How Districts Are Reopening Schools Around the Country

Possip / /

One of our partner district leaders described making plans in these times as akin to drawing a plan in sand near the beach. Just as you finish the plan, the tide comes in and erases the plan.  What an accurate analogy!  And the truth is some of the very plans we are highlighting below may have already changed based on the quickly changing context around us!


Still, we wanted to share some of the plans for districts around the country – just to provide some connection and information to our broader community.


We see clear differences in what parents want school to look like when reopening in the fall. With the many unique needs of parents within each district, the responses that schools will take will also be unique and creative. The health and safety decisions made for one district may be completely different from another’s school reopening plans. However, we still believe each district can learn from each other. Possip believes in building strong communities of educators and learning from one another. The reopening of schools may be the biggest opportunity to learn from each other’s  best practices

We’ve compiled a few hybrid district responses to shed light on what schools around the country are planning for the fall. 


Hernando School District 

Brooksville, FL

Summary of Plan: The district is offering two options: 

  1. In-person school with safety precautions
  2. “Hernando eSchool” for those who are not ready to go back and want a virtual option

Safety Precautions Planned: 

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols
  • Masks highly encouraged
  • Limited access to classrooms for all visitors
  • Limited gatherings/travel
  • Staff trained in mental health first aid


Cincinnati Public School District

Cincinnati, OH

Summary of Plan: The district will have a phased implementation of the reopening plan as follows:

  1. 1st Phase: All students online
  2. 2nd Phase: In-person instruction for ELLs, students with special needs, small groups, and outdoor instruction on-campus
  3. 3rd Phase: Phase 2 and 9th-grade classes on-campus or 50% of all students on-campus in A/B cohorts
  4. 4th Phase: Phases 2 and 9th and 10th-grade classes on campus or 50% of all students on-campus in A/B cohorts
  5. 5th Phase: All students on campus

Safety Precautions Planned: 

  • Daily temperature taking and symptom checks
  • Required face masks and regular hand washing
  • 6 feet distance
  • Repeated health instruction and training to students
  • Students take fewer classes/day in cohorts
  • Daily review of safety practices
  • Designated teacher only area
  • Use of outdoor space for class
  • One way hallways

Other Parts of Plan:

  • Evaluation about phase level every 6 weeks
  • Students can drop courses at any time if needed
  • 11th and 12th-grade students may opt for reduced course load
  • Students have the option of opting for independent study (can take classes online, community college, or district independent study platform Edgenuity)


Duval County School District

Jacksonville, FL

Summary of Plan: There will be different plans for each grade-level: 

  • Kindergarten-5th Grade: Students can choose between in school full time and two stay at home full-time options: 
    • 1) Duval homeroom – Students can choose to return to school in person at the end of each grading period
    • 2) Duval virtual instruction academy (DVIA) – Students choose a fully online school that the district has operated for 10 years. Students withdraw from regular their regular school and switch to DVIA
  • 6th Grade: Students can attend school 4 days a week, with Wednesday online. Students also have the same two options for online instruction at K-5 students.
  • 7th and 8th Grade: Students have the option to attend their regular schools on a hybrid basis 3 days a week. One the two days off they will be in the Duval homeroom. They also can choose DIVA for an online option.
  • High School: Students can attend school 2 days/week with the rest of the instruction online through the Duval homeroom. Students can also choose to enroll in DVIA.

Safety Precautions Planned: 

  • Face masks required between classes and in common areas but not in classrooms
  • Desk shield between desks
  • Mask required on school busses
  • Frequent hand sanitizing in classrooms
  • Younger students provided with plastic face shields

Other Parts of Plan:

  • Exceptional Education students will participate in full time, and remote instruction will be evaluated on a case by case basis 


Pasco School District

Land O’Lakes, FL

Summary of Plan: There will be three options for students in Pasco: 

  1. Full in-person instruction
  2. Synchronous virtual instruction
  3. Asynchronous virtual instruction with pre-recorded sessions in which students can take class on their own time

Safety Precautions Planned: 

  • Practice safe social distancing to the greatest extent possible
  • Post signage and provide lessons to strongly encourage frequent hand washing and hygiene practices
  • Ensure hand sanitizer is available throughout the campus
  • Increase cleaning protocols throughout each campus, including replacing air filters more frequently
  • Limit group gatherings
  • Encourage face coverings on campus
  • Expect symptom screening for all staff and students
  • Ensure any staff or students who exhibit symptoms are not at school or in the workplace


Loudoun County School District

Ashburn, VA

Summary of Plan: There will be phased reopening as follows: 

  1. Start with 3 days online, 2 days in-person
    • Elementary Students: For days when students learn from home, all elementary-school students will engage in at least 30 minutes of synchronous, interactive learning every day. Independent, asynchronous learning each day will include 90 minutes for K-2 students and two hours for third- through fifth-graders.
    • All secondary students will meet with his or her homeroom teacher for 20 minutes Monday through Thursday, either in person or synchronously from home, and will attend a 15-minute synchronous class session with each teacher on Fridays. Students grades 6-8 will be further expected to engage in up to 90 minutes of asynchronous learning per week in each class, while high-schoolers will spend up to two hours on such learning.

Safety Precautions Planned: 

  • Masks encouraged not required
  • School bus distancing 
  • Classroom limits on size
  • Frequent handwashing 
  • Stipulations for returning and shutting down in place by the state 


If you’re interested in learning more about school reopening plans, Possip is hosting a PD for principals on this topic. See more here: