Coronavirus Update - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Content is being updated regularly

Summer Learning

Where can information about summer learning opportunities be found?

Details about the wide variety of summer learning opportunities available to students may be found on the Summer Learning page.

What is FCPS planning to do about face-to-face summer learning opportunities for students?

Due to guidance from the state that school buildings remain closed in July, the summer face-to-face programs are cancelled.

What opportunities will be available for elementary and middle school students who need academic support?

Middle school and elementary school students will have the opportunity to review concepts and skills using self-directed print and digital materials.

Print materials will be sent to families, one time, after the conclusion of the school year. Digital curriculum and resources for additional review and enrichment will be available on FCPS 24/7 Learning.

Teachers from each school will have weekly office hours from June 29-July 31, 2020 to provide feedback and support to students in literacy and mathematics.

This program is free to all students.

Will FCPS offer any virtual arts enrichment classes?

This summer, there will be a free online arts enrichment program for K-12 students. The program will be five weeks (July 6-August 6) and have a variety of classes in art, music, theatre and dance.

Is it too late to register for summer online campus?

Registration for online campus for summer courses ended June 12th.

What is the process for requesting transcripts and documents for scholarships, summer programs, private schools, etc.?

Students, parents and guardians may request transcripts and other documents through the student’s school counselor.

How can students participate in credit recovery opportunities if they fail a course?

High School Credit Recovery classes will occur at every high school from Monday, July 6, through Friday, July 24. This free virtual program is designed to allow students to recover credit for a failed course or receive targeted intervention to support future success. Schools will be able to invite students who did not fail a course but who may need extra support.

Will Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology provide a summer program?

Thomas Jefferson is offering a program for current TJ students. Details are on the TJ summer page and TJ's website.

Access to School Buildings and Grounds

Will parents or students be allowed into schools to retrieve their belongings? 

At this time families and students have not been given approvals for pick-up of nonessential items.  

We are following guidance from the health department in an effort to stop the virus from spreading and keep everyone safe. We are only considering pick-up of ESSENTIAL items only. Those would include medications that cannot be obtained from a family physician, special education equipment needed for distance learning or another resource or tool that is REQUIRED for distance learning.

Will parents be able to pick up their children’s medication stored in the clinic? If so, what is the procedure? 

Parents should contact their primary care physician if additional medications are needed. However, in an emergency situation, a student may need controlled substances or life-saving medications such as insulin. If it is an emergency, parents should contact the principal to make arrangements.

Distance Learning

How can we get technical support for distance learning?

Your school remains your primary point of contact during this time. If you are seeking technology assistance on behalf of your student with their online access or with their FCPS device, please begin by reaching out to your student’s teacher. Contact information for your child’s school-based administration is available on the school’s website. Basic Technical Support

How and when we are getting our daily schedule?

Your school leadership will be communicating expectations for a daily schedule and expected interactions with your teachers.

Where can I find information about the cable channels that are providing the instructional programming for elementary, middle and high school?

The instructional programming is available on three cable channels. Depending on your cable service provider, it may be a different channel number. View cable channels for instructional programming.

I didn’t get a laptop and I need one – how can I still get one?

Please contact your school principal directly about technology needs.

I don’t have access to the internet now, because my family is having to cut expenses. How can I get it?

Please contact your school principal directly about whether additional MiFi devices are available for distribution. There are resources also listed on our website about additional ways you can access the internet. Access to Technology

Will students be able to continue with the self-directed Economics and Personal Finance course?  

Beginning on Monday, March 30, those students who were registered as of March 19, 2020 for either summer session 1 or summer session 2, will have the ability to begin the course online through Virtual Virginia. Students who are currently registered for one of the summer courses will receive an email through the summer school registration system to their email address with the information about beginning the course. All students, regardless of which summer session they registered for, will have until July 31, 2020 to complete the course. For students interested in completing the Self-directed Economics and Personal Finance course, registration is available online. Fairfax County Public Schools will accept registrations as they are received until we meet capacity for the summer school course.

How is Driver’s Education impacted by the school closure?

The Instructional Services Department is working to finalize guidance for finishing the 3rd quarter and fulfill the requirements for 4th quarter Driver’s Education. This will require schools to create schedules with additional synchronous hours for these classes to meet the State requirements. Additional guidance is forthcoming. Behind the Wheel, associated with this course is canceled until further notice.

Mental Health and Wellness 

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are on the CDC website and include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

What resources are available to help families talk with their children about COVID-19? 

There are a number of resources to support families in talking with children about COVID-19

What mental health resources are available to support students and families during the school closure? 

