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 Frequently Asked Questions

The Fauquier County School Board approved the reopening of schools on November 9, 2020. Students in grades K-12 will be given the option of a hybrid instructional model (AA/BB) or a virtual model. The virtual model will be limited to live streaming access of classroom instruction on AA or BB days with the other two asynchronous days following the same as the hybrid instructional model.

Here you will find a one-page fact sheet about the reopening of schools on November 9. We will also continue to update the questions and answers below. 

November 9 Reopening Fact Sheet

 

Reopening Decisions and Plans

Why change the plan now? (10/12)

The desire of the School Board and FCPS Administration has been to get students back as soon as possible and as safely as possible.  The School Board approved a plan that reaches both of those goals.

When will FCPS re-evaluate this reopening plan? (10/12)

We are in a constant state of evaluation, and we will continue to evaluate.  The mid-year point is another opportunity to evaluate and decide how we will proceed. But as the plan stands now, we would continue to be in a hybrid for the second semester.

How can we help make this plan a success? (10/12)

We thank our community for helping us tremendously by signing up to substitute.  At this point, we need bus drivers, so please help us to get the word out. 

Also, please continue to communicate with us.  We appreciate your feedback and ideas. 

Where are the plans that FCPS submitted to the Virginia Department of Education located? (10/14)

All submitted plans can be found on the reopening website here.

What are the learning options for FCPS students beginning November 9?

Students will follow a hybrid AA/BB learning model. As an alternative, FCPS is offering a live stream virtual option.

 

What will the hybrid AA/BB model entail? How is it similar to the blended model?

The hybrid AA/BB learning model is similar to the blended AA/BB model detailed at the July 27, 2020, School Board meeting.
● Students will be divided by last name. Group A is A-K and Group B is L-Z.
● Students will receive two days of in-school direct instruction with a teacher and two days of asynchronous remote learning.
● Students will receive new instruction and content on Mondays and Tuesdays/Thursdays and Fridays.
● Teachers will set expectations for face-to-face and virtual students about the remote learning days on Tuesdays and Fridays.

If students choose the hybrid learning option, when will they report to school?

Students who choose the hybrid option will engage in face-to-face and remote learning. In this model, students will attend school two consecutive days per week, either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday.  They will then spend the remaining two days of the school week learning remotely. See the AA/BB learning schedule outlined below:

In the hybrid learning model, what will take place on Wednesdays?

Teachers will offer office hours and will be available to support students on Wednesdays. Teachers will also use the day for curriculum planning and professional learning.  Students will engage in remote learning on Wednesdays, and additional cleaning will also take place.   

How will you divide students into the A and B groups?

FCPS will group students alphabetically by last name.  Last names A-K will be the A group, and last names L-Z will be the B group.

What are students expected to do when they are not in school?

On Tuesdays and Fridays, teachers will provide students with materials/activities/instructions about where to access learning resources via Blackboard/Google Classroom. This will prepare students to work remotely while not in school. The remote learning activities should be project-based and hands-on whenever possible.

For how long will FCPS follow the AA/BB hybrid schedule?

We are constantly reevaluating, but we plan to follow this model at least through the end of the term (the end of December). 

If students chose the hybrid learning option, will it be possible for them to switch to the virtual option?

No.  The selection of learning models is binding through the end of the term (end of December).

What will the new virtual option entail? How is it different from the current virtual model?
  • The new virtual option is a live stream option. Cameras will be set up in each classroom giving virtual students the ability to login to and engage in each classroom at the designated time on their assigned days.
  • This option gives students the ability to maintain the relationships they have established and developed with their teachers and see and hear what is going on in the classroom, post questions in a chat, etc.
  • Teachers will be able to support learning by posting assignments, quizzes activities in the LMS to allow students to complete these in real-time with their peers.

 

If students choose the virtual option, are courses synchronous or asynchronous?

Both. Students engaging in the live stream virtual model will be learning synchronously – at a set time and day on a schedule – two days per week.  On the other days, students will work and access learning resources asynchronously –within a given time frame, but not at a set time.

If students choose the virtual option with FCPS, will they be able to participate in school activities?

Yes. These students are still full-time FCPS students and will be eligible for participation.

If students select the virtual option, will it be possible for them to switch to the hybrid learning option?

No.  The selection of learning models is binding through the end of the term (end of December).

What will be the focus of the remote learning days at the ELEMENTARY level?

