Coronavirus Update - Message from the Superintendent - April 14

Coronavirus Update - April 14

April 14, 2020

Dear FCPS Families,

Good morning, I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and maintaining a positive outlook during this challenging time. 

Our distance learning journey begins today.   We recognize that it will not replace in-person instruction. However, all of us at FCPS are excited about engaging our students in a new way of learning, while ensuring they have the necessary supports to help maximize their efforts. 

As we begin, please see the following about the FCPS distance learning plan and grading.

Distance Learning Plan

Beginning today, April 14, teachers will work with students using a variety of methods including:

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (link provided from teacher to student).
  • Google Meet for individual student meetings.
  • Weekly learning packets. They will be mailed to preK-8 students/families from FCPS’s Instructional Services Department.
  • Email and phone calls.

Students should be checking their FCPS Gmail account (that ends in @fcpsschools.net) regularly. Teachers will also hold virtual office hours for students throughout the week. Please review the Distance Learning Plan at your convenience. You may also want to visit our new Learning at Home webpage, which offers simple strategies to support families during the transition to distance learning.  If you plan to access the learning packets online by logging into FCPS 24-7 Blackboard, you can choose to go paperless and opt out of receiving the mailed copies

FCPS Blackboard 24-7 Learning is where teachers post messages for students and parents. Blackboard and Google Classroom are the two FCPS-approved digital platforms for instructional delivery and where students will be able to video conference, collaborate, and complete assignments.

Grading Guidelines

  • Third quarter is still open for students to complete work that was assigned or scheduled before March 13. Students will have until April 24 to complete missing or outstanding work that will help them improve their third quarter grades.
  • No student work assigned after March 13 will be graded, at the recommendation of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
  • Learning activities will be assigned to students for 4th quarter, and teachers will provide students with feedback on this work. All high school and middle school students will receive a "No Mark" for 4th quarter, due to the unique nature of these circumstances.   

FCPS will use maximum flexibility in assessing and evaluating student learning for the remainder of the school year. To that end, assignments submitted in the 4th quarter can positively influence students’ overall grade for the year, based on their understanding of the content for the whole year or “demonstration of proficiency,” in accordance with the FCPS grading policy. In other words, any work done through distance learning may only benefit the student by positively contributing to the final grade. Only final grades will be shown on transcripts; the “No Mark” for 4th quarter will not show on a student’s final transcript.

No 4th quarter grades will be assigned to elementary students due to equity issues of access to technology and limited student ability to submit work during distance learning. Elementary students will engage in teacher-led and independent learning. As mentioned above, the distribution of learning packets to PK-8 students started March 30. Literacy and math content is also available on FCPS Cable Channel 21.

As we transition to this distance learning model, we remain focused on the social and emotional needs of our students. Again, please do not hesitate to reach out to your student’s school counselor for support, if needed.

In Conclusion

As I have said, these are extraordinary times we are living in. To be a student, a parent, or a teacher–and some of you play several roles–during a worldwide health emergency such as COVID-19, is not something any of us have ever experienced. We know it is stressful and difficult.

Please remember that FCPS remains committed to creating learning environments that foster creative thinking, a culture of caring, and personal connections. Our school buildings may be closed, but I am confident that the passion for learning in all of us will thrive.

Be safe, be healthy, and know that we are here to support you in the days ahead.

Sincerely,

Scott Brabrand, Superintendent
Fairfax County Public Schools