Return to School Update for Monday, January 3

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
January 02, 2022

January 2, 2022

Dear FCPS Families;

We want to remind you that we are planning to return from winter break to in-person learning tomorrow, Monday, January 3. We believe that in-person instruction is best for our students and we are committed to keeping our schools open, following the guidance of US Secretary of Education Cardona, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Fairfax County Health Department.

It is possible that short-term closures of classrooms will be necessary, and you will be contacted by your school should this happen. Please remember that your children should be bringing their laptops home from school every day. 

Here are some important health reminders:

As with any illness, please keep your child home from school if they are not feeling well. 

Please make sure that your child has plenty of well-fitting masks, and remind your child to wash their hands frequently during the school day. Schools have plenty of soap and hand sanitizer available and additional masks should your child need them. If your child has not been vaccinated, please take advantage of the clinics across the region. 

If your child is symptomatic and awaiting test results, please have your child/student stay home until they receive their results. We are aware that test results are taking longer than expected due to the holiday.

If your child has been in contact with someone who has tested positive but is asymptomatic, please stay home until you have received a negative test result.

Anyone who is asymptomatic and was not exposed to anyone with COVID but chose to take a COVID test, does not need to wait for test results to come to school. 

As always, please follow the process outlined on the website should your child test positive. If your child tested positive for COVID during the holidays and has been cleared by a medical professional or the Health Department, you do not need to notify your school.

We are aware of the recent CDC announcement that changes the recommended quarantine and isolation periods and we are working with the Fairfax County Health Department to determine how this impacts schools. For now, we will be following our existing guidelines regarding returning to school or work following an exposure.  Please be aware that the Fairfax County Health Department will only be contacting close contacts via email due to the significant increase in cases. Guidance regarding quarantine will be provided to those contacts in the email communication. 

StreamIN/CheckIN is available for students who are paused, quarantined, or isolated due to COVID-19 through the school, Health Department or a medical provider.

Diagnostic testing for symptomatic students will be available following our regular schedule starting Monday, January 3. Visit our website for site locations and schedules. Please remember that these testing sites are located at schools that are in session. We continue to anticipate high demand for testing and ask that you have patience. Appointments are not needed for student diagnostic testing but registration in the secure online portal is required. Students will need to provide their FCPS student ID number. Please be aware that this is a very fluid situation based on demand and we will post updates regarding capacity and updates to the schedule on the website and FCPS Twitter accounts. The Gatehouse testing site is for staff only.

Optional screening testing through LTS for vaccinated and unvaccinated students with parent/guardian permission resumes Monday, January 3.  All student COVID-19 testing requires parent/guardian permission and registration in the secure online portal. Refer to our website for more information about optional screening testing for students.

Finally, attendance policies have not changed and can be found on our website.

Please know that we are watching the weather forecast for Monday morning as well and will share a separate update should we expect that our school operations will be impacted.