Return to School - Frequently Asked Questions for Staff

Questions and answers about the Fall 2020 Return to School Plan for Staff

Staff-Specific Information

Leave and Telework

Will telework and leave policies for staff remain in place for the 2020-2021 school year to address medical and childcare concerns? 6/24/20

FCPS is creating a regulation to address teleworking options moving forward.  

Individuals with health concerns may qualify for an accommodation in the workplace and are encouraged to submit requests for such accommodations as soon as possible using the ADA form. Older adults, those 65 years or older, and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Some of these medical conditions include chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, immunocompromised, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, and liver disease. For more information about requesting an ADA accommodation based on a medical condition, click here. Questions can be sent to

Employees who do not qualify for ADA accommodations based on an individual health condition, but have health-related concerns such living with someone who is medically fragile or has a compromised immune system, may consider:

FFCRA options noted below.

Questions about these leave options can be addressed to:

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides for additional paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Please see FFCRA information. These provisions apply from April 1 through December 31, 2020. If an employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons, they should notify their principal or program manager as soon as possible. Please visit the Fairfax County website for additional childcare options.

Will there be any changes to FCPS sick leave for 2020-2021? (7/2/20)

Pay and leave time administration will be slightly different for the remainder of calendar year 2020.  Additional pay/leave time will be provided to employees affected by COVID-19 related reasons for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and/or emergency family medical leave extension (EFMLE) under the recent provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  More information on the FFCRA is available at   

Normal employee sick time accruals will continue with each pay period.  Employees are always encouraged to stay home when not feeling well, but during this pandemic period, those directions become even more important.  If an employee does not feel well, they should not come into the workplace and either make arrangements with their supervisor to work remotely where possible or access sick leave as needed.

If an employee is required to self-quarantine, will they have to take leave? If so, what kind? (7/10/20)

Employees who have been directed to self-quarantine should inform their supervisors and the disability and leave unit in DHR.  Pay and leave will be provided as the individual’s situation evolves.  In a case where the employee is self-quarantined because they are symptomatic, seek treatment and don’t become ill, the employee can submit a request for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and two weeks of pay/leave will be provided, without the need for accessing their existing sick balances.  If the employee requires additional time, pay/leave will be determined based on the reason for the need to extend leave.  A variety of supports are available (sick/annual accruals, EFMLE, FMLA, STD, LTD, LOA) and are determined based on the circumstances of the individual situation. Additional information is available at

Which staff members are eligible to complete an ADA accommodation request? (7/17/20) 

Any employee within FCPS who has a medical condition that may impact their ability to work, should consider completing a request for an ADA accommodation. ADA accommodation requests can be submitted at any time. For more information about ADA accommodations, please review our website.  

Where can I find additional information about ADA accommodations questions? (7/17/20) 

Please visit ADA Accommodation Resource Page on the internet or the COVID-19 ADA Accommodations FAQ found on the intranet.  VPN is required to access this page.

How will pregnancy be treated with regard to telework options? 7/2/20 

Teachers who are pregnant may qualify for telework options.  It is dependent upon what underlying issues may be associated with that pregnancy.  In any case, a doctor’s note would be needed to confirm the accommodation.

In the distance learning model, can a staff member teach and/or provide support to students while not residing locally?  7/24/20

When schools are in session all school staff must be in a commutable distance from their designated work location. This provides school administrators with the flexibility to meet with staff in-person to support the school’s instructional program and student and families on-going needs. Exceptions may be approved by a principal or program manager for extenuating/unique circumstances, such as a family emergency, for a short duration.     

Provisions are provided for eligible employees to apply for a Leave of Absences or engage in the FMLA process. A leave of absence request for SY20-21 must be submitted by 7/31/2020. 


Will there be any changes to the 2020-2021 student and/or staff calendar? (7/10/20)

The School Board voted to support the Superintendent’s recommendation to move the start date for students to September 8 to give school administrators added time to plan schedules and staffing assignments for both virtual and in-person instruction and provide teachers additional professional development and planning time, when they return in August. There are no other changes to the student calendar. The staff reporting dates will not change. 

