A Message from Dr. Gill

A Message from Dr. Gill
Posted on 03/18/2020
Kersey Creek Elementary School Logo

Dear Hanover County Public Schools Families, Faculty, and Staff:

These are extraordinary times, and we continue to take extraordinary measures to do our part to help prevent and contain the further spread of COVID-19 within our community. During the extended closure, we remain committed to serving our students and families, from providing food to developing countless learning resources and strategies for students at all grade levels at 25 schools. At all levels, our team has worked tirelessly to support our students, families, and community, and I am grateful and in awe of their incredible efforts. I am equally thankful for your patience, kindness, and understanding as we navigate this new territory together.

We remain under a state of emergency at the local, state, and national level. Most recently, the governor declared a ban on gatherings of 10 or more people to address this issue further. After careful consideration and in the interest of public health and safety, we are announcing the following decision to help you plan well in advance:

Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) will be closed through April 12. This includes all extracurricular events and use of our buildings by any group. We will continue to reassess our decision to determine if any further closures are necessary beyond this time.

We understand that this is a significant disruption to your daily lives as we all work to adjust to our new normal. We do not make these decisions lightly, but we believe this is the best decision to help further protect our community. We continue to ask for your patience, understanding, and support during this difficult and unprecedented situation in our community and country.

We also understand that you may have many lingering questions about a variety of issues, from make-up days to SOL testing, which may be causing you some anxiety. As a result, please read the following updates that we hope will address many of your concerns.

Make-Up Days, SOLs, and Graduation Requirements

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is working to address all of these issues and more. The VDOE recently expressed its desire to provide greater flexibility in these areas. When we receive official guidance, we will share it with you.

Food Service

Free curbside student food service will continue Monday through Friday through the extended closure at all five previously identified locations, including spring break, while supplies last. For more details, please visit our Student Lunches Expanded page.

Building Access and Staff Availability

All school division offices will remain closed to the public due to ongoing health and safety concerns. However, our division leaders, school administrators, teachers, and others will continue to work remotely and be available to students and families via email. To access our employee email directory, please visit our Employee Directory page.

Please note that teachers will be off during spring break as they would normally.

Learn-From-Home Initiative

Our team is already working hard to prepare learning materials and resources for the additional two-week closure. We will communicate more details when they are available.

As a reminder, the learning activities created by our teachers and specialists are designed to reinforce skills and engage students in learning. They are not a substitute for classroom instruction. As a result, we do not expect students to master this material on their own, and these activities will not be graded. 

We encourage all families who have access to high-speed internet to access these resources online and complete and save assignments digitally. If you have internet access, but not printing capabilities, your child can also use loose-leaf paper to work on many of the assignments. 

We will continue to provide paper packets to families who do not have high-speed internet access, or to families who express a specific need for printed materials. Please note that the demand for printed learning materials is much greater than expected, and our supplies are low at several schools. Our staff is working as hard and quickly as possible to print additional copies on-site. If needed, we will extend pick-up hours and/or days to ensure that all students receive these materials.

In the meantime, we will continue to work hard at all levels to help provide support to our students and families during the extended closure. As always, thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help keep our students and staff healthy and safe. We will continue to provide updates as necessary. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Gill
Superintendent of Schools

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