Return to School News - November 9, 2020

By Communication and Community Relations
November 09, 2020

FCPS Continues Gradual Return to In-Person Instruction

On November 16, Group 5 students are scheduled to return. This group includes Early Head Start (infants and toddlers); PreK (three- and four-year-olds); Kindergarten; Intensive Support Needs (students instructed with modified curriculum for at least 50 percent of their core courses and instructed in special education settings 50 percent or more of their instructional day); the Vision Program at Robinson Secondary School; Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) Programs at Canterbury Woods Elementary School, Frost Middle School, and Woodson High School; and students with 50 percent or more of core content areas in special education settings.

Message for Parents of PreK-2 Students Remaining All-Virtual

FCPS continues to hear from parents that learning online can be challenging for our youngest learners (preK-grade 2). Flexibility and patience are important for all of us as we navigate virtual school. We understand that online learning may be asking our young learners to use skills they have not yet fully developed and this may be frustrating both to them and the adults supporting them. 

FCPS is committed to meeting your child’s needs and will be flexible as your child develops online learning skills and stamina. During online learning, know that teachers can make adjustments such as shortening screen time. In addition, families can choose to institute breaks when they notice a child is struggling. If you feel your child needs a more significant adjustment to their day, please reach out to the teacher or school administrator to talk through your concerns. 

Return to School Is Key Topic of November 12 School Board Work Session

At a November 12 School Board work session, Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand will provide an update on FCPS’s return to in-person instruction. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and can be seen on FCPS Cable TV channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11) or on the FCPS website

Calendar Reminder: Wednesday, November 11, Is an All-Virtual, Two-Hour Early Release Day

As a reminder, Wednesday, November 11, is a two-hour early release day in honor of Veteran’s Day and will be a virtual learning day for all students. There will be no in-person classes on November 11. Classes will resume on Thursday, November 12. All remaining early release days during the 2020-21 school year will be all virtual

School Board Votes to Make Changes to 2020-21 Calendar

The Fairfax County School Board has voted to make Inauguration Day—Wednesday, January 20, 2021—a holiday for Fairfax County Public Schools students and employees, and Juneteenth—June 19, 2021—a holiday for employees that will be observed on Friday, June 18, 2021.

On the 2020-21 school year calendar, January 20, 2021, had been listed as an instructional day for students and regular workday for all employees.

Previously, during every fourth year, Inauguration Day was designated as a holiday for students and employees. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently authorized its 2021 holiday schedule, which includes Inauguration Day as a holiday for Fairfax County employees. 

In an effort to further create an inclusive environment, Juneteenth was included as a holiday in 2020; it was recently included by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors as a holiday for county employees. Virginia has also passed legislation to observe Juneteenth as an official holiday for state employees.

See the complete 2020-21 school year calendar

Video: Concurrent Instruction at Brookfield Elementary School

Take another look into how concurrent instruction will look in FCPS. This time, check out a kindergarten classroom at Brookfield Elementary SchoolWatch the video

FCPS Question of the Week: Return to School Forms

Q: My child is scheduled to return to school in-person this month. Are there any forms I need to fill out?

A: Yes. Parents and guardians who chose in-school instruction for their child will be required to complete a Parent-Guardian Health Screening Commitment form as students are phased back into in-person learning. The document indicates the parent or guardian’s agreement and commitment to completing a daily health screening prior to sending the student to school and to keep ill students at home.

The form will be sent home to families prior to their student resuming in-school instruction and must be returned before your child returns to school. Parents or guardians may choose to provide their response electronically or to return a hard copy form with their signature.

The form can be found online and is available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese. 

Family Guide for Return to School

Fairfax County Public Schools is partnering with families to ensure we keep students and staff safe and healthy as we return to school buildings for learning. Working together, we will follow recommended health guidance that focuses on student and staff health, safety, and emotional well-being. 

The FCPS Family Guide for Return to School has a wealth of information on topics like concurrent instruction, lunch and recess, the mandatory mask policy, laptops, and health protocols.

FCPS Student Athletes to Return to VHSL Competition in December

Fairfax County Public Schools student athletes will be allowed to return to Virginia High School League (VHSL) competition in December, according to an Executive Order signed recently by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. School divisions will be expected to abide by the Guidelines for Return to Participation, developed by the VHSL in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health. These Guidelines address safety standards on a sport by sport basis.

FCPS plans to begin practice for the winter season on December 7 for basketball and on December 14 for all other winter sports.

More information is available online

Important Update on Grab and Go Meals: Delivery Times and Some Bus Stop Locations Changing

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.

Beginning Monday, November 9, grab and go bus delivery times and some bus stop locations will change. 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) at the same time daily at no-cost to any student who attends in-person instruction at any school. 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.

Photos of the Week

Check out this week’s photos to see librarians providing curbside delivery of library books, bus drivers helping distribute plexiglass shields for teachers,  students doing pumpkin math at home and being welcomed back to school. 

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.

November 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 as well as tips and ideas to support you and your family.

The November issue is available online

Healthy Minds Podcast: Healthy Minds Supports Youth and Teens in Fairfax County

In this week's podcast, learn about Healthy Minds’ short-term behavioral health resources and peer support partners (available at low or no cost) that can help struggling children and teens across Fairfax County.

James Gillespie, director of Youth Services for Healthy Minds Fairfax, addresses some of the mental health trends underway during the current pandemic and how parents can access help for their children and themselves. Listen to the podcast

FCPS Launches New COVID-19 Dashboard 

FCPS has launched a COVID-19 dashboard to share COVID-19 cases that have been self-reported to us. As of Monday, November 2, the FCPS COVID-19 dashboard has been separated and will present case data by school and case type (student, staff, visitor). The dashboard will be updated daily. 

This data should be interpreted with caution as it only reflects cases that have been shared with FCPS through self-reporting and may not be aligned to future epidemiological investigations. Case reports indicate the total number of COVID-19 cases self-reported to principals, administrators, and program managers. Reports were shared with the Fairfax County Health Department to initiate contact tracing.

Updated information is available on the FCPS website

November’s Walking Wednesday Will Be Held on November 18

Get some fresh air and keep moving on November’s Walking Wednesday, November 18, an opportunity for students and their families to walk in their neighborhoods for a boost of energy and for neighbors to reconnect at a safe social distance. Families are encouraged to find ways to cheer on their neighbors as they walk in their neighborhoods.

November’s event is dedicated to Ruby Bridges, the elementary student who, as the first African American student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, was escorted to school by federal marshals in 1960.

Get more information about November’s Walking Wednesday

A Commitment to a Safe Learning and Working Environment

Fairfax County Public Schools ("FCPS") is committed to a learning and working environment free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, as defined under Federal Title IX regulation (34 C.F.R. Part 106). For more information about filing a formal complaint against a student, please see Regulation 2118, and for complaints against an employee see Regulation 4950. File a formal complaint of sexual harassment

More information about the FCPS Title IX Response is available online, or contact the FCPS Title IX Coordinator, Office of Equity and Employee Relations, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042 by phone at 571-423-3070, or by email at

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