Distance Learning

What platform(s) will be used to provide distance learning and will schools/ teachers have a choice in what they use? 7/2/20

Teachers may choose to use FCPS 24-7 Learning (Blackboard) or Google Classroom as their Learning Management System (LMS). There are seventeen schools who will be piloting Schoology during SY2020-21. Teachers at those schools will use Schoology as their LMS and may choose to integrate Google within that system.

Health and Safety 

An FCPS health and safety guidance document, created in collaboration with the Fairfax County Health has been posted online. The document includes information about health and safety protocols for schools and classrooms and is available online at:

Under what circumstances would a student or staff member be required to quarantine at home due to exposure to COVID-19?  How does contract investigation work when a COVID-19 case is determined? (7/10/20- updated 7/17/20)

Below are links from the Virginia Department of Health that outline the process of contact tracing and investigation.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in school, the Health Department will work closely with school administrators to determine a course of action for the school. The process will be as follows:

  • Isolation of the individual

  • The student (and their parents/guardians) or staff member will be interviewed to determine possible exposures inside and outside of the school

  • The student/staff will be isolated at home and the Health Department will monitor them daily

  • Identification of all who had close contact (defined as 6 feet for greater than 15 minutes) with the COVID-19 positive student(s)/staff and quarantine them.

  • Each close contact will be interviewed for symptoms, asked to get tested between days 5-7 after the exposure, and will be monitored by the health department for the duration of their quarantine

Additional information can be found here.  

Will parents and staff be notified of a positive COVID-19 case in their school? (7/17/20)

FCPS will follow the guidelines and protocols of the Health Department. More information can be found here

What is the protocol if a student/staff member has been exposed to COVID-19 outside of school? (7/17/20)

The student/staff member would be advised to seek medical assistance from their healthcare provider to determine the risk associated with the exposure. More information can be found here

What will the protocols be if someone in the school community (student, teacher, staff member, sibling that does not attend the school, parent) tests positive for COVID-19? (7/10/20)

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) will complete a contact investigation of individuals with confirmed cases. FCPS will act in accordance to the findings of the FCHD investigations as it relates to quarantine individuals, closing a particular class or a school. 

What should individuals be looking for when purchasing or making a cloth face covering? (7/10/20)

The CDC site repeatedly encourages the use of cloth face coverings so that surgical masks and N-95s can be reserved for medical professionals to conserve on PPE shortages. While cloth face coverings don't offer the same type of protection as medical grade masks, they are recommended as they do provide a level of protection for the wearer.

Cotton that is tightly woven is a very good choice, should be at least two layers thick, provide breathability,  and should fit snugly yet comfortable against the side of the face. They should be secured with ties or ear loops and also be washable and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

Please click on the below links for additional information:…;

Will additional nurses be added to schools? (7/10/20)

Public Health Nurses (PHN) are funded and employed by Fairfax County Government. The FCPS School Board approved providing funding for 5 additional PHN positions this coming year. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has a multi-year plan to increase the number of PHNs that support schools.

Will additional custodial staffing be provided to support cleaning of buildings? 6/26/20

No. Current daytime custodians will focus on cleaning high touch areas (doorknobs, handles, fixtures, etc.) with a medical grade sanitizing solution with frequent monitoring and cleaning of restrooms throughout the day.  Each evening additional deeper cleaning will be provided by evening custodians.  Contracted cleaning services will be available if needed to provide response cleaning.

What is FCPS doing to ensure clean air circulation in FCPS buildings? 7/2/20

FCPS follows CDC and Virginia Health Department guidance to reduce the risk for exposure to coronavirus.  Schools are designed to ventilate outdoor air throughout the day to reduce the buildup of pollutants and odors. Maintenance staff conduct routine and preventative maintenance on all mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems – including replacing air filters. Custodians and operating engineers conduct building checks to identify where workers might be at risk while at work (e.g., checking exhaust fans in restrooms for proper operation).  In areas where an indoor air quality concern is identified we use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to enhance air cleaning.   

Is school ventilation adequately monitored? (7/10/20- updated 7/16/20) 

FCPS follows WHO, CDC and Virginia Health Department guidance to reduce the risk for exposure to coronavirus. Schools are designed to ventilate outdoor air throughout the day to reduce the buildup of pollutants and odors.  Maintenance staff routinely conduct scheduled preventative maintenance on all mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems, to ensure the systems are clean and working optimally.  FCPS also follows guidance provided by industry experts.  The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, has stated that the operation of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures of SARS-CoV-2. Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air. 