School counselors are the first point of contact for any academic, personal, or social-emotional concerns. Any FCPS parent may schedule a 30-minute phone consultation with a school psychologist or school social worker, for either themselves or their middle or high school student. To schedule a phone consultation, parents should click the following link: This consultation provides an opportunity for parents to receive guidance on how to support their student’s emotional well-being during their time away from school. 

Student consultations will provide support and strategies to students who may be experiencing difficulties with anxiety, mood, behavior, or peer or family interactions during this unprecedented and challenging time. Information about community resources will also be made available.  

This service is not intended for mental health emergencies and if an emergency is suspected or indicated, please call 911. Additionally, students and families can access mental health support if there is a crisis of emergency during the time of the closure through the following link:

Will parents be able to pick up their children’s medication stored in the clinic? If so, what is the procedure? 

Parents should contact their primary care physician if additional medications are needed. However, in an emergency situation, a student may need controlled substances or life-saving medications such as insulin. If it is an emergency, parents should contact the principal to make arrangements. 

Food Distribution Sites

Which schools or sites are set up as curbside pickup locations for meals and is there a plan to expand sites? 

FCPS is providing grab and go meals at school sites and several locations in Fairfax County. Locations can be found on the Food Resources page. 

Meals are available at pop-up locations at specific times in neighborhoods or at community centers. Curbside pick up is available at some school sites. Both breakfast and lunch are available to be picked up at the same time. 

FCPS buses are also distributing meals to several school neighborhoods. View bus routes and times.

Who is eligible for the Grab and Go meals?

All FCPS students (regardless of age) are eligible for free grab and go breakfast and lunch, as well as other county children, under the age of 18. Adults picking up meals for children should let staff know how many children meals they need. Adults may pay $2 for the meals as well.

Do I need to bring my child to get the breakfast and lunch?

No, students no longer need to be present to pick up a meal. A parent or guardian may do so based on newly released guidance. Beginning on April 6, all curbside pick up and FCPS sites will distribute meals from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Can I help distribute food at the school sites?

Due to the regulations with the Free or Reduced Meals program, only certain FCPS staff may prepare or distribute meals to students. 

Monetary donations are the best way to support families in need. Members of the community can go to to find ways to support local organizations. 

Fairfax County provides a map of services available to help families find the help they need.

If I want to help in some way, who can I contact?

At this time with all schools closed, we are encouraging those interested in helping to donate their time and efforts to our community partners. These community partners are in continuous support of our FCPS families and are coordinating with the larger effort of food assistance with Fairfax County. Each organization has coordinated volunteer efforts, are trained in food safety and have distribution methods in place. More information is available online. 

Attendance, Grading and Reporting

Attendance, grading and reporting information may also be found on the Learning at Home Support for Families page (Elementary | Middle | High) and in FCPS 24-7 Learning After logging in you should see the Continuity of Learning Resources – Distance Learning Plan information. Click on the link for your grade level. On the left menu, click on the Grading and Attendance.

When will end of year report cards be available?

We anticipate the printed report cards will be provided to the postal service by July 1. Actual delivery to homes will be dependent on the postal service. Report cards for secondary students will be available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE on Tuesday, June 23. 

Attendance (PreK-12)

Will attendance be taken during synchronous (live) sessions?

Teachers will enter student’s non-participation in synchronous sessions in our Student Information System (SIS) which is visible to parents.

How will participation in asynchronous work be counted?

Tracking asynchronous work will be determined by the teacher and team.

Is attendance in synchronous (live) sessions mandatory?

Participation in all aspects of distance learning is encouraged at all levels.

Participation in the fourth quarter learning is essential for students to complete required new course content per Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) guidelines for earning high school credit.

Will students be penalized for not participating in distance learning?

The data will not be included in student attendance history and will not be reported to the VDOE. A student’s grades will not be negatively impacted during fourth quarter.

What will teachers do if students are not engaging in distance learning?

Students who are not engaging in synchronous chats or asynchronous work will be contacted by the teacher and other staff members, such as the school counselor, until engagement is achieved.

Elementary Grading and Reporting

What can we expect on the final elementary progress report?

Teachers will not issue marks for the fourth quarter. Final marks will be determined by all content taught and assessed through March 13, 2020. If a student demonstrates increased achievement or effort during Distance Learning, a student’s final mark(s) may be increased. No mark should be lowered based on Distance Learning participation.

All student progress reports are pre-populated with the comment: Your child’s Final Progress Report reflects content taught and assessed through March 13, 2020 and any progress gained through Distance Learning opportunities.

How will I know if my student will be promoted to the next grade?

Grade placement for the 20-21 school year will be based on student progress as of March 13, 2020. If the student was on track, the student should be promoted. Promotion guidelines are outlined in Regulation 2410.

