Weather FAQs: Code Orange in PWCS

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Provided by PWCS

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Code Orange in PWCS.

How do recent changes to Virginia law affect weather-related and other emergency closures in PWCS?

During the 2021 legislative session, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill (House Bill 1790/Senate Bill 1132) allowing up to 10 unscheduled remote learning days (full or partial) to apply to the 180-day or 990-hour instructional time requirement when the closure is due to severe weather and other emergencies. Per the Virginia Department of Education, if school divisions are able to provide instruction and services to each student on these days, the instructional time can be counted toward the length of the school term and core instruction hour requirements for the school year.

What is a Code Orange?

School and office buildings are closed. Live, virtual classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Staff are expected to work remotely.

Will students receive live virtual instruction on Code Orange days during the 2023–24 school year?

Yes, all students will receive synchronous, live virtual instruction on Code Orange days during the 2023-24 school year.

If my student is an all-virtual student or takes one or more virtual courses through Virtual Prince William, will anything change on Code Orange days?

No, students enrolled in the PWCS K-8 Virtual Academy, Virtual Prince William, and Virtual Virginia should follow their normal daily virtual schedule.

What are the expectations for Code Orange virtual learning days?

  • All students will receive live virtual instruction from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Instruction will begin at 9 a.m. for all schools and end at 2 p.m.
  • All classes will start with live (synchronous) instruction.
  • Students will have a one-hour break for lunch.
  • Time will be provided for students to go to the restroom between Zoom sessions.

Where can I find my child’s Code Orange live virtual schedule?

All elementary, middle, and high schools will be following the same Code Orange schedule by level. Schools will post their Code Orange schedule on their website. See sample schedules.

What if my family does not have home internet access?

Learn how you may qualify for free home internet.

How will Section 504 or IEP accommodations and services be provided? Are there other considerations for students receiving special education services?

School staff will review each student’s IEP and Section 504 plan. Accommodations and services that can be provided in a virtual setting should be provided to students. Concerns regarding a student’s ability to access virtual instruction due to the nature of their disability will be addressed through the IEP process.

How will English learner and gifted education services be provided?

English learner and gifted services that are applicable to the virtual setting should be implemented. These services should mirror, to the greatest extent possible, the model of services provided in person.

How will attendance be taken, and students be counted as present on Code Orange days?

Students will need to turn their cameras on and participate in the class to be counted as present. Blurred or other backgrounds can be utilized by students.

What should families do if their child is having trouble logging in on a Code Orange day?

Families should contact the PWCS Help Desk.

What if a child forgets their school-issued device at school?

If a student forgets their school-issued device, they can use another device or phone to access most applications online, including CanvasOffice 365, and Zoom.

Will any schools or offices be open on Code Orange days?

Schools and office buildings will not be open on Code Orange days; business may be conducted virtually as appropriate.



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