Important Updates on COVID, Summer, and Next Year

Dear FCCPS Families and Community,

I hope this message finds you and your family well and healthy. This short update has a few important notes and reminders. To make the messages more “digestible,” I will just provide bullet points and have included an infographic for your information.

COVID 19

  • Our students and staff have done a great job ensuring that the deployment of mitigation strategies in the schools widely and with fidelity. However, this week we had three COVID cases in our schools that required pausing, contact tracing, and ultimately the quarantining of several students. 

  • We have a great relationship with the Fairfax County Health Department, and all of our 60+ contact tracing investigations have been completed within 48 hours, except 1. The HD cleared the students as quickly as possible so they could return to school. Sometimes the investigations are complex and take longer. The following infographic explains what happens if there is a positive case, and we start the contact tracing process:

  • Please DO NOT send your student to school if they are sick or symptomatic with COVID-like symptoms. Please…allergies may not just be allergies anymore.

  • Vaccines are now available for students ages 16 and up. We encourage you to consider getting your child vaccinated if they meet the age requirements. Here is a link to support the sign-up process https://vaccinefinder.org/ 

  • We are actively working with the FCHD to have an onsite vaccination clinic for our 16-18-year-old students who wish to be vaccinated (with parent approval, of course). We hope to know more in the coming weeks. If you can get your child vaccinated earlier, please don’t wait for this possibility to become a reality - Just do it!

  • It appears that vaccines for younger students are on track for a late May/early June emergency use authorization (EUA) with the Pfizer vaccine - when that happens, we hope that you will again take advantage of the opportunity.

Summer Programming

  • We will be offering a variety of instructional programs at each school site to meet the needs of our students from July 6-July 30. 

  • JTP will offer a summer enrichment program targeted at literacy, numeracy, communication, and social development for students with IEPs, Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) students, and community peers as space for social distancing allows. 

  • K-5 will provide students with opportunities to strengthen their skills in math and language arts. Students will receive 90-120 minutes of language arts and up to 75 minutes of math instruction per day. Student data will be used to develop targeted instruction, and teachers will use evidence-based instructional programs designed to strengthen foundational skills and close learning gaps.  

  • Henderson will offer CAREERS (Creative and Real-World Engaging Experiences Realized this Summer) Program: This is an invite-only, CORE/STEAM-based program that engages all learners to find their passion! Students will focus on grade-level math/reading standards and how to infuse them into real-world, problem-based activities.

  • Henderson will also offer Husky JumpStart to address academic, organizational, and social-emotional needs in preparation for a full-time return in August 2021. Students will get support on respective grade-level content to further develop their readiness for the upcoming school year.

  • The high school summer academy program will allow students to select various hybrid classroom courses for credit recovery, new credit, or enrichment.

  • Schools will be sending more information in their newsletters about registration.

  • ESY services will also be provided this summer in accordance with the student’s IEP.

  • For more detailed information, please access Summer at FCCPS.

Next Year

  • Next year, as previously announced, we will return to school five days a week and full time. (Wednesdays for secondary students will not be asynchronous.) Some families may wish to remain 100% virtual. At this point, there is not a plan for a hybrid delivery model of instruction. We hope that all of our students will return to school in the fall.

  • In the next several weeks, FCCPS will send a survey to parents so that each family can indicate whether students will attend in person or go entirely virtual. 

Thank you all for your continued support of our schools. I will continue to state that this has been a year like no other and one I hope we never experience again. On balance, and as we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am proud of the work we have done collectively and on behalf of our students. The partnership between the schools and home “held together” in a time of crisis. That doesn’t mean we aren’t tired, didn’t get frustrated at times, were left wanting for more (who didn’t during this pandemic), etc. It just means that we have made it through the darkest of hours, did it together, and are coming out the other side with scars that will heal. We are resilient, and we believe in each other. I am grateful to our community and hope you are equally grateful for our schools.

Have a great spring weekend.

Sincerely,

Peter Noonan

Superintendent of Schools
Falls Church City Public Schools