Custodians and operating engineers conduct building checks to identify areas of concern (ex. - checking exhaust fans in restrooms for proper operation).  In areas where an indoor air quality, environmental health specialists conduct assessments, identify deficiencies, and follow-through with corrective actions until resolved. When a significant concern is identified, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems are implemented to enhance air cleaning.  FCPS works closely with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to stay informed of the most up-to-date scientific knowledge and data available to help staff and the community better prepare for returning to school.

How will cleaning be handled? (7/10/20)

The cleaning plan uses current daytime and evening custodial staff. Custodians will focus on monitoring and cleaning restrooms throughout the day. Daytime custodians will also focus cleaning on high touch areas (doorknobs, handles, fixtures, etc.).  Additional deep cleaning will be provided by evening custodians (cafeterias and hallways will be scrubbed every evening instead of weekly). To ensure this work can be performed, custodians will have reduced grounds maintenance (interior courtyards only); this will free up additional time for cleaning and sanitizing during the day. Additionally, some daily cleaning activities (dusting, vacuuming, burnishing, etc.) will be deferred. Contracted cleaning services will be available to provide response cleaning if needed.

What supplies will be given to schools to make them prepared for reopening? (7/10/20)

Warehouse delivery of the following items has begun. Supplies will be delivered to schools and administrative sites through early August. Replenishment after school starts will be available for purchase through warehouse inventory.


Cleaning Supplies



Delivery Time Frame

Hand Sanitizer - individual use bottles (400ML)

All Schools and Administrative Centers

1 per employee

On or before July 17

Hand Sanitizer - automatic dispensing stands for building/large room entrances

All schools and administrative centers

8 per HS

4 per MS

2 per ES

August 1-15

Hand Sanitizer - 1-gallon pump bottles

All schools

1 per classroom

August 1-15

Spray bottles and Virex disinfectant with paper towels

All schools

1 per classroom

August 1-15


Virex is a one-step, disinfectant cleaner concentrate providing broad spectrum disinfection at 1:256 dilution. Virex is used in healthcare and other facilities where cleaning and prevention of cross-contamination are critical.  It is effective against bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal and kills MRSA and VRE.  Virex meets bloodborne pathogen standards for decontaminating blood and body fluids.


Protective Gear



Delivery Time Frame

Cloth Masks


All Schools and Administrative Centers

1 per employee


1 per student

Before July 17


Before August 15

Disposable Masks

For students and building visitors who do not bring their own

All Schools and Administrative Centers

Each School:

Adult Size 200

Youth Size 200

August 1-15



Custodians, Bus Drivers, Tsspecs, Food Service

As specified by the program office.

August 1-15

Face shields

Special Education staff and students, and bus drivers/attendants

As specified by the program office.

August 1-15


Laundry service through Cintas will be provided.

Special Education teachers, and bus drivers/attendants

As specified by the program office.

August 15-30

Temporal thermometers

All Schools

1 thermometer for every 500 students.

August 1-15






Delivery Time Frame

Social distancing signage will be installed at all building entrances and interior reception areas.

All Schools and Administrative Centers

TBD by location


Elevator etiquette signage has been installed near the push buttons for all elevators

All elevators and all floor levels

TBD by location


Social distancing floor decals will be provided to schools.

All Schools and Offices

TBD by location


One-way directional signage has been ordered for schools to use at their discretion.

All Schools





Plexi-Glass Shields



Free-standing individual counter shields will be provided to schools and offices.

All Schools and Offices

2 per school initially

More as available

Ceiling and wall mounted counter shields will be installed in main offices and reception areas.

All Schools and Offices

Min 1 per school

Main office

Sneeze guards for teacher desks will be reviewed for potential next steps based upon principal feedback and funding.

All teacher desks




Will there be any changes to the curriculum for 2020-21? (6/24/20- revised 7/10/20)

Yes, FCPS will provide teachers with streamlined curriculum guidance and resources that recognize the impact of school closures on all students, potential content gaps, and readiness for new curriculum. 

ISD is working with teachers to identify essential standards and create units of study that will support learning both in-school and at home. 

