Health and Safety Guidance Document for 2021-22

FCPS Guidance on School Health Practices

FCPS Achieves WELL Health-Safety Rating™

FCPS recently earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating for all schools and offices.  In so doing, FCPS has joined a community of organizations pushing the boundaries of what health and safety look like in a post-coronavirus environment.

Consistent with Governor Northam’s phased reopening plan for Virginia schools, and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD), FCPS is providing the following:

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Face Masks (Cloth or Disposable)

  • Aligned with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has established procedures for the use of face coverings/masks (cloth or disposable) for students, staff, and visitors designed to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and other identified infectious diseases during a health crisis. These requirements are outlined in Regulation 2109 (R2109), Face Coverings to Mitigate the Spread of Infectious Disease.   
  • To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, FCPS has adopted the position that all students, unvaccinated staff, staff and faculty in the presence of students, and visitors wear face coverings while indoors on school property (to include the buildings, school buses and other school-provided vehicles) during the school day or during any school-sponsored activity. Only a school official can permit a temporary exception to this requirement.  Every school official is required to wear a face covering whenever he or she is interacting with students while indoors on FCPS property. Wearing a face covering benefits the wearer, as well as others. See Guidance for Wearing Masks.
  • Face coverings are not required for students, staff and visitors when outdoors on FCPS school property.
  • Face coverings are not required for vaccinated staff when they are inside schools and facilities when they are not in the presence of students.
  • An appropriate disposable mask will be provided for any student, staff or visitor not in possession of an acceptable face covering/mask while at school. 
  • Face Coverings/Masks recommendations are available in the following languages: EnglishAmharicArabicChineseFarsiKoreanSpanishUrdu and Vietnamese
  • Approved types of masks:
    • Disposable masks, cloth mask coverings, gaiters, clear masks and cloth masks with clear plastic panel
  • All face coverings/masks must meet the following requirements:
    • Face coverings/masks that fit properly (snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face)
    • Face covering/mask with two (2) or more layers of non-woven material
  • Consider the following for better protection:
    • Face covering/masks with nose wire
    • Wearing two masks (as long as one mask is double layers)
    • Cloth face coverings/masks with inner filter pockets
    • A cloth mask can be combined with a fitter or brace
  • Specific guidance regarding what types of PPE are required during in- school instruction can be found at: PPE Strategies: Prevention of Infectious Diseases such as COVID-19
  • Face coverings/Masks that are not recommended:
    • Face coverings/masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)
    • Masks that are wet or dirty
    • Face coverings/masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through
    • Face coverings/masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as plastic or leather)
    • Face coverings/masks or gaiters with one layer
    • Face coverings/masks with exhalation valves or vents
    • Wearing a scarf or using ski masks as a mask
  • Per CDC guidelines, a face shield is not an effective substitute for wearing a mask. The CDC states there is a lack of evidence of the effectiveness to control the spread of the virus when face shields are used alone. FCPS staff are required to wear an approved face covering/mask under the face shield.  
  • Any temporary exception to the requirement of wearing a face covering/mask during the school day will be under the direction and supervision of a school official(s).
  • FCPS recognizes that it may be difficult for many students to wear face coverings/masks all day during in-school instruction. School staff may consider building in supervised breaks during the instructional day where students may go outdoors in order to take a break from wearing face coverings/masks.
    • Schedule breaks, if possible (mask breaks are generally not required)
    • Students must sanitize hands immediately before and after mask breaks
  • Training for students in the appropriate use of face coverings is available at: https://www.fcps.edu/resources/student-safety-and-wellness/school-health-services
  • Any student requesting an exemption to wearing a face covering/mask will provide a written statement from the physician that an exemption from this requirement is necessary due to a health condition, communication impairment or disability or it has been determined that the student meets Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for exemption from the face covering requirement (under the age of two (2) years or unable to remove their mask without assistance.
    • School staff will maintain this documentation in the health section of the cumulative file and designate the exemption in the SIS on the Return to School tab.
  • Refer to the CDC for exceptions for the most recent information regarding exceptions.