Reinforcing skills, content and learning through meaningful application and exposure through: practice, hands-on project-based learning, collaboration with peers, receive/share feedback with teachers and peers, check-ins by staff

On remote learning days, what will ELEMENTARY students have the opportunity to do?
  • Practice/reinforce reading, writing, math skills
  • Collaborate with peers
  • Participate in 1:1 office hours (modes vary)
  • Producing hands-on projects/presentations
What will happen on Tuesdays and Fridays at the ELEMENTARY level?

Students will:

  • Receive all necessary instructions, deadlines, resources/supplies needed for projects and learning
  • Receive information regarding office hours and feedback opportunities
How will Wednesday office hours work at the ELEMENTARY level?

Teachers will establish one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon for office hours and/or be available by appointment (modes vary)

What will MIDDLE school be like in a hybrid learning model?
  • Middle school students will have a traditional 7-period schedule with regular core and elective classes during face to face learning.
  • Students will change from class to class with safety protocols in place, which will be school-specific.
  • Students will eat in the cafeteria as long as social distancing is possible.
  • Encourage the use of outdoor “classrooms” when weather permits.
  • Offer opportunities for students to take a break from wearing their masks within a safe environment.
  • No lockers will be provided at this time and students will be encouraged to bring/wear their backpacks.
What might a day's schedule look like at the MIDDLE school level?

Note – This is a SAMPLE schedule:

Homeroom-7:15 to 7:30

1st period- 7:30 to 8:31

2nd period- 8:34 to 9:32

3rd period-9:35 to 10:20

4th period-10:23 to 11:08

Lunch- 11:11 to 11:33 2nd lunch-11:59 to 12:21 (their 5th period-11:11 to 11:56)

5th period- 11:36 to 12:21

6th period-12:24 to 1:22

7th period-1:25 to 2:25

What will happen at the MIDDLE school level on Tuesdays and Fridays?
  • Receive all necessary instructions, deadlines, resources / supplies needed for projects and learning
  • Receive information regarding office hours and feedback opportunities
  • The majority of the assignments would be project-based with the opportunity for cross-curriculum.
  • Assessments may be assigned to be completed remotely.
What will students do on remote learning days at the MIDDLE SCHOOL level?
  • Students will be working on assignments focused on content and skills associated with the class
  • Students may have the opportunity to access virtual resources provided by the teacher.
What will MIDDLE school teachers do on Wednesdays?
  • Teachers will use Wednesdays to plan.
  • Teachers will have office hours that will vary by school with opportunities to provide feedback to students and answer questions they may have.
  • Teachers will collaborate with colleagues in their school as well as within the division.
  • Teachers will be receiving school and division-based professional development.
What is the instructional focus during the face-to-face days at the HIGH school level?

New material, remediation, discussion/ reflection, collaboration, presentations, relationship / culture building.  Allow for mess-ups, retakes, redos, and assess through reflection, portfolios, presentations, and projects. Getting kiddos excited about our content and giving them knowledge and skills to pursue their passions.

What is the tentative HIGH school schedule?

Arrival / Breakfast:  7:00am – 7:25am

Travel students arrive 7:45am

Block 1: 7:30am – 8:59am

Block 2: 9:04am – 10:33am

Travel students arrive/return @10:50am

Block 3/Lunch: 10:38am – 1:03pm

Lunch in cafeteria – Five (5) shifts

Block 4: 1:08am – 2:35pm

Dismissal: 2:35

On remote learning days, what will HIGH school students have the opportunity to do?
  • Practice/reinforce reading, writing, math skills
  • Collaborate with peers
  • Participate in 1:1 office hours (modes vary)
  • Producing hands-on projects/presentations
What is the instructional focus during the remote learning days at the HIGH school level?

Reinforcing skills, content and learning through meaningful application and exposure through: practice, hands-on project-based learning, collaboration with peers, receive/share feedback with teachers and peers, check-ins by staff.

How will office hours work at the HIGH school level?

Teachers will establish one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon for office hours and/or be available by appointment (modes vary)

What will HIGH school students do on Tuesdays and Fridays in the blended model?
  • Receive all necessary instructions, deadlines, resources / supplies needed for projects and learning
  • Receive information regarding office hours and feedback opportunities
What will SOUTHEASTERN'S schedule look like?

Arrival / Breakfast:  7:10am – 7:25am

Blocks 1 & 2:   7:30am – 10:25

Travel students dismissed: 10:25am

Blocks 3 & 4: 10:30am – 1:35pm

Lunch in cafeteria – Two (2) shifts possible

Departure:  Bells staggered 1:35pm

 

REFOCUS PROGRAM 

Focus: New material, remediation, counseling 

Arrival / Snack:   1:40pm – 1:45pm

*Online Learning: 1:45 – 4:30pm

Dismissal – 4:30pm

What will be the instructional focus at SOUTHEASTERN?

