Program Improvement and Innovation Plans (PIIPs) - Instructional Services Department
Relevant details and data for many programs offered by the Instructional Services Department in Fairfax County Public Schools.
The Instructional Services Department supports a variety of programs, services, and initiatives to support teaching and learning in FCPS.
- Instructional programs occur as part of a school's regular schedule and staffing formulas.
- Instructional initiatives are optional school-based activities to support strategic innovation goals and are integrated into classrooms or available as school activities.
- Instructional services and support programs that provide targeted support for student achievement.
An overview of these programs, services, and initiatives is listed below with a link to more detailed information about the program.
Fairfax County Public Schools’ Adult and Community Education (FCPS ACE) program serves all Fairfax County residents. Classes are in person or online and support lifelong literacy and educational opportunities.
The FCPS ACE program
- Provides K–12 registration services.
- Partners with the local workforce development board.
- Provides support to county and state agencies to meet the adult literacy and credentialing needs of clients of multiple agencies.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses provide students the technical applications of many occupations while preparing them for higher education and/or employment opportunities. CTE provides students with
- Exposure to various career fields.
- Growth in workplace readiness skills.
- 21st century skills.
These courses prepare students for their future career by:
- Laying the foundations for the field.
- Providing hands-on practice with up-to-date materials and equipment.
- Engaging in the career field through.
- Clinical experiences.
- Other work-based learning experiences.
- Allowing students to earn industry credentials that will help them in their postsecondary goals.
- Agricultural Education (veterinary science)
- Business and Information Technology
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Health and Medical Sciences
- Technology and Engineering Education
- Trade and Industrial Education (including JROTC, residential construction, and student auto sales)
Courses in career connections are also available including:
- Teachers for Tomorrow
- Education for Employment
- Career Strategies.
Each program area provides a variety of courses across the county. The CTE Team reviews course offerings to incorporate work-based learning into the curriculum and to make sure career pathways are available to students. Summer enrichment programs are available for students to explore CTE opportunities and discover pathways they may want to pursue.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) offers summer enrichment programs designed for motivated students who show an interest in the arts, sciences, technology, and other fields.
Tech Adventure Camp (TAC)
Tech Adventure Camp (TAC) is a weekly exploratory camp for rising 2nd to 7th grade students. The program provides students with the opportunity to create, explore, and learn about Career and Technical Education (CTE) program areas.
CTE Summer Academy (CSA)
CTE Summer Academy is a weekly exploratory camp for rising 8th to 12th grade students. The program allows students to
- Dive deeper into Career and Technical Education (CTE) program areas
- Develop skills
- Begin career exploration
Career and Transition Services (CTS) provides special education students a wide range of student-focused, coordinated activities and support by offering classes and programs that teach:
Workplace readiness skills
- Employability skills
CTS programming includes
- Career assessment.
- Interdisciplinary and collaborative instruction related to career and technical education.
- Parent and family involvement.
- Interagency partnerships and community partnerships.
- Transition Planning
Effective transition planning includes measurable goals and objectives related to post secondary
- Independent living skills
Educational Technology provides direction, professional development, and support for division-wide instructional technology initiatives. These initiatives support meaningful learning experiences and student centered learning environments. Such initiatives include eCART (electronic Curriculum, Assessment, and Resource Tool), Schoology, FCPS Google Workspace for Education, and Digital Citizenship.
Educational Technology also provides training, training materials, and central support to School-Based Technology Specialists (SBTS). SBTS model and provide teachers with the support they need to successfully implement instructional technology initiatives at the school and to effectively use technology to engage students in the learning process.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is committed to challenging all students. The Elementary Advanced Academics Program (AAP):
- Develops students individual talents and skills.
- Differentiates instruction to meet the needs of advanced learners.
- Offers a continuum of advanced academic services for all students in Grades K-12.
The elementary AAP continuum of services approach ensures:
- Access for all students
- A focus on matching services rather than labeling students
- Allowance of multiple entry points
- Deeper learning opportunities for students in their specific areas of need.
- Consideration of student need to work in a group of students with similar academic needs in order to continue growing in their learning
Teachers, administrators, and Advanced Academic Resource Teachers (AARTs) work together to provide the four levels of AAP services in the continuum. A deeper look at the specific services available to FCPS elementary students can be accessed on the FCPS Advanced Academics Programs (AAP) web page.
The FCPS literacy program is aligned with the Virginia Department of Education English Standards of Learning which includes standards in the larger domains of reading, writing, communication, and research. Literacy instruction in FCPS centers on the components of effective literacy development. These include:
- Phonological awareness
- Comprehension (defined by the National Reading Panel, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD] 2000)
- Oral language
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Services provides instructional leadership, curriculum and resource development, and support for all English Learners (ELs) to develop:
- English language proficiency
- English literacy
- Content understanding
ESOL Services provides schools with guidance on how to implement the WIDA English Language Development Standards for all ELs, including those eligible for special education or advanced academic programs. In collaboration with other offices, staff members design and revise curricula, develop and select resources and assessments, and provide staff development. The Office of ESOL Services also oversees the programmatic implementation of federal grants serving ELs.;
Fairfax County Public Schools' (FCPS) Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum is taught in grades K-12. Lessons include age-appropriate instruction in
- Family living and community relationships
- Abstinence education
- The value of postponing sexual activity
- The benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy
- Human sexuality and human reproduction
FCPSOn is a transformation of learning for students and educators. At its core, it provides students with equitable access to meaningful learning experiences and technology to support their learning. In FCPSOn schools, each student receives an FCPS-issued laptop to access dynamic resources and participate in learning tailored to the student’s individual needs. Students will have access to the device at school, and in some schools and grade levels, they will also be able to take their device home.
