There are many questions that HCPS is working to answer as quickly as possible. These issues require a great deal of new coordination and planning within the school division (all while working remotely) as well as updated guidance from the Virginia Department of Education.
Please check back often as this page will be updated with the most current responses to questions that are important to you.
Schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. What now?
We love and miss our students, families and the entire Henrico Schools team. While school buildings will be closed until at least June, HCPS is working on options for students to engage and stay connected during this entire extraordinary new time in our lives. (Updated 3/24)
What is the best way to stay informed about school system developments?
Do you have questions about how the COVID-19 coronavirus is affecting Henrico County government operations? Henrico County has set up an information line for citizens at 804-501-5655. The line is staffed by county employees, and operates Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Text message line: 804-376-9780, available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
A similar line has been set up to answer Henrico County employees’ questions at 804-501-5623. (Updated 3/26)
Grades and Schoolwork
What about grades in all those unfinished classes?
Get answers at our new page addressing a range of grading, grade-level advancement and graduation issues: https://henricoschools.us/covid19/grading (Updated 3/31)
Will students move up to the next grade level?
In most cases, students will be moving up to the next grade level. If grade retention was being considered for an elementary student before the close of schools March 13, and the school team and parents were in agreement, a continuation of that discussion may proceed. See our page addressing a range of grading, grade-level advancement and graduation issues: https://henricoschools.us/covid19/grading (Updated 3/31)
Will work have to be “made up” next year?
The Virginia Department of Education is providing school divisions with a range of options for handling work missed during the closure. More information will be shared as it becomes available at https://henricoschools.us/covid19/grading. (Updated 3/31)
What about the continuation of distance learning activities? Virtual learning? Grading?
Our initial efforts to provide distance and virtual learning opportunities were designed to cover a two-week period. With Monday’s announcement that schools will remain closed, HCPS must adapt accordingly. Look for detailed information and updated communication in the coming days. In the meantime, we encourage students to continue to engage with the various options that have already been made available by HCPS teachers. (Updated 3/24)
My child gets free or reduced-price meals. Will breakfast and lunches still be available?
HCPS’ Department of School Nutrition Services is operating food distribution sites across Henrico County. Students can continue to pick up “grab and go” lunches and breakfasts each school day on a first-come, first-served basis. Food distribution is open to all students, regardless of what school they attend, as well as others 18 and under. Please note that adults must be accompanied by each child 18 and under needing a meal. (Updated 3/24)
Pick-up hours are scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon.
Meal distribution sites (M-F, 11 a.m.-noon):
- Fairfield Middle School, 5121 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, Va. 23223
- Glen Lea Elementary School, 3909 Austin Ave., Henrico, Va. 23222
- Hermitage High School, 8301 Hungary Spring Road, Henrico, Va. 23228
- Highland Springs Elementary School, 600 Pleasant Street, Highland Springs, Va. 23075
- Quioccasin Middle School, 9400 Quioccasin Road, Henrico, Va. 23238
- Henrico Volunteer Rescue Squad 31, 5301 Huntsman Road, Sandston, Va. 23150
- Campus of Virginia Randolph, 2204 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, Va. 23060
- Henrico High School, 302 Azalea Ave., Henrico, Va. 23227
- Longan Elementary School, 9200 Mapleview Ave., Henrico, Va. 23294
- Montrose Elementary School, 2820 Williamsburg Road, Henrico, Va. 23231
- Ratcliffe Elementary School, 2901 Thalen St., Henrico, Va. 23223
- Ridge Elementary School, 8910 Three Chopt Road, Henrico, Va. 23229
- Sandston Elementary School, 7 Naglee Ave., Sandston, Va. 23150
- Ward Elementary School, 3400 Darbytown Road, Henrico, Va. 23231
What if my student does not have access to the internet during the closure, or experiences issues with a school-issued laptop?
During Henrico Schools’ closure for coronavirus, vans are being stationed at four HCPS high schools to act as mobile technology hubs for students and school division staff at the middle and high school levels. The hubs are designed to support virtual learning in two ways: enable up to 400 students and staff members who don’t have home internet access to get it through distribution of Wi-Fi hot-spot devices; and provide a way for HCPS-issued laptops to be repaired and exchanged.
Elementary staff laptops are repaired by a different provider. Elementary staff members in need of HCPS laptop repairs can follow this process:
- Drop off your laptop at one of the four mobile support hubs by 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.
