Return to School News - March 1, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
March 01, 2021

Safe, Steady, Ready: Kindergartners Return to In-Person Learning; Grades 8, 9, and 12 Return on March 2

On Tuesday, February 23, approximately 7,000 students, including kindergartners, returned to in-person learning. Teachers were excited to welcome our youngest learners on their first day in the classroom and to teach them about school routines, where to put their supplies, and how to be safe with social distancing and the five FCPS mitigation strategies. Students were full of energy as they finally got to meet their teachers and classmates in person. 

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 2, 25,000 Group 8 students—including grades 8, 9, and 12—will return to in-person learning. For our high school freshmen, it will be their first day in their new schools! FCPS is following a steady and measured approach in order to return all students who previously selected to do so to school by March 16. Be sure check with your school on which two days your student will attend each week.

Calendar Reminder: Two-Hour Early Dismissal on March 5, Student Holiday on March 8

As a reminder, students will be dismissed two-hours early on Friday, March 5, and Monday, March 8, is a staff development day and student holiday. On both days, teachers will participate in a variety of professional development and planning activities and will not be available for office hours. Students are not expected to complete asynchronous assignments on the March 8 student holiday. See the complete 2020-21 school year calendar.

Is Your Child Ready to Return to School?

Here are tips on how parents can help reduce anxieties some students may feel returning to in-person learning for the first time in nearly a year.

Also, be sure to visit the return to school checklist online to make sure they have the items needed for in-person learning.

March Is Equity Month; FCPS Team Works to Eliminate Gaps in Opportunity and Achievement for All Students

The Fairfax County School Board—in conjunction with the Virginia School Boards Association—observes March as Equity Month, a division-wide opportunity to ensure that all students have the same opportunities and abilities to achieve.

Since joining the One Fairfax initiative in 2017, the Board has prioritized equity and established an Equity and Cultural Responsiveness team to ensure implementation of culturally responsive practices for all stakeholders.

Get more information about Equity Month.

FCPS Featured on National Sunday News Show

Holmes Middle School staff and Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand engaged in discussion about the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) six-foot social distancing limitations on in-person learning. Learn more in this CNN interview.

FCPS Newsletter Poll Closing on March 5

On March 17, this newsletter, Return to School News, will be changing its distribution day from Mondays to Wednesdays. In anticipation of the move, please help us better meet your needs by sharing your thoughts on a new newsletter name, the time of day you prefer to receive the newsletter, the type of information you are most interested in, and whether you would like to receive a separate newsletter on Friday mornings featuring major School Board updates. The deadline to reply to the poll is Friday, March 5

Take the FCPS Newsletter poll.

Video: A Warm Welcome for Kindergartners at Navy Elementary School

Kindergartners had their first day of in-person instruction at Navy Elementary School and across FCPS last week. Teachers were excited to see their students face-to-face and make new kinds of connections. 

Students at Fairhill Elementary were following the rules and having fun at the same time. 

And at Wakefield Forest Elementary, kindergartners enjoyed their first day of in-person instruction.

Draft Calendars for 2021-22 School Year

Draft calendars for the 2021-22 school year were developed with a focus on instruction and learning time for students. The Fairfax County School Board will introduce the calendars as new business at its March 4 meeting and vote on the calendar on March 18. 

View the draft calendars.

Photos of the Week

This week's photos highlight students returning to school buildings as well as a spotlight on Custodian Appreciation Week. 

Watch the Regional Scholastic Art Awards Ceremony on March 3

The recognition ceremony for winners of the 2021 Regional Scholastic Art Awards will be held virtually on Wednesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. The show will be streamed on the FCPS website and broadcast, available only for those who live in Fairfax County and have a cable provider on Cox (Channel 99 and Channel 1099); Comcast (Channel 99 and Channel 1094); and Verizon (Channel 11).

Video: FCPS 2021 Football Season Kick Off

The Robinson Secondary School Rams were among the teams that opened the FCPS 2021 football season on Monday, February 22. Coaches, staff, and fans followed safety guidelines to ensure the return to play was a safe one.

Save the Date: FCPS Virtual Special Education Conference Set for April 17

FCPS will hold its 16th annual Special Education Conference virtually on Saturday, April 17. Registration will begin in March. A student strand will be held for youth ages 14-22. FCPS educators, administrators, and pre-service teachers can earn recertification points for attending the conference. Exhibit Hall and Inclusive Schools resources will be shared.

Visit the Special Education Conference webpage for more information

Cappies Review of Fairfax High School's Production of Good Afternoon, Angel

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 fifteen Cappies chapters across the United States and Canada. 

The Cappies continues this year with virtual performances. Students learning through the theater 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.   

This review of Fairfax High School's virtual production of Good Afternoon, Angel is written by Emilia Ermanoski of McLean High School.

Applications Wanted for Student Representative to the School Board for 2021-22 School Year, Deadline Is April 7

Each year, FCPS students can apply for the position of the student representative to the School Board. The student representative is not a member of the School Board but serves in a nonvoting, advisory capacity, representing the interests of the students of Fairfax County Public Schools. 

Students who are currently in grades 9, 10, and 11 are eligible to apply, and they do not need to be current members of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SAC). Applications are due by April 7

The application and more information are available online

Donate to the Foundation for FCPS

Thanks to our generous community, the Foundation for FCPS raised nearly $250,000 since July 2020 to support students in need during this pandemic. Funds were used to provide internet access, school supply kits, and grocery gift cards for Title I schools and students who are experiencing homelessness.
Looking forward, the Foundation for FCPS continues to work in partnership with the entire FCPS system and community to create pathways to long-term success for students. The pandemic has further revealed financial disparities that exist and the Foundation raises crucial funds to help address these needs.

Your financial gift to the Foundation supports FCPS in three focus areas: Teacher Grants, FCPS Honors and Employee Recognition Programs, and Kids in Need.

Get more information on the Foundation’s website

High School Students Invited to Fairfax County 2021 Virtual Teen Job Fairs

Fairfax County high school students looking for their first part-time job, summer and seasonal job opportunities, or who want more information about potential career pathways are invited to attend one of six upcoming teen job fairs and resume building workshops in Fairfax County. Local businesses and agencies will be on hand to offer a range of opportunities including part-time employment, internships, and volunteer work for prospective students.

Volunteer opportunities and resume building workshops will also be available for younger students. The first two job fairs will be held on Saturday, March 13, from 2 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Students can register for the March 13 Job Fair and the March 20 Job Fair.

Crossfield Librarian Welcomes Kindergarteners Back with "First Time Since November" Video

Crossfield Elementary School librarian Heather Baucum has gone full-on princess to welcome back kindergartners to the school building. Rewriting the lyrics to Disney’s Frozen “For the First Time in Forever,” she contributed to the excitement for return to school with her "First Time Since November" video

FCPS in the News: