FCPS Shares Limited Virtual Program for 2021-22 School Year

May 04, 2021

Fairfax County Public Schools will offer all students five days of in-person learning in the fall while offering a limited, centralized Virtual Program for students with documented health/medical needs. 

FCPS’ Virtual Program for 2021-22 is a response to the impacts of COVID-19. The school division does not plan to offer it beyond this coming school year. Families  must apply in order for their student to continue receiving virtual instruction in the next school year.

The school division currently has 85,396 students attending in-person instruction with more than 80% of those students attending in person for at least four days a week. FCPS in-school COVID-19 transmission rates remain less than 1%, even with the reduced social distancing to 3’ in schools. 

“We are excited to welcome all students and staff back to our buildings for the in-person experiences that we all missed this fall. We are encouraged and hopeful that learning in the fall will look as close to normal as possible. Over the past year, perhaps more than ever, we are reminded of the crucial role our schools play in our community as a gathering place where creative thinking, a culture of caring, and lifelong connections are fostered,” said FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand. 

“While we are busy planning for the fall, we do recognize that some students, in very limited circumstances, may have a documented health or medical need for virtual instruction. Today’s announcement will help ensure that we are able to continue to serve all.”

While school divisions need to provide five days of in-person learning to any family who wants it for their students in the fall, school districts are not obligated to provide a virtual option for all students.

Unlike Virtual Virginia, the FCPS Virtual Program will be taught by FCPS teachers and accommodate students with special education needs and those who require English as a Second Language services. Some FCPS specialized programs will not be available, however, including some immersion, Advanced Placement (AP) courses and specialized Career and Technical programs. Additionally, while there may be options for virtual students to participate in activities or athletics, they will be made on a limited, case-by-case basis. Course offerings in the virtual program will be limited and will be subject to student enrollment and staffing availability. 

The school division will be sending a letter to all families with students who are currently virtual this week and will ask them to declare their intent to apply for the Virtual Program. Families choosing to apply must complete a COVID-19 Health Eligibility Form, which requires a health/medical certification of need completed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, or a licensed clinical psychologist. The Health Eligibility Form as well as a Virtual Program Enrollment Application must be submitted by May 21. 

Families will be contacted by a central program enrollment staff member with a decision by June 1. 

For more information, please visit the FCPS Virtual Program webpage.