Return to Learn Update

January 19, 2021

In this update, you will find information about:

  • New return date for students

  • Students attending in Stage 4

  • More information coming

  • Return to Play update

  • Fighting the spread of COVID-19

New Return Date for Students

Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) is pleased to see our community’s COVID-19 health metrics begin to slowly decline. However, the virus is still too prevalent to return students to schools. WCPS must extend the date when in-person classes may resume.


This is not a decision we make easily or take lightly. Many parents, students, our staff, and community stakeholders have reached out to our Board of Education and members of our school leadership team. We hear all of your concerns about education, mental well-being, safety, the wellness of your family members and loved ones, and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools. WCPS remains committed to promoting the health of our community and to preventing the spread of the virus.

Moving forward, WCPS intends to resume in-person classes in Stage 4 on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

WCPS staff have been planning to welcome students back to classrooms since we first took a pause in our Return to Learn Plan on November 16, 2020. WCPS is optimistic our community health metrics will continue to decline and will support this plan. If the metrics begin to climb significantly, the plan will change.

Students Attending in Stage 4

In Stage 4 of the WCPS Return to Learn Plan, all students who would like to attend school in person may return to their buildings.


The following students are eligible to attend in-person classes five school days a week:

  • Pre-kindergarten

  • Kindergarten

  • 1st grade

  • Stage 2 students

  • Stage 3 students*


*Washington County Technical High School students will attend school on a modified schedule.


All other students in grades two through 12 are eligible to attend school on an A-day/B-day schedule.

  • A-day students attend in person every Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday.

  • B-day students attend in person every Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday.

  • When students are not attending school in person, they will attend through distance learning with live, online instruction from their teacher in the classroom with their peers.

Parents and guardians who do not want their children to return to in-person classes may continue to have their children participate in distance learning five school days a week.


For all students:

  • All in-person and online students will transition to a modified schedule. The student day will begin on or near their home school’s traditional start time and end earlier than the traditional end time.

  • During Stage 4, students will be participating in classes online with their teachers who will likely be instructing other students in person in the classroom.

Continue reading to learn how schools will be sharing these details with families in the days ahead.

More Information Coming

In November of 2020, WCPS surveyed parents and guardians to determine how many and which students would be returning in Stage 4. If you previously expressed interest in your student returning to school in Stage 4, school staff will be reaching out to you to confirm that you would like your child to attend in-person classes, and to provide you further details about the school day. This will include transportation information, A-day/B-day scheduling, etc., and staff will be able to answer questions you may have. School staff will contact these families to confirm the return of their students in Stage 4 no later than Monday, February 1, 2021.

Return to Play Update

WCPS winter athletes are currently participating in virtual conditioning activities.


Modified in-person practices will begin on Saturday, February 6, 2021. If in-person practices cannot begin on this date, the winter sports season will be canceled in Washington County.


Within the first 20 days of practice, each team will scrimmage other county teams. The competitive schedule will include playing county teams again for the record. Assuming winter sports begins on February 6, 2021, the first eligible competition date will be Friday, February 26, 2021.


Coaches and athletic directors will communicate with student athletes and families regarding practice and competition arrangements closer to the time of in-person activities. WCPS will be following state guidelines and will share additional information regarding spectators at sporting events closer to the start of competitions.

Fighting the Spread of COVID-19

Limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus is critical in returning students to schools. We again ask our community members to practice healthy habits, including but not limited to the following:


  • Wear a face covering over your mouth and nose in public places and where you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from others.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.

  • Avoid large group gatherings.

  • If you or your child is sick, please stay home.


WCPS continues to be grateful to our school families, students, and staff for your cooperation, patience, and understanding as we move forward through the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a safe, healthy learning environment for our community.