Message from the Superintendent to Class of 2020

By Letter from Dr. Brabrand
Message from the Superintendent
April 01, 2020

Dear Seniors - Class of 2020,

I have been thinking a lot about you and the impact that the statewide closure of schools has had on the Class of 2020. As you know, the governor closed all Virginia schools for the remainder of the academic year and, more recently, issued a stay at home order that is in effect until June 10.  None of us could have imagined this scenario for the last months of your senior year.   

We know that you, your family, and your friends were looking forward to the many events that are the culmination of your academic and school career. Prom, yearbook signings, picnics, barbeques, and many more moments are cherished events for seniors. Our School Board and I share in your disappointment and sense of loss that these events are canceled due to the health crisis.

Unless the governor’s order is amended, our currently scheduled graduation ceremonies will also be impacted.  We will continue to monitor requirements for social distancing and large events to see what graduation options are possible as we get closer to June.

I want you to know that all of our high school principals are committed to recognizing and celebrating your accomplishments at the end of the year as you prepare for the next exciting chapter of your lives. If necessary, we are committed to finding creative ways to celebrate your graduation, including possibly virtual graduation ceremonies.

I want to assure all seniors in the Class of 2020 that if you were in good standing and passing all your required courses for graduation before schools closed, you will graduate on time.

The State Superintendent will provide maximum flexibility for graduation requirements. This includes waivers ensuring that the absence of SOL tests and industry certification tests this spring will not negatively impact a student’s scheduled graduation.  More information will be shared as you start Distance Learning on April 14. 

Even if you were not passing all of your required courses, I want you to know that there is still time for you to graduate this June.  Your teachers will ensure you have access to what you need to be able to complete your coursework through distance learning. Your teachers will also give you more information about what is needed to finish the third quarter and how your engagement during the fourth quarter will impact your final grade.

We also realize that you are in the process of confirming your plans after you complete high school. We will continue to provide you with information and opportunities to help you navigate this transition. Please continue to reach out to your teachers, school counselors, and administrators when you need support.

Please also continue to monitor your FCPS email, FCPS 24-7 Learning/Blackboard, and other updates from your school about the specific schedule that you will follow when distance learning officially begins on April 14. Stay engaged in your academics to finish the year strong.

You may be feeling a range of emotions with this abrupt change to your senior year and the disruption in your life. I understand that your emotions may have turned into uncertainty, stress or sadness. The most important message I want to send to you is this- all of us in FCPS want you to feel supported. The trusted adults who know you in your school are going to provide you the academic and socio-emotional supports you may need.  If you need someone to talk to, if you are worried about a classmate, or a friend, please reach out to your teachers, school counselors, and other adults in your school for help. We are all in this together.  

Class of 2020 – your experience has been interrupted but the final chapter has yet to be written.  All of your teachers and staff are committed to working with you so that this last chapter honors your voice and your legacy.  Let’s write this last chapter together.

Sincerely,

Dr. Brabrand, Superintendent