2020-2021 School Year Procedures

North Star

North 2020-2021 FAQs for Parents


Daily Schedule

The elementary school sample schedule in Colonial Heights will be a condensed school day, running roughly between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Each student will have blocks in their day for Reading, Math, Social Studies, Science, Resource, Recess, Lunch and Social-Emotional Learning. Below is a sample schedule.   Times will vary by grade level and may be adjusted as transportation scheduling is finalized.

8:30: Doors Open

9:00-9:15: Social-Emotional Learning

9:15-11:15: Reading/History

11:15-11:35: Recess

11:35-12:05: Lunch

12:05-12:45: Resource

12:45-2:00: Math/Science

2:00: Dismissal


Learning Zones 

Each grade level will be designated as its own Learning Zones. Learning Zones are assigned a designated entrance/exit door.  Students will come in through their designated entrance, and report to their classroom along a designated route. Students will remain in their assigned classroom.  Staff members may move between classrooms, but only in a designated zone.  Staff from different learning zones will not mix.  Outdoor spaces have been designated to each Learning Zone. Teachers may coordinate to take students outside for breaks and even hold class outside as appropriate. Classrooms will have access to hand sanitizer, disinfecting spray, and wipes. A touchless water bottle filling fountain is on each hallway of the school.


Virtual Classrooms

CHPS teachers will teach NES students who are enrolled in Virtual Academy (VA).   Each grade level has homeroom teachers from each school, so it is possible your student will be in the homeroom of a teacher from North, Tussing or Lakeview.  Students will receive their class assignments in late August, along with our traditional school students.   The VA daily schedule will mirror the traditional school schedule and students will need to log in to Canvas during class times.   Classes will feature direct instruction, daily assignments, homework, group assignments, projects, and grades (when grade-level appropriate).     Classes will feature a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.   Please see below for examples of each.



Learning Recovery and Curriculum Realignment

All CHPS teachers have worked hard to identify content that was not adequately covered during the school closure last Spring.   Curriculum maps have been adjusted in order to cover missed material that is essential to moving forward.   In addition, teachers will assess students at the beginning of the school year in order to gauge what material needs to be woven into this year’s lesson plans. 

Student Arrival and Dismissal

Learning Zones and classroom assignments will be sent out in late August.  Upon arriving at school students will have their temperature checked and report directly to their assigned classrooms.    Each learning zone will be assigned to an entry door which is the door students assigned to that zone will use.  Learning Zones and doors will be clearly marked.    Student dismissal will be staggered so that zones will not be releasing and crossing at the same time.  Students should not gather in pairs or groups, but rather report directly to the parent drop-off area or to their bus.   Dismissal times by grade levels and dismissal procedures will be shared once classroom assignments are completed.

Each student will receive two laminated blue papers with their assigned student numbers.  Upon pulling to the designated pickup spot for your grade, show the staff member your number.  Your student will then be called to be released.  If someone outside of a parent or guardian needs to pick up your child and who does not have the numbered paper, you must call the school in advance and identify the pickup person.  Any changes to a student’s normal pick-up must be made by calling the office prior to 1:30 p.m.  The pickup person will need to produce their ID upon arrival.


Picking Your Student Up From School Early/School Visitors

Due to the current pandemic parent and visitor access to the building will be limited.   Parents will be able to check students out; however, we strongly encourage this to be limited to situations that are absolutely necessary.   When scheduling appointments, please keep in mind that our school day will now end at 2:00 p.m.  Please do your best to schedule appointments after school hours.  With the shortened class time, we need our students in school all day, every day, unless they are sick.   If you must check your student out please call the school attendance desk at 524-3430 extension 19 upon arrival so that we can call your student down before you come into the building.   You can then proceed to the front door, ring the bell and someone will meet you to verify that you are authorized to pick-up the student.

Visitors to the building will be very limited this year to prevent unnecessary exposures.  Please contact the school by phone when possible if you have any questions.  Meetings with teachers and staff will be held virtually whenever possible.  Dropping off or delivery of student lunches will not be allowed this year.  If you do need to come to the school, please proceed to the main entrance and ring the bell.  Someone will assist you.  When entering the school building, we ask that you wear a face covering.

Student Meals   

Breakfast and lunch will be delivered to students in each Learning Zone and students will eat in their classrooms.    Students will have a hot and cold lunch option each day and the menu will be provided by Colonial Heights Food Service Department in advance.   In addition, meals will need to be paid for through MySchoolBucks as the exchange of money in the school building will not be permitted. If you need assistance to add money to your student’s MySchoolBucks account, please contact our Food Service department at 524-3453.   Students will continue to be allowed to pack a lunch and bring it to school each day, but parent deliveries of food will not be permitted.   Please plan ahead to ensure that your student has money on his/her MySchoolBucks account or has a packed lunch when he/she leaves home each morning. 


