Return to School News - October 5, 2020

By Communication and Community Relations
October 05, 2020

Message from the Superintendent

This week marks the beginning of phased in-person cohort learning at FCPS. By the end of October, FCPS plans to offer in-p erson instruction to approximately 3.5 percent of FCPS students. Learn more in this video message from Superintendent Brabrand

On-Time Graduation Rate Increases for the FCPS Class of 2020

Graduation rates released by the Virginia Department of Education indicate that 93.0 percent of Fairfax County Public Schools students in the class of 2020 graduated on time, up from 91.2 percent in 2019. The on-time graduation rate for the state in 2020 was 92.3 percent compared with 91.5 percent in 2019.
Get more information about the FCPS graduation rate

Photos of the Week

In this week’s photos, see butterflies being released, a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, bus drivers lending a hand to students taking the SATs, and students and teachers interacting virtually.

Calendar Reminder: Student Holiday on Monday, October 12, for School Planning Day

As a reminder, Monday, October 12, is a school planning day and a student holiday. 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 this student holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, October 13.

See the complete 2020-21 school year calendar

Second TJHSST Admissions Virtual Town Hall to Be Held on Wednesday, October 7, at 5 p.m.

Join Superintendent Brabrand for the second virtual town hall on proposed admissions process changes for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) on Wednesday, October 7, beginning at 5 p.m. The Town Hall will be broadcast live on FCPS cable TV Channel 99 (Cox and Comcast) or channel 11 (Verizon) and on the FCPS website

Families and community members can submit comments to or call into the town hall live to ask questions during the event at 1-800-231-6359.

Video: Bobcat Book Bus at Pine Spring Elementary School

The Region 2 transportation team joined with staff at Pine Spring Elementary School to organize book buses to travel the neighborhood and provide independent reading books to students. Walkers and bikers were also able to stop by the school and pick up books. Watch the video.

Fairfax County Public Library Checkout Now Available to All Students

Effective October 1, all FCPS students (preK-12) are able to check out materials from the Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL), even if they don’t have a traditional library card or a card has been blocked due to fines. 

Under the Library Equity Access Pass program (LEAP), a partnership with FCPS and FCPL, students need only their name, not a physical library card, to check out three items at a time for six weeks each (no renewals). LEAP accounts are never charged fines or fees.  

A student can have a LEAP account in addition to a standard library account. Standard accounts allow users to place holds on materials and access FCPL’s digital resources, such as eBooks and databases. 

Families can apply for a standard account online and in library branches.  

FCPS Is Providing Free Meals for Students 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that FCPS and other school districts can continue serving free meals to all children through December 31. FCPS has distributed more than 3.1 million grab and go meals since schools closed in March. The goal is to provide every FCPS student daily access to a nutritious breakfast and lunch.

Buses are delivering grab and go meals throughout the county. Several new bus routes have been added and some bus stop locations have changed. Any changes to bus routes are posted on the website by 5 p.m. each day. Meals on buses will be distributed Monday through Friday beginning at 6:30 a.m. Information about bus routes for food distribution is available online.

If there are bus delays while distributing grab and go meals, the information will be posted on the FCPS Bus Delay website. FCPS will also send a message to the affected school communities if a bus route is delayed.
Grab and go service hours at school sites have been extended to 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) with both breakfast and lunch being served at the same time. 

Please Note: Breakfast and lunch meals for Saturdays and Sundays are now being distributed at all sites and bus routes each Friday.  

FCPS Virtual College Week Set for October 19-23

This year, FCPS is holding a Virtual College Week October 19-23 instead of the traditional College Fair and College Night activities. Students and their parents may participate in one or all of several live virtual sessions. Participants will learn about the current college admissions process and how to be better prepared for the next chapter of their educational journey.

Advance registration is required. You will receive a unique access link 24 hours before the event(s) that you register to attend.

Video: Virtual Learning Tech Tips—Printing at Home

If you would like to be able to use your home wifi printer with your student’s FCPS laptop, check out this video for instructions on how to do so. Watch the video

Virtual Learning Playlist

The virtual learning playlist includes several videos about digital citizenship, technology tips, and how to keep your FCPS laptop and other features ready for student success. Go to the virtual learning playlist

Northern Virginia Community College Offering Select Courses to FCPS Seniors; Virtual Chat to Be Held Tuesday, October 6

This fall, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) will offer select college courses at a third of the cost to Fairfax County high school seniors. Courses are eight weeks in length and will begin October 20. Students must meet placement requirements and understand there may be textbooks or other material fees associated with courses. Since these classes are all online, classes will not meet in real time. Students will need access to a computer and the internet. 

The online courses are not intended to replace any 2020-21 classes for which students are already registered at their high school. The program provides an accelerated opportunity to earn transferable, college-only credits.
NOVA will host a Zoom NOVA/FCPS Early College and Spring Programs chat tomorrow, Tuesday, October 6, from 6-7 p.m. Advance registration is required

Details about the Online Early College Program are available online

Healthy Minds Podcast: Help Prevent Youth Suicide with FCPS' Acknowledge. Care. Tell. (ACT) Program

In this week's Healthy Minds podcast, meet Whitney McDonough, a social worker at West Potomac High School and FCPS employee for over 25 years. 

McDonough provides information and resources about teen suicide prevention and a program available to FCPS parents and students called SOS, or Signs of Suicide. Participants also learn how to Acknowledge, Care, and Tell or ACT.

FCPS in the News