FCPS This Week - March 24, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
March 23, 2021

CDC Announces New Encouraging 3 Feet Guidance for Schools

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updated guidance on social distancing for schools, changing from recommending 6 feet of social distancing to 3 feet of social distancing with universal masking in classroom settings. FCPS is working through this guidance and we will update you before spring break. See Dr. Brabrand's statement

Video: FCPS Is Returning Strong

As students returned to in-person instruction, we captured the excitement and joy of students and staff. This video was shared at the School Board Return to School work session on March 16.

This slide show was shared alongside the FCPS Returning Strong video during the March 16 School Board work session.

Video: Meet our Classroom Monitors ... and Aspiring Teachers!

Meet three of our classroom monitors from Lanier Middle School, Woodson High School, and Fairhill Elementary School who are studying education, or now have plans to become a teacher. We are excited they have had the opportunity to support and work with students as they prepare for their career.

FCPS Reaching Out to In-Person Students to Confirm Their Spots

The return to in-person learning offers FCPS an important opportunity to engage and support our most vulnerable students in new ways. To that end, we are working to maximize our in-person learning capacity and are asking that all students who have registered to attend in-person do so on a regular basis. If registered students are not attending regularly by March 26, schools may reassign them to virtual learning and allow other students to receive in-person support in their place.

Updates, including summer programs and opportunities, will be posted online and shared as we continue to develop, plan, and support our students, families and FCPS community.

2020-21 Grading Policy Changes

In response to family feedback and student check-in results, FCPS will be seeking to lessen the stress and anxiety posed for some students who have been challenged by the virtual learning environment during the past (and ongoing) pandemic year.

FCPS will provide three additional grading changes to support middle and high school students. More information on the grading policy changes is available online.  

Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests Will Be Delivered In-Person This Spring 

Across Virginia, students will be taking SOL tests in-person this spring. Federal and state education departments have decided that SOL assessments will proceed as usual for reading, mathematics, and science. More information is available about SOL assessments at each grade level. For students attending school 100% virtually, school staff will work with families to schedule an appointment for in-person SOL testing.

Caregivers have the right to refuse SOL assessments if they have concerns about participation related to the pandemic, including health, social-emotional, and instructional time concerns. For questions about SOL testing or to refuse testing, contact your student’s school. A remote non-SOL test option is in development, and information will be provided for families of qualifying students in the coming weeks.

FCPS Special Education Conference to Be Held April 17; Registration Now Open

FCPS will hold its 16th Annual Special Education Conference on Saturday, April 17, virtually. Registration is now available online. The conference will include a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) sessions supporting the conference's theme: The time for inclusion is now. A student strand will be held for youth ages 14-22. FCPS educators, administrators, and pre-service teachers will earn five recertification points for attending the entire conference.

For more information or to register, visit the Special Education Conference webpage

Calendar Reminder: Two-Hour Early Dismissal on March 26; Spring Break Is March 29-April 2

As a reminder, Friday, March 26, is the last day of the third quarter. Students will be dismissed two hours early and attend their in-person or virtual classes as planned.

Spring break is March 29-April 2. Also, Monday, April 5, is a teacher workday and a holiday for students. Teachers will not be available for office hours and students are not expected to complete asynchronous assignments. 

We hope you have a great week and get some time to relax with family and friends! FCPS This Week will not be published next week, and will return on Wednesday, April 7. 

See the complete 2020-21 school year calendar

Meal Distribution During Spring Break

FCPS is committed to providing all students access to meals March 26 through April 5 when there is one early release school day, the week of spring break when schools are closed, and one teacher workday when students are not in school. See the food distribution webpage for more information.

School Board Adopts Calendar Designed to Recognize, Respect, and Honor Plurality of Religious and Cultural Observances

The Fairfax County School Board has voted to approve a calendar for the 2021-22 school year that is designed to recognize, respect, and honor the plurality of religious and cultural observances in Fairfax County.

The calendar, which recognizes 15 religious and cultural observances in the school year, while also decoupling Good Friday from Spring Break, ensures students will not have to make choices between observing their religious or cultural observance, or taking a test this coming school year.

FCPS Response to Increased Violence Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our country has witnessed an increase in the violence, harassment, and hate targeting Asian Americans. The fatal shootings in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 16, were the latest and most tragic in a series of painful experiences.

Fairfax County Public Schools grieves with the families of the victims. Anti-Asian hate impacts our students, our colleagues, our families, and our community. Read the full statement.

Superintendent’s Multilingual Podcast Interviews: Messages of Hope, Appreciation, and Readiness

The FCPS Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement recently launched multilingual podcasts in Spanish, Arabic, and Korean. The podcasts bring families timely, important information related to school news. Listen to the most recent podcast where Dr. Brabrand is interviewed and offers a message of hope, appreciation, and readiness. 

Register for Upcoming Free Webinars from the FCPS Parent Resource Center

The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) is offering four free parent webinars in April. They are:

  • Construyendo y manteniendo familias fuertes Un seminario web presentado en español (Building and Keeping Strong Families: A Webinar Presented in Spanish), on Tuesday, April 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Skill, Not Will: The Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach Webinar for Families, on Friday, April 9, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
  • COVID-19 Vaccines and the Vaccination Process in Fairfax County: A Webinar for Families, on Tuesdays 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Encouraging Positive Behaviors at Home Series: Minimizing Prompts and Maximizing Your Child’s Independence, on Thursday April 22, 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m.

More information on each session and how to register is available online.

Note: Previous webinars have been recorded and can be viewed on the PRC YouTube channel.

Photos of the Week

In this week's photo gallery, students are being welcomed back to school, are learning and playing outdoors on warm spring days, and are practicing yoga in person and virtually.

Understanding the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative

Fairfax County Public Schools is preparing for the implementation of the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI) and we want families to be aware of proposed changes to Mathematics course offerings. To understand the proposed changes to the course progressions, VDOE is offering Community Informational Sessions on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, March 23, 6:30 p.m.—Why Change Mathematics Instruction?
  • Tuesday, April 13, 6:30 p.m.—How Does VMPI Affect Virginia Children’s Futures?
  • Tuesday, April 27, 6:30 p.m.—Essential Concepts in Grades 8-10
  • Tuesday, May 25, 6:30 p.m.—Advanced Pathways in Grades 11-12

Questions participants would like to have addressed during the sessions can be submitted online. For additional information, visit VMPI's webpage.

Video: Student Voice—Stop the Spread by Ms. Woodlief's Class

Ms. Woodlief's Health and Physical Education class at Lake Braddock Secondary School offers important ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.