Return to School

Returning Strong

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has successfully completed the month-long return of students and staff to in-person learning and is announcing that it will be returning to five days a week of in-person learning in the fall.

More than 109,000 students will have returned for in-person learning, while keeping in-school COVID-19 transmission rates low.

With the success of the spring return to school effort, FCPS is planning to return all students to five days a week in-person in the fall.

Transition to Four Days of In-person Learning

FCPS will be expanding opportunities for four days of in-person learning for identified students during the month of April based on updated Centers for Disease Control guidance, which allows schools the opportunity to transition from 6’ to 3’ social distancing in some circumstances. This transition will depend on space and staffing at each school as well as community transmission rates. 

April 6 - students who are experiencing the greatest learning challenges, as identified by school personnel.  This includes transportation. 

April 13 -  students who are currently attending two-days in-person (PreK-12) and are eligible to return will be contacted during the week of April 13. This expanded capacity is dependent on space and staffing at each school.

April 20 - Eligible students identified above begin four days of in-person learning including bus transportation.

Social Distancing Changes

As of the week ending April 3, 2021, Fairfax County moved to a “substantial” rate of community transmission, down from the previously “high” rate. 

With the substantial rate of community transmission, CDC guidance indicates that middle and high schools are able to join elementary schools in using 3’ social distancing in classrooms where mask use is universal, but 6’ if the student is not wearing their mask.

This change in guidance applies to the space between students. Staff-to-student and staff-to-staff spacing will remain at 6’.

If the rate of  community transmission returns to high, elementary schools will not be affected. However, middle and high schools will return to 6’ social distancing where mask use is universal until community transmission is reduced. 

Letters to the Community

Letter on Middle School and High School Changes to Social Distancing (4/8/21)

Superintendent's Message on Expanded Opportunities for In-Person Learning (4/5/21)

COVID-19 Case Reporting

Return to School Update for March 16

This update includes plans to return to five days a week of in-person learning in the fall, a series of secondary grading policy changes, expanding in-person instruction opportunities, and summer learning opportunities

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is partnering with families to ensure we keep students and staff safe and healthy as we return to school buildings for learning. Daily reminders for familes include:

Daily In-Person Checklist

Make sure your child brings to school on days of in-person learning:

  • Mask(s) (Label with your child’s full name)
  • Water bottle (Label with your child’s full name)
  • School supplies (Label with your child’s full name)
  • Laptop, charger and headphones
  • Hand sanitizer (optional)
  • Disinfectant wipes (optional)
  • Tissues for personal use (optional)

FCPS implemented a new bell schedule on February 16 due to social distancing requirements which limit capacity on school buses. The bell schedule change will apply to both in-person instruction as well as students who are participating in full-time virtual instruction. 

News for Parents

April 14 - Take a look at this week's issue of FCPS This Week for information on meal kit sites moving to Monday distribution, webinars on COVID-19 and the vaccination process, kindergarten registration and early childhood programs, and the NOVA JumpStart Program. 


Resources for Families


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