Reopening Schools Plan - Additional Considerations
Reopening plans consider additional needs, including those of staff and families
Additional Considerations for Reopening
As the division prepares for reopening schools, we recognize that are additional considerations that must be addressed to ensure students, families, and staff are well supported in the upcoming transitions.
Supports for Staff
One goal of the FCPS Reopening Schools Plan is to ensure that all staff—instructional, clinical, operational, and administrative—have the resources to feel safe and comfortable returning to the workplace. Elements of this staff support model include the following.
Flexible Work and Leave Options
Provide updated resources and procedures, including:
- An updated telework regulation;
- Support accessing emergency leave, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and other related benefits;
- Use of the CDC health inventory, as it pertains to employees who may need an accommodation; and
- Allowing any teacher to request a full-time online teaching assignment. Teacher placements will be contingent on student enrollment numbers in the full-time online program. Teacher requests for full-time online instruction will be tiered based on the individual teacher’s medical need, a family medical need, and finally preference without a medical need.
Personal Protective Equipment
Ensure staff have the necessary personal protective resources, as appropriate for their risk exposure, such as masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, etc.
Health and Wellness
Provide staff with support and resources to address any personal health and wellness needs.
Provide staff with the information, guidance, and professional learning necessary to support virtual instructional practices, health, and safety.
FCPS employees with children attending FCPS schools, grades PreK-6, may request four days of instruction in school for their children. Eligible staff directly serve students in FCPS schools. This includes teachers, instructional assistants, administrators, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and clinical support staff, such as school psychologists and school social workers.
Supports for Families
Another goal of the FCPS Reopening Schools Plan is to ensure that all families have the tools, resources, and supports to feel safe and comfortable as their children return to school. Elements of this family support model include the following.
Flexible Schooling Options
Provide families the opportunity to choose full-time online instruction or the in-person instruction continuum. Caregivers are encouraged to make choices based on health and safety concerns rather than course or program availability. If no preference is received for a student by the deadline, the student will automatically be enrolled for the in-person instruction continuum.
Continue to provide meal services to students unable to attend school in person.
Provide written translations of documents and communications in the eight most frequently spoken home languages in FCPS, and provide oral interpretation for any family who needs this service. Provide consistent access to translation resources, including United Language, Talking Points application, phone line responders, and bilingual parent liaisons.
Training and Support
Provide resources and training to help caregivers understand their roles in supporting students’ academic success, including ongoing workshops and free consultations with the Parent Resource Center.
Expand laptop and MiFi distribution to ensure families have access to reliable technology and internet services to support their children’s learning outside of school. Provide an online help desk to support students and caregivers with computer troubleshooting.
Engage in regular two-way communication between families and their children’s teachers and schools, with support from parent liaisons.
Athletics and Activities
Athletics and extracurricular activities support the goal of providing a well-rounded educational experience for students within the reopening process. FCPS will follow all CDC, VDH, and FCHD guidance for physical and social distancing, restricting the size of gatherings for indoor and outdoor spaces, disinfecting equipment, and other health and safety precautions. Virginia High School League (VHSL) phase guidance will be applied throughout reopening.
- State guidance allows community use of FCPS fields and facilities to resume, effective June 12, 2020.
- FCPS athletics conditioning and agility sessions began on June 22, 2020. All coaches completed mandatory training before conducting any sessions, and all sessions are held at outdoor fields and facilities. Practice sessions are limited to individual work, with no group or scrimmage activities. The fall competitive athletics season was postponed. Adjustments will be made to the winter and spring athletics seasons to accommodate the fall sports later in the year with guidance from the VHSL.
- Clubs may meet both in person and in a virtual setting at the completion of the regular school day. Based on appropriate protocols proper accommodations will be available to allow clubs to remain active.
- The Middle School After School Program will follow appropriate protocols to allow for continuity of programming.
- The marching band season has been postponed until later in the school year. Schools will offer in-person marching band experiences whenever possible and may provide small group marching band practices prior to the start of the school year with proper health and safety modifications.
Multi-faceted communication strategies will allow the division to attain its goal to include stakeholders’ input in reopening decisions and to reinforce trust and confidence in FCPS. Family and staff survey data will be used to inform the development and refinement of implementation plans within the scenarios. Survey data will reflect:
- Family opinions about the three FCPS reopening scenarios;
- Staff comfort levels in returning to work and the supports they need to be successful; and
- Staff and family perceptions on the effectiveness of spring 2020 distance learning.
Division communication strategies are designed to engage all stakeholders through ongoing and up-to-date information about the decision-making process and reopening plans. These strategies include:
- Clear and straightforward information to ease understanding about options, decisions, and timelines for fall;
- Direct communication via mailings, email, and video messages;
- Website and social media postings;
- Town hall events;
- Guaranteed translation services in eight most frequently spoken home languages;
- Ongoing support for school-based outreach and communication tools; and
- Collaboration with stakeholder groups, community organizations, faith-based organizations, and businesses to help get the message to families and staff.