Return to School News- September 28, 2020

By Communications and Community Relations Staff
September 28, 2020

Photos of the Week

Check out this week's photos to see dedicated teachers hard at work encouraging school spirit and assembling individual packets for science and art, and students posting their wishes for the year.

FCPS Superintendent Presents Phased Return to School Plan

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand presented a plan to the Fairfax County School Board to begin in-person instruction in a phased plan for small groups—or cohorts—of students who are likely to experience the greatest challenges with distance learning.  

The cohorts include select special education programs, English language learners and newcomers, and select career and technical education courses. The Board approved a motion in support of the Superintendent’s Operational Level 2 plan to bring in small cohorts of students in October for in-person instruction.

Get more information about the Return to School plan.

Two Fairfax County Schools Named 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Two Fairfax County public schools—Fairhill Elementary School and Poplar Tree Elementary School—have been named 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The Fairfax County schools are among seven schools in Virginia receiving the honor this year.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors high performing schools and schools making exemplary progress toward closing achievement gaps. Poplar Tree Elementary was recognized for overall achievement. Fairhill Elementary was recognized for progress toward closing achievement gaps.

Get more information about FCPS’ Blue Ribbon Schools

Video: Kings Glen Elementary School Teacher Lisa Rode Is Virginia's Region 4 Teacher of the Year

On September 19, Lisa Rode, who teaches sixth grade at Kings Glen Elementary School, was named the Region 4 Teacher of the Year. She's now a finalist for the Virginia Teacher of the Year! Watch this video to see her get the surprise news.  

Free Meals for Students During the School Year

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 2.9 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.

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. 

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.

Please Note: Breakfast and lunch meals for Saturdays and Sundays will be distributed at all sites and bus routes each Friday.  

Technology Resources Available

FCPS has created many resources to help you and your child with virtual learning. These resources provide instructions on how to solve many simple technology challenges, and are available in multiple languages.

Visit the Technology Support for Families page on the FCPS website, and scroll to the bottom for help on things like troubleshooting the sound or camera on an FCPS laptop, using Blackboard Collaborate, logging into a Google Meet session, and using your Parent View account. When you click on the topic, you can select your preferred language for the videos, including Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese. Many technology problems can be solved by viewing these resources. 

Video: TJHSST Admissions Town Hall Meeting

If you missed the virtual Town Hall meeting with Superintendent Brabrand on Wednesday, September 23, that discussed the admissions process at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), you can see the complete meeting online. Watch the video.  

Please Note: Another Town Hall meeting on TJHSST admissions will be held on Wednesday, October 7, from 5 to 6 p.m.

FCPS Virtual Mental Health and Wellness Conference Ends October 3

FCPS is hosting its seventh Annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference over a three-week period that lasts through Saturday, October 3. The virtual event will focus on resiliency. Our Minds Matter will also host a student strand. Inova and Kaiser Permanente are sponsoring the conference.

Registration information and the complete schedule and list of speakers are available online

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is acknowledged annually from September 15-October 15. The celebration was created to honor the rich history, culture, and many contributions of Hispanic Americans. Learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month.

Healthy Minds Podcast: Social-Emotional Learning

Meet Olde Creek Elementary School psychologist Ellen Goldberger in this week's Healthy Minds podcast. Goldberger addresses the important issue of self-control; knowing how to recognize when children (and adults) are losing self-control and tips on how to regain it. These strategies can also help families during the ongoing virtual learning days and into the future. 

Facebook Live Event Tonight at 7 p.m.: Youth Suicide—What to Look for and Where to Go for Help

Join the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board tonight, Monday, September 28, at 7 p.m. for a discussion on Facebook Live with clinicians on signs a child or young person you care about might be at risk for suicide, what therapy is like, and resources available in our community. 

New Programs Offer Support for Parents, Students During COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairfax County government’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) is offering two programs to support parents, guardians, and students in distance learning.

Parent Connect provides in-person services for parents and guardians at NCS Community Centers and other community locations. Assistance includes support related to digital literacy and Internet access; support related to language barriers; and connection to county Health and Human Services resources, service navigation and referrals. Beginning today, Monday, September 28, these services are offered by appointment only Monday through Friday, 3-8 p.m., though times may vary by location.

NCS Connects: After School is a virtual platform providing programming for youth and teens Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. Virtual programs include academics (i.e., STEAM), family engagement, service learning, and youth leadership development.

More information is available online.

FCPS in the News