New material, remediation, discussion/ reflection, collaboration, presentations, relationship / SEL / culture building

What are the general expectations for the hybrid learning model?

New Instruction/Content on Monday and Tuesday and Thursday and Friday.

Students will follow a fairly normal academic schedule while in school. 

Tuesdays and Fridays will allow for teachers to set expectations for what will occur on the remote learning days (days students are not in school).  They will also provide hard copies of materials to students as needed, and share where to access additional activities/materials/resources/instructions via Blackboard and/or Google Classroom.

Remote Learning Activities should be engaging, project-based and hands-on as much as possible.  It is recognized that practice is a critical part of independent learning. 

On Wednesdays, teachers will have office hours, and will be available to support students and address parental questions.  Teachers will also use the day for curriculum planning and continued professional development.  

What are the guidelines and procedures for the use of the school libraries during this school year?

During the school day, our school libraries will offer the same instructional services to students and staff as they have in the past, with some modifications to maintain cleanliness and safe distancing.  To help ensure the safety of students and staff, libraries will avoid serving as gathering spaces before/after school or during lunch shifts.  Additionally, librarians will offer book checkout and digital resource and research support for our virtual learners.

What will HIGH school be like in a hybrid learning model?
  • High school students will have a traditional 4 block schedule with all three high schools tentatively on the same schedule.
  • Students from all three high schools may continue to attend classes offered at FHS and LHS. Shuttles will leave/return to each high school the same as in the past.
  • Students will change from class to class with safety protocols in place, which will be school-specific.
  • Students will eat in the cafeteria with social distancing safety protocols in place, which will be school-specific.
  • Encourage the use of outdoor “classrooms” as weather permits.
  • Offer opportunities for students to take a break from wearing their masks within a safe environment to include outdoor classes and at lunch.
  • Lockers will not be assigned at this time and students will be encouraged to bring/wear their backpacks.
What are the grading expectations?
  • New instruction/content/assignments are expected to be graded.
  • Students in classes that are graded (3-12), will be able to choose a pass/fail option for the final grade in the class.
Will SOL tests be administered this year?

Yes.  Below are specifics related to the English and History and Social Science SOL tests:

New assessments measuring the 2017 English Standards of Learning (SOL) and the 2015 History and Social Science SOL were to be administered in spring 2020. Due to the school closures in spring 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new tests were not administered. The implementation of these tests has been rescheduled.

The table below indicates which standards will be assessed in reading and history and social science during the Fall 2020 Non-Writing Test Administration and the Spring 2021 Non-Writing Test Administration.

 

Subject and Test Name

Fall 2020
Administration

Spring 2021 Administration

Reading

 

 

End of Course (EOC) Reading

2010 Standards1

2017 Standards

Grade 6-8 Reading

2010 Standards1

2017 Standards

Grade 3-5 Reading

Tests not offered in the fall

2017 Standards

Content Specific History

 

 

Civics & Economics

2010 Standards2

2015 Standards

Virginia Studies

Test not offered in the fall

2015 Standards

Will students who take AP courses be required to take the AP exam in May? (10/6)

For 2020-21, students taking an AP course with FCPS will be able to choose to take or not to take the AP Exam in May, while still receiving the course weight.

What should a high school student expect for exams?

While teachers are not required to give a midterm or final exam, if they choose to do so, the assessment should reflect a demonstration of students’ skills and knowledge.   Project or problem-based assessments that allow students to be creative and think critically are encouraged.