If the enrollment for Head Start is low, will schools have the flexibility to assign Head Start teachers to other grade levels to teach? (7/10/20)

PreK teachers and instructional assistants' salaries and benefits are funded through grants that require them to only teach children or work with families enrolled in the program.  PreK teachers and instructional assistants could be moved to a different grade if salary and benefits were funded from the operating budget.  

Will IB Diploma Candidates have guaranteed access to the classes needed for fulfilling their requirements? (7/10/20)

IB courses that are needed in order to complete IB diploma and certificate requirements will be offered. Due to the unique IB offerings, it may be necessary to offer a hybrid section in which teachers teach in-person and online students simultaneously or may require schools to partner to share staffing across schools.

School Supplies

What is being done to provide students in need at my school with basic school supplies?

FCPS is leading the “Collect for Kids” effort - a consortium of not-for-profit, for-profit, and government organizations promoting and coordinating school supply and backpack drives to benefit FCPS students. This year, in an effort to keep our staff, students and volunteers safe, “Collect for Kids” is moving exclusively to a virtual online campaign. All funds raised by the Foundation for FCPS will be used to purchase pre-made, grade-level appropriate kits for students. Donations to the Foundation can be made at this link. Community groups who normally do school supply or backpack drives have been guided to move to this virtual method.

We know that many schools work directly with community partners to provide supplies. To help us to serve as many students as possible, we’ve sent your school Principal a Google form with a few questions about the school supply needs for your school.  Please contact your Principal with any questions.

Special Education

Answers to common questions about Child Find, evaluations, reevaluations, eligibility, IEPs, 504 Plans, and special education instruction. Find out more


How will HR support schools staffing vacancies due to them taking leave as a result of COVID? (7/10/20) 

Short term and long-term vacancies will be staffed by substitute teachers.

What training will in-person subs receive around health and safety expectations? (7/10/20)

A health and safety expectation training video will be shown and required by all subs.

What will the substitute system look like this year? (7/10/20) 

Access to the Smart Find Express substitute scheduling tool will be restored for the opening of schools.  The team is working with the vendor to find a solution which denotes completion of training, health/safety and/or virtual instruction.


When will the distribution plan for computers be communicated? (7/10/20)

TSSpecs are already receiving direction and timelines on distribution for their specific schools. If principals are unsure of the status of your laptops for the fall, please check in with your TSSpec and/or the Senior TSSpec for your school. The district distribution plan is extremely complex with multiple dependencies, from new device delivery dates to roll down groupings and assignments. Each school will have a slightly different plan, depending on the delivery dates and processes at that site, as well as rolldown assignments and processes at that site. New devices are already being delivered, and as they are delivered, older devices are being systematically prepped for roll down. We plan to provide a general overview of the distribution plan in principal communications next week to assist principals with planning for device collection and distribution. 

Will each FCPS student have a computer? (7/10/20)

Every middle and high school student is now a part of FCPSOn and will have a device assigned to them to take back and forth to school as needed. Although elementary schools are not yet a part of FCPSOn, in order to accommodate distance learning needs in the fall, elementary schools will also have enough devices available for every student to use. 

Warehouse, Mail, Deliveries

What is the Pony schedule? (7/10/20)

Pony Mail will service all sites on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week during the month of July.  Beginning  August 1, Pony mail will resume daily stops at all schools and administrative sites.  

When do warehouse services resume? (7/10/20)

All warehouse services, surplus pick up, inventory reservations, etc. will resume normal schedule on July 13.  

What do I do with vendor deliveries now buildings are open? (7/10/20)

Vendor deliveries should be scheduled with school and office staff as much as possible.  Deliveries of supplies for staff who telework should be made to the work site.  Arrangements to pick up supplies should be coordinated between employee and program manager/supervisor.

Previous Questions and Answers

Teacher Assignment

Where can I view Dr. Brabrand's Staff Town Hall meeting from July 10?

Watch July 10 Town Hall Meeting for Staff

Where can I find links to the other town halls Dr. Brabrand has done? (7/17/20)

Town hall recordings are available at the return to school website

How will teachers be selected to teach online courses? 6/24/20

Student demand for online learning will drive staffing needs. Any teacher may request a full-time online teaching assignment. Teachers placements will be contingent upon student enrollment numbers in the online program and tiered by teachers eligible for accommodations under federal law; family medical need; and preference. Instructional staff will be asked to submit their request to teach online by July 15, 2020, and to provide the reason for such request, including accommodation requests that have been submitted.

