Come Back for 5 Days In-Person
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is reaching out to parents, encouraging them to send their children back to in-person learning this fall--back to nationally recognized academics, to competitive sports, to a wealth of extracurricular activities, and to the fun of being with classmates.
Using banners, yard signs and more (images pictured on the right below), FCPS is highlighting some of its exceptional programs (described below) as part of its strong return to five days a week.
In STEAM, students combine Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics to learn, explore, and solve real-world problems in new ways. Starting as early as preschool through high school, students design, build, and create using engineering. Makerspaces, innovation labs, and elective courses with robotics, computer science, and 3-D printing, are just some of the FCPS offerings that are preparing the next generation for the future. Learn more about STEAM.
FCPS was voted a 2021 Best Community for Music Education. Music instruction begins with kindergarten and continues through grade 12. In fourth grade, all FCPS students attend a trip to see the National Symphony Orchestra and have the opportunity to begin strings instruction (violin, viola, cello, bass). In fifth grade, students can learn how to play a band instrument (woodwind, brass, percussion) and/or investigate the full choral experience. By high school, many of our best musicians and performers have expanded to marching bands, concert bands, small music ensembles, or advanced choral groups--and they are performing at state, national and international events.
Science in FCPS is taught through hands-on experiences in which students explore materials, ask questions, and share ideas. They learn to confidently unlock the mysteries of science all around them. This begins in elementary school with a unit such as Monarch Butterflies and transitions to a unit such as Ecosystems (living organisms and their environments) in middle school. By high school, students are taking challenging Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) science courses and participating in the nationally and internationally recognized Fairfax Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
Time management. Leadership. Teamwork. Confidence. These are not chapter titles for a business book; they are the benefits of playing sports, which also promote physical health and mental wellbeing. Thousands of FCPS students are part of school sports teams --many competing at the state or national level. Each high school has a director of student activities and a certified athletic trainer who ensures the health and safety of student athletes.
Drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, design, digital art, and animation. FCPS students have the opportunity to explore creativity and self-expression through high-quality arts instruction and activities, resulting in a well-rounded education. All sixth grade students visit an art museum. Hundreds of FCPS middle and high school students are recognized annually with prestigious Scholastic Art Awards--take a look at the 2021 winners.
For the youngest learners, tools like Lego, clay, and wooden blocks are used to demonstrate how math ideas work. By high school, math students are hands-on problem solvers who understand how math is key to advances such as genetic coding and satellite GPS systems. Most importantly, at each grade level, teachers have the ability to tailor lessons for individual students, offering multiple entry points for students to access the advanced mathematics curriculum when they have developed the cognitive skills to be successful.
Learning how to read is essential for success in school and life. In FCPS classrooms, students are surrounded by fascinating, relevant, kid-friendly reading materials. In the early years, phonics instruction, read alouds, book groups, and silent reading are all used to increase reading skills and comprehension. Students also write every day, sometimes about topics of their choosing and sometimes on research topics, both of which greatly benefit learning to read.
Cue the lights! FCPS performers will be back on stage this fall, connecting to the human experience through storytelling and creative movement and expression. Students at most elementary schools may participate in extracurricular theatre and dance programs. At select elementary schools, students may explore theatre and dance as specials during the school day. At the middle and high school levels, a wide range of elective courses are offered in theatre arts, technical theatre, musical theatre, and dance. All Theatre Arts Appreciation students attend a live theatrical performance at a professional theatres in the area. Many FCPS theatre students participate in local, state, and national theatre festivals and competitions, including the Cappies National Capital Area program.
Students design, build, and create with Computer Science to solve real-world problems in new ways. App development, unplugged activities, microcontrollers, and robotics, as well as elective courses in computer science, cybersecurity, and cloud computing are just some of the FCPS offerings that empower students to lead in today’s data-rich and interconnected world. Learn more about Computer Science.
Play with Classmates
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently stated that it is important for kids to be physically present with other kids and adults outside of their families. Translation: Hanging out with friends and teachers at school is vital for healthy development. During social interactions, kids learn how to communicate, cooperate and negotiate. Conclusion: There is lots more than just fun going on at the school playground!
What Will In-Person Learning Look Like in the Fall?
We are committed to providing a safe and positive environment for students and staff this fall. Here’s what we anticipate:
- Breakfast and lunch for ALL students at no cost
- Full activity and athletic program
- Bus routes and schedules back to normal
- Academic excellence:
- Full Special education
- English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
- Advanced Placement (AP)
- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)
- Advanced Academic Placement (AAP) Level I-IV
- Career and Technical Education programs