Return to School - Frequently Asked Questions for Staff

Questions and Answers about the 2020-21 Return to School Plan for Staff

Staff-Specific Information

View the questions from staff and answers from FCPS about the 2020-21 school year about topics including Return to Work, leave and telework, unemployment, calendars, childcare, health and safety, instruction, special education and more. 

Health and Safety Guidance Document

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is providing the following guidance to staff regarding school health practices for students. The guidance is consistent with Governor Northam’s phased reopening plan for Virginia schools and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Schools should follow all CDC, Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and the local health department guidance for reopening schools during all phases.

This document is updated frequently and contains the most recent information on health and safety topics.

Return to Work

What do I need to do before I return to my building? (posted 2/12/21)

All staff must complete a daily health screening prior to entering any FCPS building. There are required trainings in MyPDE that all staff must complete as well: 

  • Personal Protective Equipment-FCPS Staff Training
  • Return to Work-Building Procedures
  • Stop the Spread Staff Training
  • Child Abuse
  • Anaphylaxis Awareness
  • Restraint and Seclusion

When will FCPS begin using the new bell schedule? (posted 2/12/21)

On Tuesday, February 16 all schools will begin using a new bell schedule. The bell schedule adjustment is necessary due to social distancing requirements which limit capacity on school buses. The bell schedule change will apply to both in-person learning as well as students who are doing full-time virtual learning. 

Are visitors allowed in FCPS buildings? (posted 2/12/21)

FCPS has implemented safety protocols that require that we limit the number of individuals who move in and out of our facilities. To promote social distancing during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, facility visitors will be limited and should occur by scheduled appointment only. No walk-in visitors are permitted. As much as possible, appointments should be accommodated via telephone, video conference, or other suitable technology. When a face-to-face appointment visit is necessary, the office must schedule an appointment time with the visitor and follow the steps below:

  • Once the visitor has arrived at the building and parked, they must call the office to check-in. 
  • While in the car, the visitor must be asked the health screening questions.
  • If visitors are suspected to be sick and/or have recently experienced COVID-19 symptoms, they are not permitted to enter the building and must reschedule. Visitors who pass the health screening should be instructed to access the building through the front doors or appropriately designated entrance and be greeted by an employee, who will wear a mask, for escort to the appointment.
  • Visitors must wear a face covering/mask, enter the building alone, and follow social distancing guidelines. Any family members or friends accompanying the visitor will be asked to remain outside or in a vehicle.

Leave and Telework

Will telework and leave policies for staff remain in place for the 2020-2021 school year to address medical and childcare concerns? (updated 2/16/21)

FCPS has created Regulation 4417, to address telework requests. Telework requests must be submitted direct to your supervisor.

Individual employees with an underlying health condition that places the employee at a higher risk of complication from COVID-19, may qualify for an ADA accommodation. Employees may submit their request for an ADA accommodation here. Please note that the Office of Equity & Employee Relations (EER) cannot process your ADA request until we receive Part II of your ADA request.

Employees who do not qualify for ADA accommodations but have health-related concerns such living with someone who is medically fragile or has a compromised immune system may consider:

FFCRA options noted below.

Questions about these leave options can be addressed to:

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides for additional paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Please see FFCRA information. These provisions are available through March 31, 2021 (period extended as a result of the most recent stimulus bill). If an employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons, they should notify their principal or program manager as soon as possible. Please visit the Fairfax County website for additional childcare options.

Will there be any changes to FCPS sick leave for 2020-2021? (updated 2/16/21)

Pay and leave time administration will be slightly different through March 31, 2021. Additional pay/leave time will be provided to employees affected by COVID-19 related reasons for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and/or emergency family medical leave extension (EFMLE) under the recent provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  

Normal employee sick time accruals will continue with each pay period.  Employees are always encouraged to stay home when not feeling well, but during this pandemic period, those directions become even more important.  If an employee does not feel well, they should not come into the workplace and either make arrangements with their supervisor to work remotely where possible or access sick leave as needed.

If an employee is required to self-quarantine, will they have to take leave? If so, what kind? (updated 2/16/21)

Employees who have been directed to self-quarantine should inform their supervisors and the disability and leave unit in DHR.  Pay and leave will be provided as the individual’s situation evolves.  In a case where the employee is self-quarantined because they are symptomatic, or seek treatment and don’t become ill, the employee can submit a request for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and up to two weeks of pay/leave will be provided, without the need for accessing their existing sick balances (available through March 31, 2021).  If they are not symptomatic and their role is conducive to telework, leave may not be required.  If the employee requires additional time, pay/leave will be determined based on the reason for the need to extend leave.  A variety of supports are available (sick/annual accruals, EFMLE, FMLA, STD, LTD, LOA) and are determined based on the circumstances of the individual situation. 

  • Learn more on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Where can I find additional information about ADA accommodations questions? (updated 10/26/20)

Please visit ADA Accommodation Resource Page on the Internet or the Intranet (VPN is required to access this page).

How will pregnancy be treated with regard to telework options? (updated 10/26/20)

Teachers who are pregnant may qualify for ADA accommodations.

Will there be any changes to evaluations this year? (posted 8/2020)

Yes. Standard 7 has been reduced from 40% to 15%. 

Evaluation criteria has also been modified for the virtual environment. More information can be found on the Intranet. (VPN required)

Midyear assessments have been suspended (no longer required) for employees on evaluation for SY2021 - with the exception of probationary employees, teachers with a conditional rating and employees who are not meeting performance expectations as documented by their supervisor. Learn more on the Intranet. (VPN required)


As an hourly contracted or temporary employee, when would I be eligible for unemployment benefits? (posted 8/2020)

While FCPS does not make eligibility determinations, most FCPS employees will likely not qualify for unemployment benefits during the summer because the Code of Virginia, Section§ 60.2-615, says that employees working for educational institutions (like FCPS) do not qualify for unemployment benefits during the summer recess when there is a reasonable assurance that your employment will resume in the next academic year. 

The Code of Virginia also states “the denial of benefits shall apply to an individual who performs services on a part-time or substitute basis.” This means that substitute teachers and part-time hourly employees are likely not eligible for unemployment benefits. Hourly contracted employees – whether part-time or full time may qualify for benefit depending on how much time they worked for FCPS. 


Will there be any changes to the 2020-2021 student and/or staff calendar? (updated 10/27/20)

The School Board voted to support the Superintendent’s recommendations this year to amend the calendar to adjust for both virtual and in-person instruction, planning and professional development.  At the current time, there are no other changes to the student or staff calendars. Should changes arise, updates will be posted here.


Is childcare available for teachers who have young children? (posted 2/12/21)

If a student-facing staff member, such as a teacher, has children (grades K-6) in an FCPS school, their child(ren) may attend their ES base school for four days of in-person instruction, space permitting.

Teachers may bring their child(ren) in grades K-8 with them to their work space if needed, and if it is agreed upon by the principal. This option is contingent upon the school’s capacity to maintain social distancing in classrooms/workspace as well as balancing the job expectations of the employee. 

Children who attend work spaces should be able to work independently.

Once a student’s group returns for in-person instruction, students are encouraged to attend their base school for 4 days of in-person instruction, space permitting.            

The principal reserves the right to determine if an arrangement is impacting an employee’s ability to fully perform their duty. 

What is the Supporting Return to School (SRS) program and how is it different from SACC? (updated 2/19/21, posted 8/20/20)

Updated 2/19/21

In preparation for the Fairfax County Public School transition to a hybrid model of in-person and virtual instruction, the SRS program moved into ten additional sites at the end of December and is now located in 47 FCPS locations. With the School Board's recent decision to begin the hybrid model, SRS has adapted program services in order to best serve children and families.