How can a teacher ask for a full-time online placement and is it guaranteed? 6/26/20

On Monday, June 29, teachers received a questionnaire asking for their teaching preference – in-person or virtual. Virtual placements are not guaranteed and will be tiered as follows:  

  • Individual medical issues including membership in a high risk COVID-19 category
  • Medical issues of a member of your household
  • Personal preference

Student choice will drive the ability to grant teacher preferences for telework.

If a teacher (in the group who should have received the survey) did not receive it, who should they contact in HR? (7/10/20)



What child care options will be available for school employees this fall? (7/10/20- updated 7/17/20) 

We have developed a possible solution, however, the need to analyze the responses received from parents regarding their back to school preference (virtual or in-person) will determine our ability to commit to this solution. 

Under this proposal, we would provide four (4) days of in-person instruction for FCPS students who are children of school-based staff including teachers, IAs, office staff, custodians, cafeteria workers, psychologists, counselors, social workers, administrators, and central office teacher-level employees who work in schools. This option would also be available for our bus drivers and offered only for PreK to grade 6 students and only for eligible FCPS employees who have children enrolled in our schools.  The four days of in-person instruction will be at the elementary school the employee’s child attends.

Employees who are requesting a virtual placement for themselves for the 2020-2021 school year may make a request for their child to attend 4 days of in-school instruction, however, this child care option will only be available to those staff members who are ultimately assigned to in-person positions for the 2020-2021 school year. Eligible employees should make their request via this link:   

Monday, July 20, is the deadline to provide notification.


What child care options will be available for teachers this fall? (7/10/20)

We know there is a need for child care for school aged children. We have developed a possible solution, however the need to analyze student data on fall intent will determine our ability to commit to this solution.  
Under this solution, we would provide 4 days of in person instruction at their attending school to FCPS students that are children of teachers. This would apply to: 
•    Teachers teaching face-to-face 
•    Kindergarten to grade 6 student 

If capacity allows, we would expand this to include school-based staff (e.g., IA, custodians, cafeteria workers) and those who serve children in schools (e.g., phycologists, social workers).

Safety of our students and staff are our first priority.  The intention data, building capacity and need will determine if this is a viable solution but based on the current numbers we are very hopeful.  What additional childcare provisions are being considered for staff who reside inside of the county and outside of the county? (6/26/20- updated 7/10/20)

•    Expanding regulated childcare options in collaboration with Fairfax County Office for Children
•    Working with Fairfax County Office for Children to consider operationalizing all day SACC options

Can staff members who live outside of FCPS place their children in FCPS for one year without cost to address personal childcare issues?  6/26/20

Currently, we are exploring options for Fairfax county residents and students. However, we are collaborating with local school divisions on continuity of planning to support staff who live outside of our jurisdiction. 

Will SACC or other childcare programs be available to students on days when they are not attending FCPS? 6/24/20

Fairfax County is working with regulated providers to expand childcare services to school aged children. Families can find licensed community childcare through the Fairfax County Office for Children’s Child Care search

What will SACC be offering for 2020-21? (7/10/20)

FCPS continues to work closely with Fairfax County’s Office for Children to determine child care services available to families.  Currently, SACC is committed to providing before and after school care for students.  If Fairfax County makes a change in the operating hours of SACC, Fairfax County in conjunction with FCPS will inform the community.  

The student transfer window is closed.  If the staff member now needs their child to attend the school they teach in, can they submit that request for consideration? 7/2/20 

Yes, FCPS employees may submit student transfer applications after the application deadline.  To request a student transfer for a Child of FCPS employee - A parent resides in Fairfax County and is a FCPS employee, defined as a person working in a budgeted Full Time Equivalent (FTE) position (FTE transportation and food services positions included) and eligible for leave, retirement, and health benefits coverage.  Student transfer requests will be for the school in which the parent is employed or for the school closest to the employee’s work location.  If the request for student transfer is to the school in which the parent or guardian is employed, capacity issues will not prevent the transfer.  
Please note, the online student transfer application verifies employee status and work location with Lawson at the time the application is submitted.  For employees with a new assignment, once the work location is updated in Lawson you may submit the application.
Instructions for submitting application for Child of FCPS Employee.
For detailed information on the student transfer application process, please visit the FCPS Student Transfer website.

