Return to School News - December 1, 2020

By Communication and Community Relations
December 01, 2020

FCPS Continues to Monitor Health Data for COVID-19  

FCPS is monitoring COVID-19 health data every day to make decisions on when students and staff can return for in-person learning. The school division posts the regional health data collected by the Virginia Department of Health on the COVID-19 Health Metrics web page and monitors two core indicators related to coronavirus infections: the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and the percentage of people who test positive for COVID-19. Both indicators are increasing in Northern Virginia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set thresholds to help school communities understand the risk of introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in schools. View thresholds for Groups 1-6.

Currently, today’s health data shows 370.7 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days and 8.1 percent positive test cases in the past 14 days.

Today’s numbers exceed the thresholds for students and staff in Groups 4-8 to return to in-person learning. FCPS will continue to monitor community health data closely, and open schools for in-person instruction as soon as we are able to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and other staff.

New Employment Opportunities in Fairfax County Public Schools: Classroom Monitors

FCPS schools and centers are hiring classroom monitors to provide in-person classroom assistance for students when some staff members continue to work virtually. If you would like more information about the position, review the job description online and apply if interested. Please share information about this opportunity with anyone else you think may be interested.

FCPS Is Seeking Individuals to Serve as Substitute Teachers

Are you or somebody you know interested in substitute teaching with FCPS? Apply online or attend one of our Friday information sessions to learn more. To sign up for a session, visit the FCPS substitute teacher information page.

Photos of the Week

See students sharing their family pets on pet day, exhibiting school spirit, making masks, giving thanks, and creating self-portraits in this week's photos.

Grab and Go Meal Delivery Times and Some Bus Stop Locations Have Changed

Fairfax County Public Schools is offering no-cost nutritious meals to ALL students through June 30, 2021. Meals are available at school sites and along bus routes.

Grab and go bus delivery times and some bus stop locations have recently changed. The updated bus schedule is now available online. Bus delivery times were changed to accommodate the need for more buses to transport students returning to school buildings for in-person learning.

Breakfast and lunch meals are offered Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). Breakfast and lunch are served at the same time. Breakfast and lunch are also offered at no cost to any student who attends in-person instruction at a school Monday-Friday. Meals for Saturday and Sunday are offered at sites and on bus routes every Friday.

More information is available online, or by calling the Office of Food and Nutrition Services at 703-813-4800.

FCPS Publications, Student Journalists Win 2020 NSPA Pacemaker Awards

The National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) has awarded Pacemaker Awards, scholastic journalism’s preeminent award, to publications from McLean High School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Additionally, students from McLean were awarded several individual awards in a variety of contests.

More information on the Pacemaker Awards is available online.

Video: Spanish-Language Town Hall

Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand hosted a Spanish-Language Town Hall on November 30 that included Cecilia Vanderhye, principal at Belvedere Elementary School, and Karim Daugherty, principal at Beech Tree Elementary School. They answered questions about returning to in-person instruction, safety measures, mental health, and other topics. 

Special Education Parent Newsletter

The Department of Special Services (DSS) publishes a regular electronic newsletter for parents of special education students to provide updated DSS information, and tips and ideas to support you and your family during distance learning. The latest issue is available online

Virtual Workshop on December 9: Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Disabilities

Join FCPS Career and Transition Services for a parent workshop to learn about postsecondary concerns for students transitioning to college. The virtual session will be held Wednesday, December 9, from 10 a.m. to noonRegistration is available online.

Back2Fairfax Virtual Event on December 15 for FCPS Graduates and Students Who Want to Teach in FCPS

Do you know an FCPS graduate or student who is interested in being a teacher in FCPS? FCPS graduates and current FCPS juniors or seniors are invited to join us for a virtual event on Tuesday, December 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. for the third annual Back2Fairfax Teacher Seminar. Learn how to navigate the hiring process, employee resources, and tips to being a successful educator.

Join us for an evening filled with networking opportunities, breakout sessions, and FCPS employment information. We invite current students and FCPS graduates to Say Yes to FCPS!

Registration for the event is available online

Cool Schools: Glasgow Middle School Hoodie Squad Keeps the Music Playing

Eight strings musicians who attend Glasgow Middle School have kept their love of music and performing alive during the pandemic, and held a socially distanced, safe performance for parents and teachers last month. The group calls itself the Hoodie Squad and had special hoodies made for the occasion.

Orchestra teacher Alexandra Touzinsky says that during the 2019-20 school year, the students would rehearse with her every Friday, always eager to learn new music and new techniques. When COVID-19 shut down schools, they kept in touch with each other. Once the weather warmed up, they started rehearsing again at the Mason Neck amphitheater.

Learn more about the Glasgow Middle School Hoodie Squad

Arts Alive: Cappies Review of Ink by Annandale High School

Fairfax County Public Schools students are talented actors, musicians, and visual artists. 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. There are 15 Cappies chapters across the United States and Canada. 

The Cappies continues this year with virtual performances. Students learning through the theatre arts is as important as ever. Most performances this year are written by students and are available to watch on the Cappies website. Some performances do require a fee to view online.  

Check out this review of Annandale High School's production of Ink written by Aren Iverson of South County High School.

Subscribe to the 2020-21 FCPS Theater Calendar

Do you love watching high school theater? If so, check out the Fine and Performing Arts calendar on the FCPS website. Individual listings for many virtual middle and high school theater events are listed through December. 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

Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools' Project Cornucopia

The Foundation for FCPS is working to ensure that the neediest students in FCPS can enjoy a special meal for the holidays. Donations to Project Cornucopia will be used to purchase gift cards that can be redeemed for grocery items so that families can enjoy their favorite flavorful traditions–or create new ones. Donations can be made online