The following SRS program options will support the transition of children to in-person instruction and continue to meet the needs of families for virtual learning support and before and after school programming:

  • Cohort 1: In-person learning four days per week with before and/or after school services and one full day SRS. 
    • February 16, 2021 for children and youth attending adapted curriculum programs; and Key Center, Kilmer Center and Burke School.
  • Cohort 2A and 2B: In-person learning two days per week with before and/or after school services and three full days SRS. 
    • February 23, 2021 for Kindergarteners
    • March 9,2021 for children in Grades 1-2
    • March 16, 2021 for children in Grades 3-6
  • Full Time Virtual Learning: Children continue five full days SRS.

SRS Registration has been enrolling families at SRS Centers where space is available to accommodate the participation of additional children. Enrollment of families with the greatest need for services continues to be the SRS program's priority. Once all cohorts have returned to in-person instruction, the SRS program will evaluate service options based on family and staff feedback and adapt program offerings as needed.

SRS Health and Safety Protocols
SRS staff continue to work closely with the Fairfax County Health Department for ongoing guidance and feedback on SRS health and safety protocols. In December, SRS staff participated in focus groups on health and safety strategies to support children's transition to in-person instruction. The successful transition to the hybrid model for in-person instruction requires consistent implementation and compliance with all health and safety protocols and rigorous adherence to required mitigating strategies both in and out of the SRS program and in partnership with families, FCPS, and the community.


What training and resources are available to support staff with questions about attendance in virtual learning? (posted 8/20/20)

A MyPDE training has been created for teachers and administrators to ensure that attendance processes are aligned with new VDOE expectations for SY2020-21. Related information and resources are posted on the attendance intranet site with an FAQ sheet, toolkits, letters for parents, communication tips for schools, and attendance monitoring recommendations.

If a parent indicates that there is a hardship that may affect a child's attendance, what should the parent do? (posted 8/20/20)

The parent is encouraged to discuss the situation with the building principal or AP. Any parent/guardian who has concerns about the student's health condition, especially if it is a serious illness, should reach the school if the child's condition may affect their regular engagement in learning. Related to distance learning, a short-term hardship, such as a lack of Internet access, will necessitate that the student be offered recorded sessions on a delayed schedule, and an excused absence until the access issue is corrected. Teachers will need to be alerted that the student lacks access. Families may also be facing moves, because of economic hardships. It is essential for schools to maintain contact with these families, and provide instructional opportunities for these children, if they remain eligible to be enrolled in FCPS schools. A longer- term hardship situation might be that child must go to a childcare provider who lacks Internet access and/or cannot support online instruction for the child. In this case, if the family has access to technology at home, but is a working family, they might need consideration for "delayed access" and asynchronous learning options. At the secondary level, some students may need to oversee younger siblings, and may not have time available to log in to regularly scheduled (synchronous) classes. If this will continue, administrators may consider offering "delayed status" to the student. In doing so, administrators will need to remind students that they must complete school assignments and logs regularly.

What happens when we have students who fail to log in, or provide any evidence that they are accessing the virtual learning environment?  (posted 8/20/20)

Schools should regularly monitor students who are "no shows", or non-participants, and have a staff member reach the student and family to determine why the student is not engaged in learning. In some cases, families may face significant challenges in making distance learning a reality for their children and need help and support as a result. School teams are encouraged to use a problem-solving approach to address these barriers.

A parent has reported that the student has been diagnosed with Covid19 or a related illness. As a result, the student will be unable to participate regularly in distance learning. What is the current advice? (posted 8/20/20)

For schools, if a student will be absent 15 or more days because of Covid19 related illness, VDOE reporting requires that the students not be withdrawn. FCPS continues to seek advice on Covid19- related confirmation procedures (doctor's note, parent report only) via the Fairfax County Health Department.

Health and Safety 

An FCPS health and safety guidance document, created in collaboration with the Fairfax County Health has been posted online. The document includes information about health and safety protocols for schools and classrooms and is available online at:

CDC's new guidance on 3' and 6' distancing (added April 5, 2021)

How is this safe? We haven’t been back two days for very long.

Thanks to a cooperative approach with the local health department, staff, families, and students FCPS was “responsible together” and we were able to return more than 109,000 students and staff to in-person instruction by March 19. 

FCPS has seen very low numbers of COVID cases in our schools. Layered prevention strategies have been extremely effective in limiting COVID transmission in schools, with just 19 cases of transmission in our schools and offices between January 26 and March 15, impacting .02% of students and staff in buildings at that time. 

Every decision around return to school has been based in data and science. The CDC has been studying school systems and their data shows that transmission rates are low when schools follow layered prevention strategies. Here are some of those updated studies.

Why is 3 feet now considered safe? 

As long as students are wearing masks and adhering to all CDC layered prevention strategies, evidence suggests that 3 feet is a sufficient physical distance for students to stay healthy and lessen risk of virus transmission in most circumstances.

How does 3 feet change FCPS’ return to school planning?

Three foot distancing allows for much more flexibility in terms of classroom size and layout and will enable capacity to expand.

Does this guidance apply to staff?

This change in the CDC guidance applies to the space between some students at schools with capacity. For now, staff-to-student and staff-to-staff spacing will remain at 6’.

I work in a school and I no longer feel safe if 3’ social distancing is implemented.

The 3’ social distancing change applies to student to student spacing. Staff to student and staff to staff will remain at 6’

Are teachers being able to hold classes outside?

Any decisions about how space is used, both indoor and outdoor, is done on a school-by-school basis. Your child’s school may have this option while others may not.

How will lunch be handled with more students in the building?

Decisions will be made by each individual school. Some options include splitting students between classrooms and the cafeteria, using additional school spaces and/or eating outside.

Where can employees find the health screening questions they need to complete each day before work? (posted 2/12/21)

The Health Screening Questions are available on the website and also available in other languages.

What are employees going to do to help stop the spread? (posted 2/12/21)

Staff shall wear a face covering/mask while in common spaces in FCPS buildings such as corridors/hallways, bathrooms, break rooms, copy rooms, conference rooms, etc. AND, staff will maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet while in these spaces.

FCPS will be implementing the five mitigation strategies, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Consistent and correct use of face masks
  • Social distancing to the largest extent possible
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Contact tracing in collaboration with the health department   

Additionally, staff should avoid touching their face, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when sick. 

All program managers have been provided a face mask and bottle of hand sanitizer for every employee. 

Do I need to wear a mask at all times in my building/office? (posted 2/12/21)

If employees are in a common area (classrooms, hallways, school offices, administrative offices, etc.), a face covering/mask is required and must maintain social distancing of 6 feet. 

If the employee works in a hard-walled office, a face covering/mask is required if there is one or more visitors in room, doorway. Employees need to maintain 6 feet social distancing if one or more visitors.

If the employee works in a cubicle, a face covering/mask is required if social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained with either surrounding cubicle workers and/or visitors. A face covering/mask is required when more than one person is in the space and maintain 6 feet social distancing.

Can I wear any face covering or mask? (posted 2/12/21)

The CDC issued new guidance on face coverings/masks: For better fit and extra protection, wear two masks (disposable mask underneath AND cloth mask on top) or a cloth mask can be combined with a fitter or brace. Face shields may be worn in addition to an approved face covering/mask, but a face shield cannot be worn alone.

Can employees wear scrubs to work at schools? (posted 2/22/21)

Employees are allowed to wear scrubs and other professional attire that allows them to be comfortable while working and wearing PPE as appropriate.

If I have been vaccinated, what do I do if am exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19? (posted 2/12/21)

The CDC released new guidance related to quarantine of vaccinated persons. Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

The CDC states vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria†:

  1. Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  2. Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  3. Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

If employees work at different sites, do they need to sign in and sign out of buildings? (posted 2/12/21)

There is a process for signing in and out of a building. In order to support health and safety in our buildings and contact tracing efforts by the Health Department, staff and visitors must sign-in/out of the building. 

Sign in and out at the main entrance of the building (time of arrival/departure, phone number, and email address).

Staff who are assigned to a work location are not required to sign in/out each day, unless they are working on a non-designated or off schedule day/hours. An employee ID number is not required.

What should an employee do if expose to COVID-19? (posted 2/12/21)

If employee is exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19, in workplace or at home, employee should notify supervisor.  Supervisor will contact Human Resources and follow Fairfax County Health Department guidance to self quarantine and monitor health for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from date of last exposure.  