Layered Prevention Strategies in Special Settings

Setting Face Masks Physical Distancing
Buses/Public Transportation

Universal Masking

Passengers and drivers MUST wear masks

(exemptions continue to apply as outlined in the CDC Order)
Not Applicable
Cafeteria Masks required when not actively eating and drinking 

CDC recommends physical distancing*, to the extent possible, while masks are removed (i.e., while eating or drinking). CDC also indicates that schools shall not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement

Because FCPS will be serving over 99% of students in person, physical distancing will not be feasible in most schools. Universal masking is being implemented to mitigate this factor.
Care Room Required Required

Layered Prevention Strategies

Stakeholder Face Masks Physical Distancing Daily Symptom Screening
Students

Indoors: Universal Masking (fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated students are required to wear masks)

Outdoors: Masks are not required

Indoors: CDC recommends a minimum of 3’ between students in classrooms to the extent possible and emphasizes that distance may be reduced as needed to ensure all students can be accommodated for in-person learning.

Because FCPS will be serving over 99% of students in person, physical distancing will not be feasible in most schools. Universal masking is being implemented to mitigate this factor.

When schools are at full capacity, physical distancing will be maintained to the extent possible.   

Outdoors: N/A

Yes

To be conducted at home prior to coming to school on the honor system as done in 2020-21
Staff

Indoors - Fully Vaccinated: Masks required when students are in the room, hallway, or other indoor space

Indoors - Not Fully Vaccinated: Masks Required

Outdoors: Masks are not required

Indoors: CDC recommends a minimum of 6’ between students and teachers/staff to the extent possible

Minimum of 6’ between teachers/staff who are not fully vaccinated to the extent possible

Because FCPS will be serving over 99% of students in person, physical distancing will not be feasible in most schools. Universal masking is being implemented to mitigate this factor.

When schools are at full capacity, physical distancing will be maintained to the extent possible.

Outdoors: N/A

Yes

To be conducted at home prior to coming to school on the honor system as done in 2020-21
Visitors

Indoors: Universal Masking (fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated visitors are required to wear masks)

Outdoors: Masks are not required

Indoors: Minimum of 6’ to the extent possible

When schools are at full capacity, physical distancing will be maintained to the extent possible.

Outdoors: N/A

Yes

To be conducted at home prior to coming to  schools / offices on the honor system