- Pick up laptop the next weekday from 2-4 p.m. at the same hub. (Updated 3/26)
Graduation and Certifications
Will high school students scheduled to graduate with the Class of 2020 be able to do so?
Yes. The Virginia Department of Education is providing flexibility through state waivers that would allow all students who are on track to graduate with the Class of 2020 to graduate on time, despite the closure of school. This includes students in one or more of the following situations:
- Students currently enrolled in a course for which they need a standard or verified credit in order to graduate.
- Students who have successfully completed a course required for graduation, but have not earned the associated verified credit.
- Students who have not completed the state-selected test.
- Students who are currently enrolled in or have previously completed a course leading to a career and technical education credential necessary for a standard diploma but have not yet earned the credential.
As with many issues, there are a number of specific details that our schools will be working through. The completion of additional instruction may be necessary (through alternate pathways currently being developed by HCPS staff) for students in the following situations:
- Students who have not completed a United States and Virginia history course.
- Students who have not completed a fine or performing arts or career and technical education course.
- Students in the second of sequential courses.
- Students who have not completed an economics and personal finance course.
We are still awaiting action from the General Assembly to assist seniors in one or more of the following situations:
- Students who have not completed training in emergency first aid, CPR, and the use of AED, including hands-on practice of skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- Students who have not completed at least one virtual course as currently required by VDOE (these “virtual courses” are unrelated to the virtual learning options that HCPS made available during this unexpected closure).
School counselors are already reviewing transcripts and course histories to apply the state waivers and create clear paths toward graduation for each student who is currently on track. Beginning after Spring Break, school personnel will be confirming graduation and necessary next steps with all students who are on track to graduate.
Please note that students who are currently enrolled in a dual enrollment course through a college or university may have additional requirements in order to receive college-level credit. More information would come from the college or university through which the credit is offered.
More details from the Virginia Department of Education are posted on VDOE’s website (look under “News and Announcements”): http://www.doe.virginia.gov/ (Updated 3/25)
Will there still be graduation ceremonies for all of Henrico County’s high schools and program centers?
Yes. As it relates to our nine high schools, we will keep our reservations at the Siegel Center for June 9-11, but it seems increasingly likely that these ceremonies will have to take place at some undetermined point in the future. We know that high school graduation is a monumental occasion in the lives of our students and their families. It is a priority focus that our students have the opportunity to ceremoniously receive their high school diplomas in front of a loving, cheering crowd of family and friends. No matter what, we will develop a plan so that graduation ceremonies do occur at some point in the future. The same goes for ceremonies for Advanced Career Education centers, the Campus of Virginia Randolph, and adult education. (Updated 3/25)
What about International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, and achievement of the IB Diploma?
Recognizing the effects the coronavirus has had on schools and communities around the world, the IB Organization has canceled the diploma-level exams worldwide for the May 2020 session. Seniors will be awarded a diploma or course certificate “based on the results of their 2019-20 coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the program.” For more details, please visit IB’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) update page. IB will post additional updates to its site by March 27. (Updated 3/25)
Will students still take SOL tests?
SOL tests will not be administered now that schools are closed for the remainder of the current school year. (Updated 3/24)
What about SAT and ACT testing?
The College Board has canceled the May 2 SAT test sessions. The March 28 make-up session for the March 14 SAT session has also been canceled. Students who have been affected will receive refunds. The ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date for June 13, and affected students will be notified about the process for rescheduling. (Updated 3/24)
What about proms?
There are currently no plans to hold proms or other mass gathering events until such time that it is considered safe to do so. (Updated 3/24)
What about athletic events, and after-school and weekend activities?
We expect Virginia High School League competitions and other after-school activities to be canceled for the remainder of the school year. We are still awaiting an “official” announcement from the VHSL. As of March 24, the VHSL indicated that it would delay further decisions about the spring sports season until May. More information is available on the VHSL website: https://www.vhsl.org/ (Updated 3/24)
What about the Richmond STEM Fair?
In response to coronavirus, the Metro Richmond STEM Fair adopted an online-only format. Submissions were due March 24 at 9 a.m. Entrants should have received an email with an update. If you did not, or need more information, email email@example.com. (Updated 3/24)
What about the specialty center application process?