What are the grading guidelines?
  • For students in Grades 3-12, the default grade assigned for the interim, quarter, term, semester and final grade is a letter grade reflective of the student’s level of progress (i.e. A, B, C, or D).
  • For the 2020-2021 school year only, students will have the option to select a P (pass) as a final grade in a successfully completed course in lieu of a letter grade that denotes a passing grade (i.e., A, B, C, or D).
  • To select a P (pass) as a final grade, students and their families will complete a form provided by the school towards the end of the term/semester. 
  • If a student is not successful in completing the course, they will be issued an unsatisfactory grade of F, as is stated in the FCPS Grading Policy.
  • When the Pass option is chosen for a credit-bearing course, that course will not be calculated into the student’s cumulative GPA. Students and their families may want to review NCAA recommendations in making this decision if the student plans to play college-level sports.
  • The Pass option does not apply to grades issued through Mountain Vista Governor’s School or for students in Dual Enrolled courses through Lord Fairfax Community College or Richard Bland Community College. These students will receive grades as determined by the MVGS, LFCC and RBCC grading policies.
What will the schedule be for the Week of November 2nd? (10/9)
  1. Monday, Nov. 2, will be a synchronous day with time flexibility.   Students who are currently coming to school face-to-face for services will still come to school that day. Teachers are asked to check in with their virtual students on Monday to make sure they are prepared for the upcoming asynchronous days.
  2. Tuesday, Nov. 3, Election Day is a state holiday.
  3. Wednesday – Friday, Nov. 4-6, are asynchronous days for students to allow for instruction to continue but also give teachers more time to prepare for the return of students on Nov. 9.
What is the schedule for A Days and B Days after Nov. 9? (10/9)
  1. The week continues to include five days of instruction with two days of instruction (AA/BB) days being live or synchronous days for both face to face and virtual students and the other three days for remote/asynchronous instruction. 
  2. To balance the number of A Days and B Days, we will be adjusting the schedule in two places.  The week of Thanksgiving: Monday, Nov. 23, will be an A Day, and Tuesday, Nov. 24 will be a B Day.  The week before Winter Break:  Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 14&15, will be A Days and Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 16 &17, will be B Days.  Friday, December 18, is a Teacher Work Day.
What will the virtual option with the camera look like starting November 9th? (10/9)
Will students remain in their existing classes with their current teachers? (10/12)

Our goal is to have as few changes as possible, and one of the benefits of the instructional model that we’re moving to is that both hybrid students and virtual students will be able to continue to connect to their teachers and maintain their current schedules. Students in the virtual option and the hybrid model remain in the same class. They’re just in different locations. 

What will the virtual option look like? And how will virtual students participate? (10/12)

Virtual students will have a scheduled time to join their teacher on designated A days or B days. Students will be joining their classes during times of direct teacher instruction. Teachers will use the camera in their classroom, a microphone, and live stream to connect virtual students to their classrooms. Students will be able to participate depending on the instruction taking place at the time. We will continue to use Zoom or Google Meet and allow for interaction between teachers and students through chat or through verbal interaction using the microphone. For example, students might join a class discussion, or they might post a question in the chat. All students and their families will still have multiple ways to communicate with their teachers, whether that be a phone call, email, advisory, or office hours, much like they do now.

Will there be a loss of instructional time when we move to the new model? (10/12)

Our intent is that students do not lose instructional time. Of course, in normal times, students are in school roughly six hours a day face-to-face. And it remains our belief that face-to-face instruction is our most preferred method of instruction whenever possible. But we are shifting at elementary and middle from four days of synchronous instruction to a more condensed model of two days of synchronous instruction, rather than four days now where it is more spread out. It is definitely different, but we remain committed to there not being a loss of instructional time. 

So what will remote or asynchronous learning days look like? (10/12)

 The remote asynchronous learning that is happening now will most often be the same going forward for both our hybrid and our virtual students. Asynchronous instructional days will look much like they do now. Students will work independently, whether that’s on reading and writing and completing assignments or working on a project, and connecting as they need to with their teachers, in lots of ways that they currently are connecting with teachers during the asynchronous time. Students should feel free to reach out and ask a question if they need clarification to be able to move forward with their work. 

Will the live stream sessions will be recorded, and if not, how should students access a lesson they might miss? (10/12)

No, we will not be recording our live stream due to privacy concerns. However, just like any absence from school, students should make sure that they communicate with their teachers and to the school about the absence and get makeup assignments and the work that they have missed.

When will parent teacher conferences be held this fall for elementary and middle school? (10/13)

Rather than a single parent-teacher conference day, as been held in the past, teachers will be scheduling virtual parent-teacher conference appointments over the next several weeks.  If you need an appointment, please reach out to your school/teachers to schedule. 

Technology

Will every classroom receive the camera and headset for the virtual option (ex. art, music, PE)? (10/14)

Yes.

A and B Group Assignments

What will the group assignments be?
  • Students will be split alphabetically by their last name into Group A (attending school face-to-face Mondays and Tuesdays) and Group B (attending school face-to-face Thursdays and Fridays).  Specific information about the group assignments includes:
    • Separating students by their last name creates an almost perfect divide when using A-K for Group A and L-Z for Group B.  With a priority in keeping “family units” or “households” together, the alphabetical divide gives us the most efficient model to follow.
    • Adjustments were made due to bus routes becoming overloaded on either the “A” day or “B” day.
    • Adjustments were also made when a grade level for a particular school became overcrowded on either “A” day or “B” day.
    • Blended families with more than one last name in a household will be kept together as a unit on their assigned day.
    • Single students in households may be adjusted to balance building capacities as needed.
    • If your assignment differs from the alphabetical assignment, you will receive notification from the FCPS Transportation Department confirming your assigned day.