Considerations for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, gloves, face shields, goggles, face masks or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness. When used properly, PPE acts as a barrier between infectious materials such as viral and bacterial contaminants and your skin, mouth, nose or eyes (mucous membranes). When used properly and with other infection control practices such as handwashing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes, it minimizes the spread of infection from one person to another.
  • Cloth face masks are not considered PPE and should not be used interchangeably either in terminology or practice.
  • To minimize the spread of communicable disease, such as COVID-19, PPE should be used correctly. FCPS students and staff are required to complete training on the use of PPE in MyPDE.
  • Face shields may not be worn as a substitute for a face covering/mask, but only as an additional layer of protection.  The CDC states there is a lack of evidence of the effectiveness to control the spread of the virus when face shields are used alone.
  • School staff will need to make considerations for the necessary PPE on a case-by-case basis, depending on the activity, physical proximity and level of potential exposure throughout the day.
    • Moderate Risk: Tasks include those that require close contact with (i.e., within six (6) feet of) people who are not known or suspected to have COVID-19. These precautions are recommended since some students with the disease may not be showing any symptoms at the time of interaction. Although there is risk with these tasks, not all PPE listed may be needed for all situations. These tasks include, but are not limited to first aid, oral medication administration, vision screening, hearing screening, consultation, blood glucose checks (diabetes care), and inhalers for students with asthma.
    • High Risk: Tasks that require close contact (i.e., within six (6) feet of) with students’ bodily fluids or aerosol generating procedures such as suctioning of airways, toileting, feeding, transferring or direct contact with bodily fluids or secretions.
  • Specific guidance regarding what types of PPE are required during in- school instruction can be found at: PPE Strategies: Prevention of Infectious Diseases such as COVID-19
  • The Office of Procurement Services (OPS), the Office of Facilities Management (OFM) and the Office of Safety and Security (OSS) work together to provide the necessary supplies and infrastructure to schools. Supply allocations are based on the number of employees, student enrollment and program need. OFM has installed physical distancing signage (on walls and floors) and counter shields in schools and administrative offices. OSS will continue to work closely with the FCHD and CDC to monitor COVID-19 and provide health and safety information as we return to work and school.
  • Below is a list of all supplies and materials that FCPS sites will receive when returning to work. Additional supplies and materials will be available for purchase from the OPS warehouse. 
  • Supplies and Materials for Schools:
    1. Hand sanitizer – automatic dispensing stands for entrances and individual use bottles (500ML) will be provided to all schools and administrative centers. Additionally, 1-gallon pump bottles will be provided for every classroom.
    2. Face coverings/masks – cloth face masks or disposable masks will also be available for students, staff and essential building visitors who do not bring their own. disposable masks will be provided for any student who does not have an exemption that prohibits them from wearing a mask.
    3. Gloves – to be used in custodial cleaning and by staff working in special capacities (For example, special education, Technology Specialists, bus drivers, etc).
    4. Face shields – for use by bus drivers/attendants and special education staff and any other staff upon request.
    5. Gowns – for use by bus drivers/attendants and special education staff
    6. Cleaning supplies – additional supplies will be provided for custodians to use during routine and enhanced cleaning.
    7. Spray bottles and paper towels – to be used with Virex cleaning solution during enhanced cleaning by custodians and, possibly, staff cleaning their individual workspaces.
  • All the PPE currently available from the warehouse have been reviewed and approved by School Health and are acceptable.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Monitor Your Health Daily

Parental Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form

FCPS is no longer requiring parents/guardians to complete the screening commitment form.

Daily Health Screening Questionnaire

  • The CDC recommends that parents, caregivers or guardians, should be strongly encouraged to monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening and students who are sick should not attend in-person instruction.
  • Parents/guardians are required to complete the daily health screening questionnaire prior to sending the student to school each morning.  The required screening must be completed for all school-aged children in the household.  In order to reduce the spread of communicable disease to student and staff, it is critical that parents/guardians accurately complete this screening daily and keep their student home from school when exhibiting any symptoms. The daily health screening questionnaire will be completed on an honor basis and will not be required to be submitted to the school.
  • A daily health screening questionnaire is available in the following languages: EnglishAmharicArabicChinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
  • Parents/guardians will receive frequent reminders from FCPS via multiple modes of communication, reminding them to complete their daily health screening questionnaire and to keep sick students at home. These communications will be developed in collaboration with the Office of Communications and Community Relations (OCCR), Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement (OPLFE) and Language Services.
  • All staff and visitors must complete the daily health screening questionnaire prior to arriving on campus.
  • Any student, staff or visitor demonstrating symptoms of illness should stay home to help “Stop the Spread” of COVID-19.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces  daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Schools

Measures will be implemented to ensure that common areas and equipment, and personal workspaces, are regularly cleaned and sanitized. OFM has worked closely with FCPS custodians to adjust their cleaning processes to better address current considerations. FCPS custodians are using effective disinfectant and sanitizing products to clean our facilities every day. Along with these measures, they are taking the following steps to maximize our sanitizing efforts:

  • Refreshed Cleaning Methods/Processes- FCPS cleaning personnel will be sanitizing and disinfecting restrooms more frequently. Their cleaning protocol will include thoroughly disinfecting and sanitizing all surfaces, doors, toilets, handles, etc. and ensuring that all supplies are always fully stocked.
  • Increased Cleaning to High-Touch Surfaces/Points- FCPS cleaning crews will be sanitizing touch surfaces/points thoroughly (i.e., door handles, glass, elevators buttons, doors, tables, chairs, light switches). Daytime custodians have been instructed to continuously disinfect and sanitize all touch points throughout the day. In addition, we will be increasing daytime custodian coverage where appropriate, depending on building occupancy.
  • Cafeteria tables and chairs must be cleaned and disinfected between lunch periods by custodial staff using Virex II 256.   Ensure no students or visitors are present in the room while disinfecting surfaces.  If surface cleaning with Virex II 256 must be done with students in the room, maintain a minimum of 6 feet between surfaces being disinfected and students in the room until the surface is completely dry.  For maximum effectiveness, allow surface to remain wet for 10 minutes.  However, a spray and wipe application is effective to a lesser degree when the full dwell time cannot be met.
  • Students and staff members are allowed to bring disinfecting wipes for personal use, so long as they are an EPA-approved disinfectant.  Virex II 256 will be used for all custodial cleaning and disinfecting and pre-mixed spray bottles of Virex II 256 will be available to teachers or staff members who choose to disinfect their work areas and do not bring their own disinfectant.  Teachers and staff members who do choose to clean with Virex must first complete a short safety video.  Facilities has also developed a Virex application video to help schools and offices when using the cleaning chemical.

Maintaining Water Quality at FCPS

  • The FCPS Safety Manual (VPN Required) provides security, maintenance and emergency procedures based on national and state regulations – including water systems.  
  • All FCPS facilities in use are connected to public water supplies (exc. Clifton ES), which are required to meet water quality standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and enforced by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).  
  • The safety of the drinking water is primarily the responsibility of the water authority that supplies the water.  Many of these water authorities have designated FCPS buildings as their distribution sampling sites.
  • The Offices of Safety and Security and Facilities Management work collaboratively with the water authority to provide samples at these designated sites each year. 
  • Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the water authority has not provided FCPS with recommendations for increased testing or frequency of flushing water systems.  However, the Office of Facilities Management began performing regular flushing of plumbing fixtures and systems at all schools in June of 2020, which reduces buildup of contaminants in the water lines. 
    • Work is scheduled and tracked through an automated work order system and carried out by maintenance technicians, custodians and/or operating engineers. 
    • Water system flushes occur on an average of once per month, with frequencies expected to go up as students return. 
    • In addition to centrally managed flushing, school staff are encouraged to include flushing of sinks, fountains and toilets as part of their daily schedule of activities.
  • FCPS will continue to monitor and update its procedures in accordance with VDH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and local health department guidance for reopening schools

Water Fountains

  • Students should bring their own water bottle for use during the day. School staff should develop a plan for refilling water bottles, as necessary. Water fountains should not be used as usual. Water fountains can be used to refill water bottles if practical, but students and staff should not drink directly from any water fountains or faucets, which could contribute to illness transmission; individual water bottles should be used instead.  Water fountains are not required to be covered.  School staff should develop a plan to flush water fountains that are not in use.  FCPS has developed signage for water bottle filling stations as part of the “Stop The Spread” campaign.    

Visitors to FCPS Facilities

  • Schools should limit nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated, particularly in areas where there is moderate-to-high COVID-19 community transmission.
  • Schools should not limit access for direct service providers, but can ensure compliance with school visitor polices.
  • Mentors supporting students are considered essential visitors in schools. All mentors visiting schools must comply with school visitor polices. This includes wearing a mask while indoors and completing a daily health screening prior to entering the building. Schools should emphasize the importance of staying home when sick. Anyone demonstrating symptoms of infectious illness, such as flu or COVID-19, should stay home and seek testing and care.
  • All visitors will be required to complete a daily health screening questionnaire prior to entering the building.
  • The daily health screening questionnaire is done on an honor basis and does NOT need to be collected.
  • Please be aware that the daily health screening questionnaire form is NOT part of the sign in/ log in form. They are separate forms and should NOT be combined into one form.
  • All visitors are required to sign in and out of the school building on the sign in/log in sheet. The daily health screening questionnaire form is NOT part of the sign in/log in sheet and should not be used for sign in purposes.
  • Any visitor responding “yes” to any of the daily health screening questions will not be permitted to enter the building.
  • All visitors are required to wear face coverings/masks (cloth or disposable) in the presence of students, while indoors on school property (to include the buildings, school buses and other school-provided vehicles) during the school day or during any school-sponsored activity.
  • An appropriate disposable mask will be provided for any visitor not in possession of an acceptable face covering/mask while at school. 
  • Face coverings are not required for visitors when outdoors on FCPS school property.
  • Any student participating in distance learning that must visit the building for any reason will be required to complete the daily health screening questionnaire (on an honor basis) and wear a face covering/mask (cloth or disposable) while in the building.
  • Delivery personnel are NOT required to complete a daily health screening questionnaire or sign-in if only dropping off or picking up items.  If delivery personnel have to spend an extended period of time on site, they must complete the visitor procedures. 