How will we get our student’s final grades?

Final progress reports will be mailed. We anticipate the printed report cards will be provided to the postal service by July 1. Actual delivery to homes will be dependent on the postal service. 

Secondary Grading and Reporting

How will my student be graded for work done during distance learning?

Teachers should provide feedback such as comments on quality of work and guidance for improvement. Assignment “marks” will be entered in our Student Information System (SIS) and will be:

  • Proficient
  • Attempted
  • Not Attempted

Students and families will be able to see “marks” in SIS. Weekly emails will not be sent since there will not be a fourth quarter grade.

Fourth quarter grades will be No Mark (NM).

What is the timeline for getting grades for the fourth quarter?

Fourth quarter started on Monday, May 4, 2020.

For middle school students and underclassmen, the fourth quarter ended on Friday, June 12, 2020. Grades were available in ParentVUE on June 13. Report cards will be mailed to all families except those who have opted for paperless report cards.

Will my student get credit for work done during distance learning?

Teachers have the discretion of raising a student's final grade by one grade distribution (B to B+), based on demonstrated proficiency of fourth quarter learning. A student with an F average may increase to any D grade for final mark based on fourth quarter proficiency of learning. This grade distribution increase applies to both standard and rolling gradebooks.

How will the final grades be calculated?

 A student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:

  • Avg of Qtrs 1, 2, & 3
  • Avg of Qtrs 1, 2, & 3 with 1 grade distribution increase earned during distance learning (if applicable) 
  • 1st Semester Grade
  • 1st Semester Grade with 1 grade distribution increase earned during distance learning (if applicable)
  • Quality Points as per FCPS Grading and Reporting

For a Rolling Gradebook a student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:

  • Qtr 3 Grade 
  • Qtr 3 Grade with 1 grade distribution increase (if applicable)
  • 1st Semester Grade
  • 1st Semester Grade with 1 grade distribution increase (if applicable)

Will my 12th grade student be able to graduate?

Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) flexibility makes sure that 12th graders who were expected to graduate on time as of the March 13, 2020 school closure will still graduate on time. Schools will work with all seniors to provide opportunities to meet their graduation requirements.

Can my student still get dual enrollment credit?

While the majority of our dual enrollment courses are offered through Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), we also have dual enrollment courses with George Mason University, James Madison University, and Shenandoah University. Each partner has a different methodology regarding how to finish the course, and we are working closely with each college to find the best solution for students to receive credit. Guidance has been shared directly with students through their dual enrollment teachers.  Please connect with your student’s teacher for specific dual enrollment completion information.

SOL, SAT, ACT, CTE Industry Credentials

Will students be able to take the ACT or SAT at an FCPS school during the summer?

FCPS will not be hosting the July 18 ACT exam. We hope to have more information soon to confirm whether or not schools will be able to host the August 29, 2020, SAT. The decision will be shared as soon as it becomes available.

How are ACT and SAT tests impacted by school closure?

Parents and students may contact their school counselors with questions about college admissions and postsecondary preparation.

ACT and SAT Testing scheduled in FCPS locations during the 2019-20 school year have been cancelled. Students will receive information directly from the College Board and ACT regarding options for rescheduling.

Additional information about ACT is available on the ACT website.

Additional information about SAT is available on the College Board website.

What information is available about industry credentials?

At this time, all industry credential testing has been cancelled on-site and off-site as official testing centers are all currently closed.

What is going to happen with SOL testing?

With school closure through the end of the academic year, no Virginia schools will administer further SOL tests this spring. Waivers available for state graduation requirements mean that the absence of SOL tests will not negatively impact students’ ability to progress toward on-time graduation.

The U.S. Department of Education has given Virginia permission to cancel federally mandated Standards of Learning tests during the 2019-2020 school year.
Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane submitted the commonwealth’s waiver application after the federal agency informed the Virginia Department of Education that the application did not require prior approval from the state Board of Education. On March 28, the federal department gave VDOE the green light to implement the waiver pending formal approval later this spring.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 requires states to administer annual assessments in reading and mathematics in grades 3-8 and at least once in high school. The law also requires testing in science at least once in elementary, middle and high school. On March 20, in the wake of extended school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced an expedited process for approving statewide waivers of ESSA testing mandates.
The commonwealth’s assessment system also includes tests in writing and social studies and history that are not required by the federal law. VDOE is exploring options for cancelling the administration of state-required SOL tests during the reconvened session of the General Assembly in April.

Class of 2020 Questions

I am a senior. How can I make sure I am going to graduate? 

