Learning at Home: Support for Families

Getting started and finding support for your child with distance learning

Role of Families and Caregivers in the FCPS Distance Learning Plan

As your child is getting ready for distance learning, families are encouraged to help develop a plan for learning at home. The FCPS Distance Learning Plan provides detailed information about what to expect. Distance Learning Packets will be mailed home weekly and your child's teacher will provide specific information about the learning calendar for each class. If your child has questions about learning topics, contact your child's teacher for help. When possible, families and caregivers are encouraged to support your child with the transition to distance learning and guide them to any support they may need. 

Grading, Attendance, and Reporting Information

Elementary School

Information for Parents about Elementary Attendance, Grading, and Reporting During COVID-19 Closure SY 2020

The following information provides key points about attendance, grading, and reporting for students. If you have any questions or require additional information, please reach out to your student’s teacher or school administrator. 

Goals of Distance Learning

The division’s goals for Distance Learning include:

  • Continuity of learning to the greatest degree possible.
  • Ongoing connections between teachers and students.
  • Sense of normalcy and routine during a stressful time. 

Elementary Attendance

Attendance data collected during this time will be used at the division level to monitor and adjust our Distance Learning model. The data will not be included in individual student attendance history and will not be reported to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
When students are absent from synchronous sessions, teachers will note students’ non-participation in SIS, which will be visible to parents.
Students who are not engaging in any form of  synchronous or asynchronous work will be contacted by the teacher and/or other staff members, such as the school counselor, to encourage participation and remove barriers when possible. 

Elementary Grading and Reporting

General Guidelines
  • Based on recommendations from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), grades will not be assigned during Distance Learning.
  • Students’ marks and advancement to the next grade level will not be negatively impacted by the state-wide closure of schools.
  • Student engagement in Distance Learning will ensure access to essential standards for each subject and also provide a sense of routine and connection to peers and trusted adults.
  • FCPS recognizes that students’ and families’ abilities to connect to Distance Learning will be wide-ranging and diverse.  

Third Quarter Marks

  • Achievement, effort and life skills, will be determined by all content taught and assessed during the third quarter through March 13, 2020.
  • Marks will be available in SIS ParentVUE on May 9, 2020.  
  • Progress reports will be centrally mailed to all families as soon as possible.   
Quarter 4
  • Students will not receive marks for the fourth quarter due to equity issues of access to technology and limited student ability to submit work during Distance Learning. 
Final Marks
  • Achievement, effort and life skills, will be determined by all content taught and assessed during the third quarter through March 13, 2020. If a student demonstrates increased achievement/effort during Distance Learning, a student’s final mark(s) may be increased. No mark should be lowered based on Distance Learning participation.
  • Grade placement for the 2020-21 school year will be considered based on student progress as of March 13, 2020.  If the student was on track to be promoted at time of closure, the student will be promoted.  Families will be contacted by school staff if a student is being considered for retention.  
  • Marks will be available in SIS ParentVUE on June 13, 2020.  
  • Progress report will be centrally mailed to all families.   
Progress Reports (Report Cards)

Progress reports (report cards) for the third and fourth quarter will be mailed to all families. Parents and/or guardians at the elementary level do not have the “Go Paperless” option this school year. If parents and/or guardians have secondary students, they may opt to “Go Paperless” to discontinue printed secondary level report cards but they will still receive printed ES Progress Reports for their ES students this school year.

Middle School

Information for Parents about Middle School Attendance, Grading, and Reporting During COVID-19 Closure Spring 2020

The following information provides key points about attendance, grading, and reporting for students. If you have any questions or require additional information, please reach out to your student’s teacher or school administrator. 

The division’s goals for Distance Learning include:

  • Continuity of learning to the greatest degree possible.
  • Ongoing connections between teachers and students.
  • Sense of normalcy and routine during a stressful time. 

Middle School Attendance

Attendance data collected during this time will be used at the division level to monitor and adjust our Distance Learning model. The data will not be included in individual student attendance history and will not be reported to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
When students are absent from synchronous sessions, teachers will note student’s non-participation in synchronous sessions in SIS, which will be visible to parents.
Students who are not engaging in any form of  synchronous or asynchronous work will be contacted by the teacher and/or other staff members, such as the school counselor, to encourage participation and remove barriers when possible. 
For middle school students enrolled in high school courses, participation in Distance Learning in the fourth quarter is essential for students to complete required new course content per VDOE guidelines for earning high school credit.