If they have had an in-household exposure their quarantine time may extend longer. An employee will need to provide a Return to Work (RTW) form (HR466) to HR, signed by their doctor with a release date before coming back onsite. Employees who are awaiting COVID-19 test results for a potential COVID exposure should not report onsite to work.

If an employee tests positive what should they do? (posted 2/12/21)

Employees are asked to stay home if they are sick or have been quarantined, and to report any symptoms to their supervisor before coming onsite. If an employee tests positive, they must notify their supervisor, who will then submit a COVID notification survey to the FCHD. If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, the FCHD will initiate a contact tracing investigation, which would include any employees who are deemed close contacts in the workplace, if it was determined that exposure have occurred there.

FCHD staff will determine the infectious period, identify any contacts the employee may have had, and make recommendations for isolation of the case and quarantine of people who had close contact with the case during their infectious period. The FCHD will communicate back to the program managers that an investigation was done and make any additional recommendations that are necessary, including any notifications that may need to occur or cleaning requirements for the facility. Any potentially identifying information in an investigation is kept strictly confidential to protect privacy.

An employee who tests positive for COVID 19 or who has had to quarantined must provide a Return to Work form (HR466), signed by their physician, to HR before returning onsite.

What measures are being put into place to protect student and staff health and safety? (posted 6/24/20- updated 7/30/20)

FCPS is working closely with Fairfax County Health officials to address student and staff health and safety. FCPS will use a daily health screening process that requires parents to self-report their child is asymptomatic and has not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. All staff will be required to self-report being asymptomatic and without exposure to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms when reporting to worksites.

Face coverings will be worn by staff and students (age two and older, with limited exceptions). Face coverings will be provided to students as needed and FCPS will ensure all staff has the necessary equipment based on their role (ex: masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, etc.).

Schools will ensure student and staff groupings are as static as possible. Desks will be separated by up to a six feet distance and will face the same direction and students will eat meals in classrooms whenever possible.

Cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be intensified. There will be daily sanitizing of high touch areas (doorknobs, handles, fixtures, etc.) with medical grade sanitizing solution. In addition, there will be more frequent monitoring and cleaning of restrooms throughout the day and contracted cleaning services will be available as needed. Additional breaks will be provided for hand washing to ensure students wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; before eating; and upon entering classrooms. If soap and water are not readily available, sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will be provided.

FCPS will limit building access, including, restricted building access for visitors. 

How will health screening be conducted during face-to-face instruction? (posted 7/17/20- updated 7/30/20)

Parents/guardians of students participating in face-to-face will be required to complete a Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form.  The Health Screening Commitment form indicates the parental/guardian’s agreement and commitment to complete a daily health screening each morning, prior to sending the student to school. The daily health screening is done on an honor basis. Students are to be kept home if they are sick. 

Students whose parent/ guardian has not completed, signed and returned the Health Screening Commitment form to the school will be required to have their temperature taken daily by the school staff until the form is received.

How will social distancing be enforced during face-to-face learning and how will situations be handled when students are not adhering to the expectations? (posted 6/26/20- updated 7/30/20)

The expectation to maintain social distancing has been and will continue to be communicated to parents, students and staff.  Staff will set the expectation, model, instruct on the importance of this measure, positively reinforce and know that there will be some challenges due to the various developmental levels of students.  The compliance to this regulation would consider factors of student understanding and needs based on developmental levels, similar to other expectations set by schools. Teams often consider individual factors when addressing behavioral concerns and this will be the same for the practice of social distancing.

Under what circumstances would a student or staff member be required to quarantine at home due to exposure to COVID-19? How does contract investigation work when a COVID-19 case is determined? (posted 7/10/20- updated 7/17/20)

Below are links from the Virginia Department of Health that outline the process of contact tracing and investigation.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in school, the Health Department will work closely with school administrators to determine a course of action for the school. The process will be as follows:

  • Isolation of the individual
  • The student (and their parents/guardians) or staff member will be interviewed to determine possible exposures inside and outside of the school
  • The student/staff will be isolated at home and the Health Department will monitor them daily
  • Identification of all who had close contact (defined as 6 feet for greater than 15 minutes) with the COVID-19 positive student(s)/staff and quarantine them.
  • Each close contact will be interviewed for symptoms, asked to get tested between days 5-7 after the exposure, and will be monitored by the health department for the duration of their quarantine

Additional information can be found here.  

COVID Testing (posted 12/22/20)

In collaboration with FCPS, the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) has established a designated phone line for FCPS staff and students who are unable to seek COVID-19 testing elsewhere.

The FCPS principal or designee must ensure that the staff or student meet the following criteria in order to qualify for this service:

  • The staff or student must be attending school in-person and/or have been in the school building during the time in question.
  • The staff or student must be symptomatic.
  • The staff or student are unable to seek COVID-19 testing elsewhere.

Protocol to follow once the qualifying criteria is met:

  • During the academic day, the principal or designee should contact their assigned PHN.
  • During the weekends, the principal or designee should call 703-246-8737 to be connected to the School Health Public Health Nurse (PHN) during the hours between 9:00 am-4:00pm.
  • The FCPS principal or designee are to leave a message if the PHN is not directly available. The call will be returned within 90 minutes.

Will parents and staff be notified of a positive COVID-19 case in their school? (posted 7/17/20)

FCPS will follow the guidelines and protocols of the Health Department. More information can be found here

What is the protocol if a student/staff member has been exposed to COVID-19 outside of school? (posted 7/17/20)

The student/staff member would be advised to seek medical assistance from their healthcare provider to determine the risk associated with the exposure. More information can be found here

What will the protocols be if someone in the school community (student, teacher, staff member, sibling that does not attend the school, parent) tests positive for COVID-19? (posted 7/10/20)

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) will complete a contact investigation of individuals with confirmed cases. FCPS will act in accordance to the findings of the FCHD investigations as it relates to quarantine individuals, closing a particular class or a school. 

Will additional nurses be added to schools? (posted 7/10/20)

Public Health Nurses (PHN) are funded and employed by Fairfax County Government. The FCPS School Board approved providing funding for 5 additional PHN positions this coming year. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has a multi-year plan to increase the number of PHNs that support schools.

What should individuals be looking for when purchasing or making a face covering? (posted 7/10/20- updated 7/30/20)

The CDC site repeatedly encourages the use of face coverings so that surgical masks and N-95s can be reserved for medical professionals to conserve on PPE shortages. While face coverings don't offer the same type of protection as medical grade masks, they are recommended as they do provide a level of protection for the wearer.

Cotton that is tightly woven is a very good choice, should be at least two layers thick, provide breathability, and should fit snugly yet comfortable against the side of the face. They should be secured with ties or ear loops and also be washable and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

Please click on the below links for additional information:​


How will be cleaning and disinfecting be done in buildings? (posted 2/12/21)

Work spaces are cleaned every evening. FCPS cleaning crews will be sanitizing touch surfaces/points thoroughly (i.e., door handles, glass, elevators buttons, doors, tables, chairs, light switches).

Employees should use extra care to sanitize shared equipment/high contact surfaces (copy machines, keyboards, microwaves, refrigerators, elevator buttons, faucets, etc.)

Areas where additional cleaning should be undertaken include, but are not limited to:

  • Kitchen: Microwave and refrigerator door handles, faucets, etc.
  • Conference rooms and meeting spaces
  • Copy machine keypads.
  • Keyboards and mice.
  • Shared equipment such as laptops, projectors and other devices.
  • Tools.
  • Work benches, equipment guard handles, etc.

Consider creating a regular cleaning schedule, in collaboration with your coworkers, supervisors, and program managers for common areas and shared equipment.
Hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes or alternative disinfectant will be made available to all employees.

Will hand sanitizer be provided to employees? (posted 2/12/21)

Hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes or alternative disinfectant will be made available to all employees. Because these are considered critical items, the Office of Procurement Services (OPS) will coordinate the procurement and inventory of any additional sanitizer or other supplies. Program managers have received a face mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer for every employee.

