•  Introduction


    The purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation’s students by addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. This plan describes how Petersburg City Public Schools will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other school and division staff during and following the return to full in-person instruction. Questions about this plan should be directed to April Blunt, Director of State and Federal Programs, at apblunt@petersburg.k12.va.us.


    The primary goal of Petersburg City Public Schools continues to be to safely offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible under the guidelines provided by the Governor’s Office, Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Virginia Department of Education. Petersburg City Public Schools is planning for a return to in-person learning five days a week for all PreK-12 students beginning September 7, 2021. Our instructional staff will focus on the design and delivery of engaging, in-person instructional experiences that will mirror our instructional approach prior to the pandemic. 


    In preparation for the Fall of 2021, the announcement was made at the May 5, 2021, Board meeting that there would be a 5 day a week in-person learning offering to all students. The

    following plan outlines how this will be accomplished.


    Maintaining Health and Safety


    The primary goal of Petersburg City Public Schools continues to be to safely offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible under the guidelines provided by the Governor’s Office, Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Virginia Department of Education. 


    We recognize and respect that some families may still be interested in a virtual learning option for the next school year. Petersburg City Public Schools has partnered with Virtual Virginia and had slots to provide a virtual learning option for the 2021-2022 school year to families who applied and met requirements. There is no virtual learning option for preschool students. Virtual Virginia is a program of the Virginia Department of Education and serves students in grades K-12 throughout the state of Virginia. 

    Air Quality: Guidelines

    • PCPS will continue to follow guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding mitigation strategies to limit exposures to various viruses and bacteria.
    • Measures such as hand hygiene, social distancing, wearing facial masks, and surface cleaning are essential in conjunction with ventilation mitigation strategies.
    • Continuation of using UV lights and air purifiers in classrooms
    • PCPS will update ventilation systems, roofing, and doors in each school building


    Cleaning/Disinfecting: Guidelines/Implementation

    • PCPS continues to follow guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease viruses on surfaces –reduce the risk of exposure
    • Disinfection using EPA approved disinfectants
    • Continual cleaning of surfaces and objects such as desks, countertops, light switches, doorknobs/handles, phones, toilets throughout the school day
    • Utilization of electrostatic sprayers and UV-lights to mitigate spreading of viruses throughout the day, when allowable, and nightly
    • School-based staff should report cleanliness concerns to school administrators
    • School facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs including the replacement of water fountains at all schools and centers to add bottle filling stations


    Classroom Configuration Guidance for Teachers

    • Placement of desks at least 3 feet apart when feasible
    • Modify learning so there fewer students per group
    • Mark X’s on tables to keep at least 3 ft of distance
    • Hand sanitizing stations
    • Installation of physical barriers, when possible
    • Center for Disease Control: How Do I Set Up My Classroom: A quick guide for teachers


    School Nutrition

    • Continuation of current meal plans
    • Meal tracking tick sheet usage for efficiency and prevention of numeric keypad use.
    • Students will eat in the classroom and/or cafeteria socially distancing; dinner and snacks will be provided prior to leaving school
    • Schedules are being developed for meal pickups


    Transportation: Guidelines

    Student safety seating and bus protocols

    • Social distancing practices will be implemented
    • Students must wear masks for the entire route
    • Cleaning of buses after each “run” following CDC guidelines

    Opportunity for Public Comment


    In developing the ARP ESSER Plan, Petersburg City Public Schools sought public input and took such input into account. Staff and parent input was collected through surveys, Parent Advisory Committee meetings, public comment opportunities during school board meetings, and individual communications received at the school and division planning levels. Representation for the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and other underserved students were included in the development of the reopening of the school plan. Feedback from these opportunities has been included in the plan and included in the final application.


    Periodic Review and Revision of  Plan


    During the period of the ARP ESSER award (until September 2023), Petersburg City Public Schools will periodically review and, as needed, revise its plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. The plan will be reviewed at least every six months, and Petersburg City Public Schools will seek and take into account public input during the review process. Plan revisions will address updated CDC guidelines on safely reopening schools if any are issued.


    Making the Plan Available to the Public


    Petersburg City Public Schools has taken the following steps to make this plan available to the public:

    • The plan is posted at www.petersburg.k12.va.us
    • The plan was included in the April School meeting packet and an opportunity for public comment on the plan was provided
    • The plan may be orally translated for parents. Contact Nestor Llamas at nellamas@petersburg.k12.va.us to request translation; and
    • Upon request, a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA may be provided with the plan in an alternative format accessible by contacting Dr. Torrey Manson at tomanson@petersburg.k12.va.us