Return to School News - January 4, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
January 04, 2021

Superintendent to Discuss Return to In-Person Instruction Plans at School Board Work Session and Town Hall Meeting This Week

On Tuesday, January 5, at 3 p.m., the return to in-person instruction will be discussed at the School Board work session. View the meeting on FCPS Cable Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11) or the FCPS website

On Wednesday, January 6, at 6 p.m., Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand and guests will cover FCPS safety teams, mitigation strategies, as well as returning to school details at a virtual Town Hall meeting. Submit your questions in advance by email to or call in during the Town Hall at 1-800-231-6359. View the meeting on FCPS Cable Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11) or the FCPS website

New Bell Schedules Begin Tuesday, January 12

As more students return for in-person learning, it will be necessary to revise the bell schedule to accommodate more bus runs. The number of students allowed on each bus will be reduced substantially to meet social distancing requirements. With fewer students able to ride a bus at the same time, FCPS must adjust the times that buses are transporting students. The school day will be reduced by 15 minutes due to the increased cleaning time required between bus runs.

A revised bell schedule has been developed to improve start times and end times for all levels. Barring any changes to the plan that may be impacted by the pandemic, the following bell schedule will be in place effective Tuesday, January 12, for both virtual and in-person instruction

  • Middle School             7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Secondary School      8:20 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.
  • High School                8:20 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.
  • Thomas Jefferson       8:40 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
  • Elementary School     9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or 9:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Revised Grading Policy

FCPS is committed to finding ways to ease the burdens of stress for our students, staff, and community. FCPS is taking the following steps to ensure a smooth transition into the new semester.

The grading policy has been revised for students across the school division. When the data showed that some students were struggling, FCPS took actions to realign expectations and make changes to help students adapt to the current conditions. These changes include:

  • Designating a score of 50 as the lowest grade on a 100-point scale.
  • Dropping the minimum number of assignments per quarter from nine to six.
  • Accepting late work on major assignments with minimal penalty.
  • Capping the maximum weight of an assignment or assessment at 20 percent.

Health Screening Commitment Form Required Prior to Student Return to School Buildings

As additional student groups return to school in person, parents and caregivers are asked to complete a Health Screening Commitment form before student(s) return to school buildings. This document confirms that a parent, caregiver, or guardian will complete a daily health screening and will keep their students home should they become ill.

The Health Commitment form can be submitted electronically through ParentVUE (PVUE), or via hard copy. Contact your child’s school to have a hard copy sent to you.

Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Together, students and staff can help stop the spread of illness in FCPS schools and buildings. The Fairfax County Health Department has information about where to get tested for COVID-19 in Fairfax and surrounding jurisdictions available online.

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

FCPS Announces Open Enrollment for Dual Language Immersion Programs

Fairfax County Public Schools’ online registration for the county-wide lottery for Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs will open on Monday, January 25.  Current prekindergarten students may apply for the kindergarten immersion program and current kindergarten students may apply for the first grade immersion programs for the 2021-22 school year. 

The kindergarten DLI programs are available in Korean and Spanish. Korean is available at Powell and Spanish is available at Bailey’s Primary, Fort Hunt, Lake Anne, Laurel Ridge, London Towne, and Rose Hill Elementary Schools.  First grade DLI programs are available at 12 elementary schools and are offered in French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.

Information Meetings Start on January 13

Parents who are interested in the DLI programs in FCPS are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming informational meetings. All meetings are held virtually. Information regarding virtual meeting access will be made available on the Dual Language Immersion registration site by the day of the meeting.

Get more information on Dual Language Immersion programs

FCPS Releases FY 2022-26 Capital Improvement Program

Fairfax County Public Schools has released its proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-26 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that focuses on capital projects, including new school construction, capacity enhancements, and renovations, reflecting schools for the current school year (2020-21) and a five-year requirement of approximately $1.1 billion.

The School Board has scheduled a work session on the FY 2022-26 CIP on Tuesday, January 5, from 1 to 3 p.m. and will hold a public hearing prior to its business meeting on Thursday, January 7, at 7 p.m. The Board is scheduled to vote on the CIP at its business meeting on Thursday, February 4. 

Details about the FY 2022-26 CIP are available online.

School Board Chooses Holistic Review as New Admissions Policy for TJHSST

The Fairfax County School Board has voted to change the admissions policy for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and TechnologyGet more information about the new TJHSST admissions policy.

Fairfax County School Board Approves New Policy on Restraint and Seclusion

The Fairfax County School Board has approved a new policy on Restraint and Seclusion, created to address the use of physical restraint and seclusion, effective immediately.

More information is available online

Video: Making Virtual Music—Annandale's Parent Orchestra

Annie Ray of Annandale Terrace Elementary School and Annandale High School discusses the orchestra program she created for the parents of her music students. Parents learn the same techniques taught in the classroom, so they can become more involved in their child's music education.