Will additional custodial staffing be provided to support cleaning of buildings? (posted 6/26/20)

No. Current daytime custodians will focus on cleaning high touch areas (doorknobs, handles, fixtures, etc.) with a medical grade sanitizing solution with frequent monitoring and cleaning of restrooms throughout the day.  Each evening additional deeper cleaning will be provided by evening custodians.  Contracted cleaning services will be available if needed to provide response cleaning.

What is FCPS doing to ensure clean air circulation in FCPS buildings? (updated 3/5/21)

FCPS follows CDC and Virginia Health Department guidance to reduce the risk for exposure to coronavirus.  Schools are designed to ventilate outdoor air throughout the day to reduce the buildup of pollutants and odors.

FCPS uses mechanical ventilation instead of opening windows to provide outside air as the air coming through mechanical systems is filtered. Fresh air is provided at an appropriate rate, and the air is filtered and conditioned before it enters the space. FCPS conducted a survey of all HVAC systems to ensure they provide sufficient outside air ventilation in accordance with CDC and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Maintenance staff conduct routine and preventative maintenance on all mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems – including replacing air filters. Custodians and operating engineers conduct building checks to identify where workers might be at risk while at work (e.g., checking exhaust fans in restrooms for proper operation).  In areas where an indoor air quality concern is identified we use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to enhance air cleaning.   

In-person learning with six feet social distancing (50% capacity) will further increase the amount of fresh air per person. 


Is school ventilation adequately monitored? (updated 3/5/21)

FCPS follows WHO, CDC and Virginia Health Department guidance to reduce the risk for exposure to coronavirus. Schools are designed to ventilate outdoor air throughout the day to reduce the buildup of pollutants and odors. 

School HVAC systems average between six and ten air exchanges per hour at a rate of 18-20% fresh outside air for each exchange – providing more than 100% fresh outside air to the space every hour. Schools do not need to leave classroom doors and windows open to help ventilate the space.  All schools are designed to ventilate fresh outside air through the HVAC system (e.g. windows are not necessary to ventilate outside air) and are rated above ASHRAE and CDC guidance.  

Maintenance staff routinely conduct scheduled preventative maintenance on all mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems, to ensure the systems are clean and working optimally.  FCPS also follows guidance provided by industry experts.  The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, has stated that the operation of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures of SARS-CoV-2. Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air. 

Custodians and operating engineers conduct building checks to identify areas of concern (ex. - checking exhaust fans in restrooms for proper operation).  In areas where an indoor air quality, environmental health specialists conduct assessments, identify deficiencies, and follow-through with corrective actions until resolved. When a significant concern is identified, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems are implemented to enhance air cleaning.  FCPS works closely with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to stay informed of the most up-to-date scientific knowledge and data available to help staff and the community better prepare for returning to school.

How will cleaning be handled? (posted 7/10/20)

The cleaning plan uses current daytime and evening custodial staff. Custodians will focus on monitoring and cleaning restrooms throughout the day. Daytime custodians will also focus cleaning on high touch areas (doorknobs, handles, fixtures, etc.).  Additional deep cleaning will be provided by evening custodians (cafeterias and hallways will be scrubbed every evening instead of weekly). To ensure this work can be performed, custodians will have reduced grounds maintenance (interior courtyards only); this will free up additional time for cleaning and sanitizing during the day. Additionally, some daily cleaning activities (dusting, vacuuming, burnishing, etc.) will be deferred. Contracted cleaning services will be available to provide response cleaning if needed.

What supplies will be given to schools to prepared them for reopening? (posted 7/10/20- updated 7/30/20)

Warehouse delivery of the following items has begun. Supplies will be delivered to schools and administrative sites through early August. Replenishment after school starts will be available for purchase through warehouse inventory.

Cleaning Supplies



Hand Sanitizer - individual use bottles (400ML)

All Schools and Administrative Centers

1 per employee

Hand Sanitizer - automatic dispensing stands for building/large room entrances

All schools and administrative centers

16 per HS

8 per MS

4 per ES

Hand Sanitizer - 1-gallon pump bottles

All schools

1 per classroom

Spray bottles and Virex disinfectant with paper towels

All schools

1 per classroom

Virex is a one-step, disinfectant cleaner concentrate providing broad spectrum disinfection at 1:256 dilution. Virex is used in healthcare and other facilities where cleaning and prevention of cross-contamination are critical.  It is effective against bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal and kills MRSA and VRE.  Virex meets bloodborne pathogen standards for decontaminating blood and body fluids.

Protective Gear



Cloth Masks


All Schools and Administrative Centers

1 per employee


1 per student

Disposable Masks

For students and building visitors who do not bring their own

All Schools and Administrative Centers

Each School:

Adult Size 200

Youth Size 200



Custodians, Bus Drivers, Tsspecs, Food Service

As specified by the program office.

Face shields

Special Education staff and students, and bus drivers/attendants

As specified by the program office.


Laundry service through Cintas will be provided.

Special Education teachers, and bus drivers/attendants

As specified by the program office.

Temporal thermometers

All Schools

1 thermometer for every 500 students.




Social distancing signage will be installed at all building entrances and interior reception areas.

All Schools and Administrative Centers

Elevator etiquette signage has been installed near the push buttons for all elevators

All elevators and all floor levels

Social distancing floor decals will be provided to schools.

All Schools and Offices

One-way directional signage has been ordered for schools to use at their discretion.

All Schools


Plexi-Glass Shields



Free-standing individual counter shields will be provided to schools and offices.

All Schools and Offices

2 per school initially

More as available

Ceiling and wall mounted counter shields will be installed in main offices and reception areas.

All Schools and Offices

Min 1 per school

Main office

Sneeze guards for teacher desks will be reviewed for potential next steps based upon principal feedback and funding.

All teacher desks



How will FCPS provide instruction as more students return to school? (posted 2/12/21)

As students return to school, FCPS will employ concurrent instruction for in-person students, a model in which instruction is accessible by students in school and at home at the same time. Students who choose to return to in-person learning receive two days of teacher-led instruction in the school building and two days of teacher-led instruction at home. Students who will remain as full-time virtual students will access teacher-led instruction by logging into synchronous (teacher-led) instruction Tuesday through Friday from home.

Concurrent instruction maximizes teacher-led instruction (two days in person, two days virtual) by allowing in-person students to connect with their teacher via FCPS online platforms during at-home days.

Will there be any waivers for graduation requirements for seniors scheduled to graduate during the 2020-21 school year? (posted 8/12/20)

VDOE updated the School Reopening Frequently Asked Questions page on 8/4/20 with the following information: CTE Credential Requirement: The state has waived the career and technical education credential requirement for any student who is graduating in 2020-2021 and seeking a Standard Diploma under the graduation requirements in 8VAC20-131-50. Student Selected Test Requirement: The state has waived the student selected test for any student who: Is graduating in 2020-2021 and seeking either a Standard or Advanced Diploma under the graduation requirements in 8VAC20-131-50; Is a career and technical education program completer as of the summer 2020 term; and Intended to use a career and technical education credentialing test to meet their student selected test requirement. In order to be eligible for such waiver, an administrator or school counselor must verify that the student is a program completer and had intended to use a career and technical education credentialing test to meet their student selected test requirement. (8VAC20-131-50) CPR: Students graduating in 2020-2021 are relieved of the requirement to complete training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillator, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. (� 22.1-253.13:4.D.7)

Special Education

Child Find, evaluations, reevaluations, eligibility, IEPs, 504 Plans, and special education instruction

Answers to common questions about Child Find, evaluations, reevaluations, eligibility, IEPs, 504 Plans, and special education instruction. Find out more

Previously Asked Questions and Answers

Previous Questions and Answers

Staff Specific Information

Teacher Assignment: School-based Intent Due by October 30, 2020

Can employees continue to telework when offices and schools are open, but students are participating in virtual learning? (7/30/20) (8/12/20 updated)

To the greatest extent possible, employees should continue to complete their job duties via telework. Please review the telework regulation for additional information. Link

How will those staff members who cannot telework be used during 100% virtual learning? (7/30/20) 

FCPS is currently reviewing options for work assignments for employees whose jobs do not lend themselves to teleworking.

