One Big Decision Down, One to Come Soon

Last night the School Board voted to return to an ABAB schedule and moved closer for a return to school for high school students.


Neena Peterson

Yesterday evening, the Loudoun County School Board met to discuss, among other issues, the numerous  logistics of returning students to in-class instruction.

Last night, the Loudoun County School Board discussed, among other important topics, the logistics behind a possible return and scheduling possibilities for the time being. Consequently, a motion to institute the return to a typical ABAB schedule by the beginning of the second quarter was passed, 9-0 with all the Board members in agreement. 

This action was made amongst talks for how to best handle Loudoun County students and their struggles during this time, which became a central point for this meeting. Many school board members vocalized the concerns of their constituents regarding mental and physical health for students, teachers, and parents at this time as well, as to how they can help alleviate the stress. 

Although the return to school date was heavily debated, a second semester start seemed likely with the potential for starting on January 21 as proposed by Superintendent Williams, should conditions remain optimal. This is, of course, only for those who elect to participate in the hybrid model.  

The difficult orchestration of a return to school was the most heavily debated topic throughout the meeting, with several motions made based on differing dates, such as December 10 and January 21. While there were no concrete decisions made to specifically establish a return date, one motion was passed unanimously, which dictates that parents and teachers must be reached out to in another round of surveys, likely to come sometime in November, before any final decisions are made on the subject. 

However, three potential options were presented as follows once the development of a permanent plan begins. These include organizing classroom layouts with planned physical distances between three and six feet, reducing frequency of in-person school days from two days to one, or a random selection of students to attend two days of in-person learning a week. 

In attendance to the meeting were all nine Loudoun County board members: both in-person and online, including Chairman Sheridan (Sterling District), Leslee King (Broad Run District), Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge District), John Beatty (Catoctin District), and Jeff Morse (Dulles District) in the boardroom, and Vice-Chairman Reaser (Algonkian District), Denise Corbo (At-Large), Harris Mahedavi (Ashburn District), and Beth Barts (Leesburg District) on a connected zoom call. 

For more details on the meeting, access their agenda and livestream here: