V-SLES is Stratford Landing's Distance Learning Plan

By Kevin Morris
Principal's Corner
April 03, 2020

Dear Stratford Landing Families,

I am pleased to share with you Stratford Landing’s Distance Learning Plan. For an “at a glance” look at your student’s school week at V-SLES, click here. Grade level teams have been working collaboratively to implement the new distance learning plan.  This plan will include direct virtual instruction, learning packets mailed to the home from FCPS central offices, and Stratford Landing teacher-created learning activities posted on Blackboard 24/7. Our school plan meets expectations set forth by the Fairfax County Public Schools’ Distance Learning Plan (DLP). Teacher supported V-SLES school days are Monday-Thursdays, between Tuesday, April 14, 2020 and Thursday, June 11, 2020.  

A V-SLES school day includes 60 continuous minutes of synchronous learning with your student’s grade level teacher participating in a morning meeting, math and language arts instruction. Additional synchronous learning occurs during a teacher’s “Virtual Office Hour.” During virtual office hours, teachers engage with students in smaller groups and in one on one settings. Synchronous learning means live, virtual teaching and learning. Synchronous learning will occur in real time with direct interactions between teachers and students on the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) platform. Your student will use a link provided by their teacher to participate in these learning sessions. These sessions will be recorded and uploaded to a teacher’s Blackboard 24/7 site for student and family access at any time.

The 60-minute morning meeting, math and language arts instructional block is built into the V-SLES master schedule. These times will remain constant over the next 2 and ½ months of school. The classroom teacher’s virtual office hour will be communicated to you by your student’s teacher and occur at a different time in the school day. You will also receive more detailed communication from your student’s classroom teacher with more specifics including directing you to appropriate resources and providing you necessary links to support learning at home.

V-SLES Morning Meetings, Math and Language Arts Synchronous Instruction (60 min)


8:30 am – 9:30 am           


8:30 am – 9:30 am            


9:50 am – 10:50 am          


9:50 am – 10:50 am          


11:10 am – 12:10 pm        


11:10 am – 12:10 pm        


11:10 am – 12:10 pm        

Fairfax County Public Schools and Stratford Landing’s distance learning plan recommends an additional 2-3 hours of student independent study and choice activities. Some examples include working with FCPS learning packets, engagement with Channel 21 videos and engaging with content prepared and uploaded by teachers on their Blackboard 24/7 site. Students use their student ID number and password to access content on Blackboard 24/7. It is important to note that the Blackboard 24/7 site is a different platform from Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU). Your student’s teacher will help you understand these platforms and how to navigate them during V-SLES school days.

Our Stratford Landing specialists will be preparing asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities that students may engage in during independent study and student choice. Asynchronous learning means students learn from teacher-provided materials such as a pre-recorded video or a blog/discussion board. Communication from teacher is not live. Some of our specialists will begin providing synchronous learning sessions to all our students the week of April 20. Students and families may elect to participate in these learning sessions with specialists. Our goal is to continue to increase synchronous learning content from our specialists throughout the V-SLES school year.


Our K-6 special education teachers are prepared to meet the unique learning needs of our special education students. In addition to all the exciting learning activities V-SLES has to offer, special education students will have synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities with their IEP case manager to ensure a continuity of learning to the greatest extent possible. Our special education teachers participated in required county professional learning this week to understand how to best support special education learners during distance learning. Case managers will reach out to their families individually. Preschool Special Education teachers will be providing twice per week individual coaching sessions with their families. Preschool teachers will be sending out additional communication to their families.  

Our Stratford Landing wellness team, which includes our school counselors, social worker and psychologist, will be hosting virtual office hours. These will be posted on grade level Blackboard 24/7 sites. Our wellness team will also provide additional resources and material for students to engage with during independent study and student choice time. You can reach out to your student’s classroom teacher if you have difficulty locating these resources.  

We are excited to begin this unique journey together. I wanted to share a reminder that Monday, April 6 – Friday, April 10 is Spring Break. Additionally, Monday, April 13 is designated a teacher workday. This will allow teachers to make final plans and preparations to launch V-SLES. The expectation for our teaching staff is to provide one informative communication to families prior to Tuesday, April 14. We do not have any other expectations for our teaching staff to engage with families prior to Tuesday, April 14.

As we transition into this virtual learning community, I kindly request all our families manage expectations and fully understand all we can ask, of all of us, is that we do the best we can with what we have. This won’t be perfect. Technology will inevitably fail. Dogs will bark over instruction. Resources might be hard to find. Your student might refuse to engage with work. Your student might have questions you can’t answer, or at least must spend a good 20 minutes googling to figure out. Please expect adjustments as teachers are learning to teach in this new “classroom.” One day may look different from the day before as teachers figure out how to meet the many needs of students and families. V-SLES is meant to offer our students and families a sense of normalcy, routine and belonging. Content is important. Connections are more important. Distance learning is not meant to replace the experience of being at school.

During V-SLES, it is important families make decisions about participation in a school day that makes sense for whatever your family may be experiencing at any given time. Students are moving from a highly structured daily schedule at school to a fluid, more self-directed schedule. Our expectation is that families will continue to work in ways that best support their entire family’s needs.

Our staff is also working to maintain the health and well-being of their families and loved ones being at home.  Teachers are working in teams to provide as much normalcy and community connections as possible. We are all experiencing a series of emotions during this unprecedented global health emergency. Flexibility is key to our success over the next 2 and ½ months of distance learning.

To reflect on our first week of learning at V-SLES, I will host a parent Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) Town Hall session on Friday, April 17, 2020 @ 5:00 pm. This will be a live, virtual town hall meeting for our families, and parents will have opportunities to connect with one another, provide feedback and ask clarifying questions. As this date gets closer, I will send additional information to families and directions on how to access this V-Town Hall opportunity.

We miss our students dearly, and we are optimistic we will deepen our relationships as we close out our school year. Stratford Landing will be a stronger community when the Covid-19 health emergency ends. I’d like to leave you with a reminder of the care and compassion our Stratford Landing staff demonstrates for your students even when we’re apart. We are counting down the days to our first day of V-SLES.

See you soon!  


Be well, be safe and be healthy.

Kevin Morris, principal



Links to Important Information

Dr. Brabrand's most recent message regarding FCPS Distance Learning Plan

FCPS Distance Learning Plan

Distance Learning Plan for Students with Disabilities  

Link on how to access Blackboard FCPS 24/7 for your child’s distance learning

Food Resources throughout Distance Learning