What is the closure date for retirement or resignation without prejudice? (7/10/20- updated 7/30/20) 

A July 23, 2020 message to all staff clarified that the date for retirement or resignation had been extended to July 31, 2020.

Can teachers rescind a LOA/ resignation? (7/30/20) 

Teachers who wish to rescind a previously approved LOA should contact the Disability and Leaves Office to discuss the request.

Will any staff be furloughed? (7/30/20)

The superintendent does not intend to furlough staff.

Where can I view Dr. Brabrand's Staff Town Hall meeting from July 10?

Watch July 10 Town Hall Meeting for Staff

Where can I find links to the other town halls Dr. Brabrand has done? (7/17/20)

Town hall recordings are available at the return to school website

How will FCPS determine when it is safe to have students and staff return to in-person instruction and what will the return look like? (7/30/20)

The School Board directed the Superintendent to determine what metrics will be used to determine if we can begin to offer in-person instruction starting with our most vulnerable students. The School Board requested that the Superintendent provide an update on the metrics to the Board no later than August 15. 

Should health conditions improve, we would first bring back students for intervention support on a limited basis. Following that, we would work to bring students back to school as soon as possible starting with elementary school students, select PreK-12 special education students and English Learners.

How will teachers be selected to teach online courses? 6/24/20

Student demand for online learning will drive staffing needs. Any teacher may request a full-time online teaching assignment. Teachers placements will be contingent upon student enrollment numbers in the online program and tiered by teachers eligible for accommodations under federal law; family medical need; and preference. Instructional staff will be asked to submit their request to teach online by July 15, 2020, and to provide the reason for such request, including accommodation requests that have been submitted.

How can a teacher ask for a full-time online placement and is it guaranteed? 6/26/20

On Monday, June 29, teachers received a questionnaire asking for their teaching preference – in-person or virtual. Virtual placements are not guaranteed and will be tiered as follows:  

  • Individual medical issues including membership in a high risk COVID-19 category
  • Medical issues of a member of your household
  • Personal preference

Student choice will drive the ability to grant teacher preferences for telework.


In the distance learning model, can a staff member teach and/or provide support to students while not residing locally? (Updated 8/12/20) 

FCPS continues to encourage employees who can telework, to continue to telework. When job duties and tasks cannot be completed in a telework setting, principals and program managers may require an employee to report to their work site. Based on the responsibilities of the position and when schools are in session all school staff must be available to be onsite at their designated work location. This provides school administrators with the flexibility to support the school's instructional program and the on-going needs of students and families. When possible, reasonable notice will be provided to school staff that are to report onsite. Exceptions may be approved by a principal or program manager for extenuating/unique circumstances, such as a family emergency, for a short duration. Provisions are provided for eligible employees to apply for a Leave of Absences or engage in the FMLA process. A leave of absence request for SY20-21 must be submitted by 7/31/2020.

What is the plan for marching band activities this summer and fall? (8/12/20)

The marching band season has been postponed until later in the school year due to the virtual start of the school year, but it is our intent to offer in-person marching band experiences whenever possible. Schools may offer small group marching band practices prior to the start of the school year if the schools are able to make all of the necessary modifications. Safety for all and teacher availability to be in-person must be considered, therefore decisions will be made at the school level and then communicated to the school community.

If the enrollment for Head Start is low, will schools have the flexibility to assign Head Start teachers to other grade levels to teach? (7/10/20)

PreK teachers and instructional assistants' salaries and benefits are funded through grants that require them to only teach children or work with families enrolled in the program.  PreK teachers and instructional assistants could be moved to a different grade if salary and benefits were funded from the operating budget.  

Will IB Diploma Candidates have guaranteed access to the classes needed for fulfilling their requirements? (7/10/20)

IB courses that are needed in order to complete IB diploma and certificate requirements will be offered. Due to the unique IB offerings, it may be necessary to offer a hybrid section in which teachers teach in-person and online students simultaneously or may require schools to partner to share staffing across schools.

What if a student, who is graduating in 2020-2021 under the new graduation requirements and previously completed their Career and Technical Education coursework, is unable to accommodate a CTE credentialing test in their schedule prior to graduation? (8/12/20)    

A waiver of the first additional requirement for graduation (Advanced Placement, Honors, or International Baccalaureate Course or Career and Technical Education Credential) for any student who: Is graduating in 2020-2021 but under the graduation requirements in 8VAC20-131-51; Is a career and technical education program completer as of summer 2020 term; and Intended to use a career and technical education credentialing test to meet the additional requirement for graduation In order to be eligible for such waiver, an administrator or school counselor must verify that the student is a program completer and had intended to use a career and technical education credentialing test to meet the additional requirement for graduation. (� 22.1-253.13:4.D.6 and 8VAC20-131-51)

Will there be opportunities for students to connect socially during distance learning? (8/12/20)   

School teams are encouraged to create safe spaces for students to connect socially wherever possible. Morning meetings and advisory periods will also be used to build community and focus on social emotional learning. FCPS is working on restarting clubs with a launch date the second week we are in school. This is consistent with forming and starting clubs from previous years and we are moving those to online platforms. The Our Minds Matter Club has been meeting throughout the Spring and will continue in the fall. The MentorWorks program has also been continuing with some variations due to virtual connectivity.

Will students be able to participate in clubs online? (8/12/20)   

FCPS is working on restarting clubs with a launch date the second week we are in school. This is consistent with forming and starting clubs from previous years and we are moving those to online platforms.

How will FCPS handle SAT and ACT testing during distance learning? (8/12/20)

FCPS will proceed with the scheduled August 29 SAT testing at several FCPS high schools. In addition, FCPS seniors will have an opportunity to take the SAT at their schools on September 23, through the SAT School Day testing program. Registration information for the September 23 test date will be shared in mid-August. Any changes to weekend testing sites for the ACT or SAT in FCPS throughout the 2020-21 school year will depend on health conditions along with health and safety guidelines. Changes will be communicated directly to registered students by ACT or by the College Board for the SAT. We encourage our rising seniors to carefully review the admissions criterion for the colleges on their lists, as many colleges are adjusting requirements for ACT or SAT. School counselors and career center specialists will be available in mid-August to discuss postsecondary planning with students and their families.

What is the status of FCPS sponsored student travel for 2020-2021?    

In March 2020, all FCPS student travel was canceled until further notice. FCPS will continue the prohibition on student travel through School Year 20-21. This would include routine, unusual, and international field trips as defined by School Board Regulation 5790 and incoming and outgoing short-term visitations as defined by School Board Regulation 3325. Student travel always presents a greater liability exposure for FCPS than time spent in the classroom but the uncertainty of the pandemic and the complications for schools caused by trip cancellations and refunds makes the level of liability exposure unacceptable at present.

Distance Learning

What platform(s) will be used to provide distance learning and will schools/ teachers have a choice in what they use? 7/2/20

Teachers may choose to use FCPS 24-7 Learning (Blackboard) or Google Classroom as their Learning Management System (LMS). There are seventeen schools who will be piloting Schoology during SY2020-21. Teachers at those schools will use Schoology as their LMS and may choose to integrate Google within that system.

How have the plans for the fall 2020-2021 school year changed? (7/30/20)

FCPS will begin the 2020-2021 school year on September 8, fully virtual. The online instruction model will be the same one offered to families in our recent survey.  Students will receive virtual instruction 5 days per week. The week will include 4 days of live, face-to-face online instruction with teachers Tuesday through Friday. Mondays will be used for independent learning (asynchronous) with some students identified for teacher-directed specialized instruction/intervention.