If a teacher has not received the survey, please email (Michele Cross)

What documentation will a teacher need to provide when requesting to teach online if they have a family member in their home with an underlying health condition? (7/10/20)

The employee needs to complete the Telework Request form and provide any supporting documentation to substantiate their family medical need.

Will teachers assigned to in-person instruction be responsible for providing learning materials for students on their asynchronous learning days? 6/28/20

Teachers who deliver in-person instruction will be planning both the in-school and at-home learning tasks for students. To support the multiple teacher preparations at the elementary level, FCPS is planning to purchase new digital resources in mathematics and language arts that will allow for more self-directed learning for students when not in school. 

If a school has more students who choose in person rather than virtual, how will staff who want to continue with distance learning be allocated?  Is it only by school-based numbers? 6/28/20

To the greatest extent possible, staffing assignments will be managed within individual schools. In special cases, online staff could be assigned to teach a class that combines students from their base school and students from one or more other schools. 

Which employees will be asked their work preferences for working in person or virtually? 7/2/20

Initially, teacher scale employees with assignments at a school or other student instructional site (alternative sites, etc.) and SBTS will be asked their preferences for supporting instruction in the fall. Itinerant teacher groups budgeted out of ISD or DSS, with school instructional assignments, will receive the questionnaire.  

There may be opportunities for some of our support/operations professionals to work with our teachers in a virtual setting to support instruction.  We will assess those opportunities later in July after a review of online student preference.  The assessment will be prioritized in the same manner as the teacher telework requests.

How will teachers be selected to teach online courses? (7/10/20)

Student demand for online learning will drive staffing needs. Any teacher may request a full-time online teaching assignment. Teachers placements will be contingent upon student enrollment numbers in the online program and tiered by teachers eligible for accommodations under federal law; family medical need; and preference. Instructional staff will be asked to submit their request to teach online by July 15, 2020, and to provide the reason for such request, including accommodation requests that have been submitted.

What type of information will be provided to principals to help them in prioritizing online teaching requests? (7/9/20)

Principals will be reviewing teacher survey data (due July 15) regarding telework requests; and reports from EER regarding submitted ADA and telework forms to help inform staffing determinations.  A decision tree will be provided to principals to ensure consistency across the division and to assist in prioritizing requests.  Staffing specialists will be available to assist with seniority questions. 

Can teachers make a change to their placement requests (online or virtual) after July 15? (7/10/20) 

If a teacher asks to make a change, the same set of criteria will be applied as above to determine if the request can be met.

What is the turnaround time for determining which staff members will be approved for their virtual preference based on individual or family medical need? (7/10/20) 

Teacher preferences, identified through the survey, are due on July 15.  Any staff members who selected Personal Medical will receive a reminder email on July 16 that in order for their personal medical need to be considered, they need to submit the ADA Accommodation Request form to the Office of Equity and Employee Relations (EER) as soon as possible, preferably no later than July 24.

Any staff members who selected family medical need, childcare concerns or general concerns will receive a reminder email on July 16 that in order to be considered, they need to submit a Telework Request form to the Office of Equity and Employee Relations (EER) by July 24.

Principals and DSS staff members will use preliminary data from the survey to begin creating sections in master schedules.  In addition, EER will be working with Regional Offices and principals to identify employees with individual medical needs, family medical needs, childcare concerns and other concerns as quickly as possible to inform the creation of master schedules.

Factors that impact the turnaround time include (1) timely submission of ADA form (part I), (2) timely submission of part II – supporting medical documentation and (3) timely submission of the Telework Request form with any relevant supporting documentation.

For additional information, please review the COVID-19 Teacher Telework FAQs.

If a staff member selects to work virtually and opts to have his/her child participate in virtual learning, but the teacher is given a face-to-face assignment, does a principal have discretion to move the student to a face-to-face option? (7/10/20)

Principals have the option to make this student enrollment change based on the staff member (parent’s) request. 

If a teacher is not granted their preference for virtual, what is the timeline for then telling schools they are not coming back (resigning or retiring)? (7/10/20)

July 24, 2020.

