FCPS This Week e-newsletter - September 15, 2021
Superintendent Shares Data Reflecting Our Strong Return
At the September 9 Fairfax County School Board meeting, Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand provided an update on Return to School, COVID, and Health Updates. This included the latest health metrics, and a plan under consideration to support students who are home due to a COVID-related pause, quarantine, or isolation.
100% of FCPS schools opened for 5 days of in-person learning and 100% remain open for in-person learning today. With 99.5% of students back for in-person learning, we are continually working to prioritize health and safety. Watch his full presentation. Some highlights include:
Current Quarantine Rate
Quarantine data provided by the health department indicates that 393 students and staff members were directed to quarantine in relation to closed COVID-19 cases from August 13 through September 8. This represents 0.19% of students and 0.19% of staff. We are developing a database to capture the number of students who are paused and/or quarantined and give a better understanding of how COVID-19 exposures are impacting students.
Student-Athlete Vaccination Requirement
FCPS requires student-athletes 16 and older to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination by November 8 to participate in winter and spring sports. All students are encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.
Lunch, Breakfast, and Snack Time Safety
We know that lunch and snack time remains an area of concern for our families, especially for those with children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine. Schools are making use of outdoor spaces as much as possible. To date, 136 tents have been installed to support additional outdoor learning and eating spaces for students and an additional 57 tent installations are planned. These tents provide year-round outdoor spaces for students to spread out. Schools are also making use of alternative indoor spaces, alternating seats, and staggering schedules.
Supporting Students in Pause, Quarantine, or Isolation
FCPS is exploring options to provide instructional support to students who are unable to attend school in person due to a COVID-19 infection or possible exposure. We will share more on this shortly.
FCPS Students to Participate in International Walk to School Day on October 6
Fairfax County Public Schools will participate in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 6, in an effort to promote physical activity and reduce traffic congestion and pollution near schools.
Students and employees are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work where safe to do so on October 6. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school and PTA or PTO to assemble bike trains or walking groups for the event. Schools are encouraged to register online with Walk and Bike to School.
Do Your Part: Wash Up and Cover Up!
Wash up and cover up! Washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and other good hygiene practices are easy, everyday things we can do to stay healthy and stop germs from spreading.
Register for Upcoming Free Webinars from the FCPS Parent Resource Center
The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) is offering free parent webinars in October. They are:
- Family Digital Wellness: When is the Internet a Problem?: A Webinar for Families, Friday, October 1, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
- Dyslexia Virtual Open House, Friday, October 8, 10 to 11 a.m.
Note: Previous webinars have been recorded and can be viewed on the PRC YouTube channel.
Video: Logan’s Story
Watch this video to learn about former student Logan De La Cruz’s journey through FCPS, from preschool to graduation in June.
How Can I Receive Text Messages from FCPS?
Parents can receive text messages from FCPS for emergencies and essential information. How? Make sure your parent cell phone numbers are listed in the "cell telephone" fields in the parent/guardian contact information section on the emergency care information form for each of your children.
Parents and guardians can view and update emergency contact information online using weCare@school.
Standard message and data charges may apply for text messages depending on your cell phone service plan. More about text messages is available online.
FCPS Special Education Handbook Is Available to Families
The Special Education Handbook for Parents includes details of the special education process. This process occurs sequentially, over a period of time, with each step building upon the previous step(s).
It is important for families to understand how the special education process works, so they can effectively participate and collaborate with school staff members in making appropriate decisions regarding their child’s educational needs. Families are an integral part of the decision-making team.
Tips for Families: Help Your Teen Turn Defeat Into Victory
At some point, most students hit a learning obstacle. They may bring home a bad report card, or fail a test. That's when they need to understand that a setback is an opportunity to practice solving problems.
To help your teen turn defeat into victory:
- Change their language. Don't let them use the word “failure.” Instead, help them use words like “setback” that mean their current situation is temporary. Point out that recognizing a problem is the first step in solving it.
- Teach them to ask for help. It’s hard for many teens to ask for help. Let your teen know that recognizing that they need help and asking for it is a sign of strength, not of weakness.
- Look for resources that may be available. Your teen’s teacher and school counselor may be able to suggest apps, websites and organizations where your teen could find some extra help. They may also know of people available for after-school tutoring. Your teen's teacher may even be willing to spend extra time working with them.
Copyright 2021, the Parent Institute. Get more tips for parents and other family engagement resources.
Sexual Harassment Prohibited in FCPS
Policy 4950, Sexual Harassment, states that no person in Fairfax County Public Schools shall be subjected to sexual harassment. It is the intent of the School Board to maintain an environment free from sexual harassment of any kind.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature amounting to or constituting harassment are prohibited. Students and parents of students should bring concerns to their school principals.
If, for any reason, an individual prefers not to address their concerns directly with a principal, supervisor, or program manager, he or she may consult with, or file a complaint with, the Office of Equity and Employee Relations by calling 571-423-3070.