Reopening Schools Plan - Full-time Online Instruction

In this option, students are served online for the full year based on family request

Full-time Online Learning by Request

The Reopening Schools Plan offers families the option of a full-time online instruction as a replacement to in-person instruction within FCPS school buildings. Family decisions to participate in this model are made based primarily on concerns about the potential for virus exposure with attendance at a school site. This option is available for any family with the commitment to continue full-time online instruction for the entire school year. If health conditions improve that would allow FCPS to resume in-person instruction for all students, the division will reassess its operating status and any additional options for families at that time.


This model involves four days per week of teacher-directed/synchronous instruction and one day per week of independent/asynchronous learning. Students taking courses through this full-time online model are likely to have larger class sizes than their peers taking the same course in-person with social distancing at the school. Specific schedules for online instruction will be finalized and communicated in mid-August 2020, as family intent forms are collected and processed, allowing schools to assign students to specific classes.

  • Elementary School:
    At the elementary level, FCPS staff provide approximately 2.5-3.5 hours per day of direct, synchronous instruction (whole group, small group, and individual). FCPS staff will also provide specialized instruction, as needed, such as ESOL or special education services. The amount of special education service will be determined by IEP teams. Consideration will be given to individualized student needs. Elementary students will have opportunities to participate in choice activities each day to practice skills and extend their learning away from a computer screen. 
  • Middle and High School:
    Schedules will vary depending on assigned courses and will align to the base school whenever possible.

sample schedule for online instruction


All courses necessary to fulfill Standards of Learning and graduation requirements are guaranteed for students. However, it is not certain that students will be able to participate in all courses they originally selected, including electives, honors sections, and special programs. Families should recognize that full-time online instruction may not be able to support some specialized programs and course offerings that would otherwise be available to enhance student options and experiences, such as immersion, magnet, International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), and certain career and technical education (CTE) and fine arts electives.

Specific course offerings will be dependent on matching student course requests to teacher availability. The division will expand online course offerings to fulfill all state requirements and will adjust traditional service models for special education, ESOL, and advanced academic programs to accommodate the full-time virtual learning environment. Elementary and middle school curriculum includes instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, health and physical education, etc. High school curriculum will vary based on course enrollment, with students having the opportunity to access core and elective courses necessary to fulfill graduation requirements. 

To the extent possible, elementary and middle school students will be served by dedicated online FCPS teachers in a cohort model with other students from their school, their region, or the division. Courses will be taught using online courseware and digital curriculum resources along with synchronous direct instruction and support from an online FCPS teacher. High school students will be served through a combination of Online Campus courses, Virtual Virginia courses, and specialized course instruction from FCPS staff.  When a cohort model cannot be established for a course or grade level, a hybrid model may be leveraged, in which staff support a combination of in-person and online learners using blended learning strategies and digital resources. 

Family Commitments

Families are asked to communicate their intent to participate in this model by mid-July and commit to continuing with full-time online instruction for the full academic year. Families should be prepared to support their children’s active participation in all online learning activities. They will need to ensure their children have adequate space, materials, and technology access for their daily online instruction, requesting school assistance to provide a laptop and internet service, as needed. Families will need to be ready to follow the established daily learning schedule and will need to work with school staff to arrange for their children to participate in standardized assessments assessments and other mandated educational activities.

Reopening Schools Plan - Complete Information