All courses--traditional and virtual--will be taught through the Canvas Learning Management System.   This is an online platform where teachers will post announcements, assignments, and notes/videos.  Canvas can be accessed through your student’s Chromebook or any computer with internet access.  Parent and student training will be provided by our school division as we approach the beginning of the new school year.  

School Supplies

Elementary school supply lists are updated and are posted on our website under the “Students and Families” tab.   Students will need to have their own supplies with them each day and will NOT be permitted to share supplies.  Students can leave their school supplies at their assigned desk for the year to avoid having to transport them to and from school each day.   

Safety and Learning Environment Expectations

Our school will be operating under enhanced safety guidelines.  There will be little margin for variance from these expectations and guidelines.

Keeping our students and staff safe is our top priority.   As a result, there will be very little tolerance for defiance of our safety plan. We simply will not put our students and staff in jeopardy.   As outlined in the Traditional School Student and Parent Contract, should a student fail to meet these expectations and guidelines, the student will be administratively placed in Virtual Academy.   In addition, our abbreviated school day means less class time and we are committed to providing our students with a high quality education despite these time constraints.   Students who are disruptive in this time-compressed learning environment will be transitioned to Virtual Academy.   We realize that this could place a scheduling burden on our families; however, by selecting the traditional school option, parents have agreed to the enforcement of these expectations.   Please discuss ahead of time with your child the importance of adhering to the CHPS health and safety plan and the Traditional School Student and Parent Contract, as well as the importance of adhering to classroom expectations and processes.

Students will be seated in classrooms at least 6 feet away from other students.  As students and staff move throughout the room and building, they will be expected to wear masks.  Teachers will have masks available for students who need one or who need a replacement during the day.  Help your student practice wearing a mask now as they prepare for school.  If you think your student cannot wear a mask during the school day, you may need to consider switching to the Virtual Academy.


Student Screening Procedures

Students will be temperature-checked before entering the building each morning at the   entrance door of each Learning Zone.   Students that are running a temperature above 100.4 will be directed to our treatment room, where a parent or guardian will be contacted and required to come pick up the student.  Failure to pick up the student from school in a timely manner will result in the student being transferred to the Virtual Academy.   Enrollment in the traditional school during this pandemic requires parents to be responsible for aiding in the safety of all students and staff.   If you are unable to make arrangements to have your child picked up in a timely manner from school you will need to enroll your child in our Virtual Academy.

Special Education

Traditional and Virtual Academy students will receive accommodations and services as listed in their IEPs.  Your child’s case manager will be communicating with you throughout August to discuss your child’s schedule and services and update IEPs as necessary.

Social/Emotional Support

Our school division is implementing a social and emotional learning curriculum titled Positive Action.  This curriculum is focused on having a positive mindset, developing strong character, making good decisions, developing healthy relationships, and treating people with kindness and respect.   Our staff will spend 15 minutes of each school day with students working through this curriculum.   We believe that building strong character, a strong work ethic, and developing good decision making skills is just as important as anything that we teach our students.  We also realize that the past six months have been tough for many of our students and families and we want to provide as much support to our families as possible.  Our school counselors will still be able to meet with our students and will also be providing counseling services to our Virtual Academy students.


Open House and Kindergarten Orientation

Virtual Open House and “Meet the Teacher” Events will be held for all students on Thursday, September 3.  Parents will receive an introduction to the school year video and have a chance for a live virtual meeting with their assigned teacher.  Meetings will be staggered by grade level to accommodate families with multiple children.  A Walk-Through event will be offered for PreK and Kindergarten students to see the school and classrooms during the week of August 24.  Details and exact times will be shared via email and Facebook.

Chromebook and Technology Support

The Office of Technology and Learning will set up times for students to conduct needed maintenance on Chromebooks and chargers before school starts.  Dates and times will be sent out via email and all-call, and will be posted on our website, Facebook, and twitter pages.  In addition, if your child encounters a problem with their Chromebook they need to let their teacher know immediately.  The teacher will then take the next steps needed to correct the issue with the Chromebook.



All students, both in Virtual Academy and in-person school, will be placed in a homeroom.  In some situations in-person, homerooms will be split into two physical classrooms with two teachers or a teacher and a paraprofessional working in both rooms.  This would be done to ensure safe student and staff distancing, and provide targeted, enriching instruction for children.  There is a possibility, both for in-person and Virtual Academy students, that homeroom assignments may change during the year.  We hope to minimize this as much as possible, but changing health and safety guidelines or a need to place students in a more appropriate academic grouping may necessitate a change in homeroom assignment. 


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