Care Room/School Health Room/Responding to Illness

Care Room Establishment, Requirements, and Staffing

  • The predetermined care room is a designated location and must be separate from the health room. It may be necessary for schools to identify a second care room due to the requirement for physical distancing and room capacity.
  • A designated staff member must be assigned to supervise students while in the predetermined care room should the need arise. The staff member will be provided with a gown or lab coat, gloves, and a face shield as appropriate. The staff member assigned should complete the trainings on COVID-19 and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • The Personal Protective Equipment - FCPS Staff Training video is now available in MyPDE. Users can access the video via the direct link below or by searching for any of the key words in the title (examples: “personal”, “protective”, “PPE”).
  • Direct Link to Video: Personal Protective Equipment - FCPS Staff Training
  • Staff will need to be available at various times throughout the day to supervise any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 while awaiting pick up by the parent or guardian.

School Health Room

  • Support to students in the health room will continue to be provided by the School Health Aide. FCPS personnel will staff the care room.
  • Students with Individualized Health or Action Plans who require specialized care, medication administration and emergency care will be seen in the health room. Parents will be required to bring in medications needed to support their student during the school day prior to or on the first day of school.

Becoming Ill While at School

  • Students demonstrating any of the following symptoms will be sent home from school:   Fever (100.4 or greater) - Chills – Cough – Shortness of breath – Loss of taste/smell – Sore throat – Fatigue – Muscle aches – Runny Nose/Congestion – Stomachache – Diarrhea – Nausea/Vomiting – Headaches.  The parent/guardian will be notified and a SICK STUDENT NOTIFICATION and RETURN to SCHOOL FORM  will be sent home. 
  • The Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese
  • The top portion of the form will be completed by the School Public Health Nurse or School Health Aide. 
  • Parents are expected to pick up their child within one hour of notification.
  • Parents are to check into the front office.
  • For students with chronic symptoms similar to COVID-like symptoms/illness, parents/guardians are encouraged to complete and regularly update the Health Information Form (HIF)

 

Returning to School After Illness

Students who are called in absent with COVID Like Illness

FCPS will no longer require the SICK STUDENT NOTIFICATION and RETURN to SCHOOL FORM for students who are called in absent with COVID-like symptoms/illness.

 

Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19

Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, may not return until:

  • It has been at least ten (10) days since my child first had symptoms AND
  • My child has had no fever off anti-fever medicines (ex: Tylenol, Ibuprofen) for 24 hours AND
  • My child’s symptoms are getting better

 

Students who have been exposed to COVID-19

If someone in the household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or the student is exposed, the student must remain home for 14 days after their last exposure to the household member.

Response to a COVID Positive Case at School

  • The school will send general notification to the entire school community when a student, staff member, or visitor tests positive for COVID-19. This will let families and staff know that the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) will follow-up with case investigation and contact tracing. 
  • Based on guidance from the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD), FCPS may temporarily pause in-person instruction, athletics, or school activities for anyone identified as a potential close contact during the case investigation and contact tracing. For more information on our COVID response process, view the video.
  • The FCHD will determine any close contacts and will contact those individuals directly to provide the appropriate guidance, which may include quarantine. A close contact is defined as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes during a 24-hour period within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive. The CDC indicates a K-12 exception to this definition. In the K-12 setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet on an infected student when:
    • Both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks
    • Other K-12 prevention strategies were in place in the K-12 school setting
  • This exception does not apply to teachers, staff or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.
  • When the FCHD has completed all contact-tracing, FCPS will send out a final notification letting the school community know that the process has been completed.
  • FCPS has a dashboard that documents all positive cases at schools.  