FCPSOn's transformation of learning leads to Portrait of a Graduate outcomes for ALL students. Portrait of a Graduate skills include collaborating with peers, problem-solving, and creating original work. Also, today's students are tomorrow's workforce. FCPSOn provides them with real-world technology skills that will be essential as adults.
The Fine Arts program provides a complete, consecutive and advancing arts education for students in kindergarten through grade 12.
- Elementary art and general music instruction are provided to all students in kindergarten through grade 6.
- Band and orchestra instruction is also offered at the elementary level.
- Band instruction is offered to students in grades 5 and 6.
- Orchestra instruction is offered to students in grades 4 through 6, and to students in grade 3 at seven schools:
- Bailey’s Elementary School
- Colvin Run Elementary School
- Fort Hunt Elementary School
- Hunters Woods Elementary School
- Lake Anne Elementary School
- Mosby Woods Elementary School
- Woodburn Elementary School.
- There are a variety of elective course offerings in dance, music, theatre, and visual art available for students at the middle and high school levels.
The K-12 fine arts programs promote the development of Portrait of a Graduate attributes by encouraging students to become critical thinkers, creative problem solvers and effective communicators.
The Institute for the Arts (IFTA) is a two or four-week summer program for middle and high school students interested in the performing and visual arts.
Students select from nearly 90 classes in:
- Health and PE 9
- Self-Directed Economics and Personal Finance
Get2Green is the environmental stewardship program for Fairfax County Public Schools. The mission is to promote student learning and action using the environment as a foundation. The goal is to provide equal access to environmental and outdoor learning opportunities. Get2Green supports division-level policies (Regulation 8541, Policy 8542) and projects that complement school-based sustainability work. Schools can choose to take part in the Get2Green program.
The Global Classroom Project (GCP) began in SY 2017-18. It was developed as a way to provide K-12 students with equal opportunities to engage in international collaborations with peers that supports content knowledge acquisition, awareness and impact on global challenges, and development of Portrait of a Graduate skills through an authentic context. These pathways include:
- Cultural Proficiency
- Language Acquisition
- STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
- Sustainability (Get2Green Program)
The GCP is open to any FCPS K-12 teacher with principal support.
The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program provides a four-year program of instruction that emphasizes academic preparation, citizenship, leadership, character development, and the scope and nature of the particular military service branch.
Eight high schools offer JROTC programs supported by the Army, Air Force, Marines or Navy. The program is available to all students in grades 9-12 at their specific school sites. The specific military branch contracts with the individual school and the school system to offer this program.
The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Program of Studies (POS) for Physical Education teaches students how to be movers.
Physical education content includes:
- Fitness and conditioning
- Fitness planning
- Rhythmic activities and dances
- Tumbling and gymnastics
- Lifetime sport activities
Health education content includes:
- Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention education
- Emotional and social health education
- Personal and community health and safety
- Injury and violence prevention
The FCPS mathematics program is aligned with the Virginia Department of Education Mathematics Standards of Learning. These standards and goals provide students with the opportunity to develop the mathematical understandings needed to pursue higher education and to compete in a global, technology intensive society.
FCPS K-12 school counseling programs strive to empower students to become independent and productive individuals through a developmentally age-appropriate program providing academic, social, emotional, and college and career counseling services. The belief that all students can achieve academic success is a touchstone of the program. FCPS school counseling programs are designed to:
- Facilitate academic planning
- Maximize each student’s abilities, interests, and life goals
- Promote students’ personal, social, and emotional well-being
- Implement appropriate interventions
- Provide a developmentally appropriate program for both college and/or postsecondary decision-making as well as career exploration and planning
- Involve educational and community resources to support student development
The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Science program is designed to provide rigorous, inquiry-based learning experiences through which students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 can explore and understand the natural world around them. These experiences broaden students’ knowledge related to the scientific and engineering practices. They also develop students’ ability to think and perform as scientists and from these experiences, students develop Portrait of a Graduate skills.
The Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair is the countywide competition sponsored by FCPS to provide science students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to compete and interact with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals serving as judges. This program provides winners the opportunity to compete at the State and international levels. Winners of the competition may be awarded scholarships, internships, or cash awards to support further science study.
The purpose of FCPS social studies program is to empower all students to be positive contributors to their communities. By exploring American democracy and the related world histories, students develop into informed, empathetic citizens who improve their local and global communities.
