FCPS This Week e-newsletter - January 12, 2022

By Communication and Community Relations
January 12, 2022

Keeping Up with COVID-19 Information

A lot of new and updated information is available for schools and families due to the current COVID-19 surge and recent changes to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. Earlier this week we shared how the new CDC recommendations for quarantine and isolation periods would affect students and staff

The Health and Safety Guidance Document on our website is your source for the most up-to-date information. 

Here are some updates and answers to common questions:

Isolation and Quarantine

We follow the CDC definitions of isolation and quarantine. Understanding the difference is helpful when determining what you need to do following a diagnosis or being named a close contact.

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. When you or your child has tested positive for, or been medically diagnosed with, COVID-19, the instruction is to isolate.

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who are exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. When you or your child has been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, the instruction may be to quarantine.
 

The First Step if Your Child Tests Positive or Receives a COVID-19 Diagnosis

If your child tests positive or receives a COVID-19 diagnosis, please notify your school so they can provide you with the FCPS Isolation Letter, which will include the anticipated return to school date for your child. 

The process for returning to school after a COVID-19 positive test, diagnosis, or exposure is outlined on our website.
 

Fully Vaccinated Students with School-related Exposures Can Be Exempt from Quarantine

Fully vaccinated students with a school-related COVID-19 exposure can be exempt from quarantine. Parents or guardians will receive the vaccination survey link in the FCPS Pause Letter provided by the school when the student is identified as a close contact. This survey is only available to school-related cases. 
 

Who Provides Clearance Letters

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) will no longer provide return to school/work letters in most cases. FCPS pause letters will now serve as return documentation for students that are close contacts. The FCPS pause letters will provide the steps students will follow to return to school. 

The FCHD will provide clearance emails ONLY to students who are exempt from quarantine (see above).
 

Medical Questions About COVID-19

If you have questions about COVID-19, please contact your child’s physician or the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-267-3511 (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends). You may email [email protected] (monitored 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays).
 

VaxUP FCPS

Vaccination continues to be the best protection against severe illness and our best tool to end the pandemic. Vaccination is now available for adults and kids five and up. Booster shots are available for everyone 12 and up, based on your vaccine vendor and last dose. 

If you need a vaccination or booster, the Fairfax County Health Department website is a great source of information about clinics and other vaccination opportunities.


Attend a Superintendent Search Virtual Town Hall

FCPS is conducting a nationwide search for a new superintendent to lead the school district when Superintendent Brabrand's contract expires at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Your input is an important part of the search process! Please attend a Superintendent Search Virtual Town Hall to provide feedback on the characteristics and personality traits you would like to see in the new superintendent. 

The town halls will be hosted on Zoom on January 12, 13, and 18. There will be a Spanish-language town hall as well. Visit FCPS’ Superintendent Search webpage to register

Also, please take the Superintendent Search Survey if you haven’t already. FCPS parents/guardians, staff, and high school students were sent their own survey link via an email from “FCPS and GR Recruiting.” Community members can access the survey link on our website


Thank You Principals!

January 8-14 is Virginia School Principal Appreciation Week. This week, we give principals our thanks for stepping up in so many ways over the past two years and for their commitment to our students, staff members, and parents. Be sure to say “thank you” to your child’s principal and tag us at #OurFCPS!


High School Students Can Explore Career Paths at Upcoming Academy Open Houses

A high school academy is a center within an existing high school that offers students the opportunity to explore career interests. By taking advanced technical and specialized courses students gain practical skills and education to help them succeed. High school students interested in taking classes at FCPS Academies can sign up to participate in an upcoming open house to learn more about each school. 

The open house dates are:

Check out the next two articles below to learn more about Academy classes at Falls Church Academy and Chantilly Academy. 


Students Gain Hands-On Experience Through Ride-Alongs With EMTs

It’s a scene no one ever wants to see: a person injured and in shock after a car crash. A group of first responders in bright reflective vests work quickly, but carefully, to move the patient onto a stretcher, keeping their head and spine as still as possible. One first responder holds the patient’s head steady, while another straps on an oxygen mask. Moments later, the patient is out of the car and strapped onto the board, ready to be loaded into an ambulance. 

