Return To Learn

Information on the support available to students returning to school following an extended absence.

Students returning to school following an extended absence need support as they integrate back into classes and the social environment of school. Whether returning following a chronic illness, short-term illness, mental health challenge, concussion, childbirth, or other medical condition, it is critical that parents and educators work together to ensure the student’s successful return to school.

School-based professionals, consisting of school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers, are available to support the transition process as your child returns to their learning environment. These professionals will work with you and other members of the school team to develop a plan for your child’s return to school.

Students Transitioning Back to School

When your child is ready to return to school from an extended absence due to medical or mental health treatment the team at your child’s school is here to assist your family. The team will work with you to develop an educational plan that includes any modifications your child may require as they return to the school environment from an extended absence. Here are some steps you are encouraged to take:

  • Contact your child’s school counselor who will work with you to support your child’s learning while your child is out of school. The counselor will also work with you as your child prepares to return to school following an extended absence.
  • Work with your child’s school team to schedule a meeting to develop a plan for your child’s return to school. The plan will specifically address your child’s learning needs and any accommodations and modifications to instruction that are necessary for your child.
  • Provide permission to communicate with the treatment provider. It is recommended that you designate the school counselor, school psychologist, or school social worker as the point of contact at the school.

All information received by Fairfax County Public School staff, either orally or by written reports, is considered confidential and is protected under Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If your child has been absent for more than 15 consecutive days and is not receiving homebound instruction you must re-enroll your child in school. To be re-enrolled, a parent or guardian must accompany the student to school and meet with the registrar.

Developing a Transition Plan

Attendance and Stamina
The plan will consider whether your child needs to attend school on an adjusted schedule, gradually attending for longer periods of time, increasing the amount of time your child spends in school.

Academic Engagement 
The plan will consider whether your child needs to have work expectations adjusted; gradually increasing the amount of work, the amount of time spent on work, and/or the type or difficulty of work your child is expected to complete; a realistic plan for making up critical assignments will also be developed.

Level of Support
The plan will determine what level of support or modification or accommodations are needed by your child; gradually, the amount and type of academic modifications/supports should decrease.

School Psychology Services

A directory of school psychologists is available on our School Psychology Services page.
Directory of School Psychologists

School Social Work Services

A directory of school social workers is available on our School Social Work Services page.
Directory of School Social Workers

A directory of school counselors can be found on every individual school website. Visit our Schools and Centers page to search for your school's website.

School Counseling Services

Every FCPS student has the opportunity to work with a state-certified school counselor.