Coronavirus Update - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Frequently Asked Questions Surrounding COVID-19


Students and Learning

  • Will parents or students be allowed into schools to retrieve their belongings?  Students and staff members are being contacted by their school to come in and pick up critical items

  • Will parents be able to pick up their children’s medication stored in the clinic? If so, what is the procedure?. Parents should contact the principal to arrange to pick up the medicine. 
  • What are the expectations for learning now that schools are closed?  SOLs?  Our first concern at this time is the health and welfare of our students and communities. Governor Northam has directed all schools to close for the remainder of the school year.The Superintendent is working closely with the Fairfax County School Board to determine next steps.The governor’s announcement also means that all extracurricular programs, athletic programs, and community use activities are canceled through the remainder of the academic year. FCPS’ goal is to proceed with continuity of learning for our students. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will be providing school districts additional guidance regarding continuity of learning that has an equity focus. In addition, VDOE will also issue guidance about what graduation requirements will look like for 12th grade students and expectations for grading and academic year completion for all of our students. On March 20, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year.      

    Upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students due to the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year. To protect students’ health and safety, a state that deems it necessary should proceed with cancelling its statewide assessments for the 2019-2020 school year. The Virginia Department of Education has submitted a waiver.

  •  What is the plan for 3rd Quarter Grades? Will they be based on the student’s current grade or   will the grading periods be adjusted? FCPS is making that determination and will communicate to families once the decision has been made.

  • NOVA classes are being conducted online over the next couple of weeks. What will happen if students do not complete assignments while they are out?  At this time, NOVA has directed FCPS to follow our school division policy during this school closure. Therefore, until we receive additional information, Dual Enrollment courses will be treated the same as all other courses.

  • Will students be able to take AP/IB exams? The College Board is developing an at-home testing option. Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. For each Advanced Placement (AP) subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. More information is available here: AP Updates from The College Board

    The College Board posted additional information about free remote learning resources. FCPS has made these resources available to students and staff. 

    The May 2020 International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme students will no longer be held. Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. 

    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.

    IB has provided a timeline with extended deadlines for submission of required components. Moving forward, IB teachers will communicate directly with families and students regarding these deadlines to ensure students are able to complete and submit all required coursework in order to comply with IBO’s extended deadlines. To meet these submission deadlines, IB teachers and students with outstanding assessment work may need to begin collection of these assessments or direct instruction about these assessments prior to April 14, 2020.

    Additional IB Updates are available here: IB Updates from the International Baccalaureate Organization.

  • What is the impact on SAT administration?The College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020, SAT administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled March 28) are also canceled. Registered students will receive refunds. The College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as feasible in place of canceled administrations.

  • 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.

  • Will seniors be able to graduate?  Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced that high school seniors who were on track to earn a diploma later this spring will be able to graduate. High school seniors in the following categories will be able to graduate on time: Seniors currently enrolled in a course for which they need a standard or verified credit in order to graduate (verified credits are earned by passing a required course and also passing the associated Standards of Learning test); Seniors who have successfully completed a course required for graduation, but have not earned the associated verified credit; and Seniors who have not passed a required student-selected SOL test. Flexibility also is available for seniors who have not earned a required career and technical education credential, seniors who have not completed a fine or performing arts course or CTE course, seniors who were unable to complete sequential course requirements, and seniors who have not completed a course in economics and personal finance.The vast majority of high school seniors have already met most graduation requirements.

  • What is FCPS going to do about prom and graduation? We recognize that prom is coming up and there are significant costs associated with these events. At this time, there are no changes to prom and graduation schedules.

  • 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:

    March 22       Science Fair - Awards Program – Students will participate in the Science Fair virtually.

    April 18          Special Education Conference

    April 25          All County Chorus 

    April 29          FCPS Retirement Celebration

    May 31           Cappies (canceled by organizer)

    June 6 and 7     CPMSAC (Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student  Achievement Committee) Student Awards Program (canceled by organizer)

    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.

Health Questions

Questions About Meals

Community Questions

  • Can community members continue to access athletic fields, playgrounds, and other outdoor facilities? Given the current CDC guidance, all FCPS exterior playing fields will be locked, where possible. This can include stadium and rectangle fields and diamond fields. While access to other fields and grounds remains open, we reiterate the need for social distancing and mandated avoidance of any large gatherings or group activities. Please visit Fairfax County Health Department's COVID-19 page for current information and guidance.

  • 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