Thankfully, this scene playing out in the Falls Church High School parking lot isn’t real, it’s just practice. The ‘first responders’ are actually students taking the Emergency Medical Technician course at Falls Church High School Governor’s Health Sciences Academy who are practicing for ride-alongs with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.


Teachers for Tomorrow Prepares Students for Careers in K-12 Education

The Teachers for Tomorrow class at Chantilly Academy prepares juniors and seniors to pursue their dream of educating the next generations. With two different course levels, Teachers for Tomorrow provides an in-depth look into teaching on a personal and professional scale. 

Teachers for Tomorrow 1 focuses on building a foundation of how teaching works and classroom management, as well as providing opportunities to observe teachers in a classroom setting. Teachers for Tomorrow 2 allows students to further explore careers in teaching and gain more field experience. 

Learn more about the experiences of Teachers for Tomorrow students

FCPS has a history of students returning as teachers. Destiny DeMarino tells us about her journey from student to teacher at Westgate Elementary School.


Learn How to Drive for FCPS at the Bus Driver Job Fair on January 14

Join us on Friday, January 14, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Lorton Center (8101 Lorton Road, Lorton, Va.), for our in-person School Bus Driver Job Fair to learn how you can drive for FCPS. No pre-event registration is needed to attend. 

$3,000 Signing Bonus for School Bus Drivers*

Benefits for bus drivers include:

  • Competitive pay
  • Paid training program 
  • Six paid non-working days 
  • Excellent retirement, health and dental plans
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Infant and preschool age children and grandchildren may ride with you
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Summer hours available 
  • Savings for Staff Program

Learn more and apply! Or contact 571-423-3000 or [email protected] with questions.

* Bonus paid for school bus drivers who begin training on or after July 1, 2021, and meet the established criteria.


Become a Substitute Teacher and Save the Day! Attend the Virtual Substitute Job Fair on January 18 

Want to make a difference in the life of a child? Fairfax County Public Schools is looking for enthusiastic, engaged, and dedicated substitute teachers. Starting pay is $17.79 per hour for short-term subs; $23.91 per hour for long-term subs. 

Substitutes help our students thrive when their teacher must be out of the classroom and are essential members of every school’s team. If you are interested, FCPS is holding a virtual Substitute Job Fair on Tuesday, January 18, from 9 to 11 a.m. Learn more about the fair, as well as how to apply, prepare, register, and attend.
 

Calling All College Students! Use Your Breaks to Make Extra Cash by Becoming A Sub

If you are a college student home on winter break, or you live in the area full-time, becoming a substitute teacher is an excellent part-time job. You can decide what days you want to work, and even do half days. Spring break is also a great time to make some extra cash. 

Julian Lawson Consolla is a junior at the University of Kentucky who is working at Mount Eagle Elementary School while he has a few weeks off. Learn about his experience as a substitute teacher


Cappies Review of South County’s Puffs (Two Act Edition for Young Wizards)

Many FCPS high schools participate in the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theatre, otherwise known as the Cappies. The Cappies is a program through which high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. 

Sara Kaufman of Justice High School provides her review of South County High School's production of Puffs (Two Act Edition for Young Wizards).

Subscribe to the 2021-22 Fine and Performing Arts Calendar

If you enjoy high school theater, check out the Fine and Performing Arts calendar on our website. Individual listings for many middle and high school theater events are featured. Users can subscribe to the calendar to be notified of upcoming performances, and each event can be added to a calendar or shared on social media. See the Fine and Performing Arts calendar.


Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on January 17 for MLK Jr. Holiday; Early Dismissal on January 20 and Student Holidays on January 21 and 24

As a reminder, schools and offices will be closed on Monday, January 17, for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Also, students will be dismissed two hours early on Thursday, January 20, the last day of the second quarter, and Friday, January 21 (teacher work day), and Monday, January 24 (professional development day), are holidays for students. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.


Reminder: School Board Meeting on January 13

The School Board will hold a regular meeting on Thursday, January 13, at 7 p.m. Agenda items include:

  • Fiscal Year 2023 Proposed Budget.
  • Approval of several updated policies.
  • Awarding of contracts.

See the complete regular meeting agenda. The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel and on the FCPS website.

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on any School Board votes the morning after the School Board meeting.