Middle School Grading and Reporting

Considerations
  • Based on recommendations from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), grades will not be assigned during Distance Learning.
  • Student grades and advancement to the next grade level will not be negatively impacted by the state-wide closure of schools.
  • Student engagement in Distance Learning will ensure access to essential standards for each course and also provide a sense of routine and connection to peers and trusted adults.
  • FCPS recognizes that students’ and families’ abilities to connect to Distance Learning will be wide-ranging and diverse.  
Completing Third Quarter 

Third Quarter Timeline: The third quarter has been extended until May 1, 2020. However, the third quarter grade book is closed to new assignments as of March 13, 2020. Students will work with their teachers to make up third quarter missing/incomplete assignments and complete reassessments as feasible by May 1, 2020. 

For students who do not have access to technology or connectivity, teachers and school counselors will work together to determine appropriate opportunities and resources. 

Access in ParentVUE and StudentVUE to view the grade book and report card modules will be closed from Fri, May 1 at 4:00 p.m. until Saturday, May 9 at 6:00 a.m. Grades will be available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE on Saturday, May 9, 2020. Report cards will be mailed to all families, except those who have opted for paperless report cards. 

Distance Learning Feedback During Quarter 4

Fourth Quarter Timeline: For middle school students, the fourth quarter will end on Friday, June 12, 2020.   
 
Students will receive feedback such as comments on quality of work and guidance for improvement.  Assignment “marks” will be entered in SIS and will be: Proficient, Attempted, or Not Attempted.  Students and families will be able to see “marks” in SIS ParentVUE and StudentVUE, though weekly emails will not be sent since there will not be a fourth quarter grade. 

All fourth quarter grades will be No Mark (NM).

Final Grades for Middle School

Final Grade Timeline: Final grades will be available in ParentVUE on June 13, 2020; and report cards will be centrally mailed to all families, except those who have opted for paperless report cards.

Final Exams: There will be no final exam and/or culminating activity included as part of the final course grade calculation this year.

Calculating Final Grade For Year-Long Courses

Schools/teachers have the discretion of raising a student's final grade by one grade distribution (for example: B to B+), based on demonstrated proficiency of fourth quarter learning. A student with an F average may increase to any D grade for final mark based on fourth quarter proficiency of learning. 

A student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:

  • Average of Quarters 1, 2, & 3
  • Average of Quarters 1, 2, & 3 plus 1 grade distribution increase for final mark (see example above)*
  • 1st Semester Grade
  • 1st Semester Grade plus 1 grade distribution increase for final mark (see example above)*
  • Quality Points as per FCPS Grading and Reporting

For schools or courses that utilize a Rolling Gradebook, a student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:

  • Quarter 3 grade
  • Quarter 3 Grade with up to a one grade distribution increase (see example above)*
  • 1st Semester Grade
  • 1st Semester Grade plus 1 grade distribution increase for final mark (see example above)*

* This option may not be available to elective courses that did not meet during Distance Learning.

Calculating Final Grade For Semester Courses

Schools/teachers have the discretion of raising a student's final grade by two grade distributions (B to A-), based on demonstrated proficiency of fourth quarter learning. A student with an F at third quarter may increase to any D grade. 

  • A student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:
  • Quarter 3 Average
  • Quarter 3 Average with up to a two grade distribution increase (if applicable)* 

*This option may not be available to elective courses that did not meet during Distance Learning.

Report Cards

Report cards for third and fourth quarter will be mailed to all families, except those who have opted for paperless report cards. Parents and/or guardians can take advantage of the paperless option, by logging into ParentVUE, then going to “My Account” and selecting "Go Paperless!" This is the only way to keep a paper report card from being generated for students at the secondary level. All parents who share the same address as the student must have a SIS ParentVUE account and must select the paperless option. This option must be selected prior to May 12 to prevent the 3rd quarter report card from being mailed.

High School

Information for Parents about High School Attendance, Grading, and Reporting During COVID-19 Closure Spring 2020

The following information provides key points about attendance, grading, and reporting for students. If you have any questions or require additional information, please reach out to your student’s teacher or school administrator.

The division’s goals for Distance Learning include:

  • Continuity of learning to the greatest degree possible.
  • Ongoing connections between teachers and students.
  • Sense of normalcy and routine during a stressful time. 

High School Attendance

For students in high school courses, participation in Distance Learning in the fourth quarter is essential for students to complete required new course content per Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) guidelines for earning high school credit.
When students are absent from synchronous sessions, teachers will note student’s non-participation in synchronous sessions in SIS, which will be visible to parents. 
The data will not be included in student attendance history and will not be reported to the VDOE.
Students who are not engaging in any form of  synchronous or asynchronous work will be contacted by the teacher and/or other staff members, such as the school counselor, to encourage participation and remove barriers if possible.