What factors/data did FCPS consider when determining a virtual start for the school year? (7/30/20)

The course and direction of the pandemic is very different now than it was when we approved the original plan that offered an in-person learning option. COVID-19 is surging throughout the metropolitan area, in Virginia, and nationwide. The Washington Post reported that D.C., Maryland and Virginia reported 2,049 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, July 19. This was the highest single day increase since late May. 

The ability to provide students with access to the full range of FCPS courses and programs is also significantly impacted based on the current health conditions. We are experiencing decreases in substitute teacher availability, increases in staff taking a leave of absence, and an increase in teachers requiring ADA accommodations due to COVID-19 high risk categories. 

We must place the health and safety of our students, teachers, and families first. Despite the planning we have done to develop protocols for social distancing, face coverings, and schedules to minimize overcrowding in school buildings, we have concluded that the risks of in-person instruction are not manageable at this time. FCPS will continue to make decisions based on scientific data and what the medical community recommends for keeping our students and staff safe. It is important to note every major school division in the DMV is beginning with a virtual start.  We will continue to partner with our local, regional and state education leaders and health officials as we continue throughout the school year. We all want students and staff to return to school buildings, but we will only do so when it is safe.  

How will distance learning be different in 2020-2021 compared to what FCPS offered in the spring of 2020? (6/24/20- updated 7/30/20)

Our primary goal is to open schools virtually with a schedule that is as close to normal as possible. Schools throughout the division will follow a consistent instructional schedule and provide more live, face-to-face online (synchronous) student learning.

The week will include 4 days of live, face-to-face online instruction with teachers Tuesday through Friday. Mondays will be used for independent learning (asynchronous). Some students will receive additional teacher assistance or intervention as needed on Mondays.

  • Elementary students will receive real-time, interactive instruction Tuesday through Friday. The elementary day will also consist of additional small group instruction, intervention supports, and independent learning activities assigned to students. Significant investment in new digital resources will provide a more personalized approach to learning in both mathematics and language arts.
  • Middle and high school students will follow an A/B block schedule. 

All students will receive work that will be graded, and student attendance is required

Students and parents will notice a more rigorous and engaging virtual-learning program with greater connections for all students at all grade levels.  Parents will be supported with additional resources to assist their online learning. A help desk that parents can contact when they need technical assistance will also be available.

The staff at each school will continue to work together to ensure that each student has consistent, reliable technology in order to access instruction each and every day. Laptops, mifis, and other resources will be available to support every student.

What time will the virtual learning school day begin? (7/30/20)

Schools will follow their 2019-2020 (pre-COVID) start times. As we begin to phase students back in for face-to-face learning, Facilities will determine the need for any adjustments to start times based on the health data and social distancing guidance in place at that time.

Will students be eligible to earn industry certifications or licensure this school year? 8/20/20   

Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has waived the industry credential graduation requirement for the Standard Diploma for the Class of 2021. However, students will still have an opportunity to receive licensure or certification within their respective CTE course.

What supports and resources will be available for our homeless students and families during virtual learning? 8/20/20

The FCPS Homeless office will be supporting Homeless student enrollment and eligibility, remaining consistent with current practice, which includes interviewing parents by phone, determining eligibility, flagging in SIS, school notification, and verifying free lunch status. The Homeless office will be assisting students and parents in communication with school to access technology and will provide masks and school supplies as needed. Emphasis will be to maintain ongoing communication with families experiencing homelessness, in relation to mobility and needs associated with unstable housing. This may include connecting to County resources for shelter, housing, physical/mental health needs, food assistance and other basic needs requirements. The Homeless office will also be maintaining updated emergency contact information for homeless students in order to assist with the school/parent communication during COVID closure and the return to school process.

School Supplies

What is being done to provide students in need at my school with basic school supplies?

FCPS is leading the “Collect for Kids” effort - a consortium of not-for-profit, for-profit, and government organizations promoting and coordinating school supply and backpack drives to benefit FCPS students. This year, in an effort to keep our staff, students and volunteers safe, “Collect for Kids” is moving exclusively to a virtual online campaign. All funds raised by the Foundation for FCPS will be used to purchase pre-made, grade-level appropriate kits for students. Donations to the Foundation can be made at this link. Community groups who normally do school supply or backpack drives have been guided to move to this virtual method.

We know that many schools work directly with community partners to provide supplies. To help us to serve as many students as possible, we’ve sent your school Principal a Google form with a few questions about the school supply needs for your school.  Please contact your Principal with any questions.

Health and Safety

Will the use of masks be required? (6/24/20- updated 7/30/20)

Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings including on bus transportation to and from school. Students requesting an exemption from this requirement for any reason shall submit a physician’s statement that not wearing such a face covering is medically necessary to the principal or the principal’s designee at the school. This documentation will be maintained in the health section of the student’s cumulative file. Staff requesting an exemption from this requirement shall be directed to submit a physician’s statement that not wearing such a face covering is medically necessary and make a request for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act due to a medical condition to Human Resources.


What child care options will be available for school employees this fall?  8/20/20

While FCPS identified a possible solution to child care with a face-to-face model, this option is currently on hold with school opening in a virtual model. Additional information about child care options during face-to-face instruction will be provided prior to face-to-face instruction resuming.

Can teachers bring their own child to school if they want to teach from my classroom?   8/20/20

FCPS prioritizes the health and safety of employees and students. To minimize contact and the potential spread of COVID-19, access to schools will be limited to school staff, with permission from school administration. Teachers will not be allowed to bring their child(ren) into school buildings during distance learning.

What child care options will be available for school employees this fall? (7/10/20- updated 7/17/20) 

We have developed a possible solution, however, the need to analyze the responses received from parents regarding their back to school preference (virtual or in-person) will determine our ability to commit to this solution. 

Under this proposal, we would provide four (4) days of in-person instruction for FCPS students who are children of school-based staff including teachers, IAs, office staff, custodians, cafeteria workers, psychologists, counselors, social workers, administrators, and central office teacher-level employees who work in schools. This option would also be available for our bus drivers and offered only for PreK to grade 6 students and only for eligible FCPS employees who have children enrolled in our schools.  The four days of in-person instruction will be at the elementary school the employee’s child attends.

Employees who are requesting a virtual placement for themselves for the 2020-2021 school year may make a request for their child to attend 4 days of in-school instruction, however, this child care option will only be available to those staff members who are ultimately assigned to in-person positions for the 2020-2021 school year. Eligible employees should make their request via this link:   

Monday, July 20, is the deadline to provide notification.

What child care options will be available for teachers this fall? (7/10/20)

We know there is a need for child care for school aged children. We have developed a possible solution, however the need to analyze student data on fall intent will determine our ability to commit to this solution.  
Under this solution, we would provide 4 days of in person instruction at their attending school to FCPS students that are children of teachers. This would apply to: 
•    Teachers teaching face-to-face 
•    Kindergarten to grade 6 student 

If capacity allows, we would expand this to include school-based staff (e.g., IA, custodians, cafeteria workers) and those who serve children in schools (e.g., phycologists, social workers).

Safety of our students and staff are our first priority.  The intention data, building capacity and need will determine if this is a viable solution but based on the current numbers we are very hopeful.  

What additional childcare provisions are being considered for staff who reside inside of the county and outside of the county? (6/26/20- updated 7/10/20)

•    Expanding regulated childcare options in collaboration with Fairfax County Office for Children
•    Working with Fairfax County Office for Children to consider operationalizing all day SACC options

Can staff members who live outside of FCPS place their children in FCPS for one year without cost to address personal childcare issues?  6/26/20

Currently, we are exploring options for Fairfax county residents and students. However, we are collaborating with local school divisions on continuity of planning to support staff who live outside of our jurisdiction. 

Will SACC or other childcare programs be available to students on days when they are not attending FCPS? 6/24/20

Fairfax County is working with regulated providers to expand childcare services to school aged children. Families can find licensed community childcare through the Fairfax County Office for Children’s Child Care search

What will SACC be offering for 2020-21? (7/10/20)

FCPS continues to work closely with Fairfax County’s Office for Children to determine child care services available to families.  Currently, SACC is committed to providing before and after school care for students.  If Fairfax County makes a change in the operating hours of SACC, Fairfax County in conjunction with FCPS will inform the community.  