Food and Nutrition Services (FNS)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the offering of no-cost breakfast and lunch to all students through school year 2021-2022.  Visit the FNS website

Indoor Dining

  • Masks required when not actively eating and drinking
  • CDC recommends social distancing*, to the extent possible, while masks are removed (i.e., while eating or drinking). CDC also indicates that schools shall not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement

CDC Requirements for Playground Areas

  • Face masks are not required on the playground
  • Handwashing and Hand Sanitizing
    • Students are to wash hands before going to playground areas and immediately following with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is to be made easily accessible in playground areas for students and staff. 

Playground Apparatus (swings, jungle gym, etc.)

  • Playground apparatus (large structural equipment, swings, jungle gym, etc.) is approved for use. 
  • Students must sanitize their hands immediately before and after using the apparatus/equipment.

Playground Equipment (balls, hula hoops, jump ropes)

  • Students should wash/sanitize hands immediately prior to and immediately after use of playground equipment.
  • Students may share equipment during recess.
  • Prior to using any piece of equipment, schools should determine if it can be effectively disinfected.  (Nonporous items such as those made of plastic or rubber are recommended.)  
  • Spray or wipe down equipment during the day if possible.

Online Resources for Outside Play

School Programs/Protocols

FCPS’ Current Athletic Protocols

  • Out-of-season athletic workouts are focused on expanding opportunities for students to be physically active in a familiar environment supervised by trusted adults. The overall health and safety of our students and coaches is paramount.
  • Out-of-season workouts may be held in accordance with the established Virginia High School League (VHSL) athletic calendar under the following parameters:
    • All students participating in out-of-season workouts MUST have a complete, valid VHSL physical on file with the school.
    • Any equipment used MUST be disinfected according to established procedures before, during and after the workout.
    • Each coach supervising an out-of-season workout MUST complete the FCPS training program offered by their local school.
    • Coaches MUST submit a workout plan to the supervising administrator for review prior to conducting a workout. This plan must address, at minimum:
      • Dedicated periods for disinfecting equipment used during the workout.
    • Any individual with symptoms associated with COVID-19 should not participate in a workout. Please stay home.
    • Workout participants will complete a screening process upon arrival, to include a symptom questionnaire, before participating in a workout:
      • Students displaying any symptoms will be directed to return home.
      • At the conclusion of the workout, students will be directed to return home immediately to shower and change clothes.
  • In-season athletic activities, including tryouts and regular season and post-season practices and competitions may occur during the appropriate in-season period as defined in the current VHSL athletic calendar.  While certain sports have unique considerations, all in-season athletic activities will be held in accordance with the following parameters:
    • Each coach supervising an in-season practice or competition MUST complete the FCPS training program offered by their local school.
    • Any individual with symptoms associated with COVID-19 should not participate in a workout. Please stay home.
    • All participants (students and coaches) will complete a screening process upon arrival, to include a symptom questionnaire, before participating in a workout:
      • Students displaying any symptoms will be directed to return home.
      • At the conclusion of the workout, students will be directed to return home immediately to shower and change clothes.
    • Any equipment used MUST be disinfected according to established procedures before, during and after the practice or competition.
    • Physical distancing is to be maintained when not actively participating in sport-related activities.
    • All participants (students and coaches) are required to wear a mask when not actively participating in practices or games while indoors, to include while riding the bus to practice or an event.  Students and coaches are not required to wear a mask while outdoors.
    • Students and coaches may temporarily remove their mask as needed if they distance themselves from other participants.
    • All participants must bring at least 32 ounces of water in a personal water bottle to all practices and competitions.
  • Information on sport-specific mitigation protocols is available from the school’s Director of Student Activities (DSA).