High School Grading and Reporting

Considerations
  • Based on recommendations from Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), grades will not be assigned during Distance Learning.
  • Student grades and advancement to the next grade level will not be negatively impacted by the state-wide closure of schools.
  • Student engagement in Distance Learning will ensure access to essential standards for each course and also provide a sense of routine and connection to peers and trusted adults.
  • FCPS recognizes that students’ and families’ abilities to connect to Distance Learning will be wide-ranging and diverse.
Completing Third Quarter 

Third Quarter Timeline: The third quarter has been extended until May 1, 2020. However, the third quarter grade book is closed to new assignments as of March 13, 2020. Students will work with their teachers to make up 3rd quarter missing/incomplete assignments and complete reassessments as feasible by May 1, 2020. 

For students who do not have access to technology or connectivity, teachers and school counselors will work together to determine appropriate opportunities and resources. 
Access in ParentVUE and StudentVUE to view the grade book and report card modules will now be closed from Fri, May 1 at 4:00 p.m. until Saturday, May 9 at 6:00 a.m. Grades will be available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE on May 9, 2020, and report cards will be mailed starting in mid-May to all families, except those who have opted for paperless report cards. 

Distance Learning Feedback During Quarter 4

Fourth Quarter Timeline: For high school students, the fourth quarter will end on Friday, June 12, 2020. 
 
Students will receive feedback such as comments on quality of work and guidance for improvement. Assignment “marks” will be entered in SIS and will be: Proficient, Attempted, or Not Attempted.  Students and families will be able to see “marks” in SIS ParentVUE and StudentVUE, though weekly emails will not be sent since there will not be a fourth quarter grade. 

All fourth quarter grades will be No Mark (NM).

Final Grades and Awarding Credit for HS Courses

VDOE guidance is that school divisions must award standard credit for high school credit-bearing courses by ensuring that students have completed a majority of required standards, competencies, and objectives, including those that are essential for success in subsequent coursework. In late June, report cards will be mailed to all families, except those who have opted for paperless report cards. 

Final Exams

There will be no required final exam and/or culminating activity included as part of the final course grade calculation this year.
Calculating Final Grade For Year-Long Courses

Schools/teachers have the discretion of raising a student's final grade by one grade distribution (B to B+), based on demonstrated proficiency of fourth quarter learning. A student with an F average may increase to any D grade for final mark based on fourth quarter proficiency of learning. 

  • A student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:
  • Average of Quarters 1, 2, & 3
  • Average of Quarters 1, 2, & 3 w/1 grade distribution increase (if applicable) 
  • 1st Semester Grade
  • 1st Semester Grade w/ 1 grade distribution increase (if applicable)
  • Quality Points as per FCPS Grading and Reporting
  • For Rolling Gradebook a student’s final grade will be the highest of the following::
  • Quarter 3 grade
  • Quarter 3 Grade w/1 grade distribution increase (if applicable)
  • 1st Semester Grade
  • 1st Semester Grade w/1 grade distribution increase (if applicable)
Calculating Final Grade For Semester Courses

Schools/teachers have the discretion of raising a student's final grade by two grade distributions (B to A-), based on demonstrated proficiency of fourth quarter learning. A student with an F at third quarter may increase to any D grade. 

A student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:

  • Quarter 3 Average
  • Quarter 3 Average w/up to a two grade distribution increase (if applicable) 
Special Consideration for Seniors 

VDOE flexibility will ensure that 12th graders who were expected to graduate on time as of the March 13, 2020 school closure will still graduate on time. Schools will work with all seniors to provide opportunities to meet their graduation requirements. The last day of school for seniors will be May 29, 2020.

Special Considerations for Dual Enrollment

While the majority of our dual enrollment courses are offered through Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), we also have dual enrollment courses with George Mason University, James Madison University, and Shenandoah University. Each partner has a different methodology regarding how to finish the course, and we are working closely with each college to find the best solution for students to receive credit. Guidance has been shared directly with students through their dual enrollment teachers. Please connect with your student’s teacher for specific dual enrollment completion information. 

Report Cards

Report cards for third and fourth quarter will be mailed to all families, except those who have opted for paperless report cards. Parents and/or guardians can take advantage of the paperless option, by logging into ParentVUE, then going to “My Account” and selecting "Go Paperless!" This is the only way to keep a paper report card from being generated for students at the secondary level. All parents who share the same address as the student must have a SIS ParentVUE account and must select the paperless option. This option must be selected prior to May 12 to prevent the 3rd quarter report card from being mailed.

