Coronavirus Update - COVID-19 Update from School Board Work Session

The following information was presented on March 9 to the School Board

Overview of School-based Procedures

  • School and central websites are being updated with COVID-19 communications
  • Handwashing posters have been distributed to schools
  • Teachers have been instructed to provide time for handwashing or sanitizing
  • Extra supplies are available if needed
  • Cleaning protocols – including disinfecting all touch surfaces – have been reinforced with custodians
  • Bus drivers are piloting new cleaning procedures
  • Guidance for talking to children about the virus has been distributed to schools
  • Newly registering or re-enrolling students are providing information on international travel
  • Schools are establishing locations away from the clinic for students or staff who may present coronavirus-like symptoms

FCPS Pandemic Influenza Plan

  • FCPS has submitted its pandemic flu plan to the Health Department for review. Objectives of the plan include:
  • Limit and delay the spread of a virus pandemic
  • Minimize disruptions to operations and educational delivery
  • Provide organizational and operational stability
  • Facilitate decision-making during the crisis
  • Achieve an orderly recovery from emergency operations
  • Assist affected employees and their families
  • Once approved, the plan will be posted to the public website

FCPS is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Fairfax County Health Department

Overview of School Closing Scenarios

Scenario 1:

A single school or a small group of schools have dismissed students from classes to limit/restrict social contact and slow the transmission of the influenza virus

Scenario 2:

Students have been dismissed from school to limit/restrict social contact and slow the transmission of the influenza virus.  FCPS facilities may remain open to faculty and staff to support continuity of learning or fulfill FCPS’ responsibilities.

Scenario #1: Single or Small Group Closure

  • Based on recommendations from the Health Department
  • Schools close for deep cleaning
    • Current FCPS cleaning supplies are effective against COVID-19
  • If the Health Department recommends a long-term closure, the distance learning plan would be implemented
  • School resumes

Scenario #2: Divisionwide Closure

  • Recognizing the complexity of equity issues, distance learning plans are being developed to address:
    • Continuity of learning
    • Implications for state, AP & IB testing requirements
    • Meeting VDOE requirements
  • Food distribution plans are being developed for families in need

Distance Learning Plan

Distance Learning Plan
Phase Time Period Instructional Model
Preparation (in advance of school closure) 1-2 Days

Students are released from school

Staff report to work and receive training in preparation for providing virtual instruction

Phase 1 1-5 Days

Students participate in self-directed learning activities, not required or graded

Staff prepare lesson materials to resume instruction virtually in Phase 2 of Plan

Phase 2 Day 6+ Students participate in distance learning activities as directed by teachers


Food Distribution Plan

Food & Nutrition Services are consulting with the Virginia Department of Education to discuss emergency food distribution:

  • Build on existing summer meal delivery model
  • Design and prepare bagged meals
  • Establish pick-up points with staggered times
  • Sanitize all surfaces

Operational Organization

Core response team:

  • Formulates the overall response plan for FCPS
  • Meets regularly to respond to updates from the Health Department, make decisions on divisionwide matters and liaise with the School Board

Work groups:

  • Operationalize specific components of the response plan
  • Topics include:
    • Instruction
    • Student Athletics/Travel
    • Facilities, including cleaning protocols
    • Human Resources

Self-Quarantining Procedures


  • Schools will use current procedures for providing instruction to students with short-term illnesses
  • Departments are consulting with the Virginia Department of Education to discuss chronic absenteeism


  • Non-temporary staff will be placed on paid administrative leave during the 14-day quarantine period
  • Teleworking will be possible, in consultation with principal or program manager

Additional Concerns

  • International field trips have been canceled for the remainder of the school year
  • Domestic field trips to continue as scheduled based on current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control
    • Parents may withdraw their students at any time
  • Schoolwide events to continue as scheduled
    • Parents may keep their children home at any time
  • Communications
    • Keeping the Board and community up to date is essential
      • Weekly updates to the staff and the community
      • Ad hoc communications as situations develop