Return to School News - November 23, 2020

By Communication and Community Relations
November 23, 2020

Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed November 25-27 for Thanksgiving Holiday

As a reminder, schools and offices will be closed Wednesday, November 25 through Friday, November 27, for the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, December 1. Monday, November 30, is an asynchronous day. See the complete 2020-21 school year calendar

Celebrate Safely This Thanksgiving Holiday

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, some families may be planning to travel or have family and friends over for the holiday. This raises many concerns about the spread of the virus in our schools and community as staff and students return for in-person instruction after the break.

The Fairfax County Health Department recommends the following lower risk activities: having a dinner with people in your household; having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family; preparing recipes for family and neighbors via no-contact delivery; shopping online; and watching sports, parades, and movies from home. 

For more suggestions on how to celebrate the holiday safely, recent information from the CDC is posted online.

FCPS Returns Group 4 Students to All-Virtual Instruction Due to Rise in COVID-19 Metrics

As the pandemic continues to impact Fairfax County, FCPS reached out to all parents of students in group 4 on Sunday, November 22, to share that their children will return to virtual instruction until health conditions enable them to resume in-person classes.

Grab and Go Meals Update: Change in Distribution Schedule for Thanksgiving Week

Fairfax County Public Schools is committed to providing all students access to meals during the entire week of Thanksgiving.  Meals will be served on the normal schedule on Monday, November 23 at all Grab and Go sites and bus routes.

All school sites and bus routes will serve additional meals on Tuesday, November 24, as there will be no meal service between November 25–27.

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

Superintendent Brabrand to Host Spanish-Language Town Hall on Monday, November 30

Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand will host a Return to School Town Hall in Spanish on Monday, November 30, at 6:30 p.m. He will provide an update on the return to in-person instruction and answer questions. The Town Hall will be streamed live on FCPS Facebook en Español. It will also be available on FCPS cable channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and on the FCPS website. Email questions in advance to or send a message to the FCPS Spanish-Language Facebook page.  

November 19 Town Hall Available Online

The November 19 Town Hall with Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand and guests Michelle Boyd, assistant superintendent for special services; Dylan Taylor, principal of Willow Springs Elementary School; Erin Lenart, principal of Fairfax High School; and Jeff Platenberg, assistant superintendent of facilities and transportation, is now available online. The Town Hall discussed return to school issues, health metrics and decision-making guidance, and successful mitigation strategies.   

FCPS Names New Chief Academic Officer and Chief Equity Officer

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand has named Sloan Presidio, who currently serves as assistant superintendent for instructional services, as the district’s new Chief Academic Officer. Get more information about Sloan Presidio

In addition, Dr. Brabrand has named Lisa Williams, who currently serves as executive director of the Department of Equity and Cultural Proficiency in Baltimore County (Md.) Public Schools, as the district’s new Chief Equity Officer, effective December 30. Get more information about Lisa Williams

Photos of the Week

Take a look at this week's photos to see a physical education teacher sharing fitness tips during a supply pickup, a teacher honing her concurrent teaching skill, siblings participating in a food drive, and students playing a money sorting game. 

Tip Sheet for Parents: The Benefits of Volunteering This Holiday Season

Teen volunteers provide more than 2.4 billion hours of service each year. And these teens are not just making their communities better—they’re also doing something for themselves. Studies show that teens who volunteer just two hours a week are 50 percent less likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs. In addition, teens who volunteer tend to earn better grades and develop leadership skills that will help them throughout life.

Families who volunteer together also see real benefits. By spending time together and working towards the same goals, family members are able to see each other in new ways. 

Pandemic precautions have made it more challenging to find safe volunteer opportunities for teens and families, but there is no shortage of need. Editor's NoteVolunteer Fairfax has up-to-date volunteer opportunities for all ages, groups, and individuals. 

Here are some tips on how to make it work:

  • Take an inventory. Where do family members volunteer now? Would other family members like to join in?
  • Brainstorm. What other causes do family members care about? What organizations work on those issues? If organized volunteer projects are scarce, what needs in your community could your family help meet on your own? Could you organize others to help you?
  • Start small. Choose a one-time activity. If you like it, make plans to do more.

Copyright 2020, the Parent Institute. Get more tips for parents and other family engagement resources

Libya Doman Named 2020 Virginia Art Educator of the Year; Erinn Harris Named Recipient of JEA-NSPA Pioneer Award

Libya Doman, who teaches art at Lynbrook Elementary School, has been named the 2020 Virginia Art Educator of the Year and Virginia Elementary Art Educator of the Year by the Virginia Art Education Association. 

Also, Erinn Harris, who teaches and advises broadcast journalism, journalism, and photojournalism at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), has been named a recipient of the Journalism Education Association-National Scholastic Press Association’s (JEA-NSPA) Pioneer Award.

FCPS Wins Three Awards in 2020 CHESPRA Communications Contest

Fairfax County Public Schools has won three awards in the 2020 CHESPRA (Chesapeake Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association) communications contest. The contest recognizes outstanding publications, web, and television communications produced by public school districts and private schools located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

More information on FCPS' CHESPRA awards is available online.

FCPS in the News