The specialty center process is moving forward. Students must submit their intent to attend or remain on a waitlist by Friday, April 3. Candidates who were selected or waitlisted will receive additional information by email during the week of March 30 regarding virtual opportunities to connect with specialty centers. Where applicable, invitations from the waitlist will be made between April 13-20. (Updated 3/27)
Will HCPS employees continue to be paid?
Yes. General details for most employees are below, however there may be unique circumstances that are not listed here (Updated 3/27):
- For full- and part-time teachers:
- Teachers will continue to be paid their contracted salary for the 2019-20 school year.
- Employees under contract for an extended responsibility will continue to be paid for that contracted extended responsibility.
- For most teachers, the last paycheck for the 2019-20 contract will be provided Aug. 31.
- We anticipate that contracts for the 2020-21 school year will be issued later in the spring.
- For non-teachers:
- In general, all other HCPS staff members not on a teacher contract will be paid their annual salary in equal payments.
- Any overtime worked will be paid as soon as possible.
- For School Nutrition part-time employees:
- Part-time employees will be paid based on the hours established for each position.
- The last paycheck for part-time school nutrition employees will be June 26.
- Temporary employees will be paid for the remainder of the 2019-20 year in the following manner:
- For biweekly employees (paid every two weeks):
- The March 20 paycheck will be based on actual time worked from Feb. 29-March 13.
- The April 3 paycheck covers the time of the closure from March 14-27. Employees will be paid the same amount as the March 20 paycheck.
- The amount of the April 3 paycheck for temporary employees who are paid biweekly will continue to be paid until June 26.
- For semi-monthly employees (paid on the 15th and last day of month):
- The March 31 paycheck will be based on actual time worked between March 1-15.
- The April 15 paycheck covers the time of the closure from March 16-31. Employees will be paid the same amount as the March 31 paycheck.
- The amount of the April 15 paycheck for temporary employees who are paid semi-monthly will continue to be paid until June 30.
What about PREP participants?
While many employees in HCPS’ Post Retirement Earnings Program are not able to perform their work duties during the closure, participants will continue to be paid through the current fiscal year (June 30, 2020). If participants had been scheduled to exit the program before June 30, they will be paid through their time in the program. Before the closure ends, PREP participants will be contacted about resuming work duties
A help line has been set up to answer Henrico County employees’ questions at 804-501-5623. (Updated 3/26)
Spring and Summer Breaks
What about Spring Break?
Spring Break will not be changed, and will take place as scheduled, from April 6-10. During Spring Break, teachers and other HCPS employees may not have the same availability as they typically do during the closure.
“Grab and go” food service will still be provided during the week of Spring Break (Updated 3/24)
Will HCPS hold summer school?
Any decision to reopen HCPS facilities will be made in consultation with health officials and will prioritize the safety of students, staff members and our community. Options pertaining to summer school will be communicated in the future.(Updated 3/24)
How Can I Help?
How can I help a family in need?
The Henrico Education Foundation is collecting funds to purchase families’ most-needed items — such as specific nonperishable foods, and devices to create home-internet Wi-Fi hot spots. Go to the donation site to contribute. The Robins Foundation will provide a dollar-for-dollar match of donated funds up to $15,000 as part of its strategic partnership with the Henrico Education Foundation. (Updated 3/24)
Health and Safety
What is HCPS doing to make its facilities as safe as possible?
During the closure, the HCPS Facilities and Pupil Transportation departments will engage in regular cleaning of school buildings and buses, and continue to assess the best cleaning practices. HCPS administrators continue to be in close contact with state and local health officials regarding their latest recommendations. (Updated 3/24)
What can my family do to stay healthy and safe?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus webpage describes what families and individuals can do to be prepared and minimize the spread of coronavirus. The Virginia Department of Health provides recommendations and current information specific to the commonwealth.
The Richmond and Henrico health districts have opened a public hotline at 804-205-3501 for health and medical questions related to COVID-19. The line is staffed every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Updated 3/24)
Will school buildings be open during the closure?
School facilities are closed for community activities and events during the closure. (Updated 3/24)
Will school playgrounds and ball fields be open during the closure?
No. Safety is our priority, and in accordance with “Stay at home” Executive Order 55 issued by the Governor of Virginia, the following areas are now closed: school playgrounds, ball fields, basketball courts and tennis courts. The track and open spaces on school grounds will remain open. Please continue to practice social distancing and avoid areas where people may gather. (Updated 4/1)