March 13, 2020

To the Henrico team, 

The past few days have seen unprecedented actions worldwide to deal with the spread of coronavirus, including here in our own community. I want to thank you for your understanding, patience and willingness to adapt as we navigate this challenging period. We will get through this together and work to keep Henrico County Public Schools as healthy as possible. 

The Division Leadership Team and I would like to share the following employee information and guidance on several topics (Information will also be posted on www.henricoschools.us/covid19):

Pay

  • All full- and part-time employees, as well as temporary employees, will continue to be paid based on their annual salary. The pay for temporary employees will be based on:
    • Biweekly employees (paid every 2 weeks)
      • The March 20, 2020 paycheck will be based on actual time worked from February 29-March 13, 2020
      • The April 3, 2020 paycheck covers the time of the closure from March 14-March 27, 2020.  Because employees will not be working during this time, employees will be paid the same amount as the March 20, 2020 paycheck.
      • The amount of the April 3 paycheck will continue to be paid until we return to work
    • 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-March 15, 2020
      • The April 15 paycheck covers the time of the closure from March 16 – March 31, 2020. Because employees will not be working during much of this time, employees will be paid the same amount as the March 31 paycheck
      • The amount of the April 15 paycheck will continue to be paid until we return to work

Medication

  • If students have prescription drugs that will be needed at home, these should be picked up from school today or on Monday, during clinic hours. Clinic attendants are in the process of contacting parents for whom this applies.
  • We suggest that principals mention this today in School Messenger communications to families.

Work Expectations

  • School closure (for students) begins Monday, March 16. This will allow for schools to work out additional logistics. 
  • Employees who normally do not work when students are out should check with their immediate supervisor regarding whether to report to work on Monday, March 16.
  • All other employees are expected to report to their workplaces on Monday, March 16.
  • Principals will demonstrate flexibility related to employees who express concern about coming in on Monday. Unfortunately, employees are not allowed to bring their child(ren) to work.
  • Starting Tuesday, March 17, we are practicing “social distancing” while continuing to meet the needs of the school division. This means minimizing instances where groups of individuals need to be present in the same work location. 12-month employees should remain “tuned in” and available to their supervisor.
  • Also starting on Tuesday, March 17, the expectation is that the school and school office will be closed. Principals will work with administrative and clerical staff to ensure that duties are fulfilled without going beyond the usual number of daily work hours. Facilities supervisors will work with custodial staff to ensure that duties are fulfilled.
  • Principals and school staff should continue to serve their communities by remaining engaged in communication on a daily basis and monitor emails.
  • If an employee becomes ill, they should communicate with supervisors. They should consider taking sick leave and not work during this time. 

Feeding Students

  • We are requesting permission from the Virginia Department of Education to set up “grab and go” food service. Participating school principals and cafeteria managers will receive further instructions separately. When ready, this will be a separate, larger communication/announcement to the general public.

Spring Break

  • Spring Break will not be canceled or adjusted. Any other adjustments to the calendar will be communicated as soon as possible.

Instruction

Grading

  • The third quarter marking period will be extended past Monday, March 30. Additional details will follow related to this extension. 
  • Imagine we are “on pause”. All school-based work that was assigned on or before Friday, March 13, can be counted. Student work completed during the virtual learning/school closure period may also be graded. However, students who have not completed virtual learning assignments must be provided an opportunity to complete them upon returning to school.
  • When school reopens, students should be given a week to complete any unfinished assignments from the virtual learning period. For students who are designated English Learners or have IEPs or 504 plans (with a documented accommodation for extended time) allow at least a week and a half to turn in completed work. 

Special Education 

  • At this time, all special education timelines are maintained. Meetings must be held virtually. Employees and families are not to come into school buildings to conduct meetings.
  • Case managers should be prepared to connect with the students on their caseloads by phone or other virtual means during school closure. To provide support, case managers should communicate a minimum of once per week with the student or the student’s parent/guardian as appropriate through Schoology, email, or phone.

Schools (Signage, phones, etc.)

  • Make sure to update all signage and voicemail greetings.
  • Counselors will post information to school websites that will assist students and families with guidance for social/emotional support if needed.
  • ‘Anonymous Alerts’ remains active and will be monitored.

Homebound/Homebased

  • School content teachers will provide instructional materials to students who have been receiving instruction in the home environment. This instruction should mimic the work being provided to students in the school setting. Please be mindful of students’ access to the internet and other technology as you provide activities. 
  • Home Instruction facilitators will come to schools on Monday to pick up materials and instructions to distribute to the students whom they serve.

Human Resources

  • Onboarding of new employees will continue on Monday, March 16, for HR.
  • “Board Substitutes” scheduled to start next week should be given access to the courses they are teaching. Principals will provide access to all necessary materials.

Field Trips

  • Schools will do their best to reschedule field trips during the spring, but due to the quickly changing situation, schools are discouraged from entering into contracts at this time. Questions about refunds should be directed to the vendor. If there are any changes to the current Monday, May 4, deadline for field trips, those changes will be shared later.

Tech Support for Staff and Students

  • Pop-up “HelpDesk” sites to service laptops issued by HCPS will soon be available. When the sites and hours of operation are determined, we will communicate in a larger, separate announcement.
  • Technology will be working with middle and high schools to determine students who may be in need of wifi “hot spots”. Arrangements will be made for these “hot spots” to be retrieved at the HelpDesk. More information will be provided when it is available.

You will also be included on an additional message going out to the parent community later this afternoon.

Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do in support of our students, families and one another. You continue to amaze me every day.

Amy E. Cashwell, Ed. D.

Superintendent