The student transfer window is closed.  If the staff member now needs their child to attend the school they teach in, can they submit that request for consideration? 7/2/20 

Yes, FCPS employees may submit student transfer applications after the application deadline.  To request a student transfer for a Child of FCPS employee - A parent resides in Fairfax County and is a FCPS employee, defined as a person working in a budgeted Full Time Equivalent (FTE) position (FTE transportation and food services positions included) and eligible for leave, retirement, and health benefits coverage.  Student transfer requests will be for the school in which the parent is employed or for the school closest to the employee’s work location.  If the request for student transfer is to the school in which the parent or guardian is employed, capacity issues will not prevent the transfer.  
Please note, the online student transfer application verifies employee status and work location with Lawson at the time the application is submitted.  For employees with a new assignment, once the work location is updated in Lawson you may submit the application.
Instructions for submitting application for Child of FCPS Employee.
For detailed information on the student transfer application process, please visit the FCPS Student Transfer website.

If a teacher has not received the survey, please email (Michele Cross)

What documentation will a teacher need to provide when requesting to teach online if they have a family member in their home with an underlying health condition? (7/10/20)

The employee needs to complete the Telework Request form and provide any supporting documentation to substantiate their family medical need.

Will teachers assigned to in-person instruction be responsible for providing learning materials for students on their asynchronous learning days? 6/28/20

Teachers who deliver in-person instruction will be planning both the in-school and at-home learning tasks for students. To support the multiple teacher preparations at the elementary level, FCPS is planning to purchase new digital resources in mathematics and language arts that will allow for more self-directed learning for students when not in school. 

If a school has more students who choose in person rather than virtual, how will staff who want to continue with distance learning be allocated?  Is it only by school-based numbers? 6/28/20

To the greatest extent possible, staffing assignments will be managed within individual schools. In special cases, online staff could be assigned to teach a class that combines students from their base school and students from one or more other schools. 

Which employees will be asked their work preferences for working in person or virtually? 7/2/20

Initially, teacher scale employees with assignments at a school or other student instructional site (alternative sites, etc.) and SBTS will be asked their preferences for supporting instruction in the fall. Itinerant teacher groups budgeted out of ISD or DSS, with school instructional assignments, will receive the questionnaire.  

There may be opportunities for some of our support/operations professionals to work with our teachers in a virtual setting to support instruction.  We will assess those opportunities later in July after a review of online student preference.  The assessment will be prioritized in the same manner as the teacher telework requests.

How will teachers be selected to teach online courses? (7/10/20)

Student demand for online learning will drive staffing needs. Any teacher may request a full-time online teaching assignment. Teachers placements will be contingent upon student enrollment numbers in the online program and tiered by teachers eligible for accommodations under federal law; family medical need; and preference. Instructional staff will be asked to submit their request to teach online by July 15, 2020, and to provide the reason for such request, including accommodation requests that have been submitted.

What type of information will be provided to principals to help them in prioritizing online teaching requests? (7/9/20)

Principals will be reviewing teacher survey data (due July 15) regarding telework requests; and reports from EER regarding submitted ADA and telework forms to help inform staffing determinations.  A decision tree will be provided to principals to ensure consistency across the division and to assist in prioritizing requests.  Staffing specialists will be available to assist with seniority questions. 

Can teachers make a change to their placement requests (online or virtual) after July 15? (7/10/20) 

If a teacher asks to make a change, the same set of criteria will be applied as above to determine if the request can be met.

What is the turnaround time for determining which staff members will be approved for their virtual preference based on individual or family medical need? (7/10/20) 

Teacher preferences, identified through the survey, are due on July 15.  Any staff members who selected Personal Medical will receive a reminder email on July 16 that in order for their personal medical need to be considered, they need to submit the ADA Accommodation Request form to the Office of Equity and Employee Relations (EER) as soon as possible, preferably no later than July 24.

Any staff members who selected family medical need, childcare concerns or general concerns will receive a reminder email on July 16 that in order to be considered, they need to submit a Telework Request form to the Office of Equity and Employee Relations (EER) by July 24.

Principals and DSS staff members will use preliminary data from the survey to begin creating sections in master schedules.  In addition, EER will be working with Regional Offices and principals to identify employees with individual medical needs, family medical needs, childcare concerns and other concerns as quickly as possible to inform the creation of master schedules.

Factors that impact the turnaround time include (1) timely submission of ADA form (part I), (2) timely submission of part II – supporting medical documentation and (3) timely submission of the Telework Request form with any relevant supporting documentation.

For additional information, please review the COVID-19 Teacher Telework FAQs.

If a staff member selects to work virtually and opts to have his/her child participate in virtual learning, but the teacher is given a face-to-face assignment, does a principal have discretion to move the student to a face-to-face option? (7/10/20)

Principals have the option to make this student enrollment change based on the staff member (parent’s) request. 

If a teacher is not granted their preference for virtual, what is the timeline for then telling schools they are not coming back (resigning or retiring)? (7/10/20)

July 24, 2020.

What is the closure date for retirement or resignation without prejudice? (7/10/20)

July 24, 2020.

If a teacher is teaching full-time virtually, will they be responsible for attending any in-person meetings or are there any other requirements that would restrict them from living outside of the area while teaching online? (7/2/20)

All efforts will be made to accommodate virtual meetings.  There may be circumstances that a staff member may have to come to the physical worksite.  In that instance, he/she should work out a plan with his/her administrator.

Will teachers and students be assigned to different schools under this model (virtually or in person)? 7/2/20

One of the primary goals in the FCPS Reopening School Plan is to provide students with choice in learning format (in-person or online). The default rule will be to have students receive instruction at their base schools (either in-person or online). In select instances where student preferences cannot be met at their base schools, we may explore coordinating scheduling across schools in the division. However, no definitive plans have been developed for this yet and any decision to move forward with this approach would only be taken after the first phase of base school scheduling has been completed.  

In the event that the practice of scheduling across schools is used, teacher assignments would be based first on teacher interest/preference; if necessary, teachers would be assigned based on the least amount of seniority. Teachers would be supervised by the principal at their assigned school and would have rights to return to their base school the following year. 

Beyond keeping children from the same family together, do schools have any flexibility in how they build their master schedules to group students with like needs in the same classes on the same days? 7/2/20

Beyond keeping children from the same family on the same schedule, schools have the same flexibility for creating student class assignments as they would under normal/routine operating conditions. 

Why can’t FCPS provide 5 days a week of in-person instruction? (7/17/20)

The Reopening of Schools plans were developed in alignment with CDC and VDOE guidelines. FCPS does not have the facility space to have all students in our school buildings 5 days a week with the current (Phase III) social distancing guidance.

What is FCPS doing to prepare to pivot to full-time virtual instruction if a health situation requires closure of one or more schools? (7/17/20)

This summer FCPS offered a variety of professional development sessions focused on best practices for teaching online, high quality virtual instruction, and student engagement. This focus will continue as we prepare instructional staff for the 2020-21 school year. The professional development in August for both online and in-person teachers will also ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to set up and implement virtual conferencing (Google Meet or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) and a virtual classroom space (Google Classroom or Blackboard). In-person teachers will use these tools with their students starting on day 1 to ensure readiness, should we need to pivot. 

It is expected that both online and in person teachers will be planning together each week, aligning content, pacing, and assessment.  To facilitate this alignment, the curriculum resources are being designed to be used in either delivery model.  The collaborative team will be a strong support should we need to quickly move to all online learning.   

If we find ourselves in a 100% virtual opening, we will all need to be orienting all families to online learning from the start.  

How will health screening be conducted for students participating in face-to-face instruction? (7/17/20) 

Parents/guardians who choose the face-to-face instructional option for their child will be required to complete a Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form.  The Health Screening Commitment form indicates the parental/guardian’s agreement and commitment to complete a daily health screening each morning, prior to sending the student to school. The daily health screening is done on an honor basis. Students are to be kept home if they are sick. 