The FCPS Social Studies Program is aligned with the FCPS Learning Model. The program enables students to:
- Construct their own understanding of the past
- Apply that knowledge in the present
- Explore their worldview
- Develop skill sets that transfer beyond the classroom
Library Information Services (LIS) supports the school library programs of FCPS as they provide instruction and opportunities for assessment in inquiry-based learning, information skills, and critical thinking, as well as support for reading, media literacy, and digital learning. LIS also provides support, training, and professional development for all school librarians.
Library Support Services (LSS) is responsible for the acquisition, accounting, receipt, cataloging, classification, processing, and distribution of library materials in all FCPS schools and centers.
The FCPS Elementary Magnet Program:
- Enhances and enriches the Program of Studies Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
- Permits a wide range of possibilities for expression of knowledge in science, technology, and performing arts.
- Services and funding depends on the specific programs available at each base school.
- Funding is provided for additional staffing at each site to support these services as they relate to the school-specific science, technology, and fine arts integrated programs.
- Allows out-of-boundary students to apply and gain admission through a division-wide lottery.
- Selection is based on a random lottery and not on academic, behavior, or pre-school experience.
FCPS Online Campus delivers courses identical in content to those offered in our traditional classrooms and uses multimedia to engage students. These courses are aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) and Advanced Placement (AP) standards and follow the Fairfax County Public Schools Program of Studies (POS).
Students may take up to two online courses for reasons such as:
- Late start option,
- To resolve face to face scheduling conflicts,
- Personal reasons including health
- Others approved by counselor from the Online Campus
Portrait of a Graduate (POG) was adopted within FCPS in 2014 to ensure that students develop attributes and skills that will empower them to be productive citizens of a global community and successful in the workforce of the future:
- Creative and Critical Thinker
- Ethical and Global Citizen
- Goal-directed and Resilient Individual
Studies show the brain grows rapidly in the first five years of life. The vision of the FCPS PreK and Early Head Start Program (EHS) is to ensure “Every Child Ready to Learn.” This vision was developed recognizing a young child’s entire environment affects their learning and success in the classroom and then later in life. Increasing access and opportunity to a quality program such as PreK and EHS, where strong adult-child interactions are highly emphasized, results in greater achievements throughout their life.
PreK and EHS is a comprehensive services program. Along with its educational focus, the program provides:
- Strong family engagement.
- Support for physical health, nutrition, mental health, and students with disabilities.
Programming is funded through the braiding of grant and local funds like:
There are multiple opportunities for secondary students to develop their talents, receive differentiated instruction, and higher level content. Some of these opportunities fall under Advanced Placement (AP) programs, including:
- Honors Courses
- International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB MYP)
- International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and IB Career-Related Program (IBCP)
- Advanced Placement (AP) program
The secondary English Language Arts program enables students to refine these skills for post-secondary success:
- Multimodal literacies
The program aligns with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL), FCPS Program of Studies (POS), and the FCPS Learning Model. Instruction is learner-centered and concept-based. It includes meaningful learning experiences with purposeful assessments that embed real-life skills.
Service Learning makes connections between the classroom and the community and provides structured time for students to reflect on their service experiences. It is intended to instill a sense of civic responsibility by encouraging students to assess their impact on the community as active contributors to society. Service Learning is a Work-Based Learning experience as it provides students with Career Exploration opportunities and supports students with developing career interests.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) integration across subjects empowers students from preschool through high school to
- explore real world problems
- see themselves in STEAM careers
Students apply Science concepts to define and solve problems. Technology and computer science help optimize solutions and bring ideas to reality. Engineering practices are used across content areas to design and test ideas. Arts practices and creative expression enhance designs. Math is used to understand the problem, make predictions, and design solutions. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) includes engineering practices in all grade levels in Science.
There are multiple opportunities for students to receive Pre-K-12 intervention, remediation, credit recovery, and credit acceleration opportunities. Some of these opportunities include:
- Bridge to Kindergarten/Bridge to First Grade
- Summer Olympians Aspire and Reach (SOAR)
- Curious Minds Academy
- Credit Recovery Academy
The World Languages program makes sure that students
- acquire the skills necessary for oral and written communication in another language,
- explore cultural similarities and differences,
- learn to interact with linguistic and cultural competence with speakers of other languages.
Students develop communicative and intercultural competence in another language. Our World Languages programs foster the development of all Portrait of a Graduate attributes.
Cultivate global citizens who engage and connect with the world through language and culture.
Inspire students to develop their personal communicative and cultural competence through authentic and engaging language learning experiences.
Young Scholars is designed to increase the number of historically underrepresented students in Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) and courses.
Identification of Young Scholars
- Elementary School: School Administrators, Advanced Academic Resource Teachers (AARTs), Counselors, and Teachers
- Middle and High Schools: AARTs, Teachers, Director of Students Services, and Counselors
Through a variety of interventions in elementary and secondary school, students:
- Are provided an educational setting that raises their personal expectations.
- Are prepared for more challenging and rigorous courses as they advance in grade level.
- Have increased access to rigor found in both the FCPS strategic plan and the Closing the Achievement Gap framework.