Loudoun School Board to Tackle Back-to-School Plan, Raider Mascot

During a special meeting this afternoon, the Loudoun County School Board is scheduled to deal with two long-debated topics—how to resume classes in August and the future of the Confederate-inspired Loudoun County High School mascot. 

The meeting, starting at 4 p.m., is expected to include a lengthy public comment session with parents and students invited to weigh on both topics. 

During last week’s School Board meeting, the majority of speakers pressed for a full reopening of classes rather than a blended approach of two days of in-person teaching and three days of distance learning that is being recommended by administrators. Today, comments are expected from parents who support some element of distance learning as the best approach—along with the mandatory use of face coverings, improved ventilation in schools and buses, and the provision of personal protective equipment to all staffers—amid the still-uncertain COVID-19 environment. 

School Board members today are slated to receive the results of surveys of parents and teachers concerning their preferences for providing instruction next year.  Just over half of parents favored 100 percent in-person learning, about almost half would be consider opting out of bus transportation. The majority of teachers favored 100 percent distance learning.

Also this afternoon, the School Board is expected to direct Loudoun County High School to replace its Raiders mascot, which was adopted when the school opened in 1954 as a homage to Mosby’s Rangers Confederate cavalry unit. 

The recommendation to change the mascot is included in a 16-Point Anti-Racism Plan proposed last week by Superintendent Eric Williams. 

Speakers who wish to comment during the meeting must register online on the main School Board website or by calling 571-252-1030. The signup deadline is 3 p.m. The meeting will be conducted online, with speakers required to make their presentations via computer or telephone. 

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