What is the closure date for retirement or resignation without prejudice? (7/10/20)

July 24, 2020.

If a teacher is teaching full-time virtually, will they be responsible for attending any in-person meetings or are there any other requirements that would restrict them from living outside of the area while teaching online? (7/2/20)

All efforts will be made to accommodate virtual meetings.  There may be circumstances that a staff member may have to come to the physical worksite.  In that instance, he/she should work out a plan with his/her administrator.

Will teachers and students be assigned to different schools under this model (virtually or in person)? 7/2/20

One of the primary goals in the FCPS Reopening School Plan is to provide students with choice in learning format (in-person or online). The default rule will be to have students receive instruction at their base schools (either in-person or online). In select instances where student preferences cannot be met at their base schools, we may explore coordinating scheduling across schools in the division. However, no definitive plans have been developed for this yet and any decision to move forward with this approach would only be taken after the first phase of base school scheduling has been completed.  

In the event that the practice of scheduling across schools is used, teacher assignments would be based first on teacher interest/preference; if necessary, teachers would be assigned based on the least amount of seniority. Teachers would be supervised by the principal at their assigned school and would have rights to return to their base school the following year. 

Beyond keeping children from the same family together, do schools have any flexibility in how they build their master schedules to group students with like needs in the same classes on the same days? 7/2/20

Beyond keeping children from the same family on the same schedule, schools have the same flexibility for creating student class assignments as they would under normal/routine operating conditions. 

Why can’t FCPS provide 5 days a week of in-person instruction? (7/17/20)

The Reopening of Schools plans were developed in alignment with CDC and VDOE guidelines. FCPS does not have the facility space to have all students in our school buildings 5 days a week with the current (Phase III) social distancing guidance.

What is FCPS doing to prepare to pivot to full-time virtual instruction if a health situation requires closure of one or more schools? (7/17/20)

This summer FCPS offered a variety of professional development sessions focused on best practices for teaching online, high quality virtual instruction, and student engagement. This focus will continue as we prepare instructional staff for the 2020-21 school year. The professional development in August for both online and in-person teachers will also ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to set up and implement virtual conferencing (Google Meet or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) and a virtual classroom space (Google Classroom or Blackboard). In-person teachers will use these tools with their students starting on day 1 to ensure readiness, should we need to pivot. 

It is expected that both online and in person teachers will be planning together each week, aligning content, pacing, and assessment.  To facilitate this alignment, the curriculum resources are being designed to be used in either delivery model.  The collaborative team will be a strong support should we need to quickly move to all online learning.   

If we find ourselves in a 100% virtual opening, we will all need to be orienting all families to online learning from the start.  

How will health screening be conducted for students participating in face-to-face instruction? (7/17/20) 

Parents/guardians who choose the face-to-face instructional option for their child will be required to complete a Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form.  The Health Screening Commitment form indicates the parental/guardian’s agreement and commitment to complete a daily health screening each morning, prior to sending the student to school. The daily health screening is done on an honor basis. Students are to be kept home if they are sick. 

Students whose parent/ guardian has not completed, signed and returned the Health Screening Commitment form to the school will be required to have their temperature taken daily by the school staff until the form is received.

What health data (threshold or other indicator) would require FCPS to open with everyone in a virtual capacity or transition to virtual at some point during the year? (7/17/20)

FCPS is working collaboratively with the Fairfax County Health Department regarding thresholds/indicators.

Will faculty and staff be required to complete a health screen every morning? (7/10/20)

Families and school staff will be required to complete a health screen at home prior to coming to school. The Fairfax County Health Department has approved screening questions that will be shared with staff and families. Schools will require all staff and to complete a one-time commitment to screen for health concerns daily.

Will there be any COVID-19 testing requirements for staff and students participating in in-person instruction? (7/10/20) 

There will not be a requirement for COVID-19 testing for staff and students in in-person instruction. 

How will social distancing be enforced and how will situations be handled when students are not adhering to the expectations? 6/26/20

The expectation to maintain social distancing has been and will continue to be communicated to parents, students and staff.  Staff will set the expectation, model, instruct on the importance of this measure, positively reinforce and know that there will be some challenges due to the various developmental levels of students.  The compliance to this policy would consider factors of student understanding and needs based on developmental levels, similar to other expectations set by schools. Teams often consider individual factors when addressing behavioral concerns and this will be the same for the practice of social distancing.