If you were in good standing and passing all of your required courses for graduation before schools closed, you will graduate on time. It is important that each of you stays engaged in your academics through distance learning during fourth quarter. 

The State Superintendent will provide maximum flexibility for graduation requirements. This includes waivers ensuring that the absence of SOL tests and industry certification tests this spring will not negatively impact a student’s scheduled graduation.  More information will be shared as you start Distance Learning on April 14.                                         

Even if you were not passing all of your required courses, there is still time for you to graduate this June.  Your teachers will ensure you have access to what you need to be able to complete your coursework through distance learning. Your teachers will also give you more information about what is needed to finish the third quarter and how your engagement during the fourth quarter will impact your final grade.

What about seniors who were not performing well in their classes?

Some of our students who were not passing all of their classes will need to put in extra time to demonstrate that they can meet the requirements for graduation. Our staff is ready to support them in the distance learning environment.

What is FCPS going to do about prom and graduation? 

Unfortunately, proms are canceled. High school principals are committed to recognizing and celebrating your accomplishments at the end of the year.  Virtual celebrations are scheduled for each school and will be available on cable channels and streamed on this website.  

IB Testing Information

May 5, 2020 Press Release

IB Testing

What will happen with IB exams and students who were planning on earning an IB Diploma or Certificate? 

Even though the May 2020 exam session has been cancelled, IB scores (1-7) will still be awarded based on internal and external assessments. These scores awarded by IB will be sent to universities and colleges for potential college recognition. In addition, DP diploma candidates and CP candidates will be expected to fulfill the Core program requirements.

When are the internal and external assessments due to teachers?

Due to the closure of the Virginia public schools for the remainder of the school year, FCPS requested extended deadlines for submission of required components. Moving forward, IB coordinators and teachers will communicate directly with students and families regarding these deadlines to ensure students complete and submit all required coursework.

When will IB exam scores be released?

The IB intends to release results to universities/colleges and schools as planned on July 5. Due to extensions requested by FCPS, there may be a delay in the release of results.

Will universities/colleges accept IB exam scores for credit and/or placement?

IB will provide universities/colleges with clear information about the assessments that have been conducted during the student’s participation in the two years of the DP and CP, and the process by which final marks were determined in this unusual year. The IB will continue to ensure the validity and the reliability of assessment protocols.

Each university/college will be able to make informed decisions as they have done in the past about their IB policies regarding admissions, credit granting, advanced standing, and scholarship awards. Students should communicate directly with universities/colleges to learn about their policies.  Universities/colleges will be best prepared to support any IB specific queries you might have after that time.

Special Education

FCPS has developed a plan for distance learning supports for students with disabilities.

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

Find out more


How will the crisis impact the FCPS budget this year and next?  

COVID-19 has impacted the county and state finances significantly. 

As a result, what had been expected to be another fully funded budget will result in the County and Schools redoing our budgets. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairfax County transfer was reduced to $2,143.3 million. This reflects an $82.4 million reduction compared to the FY 2021 Advertised Budget.  Based on the amendments adopted by the General Assembly at the Reconvened Session on April 22, 2020, state aid is decreasing by $4.8 million.

The School Board held a meeting on April 9th to discuss the revised plan of the County and the Superintendent’s initial thoughts on how our budget may have to be adjusted.  The presentation is available

The School Board approved the FY2021 budget on May 21.  View the complete document

Other Events and Programs

What is the status of FCPS sponsored travel for staff and students?

All FCPS travel is canceled until further notice. Schools and staff will be notified once it is safe to resume travel and trips may be rescheduled at that time.  

Has FCPS canceled any events? 

Due to schools being closed for the remainder of the academic year and the current restrictions on social distancing, FCPS has made the decision to cancel the following events:   

April 18 Special Education Conference

April 25 All County Chorus

April 29 FCPS Retirement Celebration

April/May/June      All proms

May 31 Cappies (canceled by organizer)

June 6 Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement Committee Awards 

June 10 FCPS Honors Gala

What is the status of the SACC program? 

FCPS has been notified that the School Age Child Care (SACC) program plans to provide families with a refund or credit, depending on the current SACC account balance, for payments received for the period SACC is closed, for the following: 

Before- and After-School services – ½ month of March

Before- and After-School services –full  month of April

Full-Day Spring Break Program

SACC has received guidance from the State regarding the provision of child care services for essential personnel, and is reviewing this information to assess its ability to provide services and future program operations during this health crisis. If SACC is able to re-open, we will bill accordingly. Families currently enrolled will be automatically re-enrolled for the same services and programs for next school year. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Will the 2020-21 calendar be changed in response to school closures? 

There are currently no plans to change the 2020-2021 calendar.