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Full Circle Schools to reopen Aug. 17

Full Circle Schools has announced its plan to reopen Aug. 17.

Angela Whittaker

In a press release distributed Wednesday, July 8, officials announced the school board had given its approval on plans submitted to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools earlier in June.

“We are excited to be able to deliver face-to-face instruction five days per week for all students,” Full Circle Schools Director Angela Whittaker said. “We can do this because we already limit our class sizes to about 10 students.”

According to the release, Full Circle’s plans include and meet all recommendations for enhanced cleaning, social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.

“We are committed to the safety of our students, teachers and families,” Whittaker continued.  “We know that parents are feeling the stress and concern about their children receiving the full education they need in a face to face environment.  Because of our personalized learning model we are able to adapt more easily than public school systems.  Even if public schools close again we have plans to increase outdoor classroom use and will stay within the 10 people to a gathering guidelines.”

Whittaker went on to say the school’s plans involve leveraging its outdoor learning classrooms. The school, according to Whittaker, already offers an increased hands-on outdoor curriculum, making for an easier adjustment than more traditional classroom models.

“We also know that no matter the plan there will be risk when kids are grouped together,” she said.  “We are prepared to switch to distance learning if someone within the school family is diagnosed with COVID-19. 

“Last spring our students did not miss days waiting for online instruction to begin.  We had a plan and transitioned without delays.  Our plan this year is even better.  We are starting with online systems in place that will help teachers adjust more easily if schools had to be closed.” 

The release highlighted Full Circle is open for enrollment at this time and accepting students for the fall semester.  The school has also begun a waiting list for some programs and will be hiring additional staff as those waiting lists fill up.

“Full Circle has always embraced the understanding that education is more than the expanding of academic knowledge,” Whittaker added.  “We have focused on academics in balance with the individual child’s emotional and physical growth since we began designing the school model.

We will serve as many families as possible, as we all respond to the impact of this global crisis.  We offer part-time and full-time enrollment, and have a generous sliding scale for tuition.  We keep our fees and additional cost to a minimum to ensure as diverse and inclusive a student body as possible.”