Supporting Your Child with Digital Citizenship

All FCPS students are learning to become safe, ethical and responsible digital citizens. FCPS recognizes that schools and families both play a role in helping children develop the skills and behaviors needed to make positive contributions to the online community. During distance learning, parents and caregivers will play a critical role in monitoring and mentoring their children as they use technology to learn with others online. Children may test limits in new online learning spaces. Some children may have difficulty with self-regulation and this is a normal part of child development. Children may need support from families caregivers and their teachers.

Please reinforce with your child that the expectations outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Appropriate Use of Fairfax County Public Schools’ Network and Internet Resources regulations will also apply to the interaction and participation during the Distance Learning Plan.

Digital Citizenship Standards

Digital Citizenship Resources

To learn more about self-regulation in relation to technology use and how you can help your child develop these skills, listen to this FCPS podcast.  FCPS instructional staff will work alongside families to support FCPS students in developing good digital citizenship behaviors and skills. Read more about the topics of Digital Citizenship and the FCPS Shared Responsibility Model.

FCPS has important tips and tools to help families and caregivers support their children:

  • Establish expectations for your home: Be proactive in establishing the rules and expectations. FCPS provides guidance and resources to get your family started.   
  • Choose Media Wisely: When choosing media, games, and apps for recreational use, choose wisely. FCPS recommends some questions you should be asking and what you need to know about the tools and media your child is using.  
  • Find a sense of media balance: Although students will be working more online, it is still important to help your child find a sense of media balance, eat a healthy diet, and have adequate sleep and exercise. Prioritizing school related screen time over recreational screen time will help.  
  • Learn together: FCPS provides an engaging interactive online course to spark family discussions about digital citizenship topics. We encourage families to use this time at home to take the course and open the lines of communication. 
  • Translated Resources: FCPS offers many tip sheets translated into multiple languages.

Check the FCPS digital citizenship website for more resources.

Strategies for Supporting Your Child

Here are some tips to help you support your child during distance learning:

  • Establish routines and expectations. Balance screen time and non-screen time activities.
  • Students should take brain breaks and move regularly as they study.
  • Discuss what your child is learning and ask questions.
  • Establish times for quiet and reflection.
  • Remain mindful of your child’s stress.
  • Building resilience through compassion: Tips to support healthy coping during stressful times.

Below you will find additional strategies and resources to help your child be successful.

Helping Students Get Ready to Learn

Where will I learn best?

Families and caregivers can help children plan their day and set up their learning space.

Consider helping your child develop a plan for where they will learn, such as:

  • In the kitchen
  • In a bedroom
  • At a desk
  • At a table
  • A quiet place

When will I learn?

Consider helping your child plan when they will learn during the day, such as:

  • In the morning
  • In the afternoon
  • In the evening
  • At _______ o’clock
  • Different times spread throughout the day

Tip for Families: Help your child create a visible daily schedule.

How will I organize my time?

Consider helping your child organize their learning time. Considering having your child ask questions such as:

  • How long can I focus at a time?
  • How much time will I spend on each activity?
  • When will I take breaks?

What materials do I need?

Consider helping your child identify what supplies they might need, such as:

  • Paper or Notebook
  • Pencil
  • Highlighter
  • Markers
  • Timer
  • Device (laptop, computer, phone)

Helping Students Stay Engaged and Focused

Families and caregivers can help children stay engaged and focused on learning by helping students create goals.

Consider helping your child set short-term goals for learning each day and week. Consider having your child use the following prompts: 

  • My goals for today are:
  • My goals for this week are: 

Strategies to Support Student Learning

Everyone learns best in different ways. This way of learning is new for everyone. Consider helping your child try different strategies until they find what works best.  Remind them to be kind to themselves and others as we all learn and grow!

Families can help guide students through learning activities by suggesting your child use the following strategies:

  • Use your home language to help you understand and process your ideas.
  • Connect to what you already know to help you learn something new.
  • Make a schedule for your day. What will you work on and when? Check it off as you finish!
  • Set a timer for focused work time. Increase the minutes when you feel you can do more.
  • Break long tasks into smaller parts. Complete one part at a time. 
  • Schedule brain breaks and physical exercise into your day. 
  • How do you learn best? Use your strengths, be creative, and have fun learning! 

 

FCPS Distance Learning YouTube Channel

The language arts and mathematics instructional videos that are being aired on Apple 21 are now available on demand on the FCPS Distance Learning YouTube Channel found here. Teachers and parents now have access to playlists which support distance learning, the instructional packet sent home, and classroom teacher instruction. The site will be updated regularly as videos are developed and finalized. 
 