How will rooms be configured for social distancing? (7/10/20)

•    Consistent with CDC guidance, Desks will need to be placed so seating is 6 feet apart and facing the same direction.
•    Tables can be used by seating students only on one side of tables, spacing seating 6 feet apart. Some ideas include using stickers for seats to be used is one way to help with the layout.
•    Consider combining available furniture from other rooms within your building to achieve capacity.
•    Facilities is working on layout examples to help with creative thinking as this will continue to be a collaborative effort


If a teacher is instructing students both in person and virtually, how will they pace their curriculum since the virtual students will have four days of lessons and face to face students will only have two?  (7/10/20)

Teachers will have to consider how to pace the instruction for the two different instructional delivery models. A curriculum hub is being created with essential standards, units of study, and suggested in-person, asynchronous, and virtual synchronous activities. Both online and in-person teachers should work in combined CTs to share the planning responsibilities.

What strategies will we put in place to support our littlest learners who rely heavily on physical contact from staff to support them with daily activities? (nose blowing, clothes, physical reassurance, etc.) (7/10/20)

Early Head Start, PreK and Early Childhood Special Education classrooms will be provided protective clothing items, gloves, masks and face shields for teachers and IAs to use when assisting children with daily self-care activities in which they might come in contact with a child’s saliva, mucus or any other secretion – this could include feeding or diapering an infant or young child and assisting with nose-blowing or toileting. 

Staff will have access to Virex to spray down and sanitize protective clothing and to clean surfaces throughout the day.  When assisting children at mealtime, staff will wear a mask and food-service gloves. When assisting with any other self-care activity in which it is not expected a staff member will come in contact with a child’s bodily fluid, staff will wear a mask - this could include tying shoes, zipping coats, etc. 

In addition to the use of PPE, staff will be expected to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after providing hands-on assistance to children. Children will also be expected to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after receiving hands-on assistance from staff. Staff will be asked to teach children emotional care strategies like breathing techniques and self-hugs through social stories; however, teachers and IAs will have access to PPE when needed to comfort a child.  

Will the new Head Start/Early Head Start families receive the choice to go online or in-person through their registration process?  (7/10/20)

PreK families will be offered the choice of online or in person through the enrollment process completed by the Office of Early Childhood Curriculum and Grant Management.  This information will be shared with the SIA of the attending school for data entry into SIS. Early Head Start (EHS)  families will only be offered the in-person choice with the exception of the first several weeks of school.  From the end of July to the first day of school K-12, EHS families will make online connections with the teaching team so that the school environment is ready for students to attend.  Once the student is in SIS, the families will be guided through the Parent View process at several touchpoints at the beginning of the school year including, the family orientation, virtual home visits and school notifications and support. 

Will the Early Childhood Office make the decision regarding which Early Childhood teacher will teach virtually or face to face or will the schools make those decisions? (7/10/20)

PreK and early childhood special education teachers, as a member of a school community, should comply with and follow the same expectations and processes as FCPS K-12 teachers to determine whether they will teach virtually or face to face.  If there is a discrepancy in student choice versus teacher choice for learning environments, school administrators in collaboration with the Office of Early Childhood or the Office of Special Education Instruction will assign caseloads.

Will there be any changes to music offerings? (7/10/20)

The Fine Arts team in ISD has created guidance for schools to ensure students may participate in general music, Band, and Orchestra safely.  Specific guidance will also be provided for chorus classes in our secondary schools.  Chorus at the elementary school will not be held during first semester and will be reconsidered later in the school year. 

Are there any face-to-face courses that FCPS will not be able to offer this year based on programming or safety demands? (7/10/20)

Schools will offer courses/programs in-person based on student enrollment requests and availability of in-person teachers with the exception of elementary chorus as outlined above. Guidance on any necessary instructional modifications for health and safety reasons will be provided to schools.

Return to Work Guide

The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Return to Work Guide is based on the guidelines provided in the Fairfax Forward Employee Guide and adheres to the phased reopening guidelines outlined by Governor Ralph Northam, in accordance with Forward Virginia Guidance. Information will continue to be updated as we learn more and establish new practices and policies. The following guidelines are applicable to all FCPS facilities, including schools and administrative buildings.