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School Closures and Education
- All public and private K-12 schools in Virginia will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. See the full text of Executive Order 53, here.
- On March 17, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) requested that the U.S. Department of Education consider statewide SOL testing waivers. On March 20, as soon as allowed by the federal government, VDOE began preparing the state’s application for a federal waiver.
- Virginia is also considering actions necessary to provide relief to students on state-mandated SOL tests, which go beyond those mandated by the federal government.
- VDOE was approved for a statewide waiver to allow schools to serve as a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) site, to provide food for children who rely on school nutrition programs—all 132 school divisions received waivers to provide food through SFSP and/or SSO.
- All of Virginia’s public institutions of higher education—15 public four-year institutions, 23 community colleges and Richard Bland College—have moved to temporary online learning.
- All of Virginia’s private not-for-profit institutions of higher education that make up the Council of Independent Colleges (CICV) have transitioned to temporary online learning.
- The Virginia Community College System announced that commencement ceremonies for all 23 community colleges have been cancelled for this academic year. A number of public and private colleges have also cancelled in-person spring commencement ceremonies.
The Northam administration has issued guidance for child care providers to combat the spread of COVID-19, while ensuring ongoing support for essential personnel. These guidelines include:
- Child care providers should limit capacity to 10 total individuals per room and prioritize care for children of essential personnel.
- Children should eat meals in their own classrooms and increase distance as much as possible, such as allowing only one classroom at a time to go outside and staggering exits and entrances to reduce contact.
- Staff and children should focus on basic health precautions, including regular hand washing and cleaning frequently touched objects.
Governor Northam directed the Department of Social Services to modify Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy program, currently caring for 25,000 children, to increase support and flexibility for enrolled families and providers. These modifications include:
- Expanding eligibility for school-aged children currently designated for part-day care to full-day care.
- Increasing the number of paid absences from 36 to 76 days for both level 1 and level 2 providers.
- Automatically extending eligibility for families due for eligibility redetermination in the near future by 2 months and temporarily suspending the requirement for face-to-face interviews.