Students whose parent/ guardian has not completed, signed and returned the Health Screening Commitment form to the school will be required to have their temperature taken daily by the school staff until the form is received.

What health data (threshold or other indicator) would require FCPS to open with everyone in a virtual capacity or transition to virtual at some point during the year? (7/17/20)

FCPS is working collaboratively with the Fairfax County Health Department regarding thresholds/indicators.

Will faculty and staff be required to complete a health screen every morning? (7/10/20)

Families and school staff will be required to complete a health screen at home prior to coming to school. The Fairfax County Health Department has approved screening questions that will be shared with staff and families. Schools will require all staff and to complete a one-time commitment to screen for health concerns daily.

Will there be any COVID-19 testing requirements for staff and students participating in in-person instruction? (7/10/20) 

There will not be a requirement for COVID-19 testing for staff and students in in-person instruction. 

How will social distancing be enforced and how will situations be handled when students are not adhering to the expectations? 6/26/20

The expectation to maintain social distancing has been and will continue to be communicated to parents, students and staff.  Staff will set the expectation, model, instruct on the importance of this measure, positively reinforce and know that there will be some challenges due to the various developmental levels of students.  The compliance to this policy would consider factors of student understanding and needs based on developmental levels, similar to other expectations set by schools. Teams often consider individual factors when addressing behavioral concerns and this will be the same for the practice of social distancing.

How will rooms be configured for social distancing? (7/10/20)

•    Consistent with CDC guidance, Desks will need to be placed so seating is 6 feet apart and facing the same direction.
•    Tables can be used by seating students only on one side of tables, spacing seating 6 feet apart. Some ideas include using stickers for seats to be used is one way to help with the layout.
•    Consider combining available furniture from other rooms within your building to achieve capacity.
•    Facilities is working on layout examples to help with creative thinking as this will continue to be a collaborative effort

If a teacher is instructing students both in person and virtually, how will they pace their curriculum since the virtual students will have four days of lessons and face to face students will only have two?  (7/10/20)

Teachers will have to consider how to pace the instruction for the two different instructional delivery models. A curriculum hub is being created with essential standards, units of study, and suggested in-person, asynchronous, and virtual synchronous activities. Both online and in-person teachers should work in combined CTs to share the planning responsibilities.

What strategies will we put in place to support our littlest learners who rely heavily on physical contact from staff to support them with daily activities? (nose blowing, clothes, physical reassurance, etc.) (7/10/20)

Early Head Start, PreK and Early Childhood Special Education classrooms will be provided protective clothing items, gloves, masks and face shields for teachers and IAs to use when assisting children with daily self-care activities in which they might come in contact with a child’s saliva, mucus or any other secretion – this could include feeding or diapering an infant or young child and assisting with nose-blowing or toileting. 

Staff will have access to Virex to spray down and sanitize protective clothing and to clean surfaces throughout the day.  When assisting children at mealtime, staff will wear a mask and food-service gloves. When assisting with any other self-care activity in which it is not expected a staff member will come in contact with a child’s bodily fluid, staff will wear a mask - this could include tying shoes, zipping coats, etc. 

In addition to the use of PPE, staff will be expected to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after providing hands-on assistance to children. Children will also be expected to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after receiving hands-on assistance from staff. Staff will be asked to teach children emotional care strategies like breathing techniques and self-hugs through social stories; however, teachers and IAs will have access to PPE when needed to comfort a child.  

Will the new Head Start/Early Head Start families receive the choice to go online or in-person through their registration process?  (7/10/20)

PreK families will be offered the choice of online or in person through the enrollment process completed by the Office of Early Childhood Curriculum and Grant Management.  This information will be shared with the SIA of the attending school for data entry into SIS. Early Head Start (EHS)  families will only be offered the in-person choice with the exception of the first several weeks of school.  From the end of July to the first day of school K-12, EHS families will make online connections with the teaching team so that the school environment is ready for students to attend.  Once the student is in SIS, the families will be guided through the Parent View process at several touchpoints at the beginning of the school year including, the family orientation, virtual home visits and school notifications and support. 

Will the Early Childhood Office make the decision regarding which Early Childhood teacher will teach virtually or face to face or will the schools make those decisions? (7/10/20)

PreK and early childhood special education teachers, as a member of a school community, should comply with and follow the same expectations and processes as FCPS K-12 teachers to determine whether they will teach virtually or face to face.  If there is a discrepancy in student choice versus teacher choice for learning environments, school administrators in collaboration with the Office of Early Childhood or the Office of Special Education Instruction will assign caseloads.

Will there be any changes to the curriculum for 2020-21? (6/24/20- revised 7/10/20)

Yes, FCPS will provide teachers with streamlined curriculum guidance and resources that recognize the impact of school closures on all students, potential content gaps, and readiness for new curriculum. 

ISD is working with teachers to identify essential standards and create units of study that will support learning both in-school and at home. 

Will there be any changes to music offerings? (7/10/20)

The Fine Arts team in ISD has created guidance for schools to ensure students may participate in general music, Band, and Orchestra safely.  Specific guidance will also be provided for chorus classes in our secondary schools.  Chorus at the elementary school will not be held during first semester and will be reconsidered later in the school year. 

Are there any face-to-face courses that FCPS will not be able to offer this year based on programming or safety demands? (7/10/20)

Schools will offer courses/programs in-person based on student enrollment requests and availability of in-person teachers with the exception of elementary chorus as outlined above. Guidance on any necessary instructional modifications for health and safety reasons will be provided to schools.


How will HR support schools staffing vacancies due to them taking leave as a result of COVID? (7/10/20) 

Short term and long-term vacancies will be staffed by substitute teachers.

What training will in-person subs receive around health and safety expectations? (7/10/20)

A health and safety expectation training video will be shown and required by all subs.

What will the substitute system look like this year? (7/10/20) 

Access to the Smart Find Express substitute scheduling tool will be restored for the opening of schools.  The team is working with the vendor to find a solution which denotes completion of training, health/safety and/or virtual instruction.


When will the distribution plan for computers be communicated? (7/10/20)

TSSpecs are already receiving direction and timelines on distribution for their specific schools. If principals are unsure of the status of your laptops for the fall, please check in with your TSSpec and/or the Senior TSSpec for your school. The district distribution plan is extremely complex with multiple dependencies, from new device delivery dates to roll down groupings and assignments. Each school will have a slightly different plan, depending on the delivery dates and processes at that site, as well as rolldown assignments and processes at that site. New devices are already being delivered, and as they are delivered, older devices are being systematically prepped for roll down. We plan to provide a general overview of the distribution plan in principal communications next week to assist principals with planning for device collection and distribution. 

Will each FCPS student have a computer? (7/10/20)

Every middle and high school student is now a part of FCPSOn and will have a device assigned to them to take back and forth to school as needed. Although elementary schools are not yet a part of FCPSOn, in order to accommodate distance learning needs in the fall, elementary schools will also have enough devices available for every student to use. 

Warehouse, Mail, Deliveries

What is the Pony schedule? (7/10/20)

Pony Mail will service all sites on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week during the month of July.  Beginning  August 1, Pony mail will resume daily stops at all schools and administrative sites.  

When do warehouse services resume? (7/10/20)

All warehouse services, surplus pick up, inventory reservations, etc. will resume normal schedule on July 13.  

What do I do with vendor deliveries now buildings are open? (7/10/20)

Vendor deliveries should be scheduled with school and office staff as much as possible.  Deliveries of supplies for staff who telework should be made to the work site.  Arrangements to pick up supplies should be coordinated between employee and program manager/supervisor.

Return to Work Guide

The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Return to Work Guide is based on the guidelines provided in the Fairfax Forward Employee Guide and adheres to the phased reopening guidelines outlined by Governor Ralph Northam, in accordance with Forward Virginia Guidance. Information will continue to be updated as we learn more and establish new practices and policies. The following guidelines are applicable to all FCPS facilities, including schools and administrative buildings.