Health and Physical Education (HPE)

  • Students must wash/sanitize hands immediately before and after class.
  • Face coverings must be worn during physical education classes held indoors.  Physical distancing to the extent possible should be maintained.(Teachers should consider low intensity activity indoors in well-ventilated spaces and engage in higher intensity activity outside.))
  • Face coverings may be removed during physical education classes held outdoors.  Physical distancing to the extent possible should be maintained.
  • Locker rooms will be available for students who choose to change clothes for physical education.  In accordance with regulation 3210, it is recommended but not required that students change clothes for physical education. Students should wear clothing/footwear that is comfortable and safe for activity and appropriate for the weather.
  • Students may share equipment during class.  Equipment should be sprayed or wiped down with approved cleaning products periodically during the day if possible and at least once per day.
  • Non-porous equipment that can be easily sanitized should be used. 
  • Students are encouraged to have their own water bottle for use during class.
  • Teachers should consider use of electronic whistles.

Dance (K-12)

  • If possible and weather permitting, consider outside spaces for dance instruction, activities, and events.
  • Masks are not required for outdoor rehearsal or performances.
  • Wash and sanitize hands when entering and exiting all dance spaces. 
  • Students will maintain 3ft of physical distancing to the greatest extent possible within the dance classroom and dance spaces.
  • Students, teachers, and staff must wear masks during indoor dance activities unless they have an approved face covering exemption. 
  • As face coverings may become sweaty during dance activities, advise students to have a second mask to wear following class. Students should place the used mask in a plastic zip lock bag or a closed paper bag.
  • Across the floor movement may occur, but dancers should remain in accordance with physical distance guidelines to the greatest extent possible.
  • Sanitize dance barres before and after use with approved disinfectants. 
  • Clean shared props and materials after each use.
  • It is not recommended for the dance classroom to be utilized for other purposes to ensure protection and cleanliness of flooring. 

Theatre Arts (K-12)

  • If possible and weather permitting, consider outside spaces for theatre instruction, activities, and events.
  • Masks are not required for outdoor rehearsals or performances.
  • Wash and sanitize hands when entering and exiting all theatre spaces. 
  • Students will maintain 3ft of physical distancing to the greatest extent possible within the theatre classroom and theatre spaces.
  • As face coverings may become sweaty during theatre activities, advise students to have a second mask to wear following class. Students should place the used mask in a plastic zip lock bag or a closed paper bag.
  • As possible, provide individual scripts, librettos, and dramatic texts for students or digital copies (copyright permitting).
  • Clean shared props, materials, and equipment after each use.
  • Clean technical tools, materials, and equipment after each use and on a regular basis.
  • Students must use individual makeup kits and supplies.  Temporary makeup tools should be discarded after single use.
  • Costumes and wigs should be washed and cleaned regularly.
  • If a microphone is used during a theatre event or performance, it must be properly wiped down after each use and stored in a clear location.  Consult your building supervisor to obtain proper cleaning materials approved by Facilities.

Instrumental Music (4-12)

  • Students in elementary schools can utilize the cafeteria, band/strings room, or other dedicated space to store student instruments and to prepare rooms for physical distancing instruction of at least 3 ft to the greatest extent possible.
  • Students in secondary schools can utilize their designated instructional rooms and instrument lockers. 
  • Musical instruments that are shared should be properly cleaned between use.
  • Physical distancing should occur as suggested by the CDC. Currently that distance is 3 ft of space around each student to the greatest extent possible.
  • Students must stand/sit all facing the same direction, back to front to minimize potential exposure.
  • Spit valves should not be emptied on the floor but into an absorbent disposable material that can be discarded.
  • Bell covers should be attached to woodwind and brass instruments.
  • Masks can be removed for the playing of woodwind and brass instruments. Students can also utilize specialized instrument face masks with a slit for the mouthpiece for indoor rehearsals, concerts, or other performances 
  • Masks/instrument covers are not required for outdoor rehearsals, concerts, or other performances.

