Four Major School Districts Plan to Defy Youngkin Mask Mandate Ban

After inaugurated Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) banned schools from establishing mask mandates on his first day as Virginia governor, four major school districts say they won’t abide by his new rule.

Executive Order Number Two (2022) and Order of Public Health Emergency One banned the mandates. 

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Arlington Public Schools Shares Plan to End Teachers’ ‘Implicit Bias’ in Grading

Teacher interacting with group of kids

Arlington Public Schools (APS) Monday shared with The Virginia Star its proposed plan to eliminate “implicit bias” among its teachers by eliminating graded homework, homework deadlines and extra credit, along with providing students unlimited redoes. 

“APS is in the early stages of revising the grading and homework policies and policy implementation procedures (PIPs). This work is being done as part of the School Board’s work to update all policies and PIPs,” Frank Bellavia, a spokesman for the school system, told The Star. “As of right now, we are having preliminary conversations with instructional staff as to what makes sense in policy and what makes sense in practice at schools. There are two phases of the process before the School Board is scheduled to act on any recommendations in May.”

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Twitter Users Have Fun Editing Error-Filled Arlington Education Association Letter

A letter from Arlington Education Association President Ingrid Gant is going viral after a social media user and her children edited the document, which featured errors including awkward sentences, homophone confusion, punctuation mistakes, and formatting problems.

“On behalf of the members of the Arlington Education Association, this dire expression lends great concerns for Arlington Public Schools (APS) return plan for January 3rd, 2022,” the first sentence of the letter states, according to photos shared by @ellenfgallery and American Federation for Children National Director of Research Corey DeAngelis.

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Arlington School Board Weighs Ending Homework Grades, Unlimited Redoes

In a proposed shift towards what it calls more “equitable” grading practices, the Arlington School Board wants to make several massive changes to the way student achievement is measured.

The changes would include removing due dates and eliminating grading of homework, unlimited redoes and retakes on assignments, and eliminating extra credit, which the School Board alleges “leads to biased grades and penalizes students with fewer resources.”

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Falls Church City Public Schools Plans to Have All Students Back In-Person by End of January

Falls Church City Public Schools plans to have all students back to in-person classes by the end of January, according to a notice from Superintendent Peter Noonan.

“ALL students are slated to return in the month of January,” Noonan said on Monday. “We plan to return students in phases beginning on January 5, 2021, consistent with employee capacity to clean our buildings. We will open, starting with the smallest cohort and lead up to the largest cohort.”

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Arlington, Virginia Students Receiving More Failing Grades During Pandemic Than Before

Secondary students attending Arlington Public Schools (APS) are earning more failing grades during the coronavirus pandemic than in previous years, new data shows, further highlighting the negative impact virtual learning can have on certain students.

The data was presented in an internal report released online on Thursday that compared APS middle school and high school student’s quarter one grades from 2020-21 to quarter one grades from 2018-19 and 2019-20.

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Some Districts Opt for Virtual Learning Instead of Snow Days

Northern Virginia received a range of less than an inch up to eight inches of snow, according to WUSA9.

As a result, Loudoun County and Prince William County declared snow days. But Arlington Public Schools and Fairfax County said classes would still be held online. That means that for some students, snow days are another casualty of COVID-19 precautions.

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Virtual Learning Outages Hit Many Virginia School Districts on First Day

School districts across Virginia struggled to cope with increased demand Tuesday, as thousands of virtual learning students logged on for their first day of classes. Districts including Chesterfield County Public Schools(CCPS), Virginia Beach City Public Schools(VBCPS), and Arlington Public Schools (APS) all suffered major system outages. Other districts reported a high volume of callers.

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