Academic Planning for Military Families
Information on Special Education Instruction, Advanced Academic Programs, Graduation Requirements, and Home Instruction
Our schools offer different activities and programs to support new students transitioning to Fairfax County Public Schools. Schools may offer a newcomers group, a student ambassador program, new student orientation, or other services that support new students. In addition, schools also offer parent programs such as Back-to-School Night, and grade level and parent orientation programs. Please locate your school in the Schools and Centers Directory and contact your student’s school counselor to identify specific programs offered to support your family.
- FCPS is obligated to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and therefore will provide comparable services to those described in your child’s incoming United States or Department of Defense school individual education program (IEP) until an FCPS IEP has been developed. In some cases a reevaluation of your child’s eligibility for special education will need to take place to determine if he or she continues to be eligible for special education in Virginia. During the reevaluation and IEP processes, FCPS will provide your child with comparable services in accordance with the existing IEP. An FCPS IEP generally should be developed within 30 days.
- You may make a written or oral referral to your child’s school. A local screening committee at the school will meet with you within ten business days to consider all available information and determine whether they suspect your child has a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. If the committee suspects your child has a disability, the committee will seek your consent for evaluations to inform any eligibility decision. If you provide your written consent for FCPS to evaluate, after the evaluations are completed, an eligibility committee will convene to determine whether your child is eligible for special education within 65 business days from the receipt of the referral.
Advanced Academic Programs (AAP)
- While FCPS has established procedures and deadlines for placement into advanced academic courses and programs (gifted programs), flexibility will be afforded to students of military parents, who wish to be screened for these courses and programs. Please visit the Advanced Academic Programs site for more information about screening procedures for elementary school students and middle school students, as well as programs offered to high school students.
- Students earn verified credits when they pass the class and the associated VDOE Standard of Learning (SOL) test. In order to meet the verified credit requirements for graduation, a student must earn six verified credits for the standard diploma, and nine verified credits for the advanced studies diploma. The following subjects have an associated SOL test: World History 1, World History 2, US/VA History, Biology, Chemistry, Geosystems, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and English 11, which includes two different SOL tests in reading and writing.
- The total number of verified credits required for graduation is based on when a student enters FCPS for the first time and the diploma type the student is pursuing. Verified credit may be earned (awarded) using any combination of VDOE approved end of course exams, substitute assessments, and industry certifications or licenses. In addition, courses taken outside of Virginia with an end of course state assessment may be reviewed for verified credit following an identified FCPS process. It is recommended that parents work with their student’s school counselor to insure they receive all test scores from the previous school. If you have further questions regarding verified credits, please see your student’s school counselor.
- Students who transfer into a Virginia public school after the first 20 hours of instruction of the 12th grade will be given every opportunity to earn a diploma. If this is not possible, the student’s school counselor will arrange to have the previous school award the diploma. Students who are awarded a diploma by their previous school shall be permitted to participate in commencement as determined by the local school principal.
When an elementary or middle school student enters FCPS from a home instruction program, the principal shall determine grade placement based on evidence of achievement provided by the parent or guardian. If further evidence is necessary, consultation with school staff or testing may be required.
A student requesting credit for high school courses taken in an approved home instruction program shall provide FCPS with a list of courses taken, the objectives for the courses, and evidence of achievement. The courses for which credit is desired must correspond to courses offered by FCPS. If the evidence of achievement is determined to be insufficient, the principal can require the student to take an examination in each grade or course for which he or she wishes to establish placement and/or credit. Any credit granted by FCPS for courses taken under home instruction shall be designated on the student's scholastic record as credit transferred from home instruction.