Choral Music (7-12)

  • Students will stand/sit all facing the same direction, back to front to minimize the potential exposure.
  • Students will maintain 3 ft. of physical distancing to the greatest extent possible within the classroom.
  • A Choral Mask or face mask should be worn by the students and teachers during indoor rehearsals, concerts, or other performances.  

General Music (K-6)

  • Students will stand/sit all facing the same direction, back to front to minimize potential exposure. (No circles or semi-circles.)
  • Maximize physical distance to the greatest extent possible, especially while singing, playing the recorder, and participating movement activities that produce increased exhalation.  
  • Musical instruments that are shared should be properly cleaned between uses. Students should wash/sanitize hands immediately prior to and immediately after using instruments that are not easily cleaned, such as xylophones.
  • During recorder playing, students can use a disposable mask with a slit cut for the mouthpiece.  Bell covers for the recorder should be used and can be made from a disposable mask.  

School Supplies, Art Materials, and Communal Classroom Items

  • Students should wash hands before and after using communal classroom supplies or equipment.
  • Clean electronic devices, toys, games or learning aids between uses. Teachers should avoid or minimize the use of shared materials within class periods. 
  • Paper books may be used in the classroom
  • Cleaning washable items with soap, detergent, or disinfectant wipe is recommended after each use. Classroom supplies and equipment need not be disinfected (with an EPA-approved disinfectant) unless a person with a suspected or confirmed infection has been in contact.
  • Papers, tools, and supplies do not require an isolation period.

Library Program

  • Hand sanitizer station is required at the entrance of the library
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes or disinfectant should be made available at the checkout station and used immediately after checking books in or out
  • Book Checkout
    • Students and staff are permitted to browse shelves and select books while following distance and mask guidelines
    • Self-checkout stations qualify as high-touch surfaces and should be cleaned according to current guidance
    • The circulation desk requires plexiglass installation where face-to-face checkout takes place.
  • Books that are returned or handled do not require an isolation period.
  • Additional guidance to support in person library use and browsing can be found in Library Facility Safety Recommendations

Health and Safety Science (K-12)

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as Safety Goggles, glasses, gloves, aprons, face masks, face shields should not be shared and should be cleaned between each use by the student using a 10% bleach solution.  
  • Microscopes, Balances and other scientific equipment should be cleaned between use with ethanol wipes found on List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Wipe the surface until visibly wet, then allow to evaporate.
  • Students and parents must sign the FCPS safety agreement and complete the safety quiz. Digital versions are acceptable. 
  • Extra effort should be made to minimize the consumption of food and drink in science classrooms.
  • For additional K- 12 Health and Safety Science Guidance teachers should refer to their mandatory compliance trainings.

Specific Instructional Program Considerations

Generally, all instructional programs will adhere to the guidelines communicated above. Specific guidelines are listed below. The Instructional Services Department staff will continue to develop guidelines that are relevant to various instructional programs.

World Language

Recommend teacher use a clear mask rather than cloth face covering to support instruction.

Assessment Procedures

  • Staff employ the most current school-based health and safety procedures when delivering classroom assessments and standardized assessments.
  • Caregivers may access summary general Health and Safety Protocols for Assessments.

Early Headstart, Preschool, Kindergarten

  • When possible, individual materials (e.g., crayons, markers, scissors. calming box).
  • Gowns will be worn and changed after toileting, feeding or consoling a child.

Travel Restrictions

Currently, the CDC and VDH do not mandate quarantine after travel domestically or out of the country. FCPS is following this guidance.

  • VDH urges all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel, especially if you are at higher risk of serious COVID-19 or if you will be visiting someone at higher risk of serious COVID-19. This recommendation applies to everyone, even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have fully recovered from COVID-19. OCCR will support public messaging for families in the coming weeks.
  • The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recommends (but does not require) that all people get tested before and after travel and stay home or reduce non-essential activities for at least 7 days after travel.
  • Students and staff are not required to quarantine or provide COVID 19 test results.
  • Families may opt to keep their students at home for 14 days after they return from travel, however, it is not required.
  • The daily monitoring of symptoms is required. 
  • For further information, please refer to the requirements for domestic and international travel:

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