As Charlottesville City Schools and Albemarle County Public Schools plan for schools to reopen in the fall, both districts are considering the possibilities of a fully online or a partially in-person opening. While both districts have outlined and publicly discussed a variety of options and contingency plans for K-12 students over the past few weeks, neither district has communicated information about the plans for the school systems’ public preschool programs.Carol Fox, the coordinator of preschool programs for ACPS, and Sheila Sparks, the coordinator of preschool programs for CCS, say that they don’t want to speak about working plans for the preschool programs until the school districts’ larger K-12 plans are finalized.

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“We are all in a holding pattern until we hear on July 30 at 2 o’clock what the School Board decides. Like everyone else, we are thinking about the various scenarios and the implications and needs of each one,” Fox said. “We will be prepared to meet the needs of the children, whether that will be in-person or virtual, following all of the school division’s and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s] recommendations and guidelines.”Fox declined to comment on which needs of the children the plans for the preschool programs, whether in-person or virtual, will address or on anything pertaining to childcare.“Until we decide on our larger plan for fall learning, we aren’t prepared to speak to our preschool plans, but we are definitely working to explore all options for preschoolers,” said Sparks.Sparks declined to comment on what options for preschoolers are under consideration.Fox said that all three public preschool programs — the Bright Stars Program in Albemarle, the Charlottesville City Preschool Program, and MACAA Head Start which serves both city and county residents  — have open spots available and are accepting applications for the upcoming school year. The three programs use a single common application, available here.

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