Additional Help and Support for Families

Frequently Asked Questions

Who to Contact

For Questions About Contact
Specific course, assignment, or learning resource Your student's teacher
Supports or accommodations for students with disabilities Your student's special education case manager or 504 school-based coordinator
Supports of accommodations for English learners Your student's ESOL teacher
Problem with an FCPS-issued laptop Your teacher will submit support ticket for student
Technology related problem or issue Your student's school-based technology specialist (SBTS) or Student Troubleshooting Guide
Personal, academic, or social emotional concern Your student's school counselor
Other issue related to distance learning Your student's principal or assistant principal

Support for Special Education

Support for English Learners

Language Learning:

It is important to practice reading, writing, listening and speaking every day.

Learning Apps:
  • Duolingo - Free language learning app.
    • If a student would like to create an account, parental permission is required.
    • If you have permission, create an account with your FCPS Google account (fcpsschools.net).
  • Use FCPS Schools student login to access Google apps (Drive, Docs, Calendar)
  • Unite Books - free, no ads, no login, 40+ narration languages
Read:
Listen:
Write:

Reference Materials:

Here are some tools to help you study, understand assignments, and stay organized.

English Dictionary:
Bilingual Dictionary:
Text to Speech & Speech to Text:
Organize
  • Google Calendar
  • Set daily/weekly goals and create a to-do list
  • Create a study space and a schedule

Wellness:

Take care of yourself and your family. Stay healthy and reduce stress.

Social-Emotional Wellness Supports

School-Based Social Emotional Learning and Wellness Resources During Distance Learning

School Counselors, School Psychologists, and School Social Workers are available to support students, families and staff during distance learning. They are supporting students, families and staff in many of the same ways as they did prior to distance learning, but it may look different now.

Here is what schools are doing to continue social emotional learning and  mental wellness:
  • Instructional activities addressing social and emotional skills and mental wellness topics are embedded in instruction to include school counseling and Health & PE lessons/activities.
  • Consultation for teachers is provided to support students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs in an instructional setting.
  • Individualized student and family support is available at all school levels to address social emotional learning, mental wellness, and access to basic needs.
  • Mental Wellness Consultation: Parents may schedule a 30-minute phone consultation with a school psychologist or school social worker, for either themselves or their middle or high school student. This is an opportunity for parents to receive guidance on how to support their student’s emotional well-being. For more information, click the following link: Mental Wellness Consultation

To learn more about these activities, please contact your student’s school counselor, school psychologist, or school social worker.;

Here is more information on what you can do to support your student at home:
  • The FCPS COVID-19 Website contains valuable information regarding how to talk with your child about the Coronavirus, managing stress, healthy coping, community and emergency mental health resources. For more information, click the following link: COVID-19 Mental Health & Community Resources website
  • Online training simulations are available to help you learn and recognize signs of distress, manage conversations, and connect your student/family to support services. For more information, click the following link: Kognito 
  • Video clips of FCPS students sharing their thoughts and tips on coping with Coronavirus. To view these videos, please click the following link: Student Voice: Coronavirus
  • Our Healthy Minds Blog will also be updated with entries throughout the closure: Healthy Minds Blog
  • In case of an emergency or for immediate assistance, please click on the following link: Mental Health Resources and Emergency Services Information
Additional Resources:

Supports for Students Without Reliable Access to Technology

The Distance Learning Plan (DLP) seeks to leverage technology to further learning opportunities and options. To accomplish this, an important component of the DLP is to address inequities in technology and internet access. 

  • High school - All high school students already have a personally-assigned laptop through the FCPSOn initiative. Mifi devices are being provided for students who do not have access to reliable internet.

  • Elementary and middle school - Laptops are being distributed to middle school students and to elementary students with identified technology needs. A limited number of Mifi devices will be available for students who do not have access to reliable internet.

Additionally, internet providers in the region have announced plans to expand low-cost internet services for residents. The FCPS Access to Technology webpage provides a summary of technology and internet resources available to families, including the service providers who offer special programs for access. Community internet access maps can also offer insights into where free wireless internet access is available in each community.

FCPS Parent Language Lines

FCPS language lines are available in eight different languages to assist parents who do not speak English as their first language. A school system employee will respond to your call in your preferred language within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. The caller will provide you with the requested information, arrange for you to speak with the appropriate school employee, or connect you with the resource that you are looking to find.

To use the parent information phone lines please call:

Amharic (አማርኛ): 571-423-4957

Arabic (arabic icon): 571-423-4952

Chinese (Chinese icon): 571-423-4953

Farsi (Farsi icon): 571-423-4954

Korean (Korean icon): 571-423-4951

Spanish (Spanish icon): 571-423-4950

Urdu (Urdu icon): 571-423-4955

Vietnamese (vietnamese icon): 571-423-4956

Look for More Tips and Resources on Social Media!

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