastic Plan. Winter sports will begin on December 14, 2020, followed by Fall sports on February 15, 2021, and Spring sports on April 12, 2020. Visit the VHSL website for complete details.

3. Will middle school sports be held this year?

All Chesapeake Middle School League (CMSL) sports will be postponed until it is safe for all CMSL students/athletes to participate. The CMSL will continue to monitor the situation and keep the public informed of its decision regarding extracurricular activities.

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

Chesapeake Public Schools follows Virginia High School League (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 extracurricular activities with their zoned 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? (Updated 9/23/2020)

Yes, meals will be provided at distribution sites across the city while students are learning at home. The most current information on our meal distribution plan can be found on our district School Nutrition Services website.

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.  School principals will coordinate with families to help them secure access to hotspots. Distribution will start with our families who identified a need in ParentVUE in July. If your needs have changed, please contact your school as soon as possible so we can help.

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

If you need a device for each of your children, we encourage you to contact your child’s school to ensure your need has been properly documented. Priority will be given to students enrolled in Chesapeake Online, and secondary students in the On-Campus Continuum (Option 1). Should additional devices be available, we will extend the loaner program to elementary students in the On-Campus Continuum (Option 1). School principals will coordinate with families to facilitate device distribution. Distribution will start with our families who identified a need in ParentVUE in July. If your needs have changed, please contact your school as soon as possible so we can help.