1. What are the mitigation strategies for students and staff?

All students and staff will be required to wear face masks while at school.  Students will also be required to wear face masks while entering, exiting, and riding the bus.  

All students and staff will maintain social distancing to the extent possible.  The goal is to maintain a minimum of six feet or more of social distance, but FCPS cannot provide any assurances that this is possible at all times.

2. What will FCPS do to keep sick students and staff at home?
  • Have all employees and students complete a self-health assessment prior to entering any FCPS building. All questions on the self-assessment must be answered with a No. If any question is Yes, the employee/student MUST stay home.
  • Require all employees and students to stay home when they are sick
  • Require sick employees to leave immediately. Parents are advised to pick up sick students within 30 minutes.
3. Who will be the designated COVID-19 contact for a school?

The school nurse will be the COVID-19 contact for their school

 

4. What PPE will be supplied to FCPS staff?

FCPS will provide every employee with 2 cloth masks and a reusable face shield. Employees who work in higher-risk areas will have other PPE available for their use.

5. What will happen with incentives such as perfect attendance or exam exemptions?

All incentives for perfect attendance and exam exemption have been waived.

6. What will the orientation and training for staff, students and parents look like?
  • Students and staff will receive education on hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, use of cloth face coverings, encouraging physical distancing, proper donning of PPE,  and staying home when sick.
  • Signs in both English and Spanish from CDC/VDH will be placed around all schools to remind everyone of good etiquette during COVID-19.
  •  Staff will be required to access the Safe School online videos on COVID-19 (4 videos), First Aid and Bloodborne Pathogens prior to the start of school. This information is trackable and all employees will be required to complete.
  •  Parents and students will have virtual access to videos produced by staff at George Mason University by the end of July. These will be posted on our website. The videos are being provided by VDOE/VDH.

 Nurses will have access to a PowerPoint created by George Mason University discussing COVID-19 by the end of July.

7. What will the provision of health look like?

In order to keep all students/staff healthy and safe, the clinics will be operating in a different format for the school year 2020-2021 having 3 distinct areas: a waiting area, a well student area and an isolation room.

The goal of the clinics is to prevent otherwise healthy students/staff from exposure to illness.

Teachers are required to take the Safe Schools First Aid Class so they can offer assistance to students in the classroom when necessary.

Teachers will receive an emergency First Aid kit from the School Nurse. 

Students MUST have an appointment to come to the clinic. No drop-ins. 

Every clinic and isolation room will have a HEPA air purifier which filters up to .1 micron and will be effective in filtering out bacteria and virus.

Nurses will have appropriate PPE which includes gloves, mask, face shield and gowns.

Staff will be cross trained to assist in the clinic when necessary.

School Nurses will have a rolling cart to make classroom visits when necessary.

.

8. What is the new procedure for students to visit the school's clinic?

Teachers may contact the school nurse prior to sending the student to the office if they are uncertain or need guidance about student care. Nurses will give the student an appointment time or come to the classroom. Students should be triaged before they come to the clinic.

9. What if a student or staff member arrives at the clinic potentially feeling ill with COVID-19 symptoms?

If students or staff arrive at the clinic, potentially feeling ill with COVID-19 symptoms, they will immediately be relocated to an isolation area so as not to “contaminate” the general health office space.

10. For the hybrid model, will temperatures be taken daily?

Parents/guardians are to take their child’s temperature prior to the student coming to school. If the temperature is 100 degrees or higher, the student MUST stay home.  Similarly, staff must check their own temperature before reporting to school.

11. What will happen if FCPS is made aware of a positive case of COVID-19?

Once FCPS is made aware of a positive case of COVID it is immediately reported to the School Health Coordinator. The School Health Coordinator then reports the case to the Fauquier Health Department who then conducts an investigation. It is very important to understand that there is no one size fits all.FCPS will then act on the advice from the Health Department.

12. How will FCPS monitor health and absenteeism?
  • FCPS will provide the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Surveillance and Investigation, daily attendance data (date, school, membership, and absences) to facilitate statewide monitoring
  • All incentives for perfect attendance and exam exemption have been waived.
  • Students will not be dropped from roll for extended absences due to COVID-19.
13. What will the orientation and training for staff, students and parents look like?
  • Students and staff will receive education on hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, use of cloth face coverings, encouraging physical distancing, proper donning of PPE,  and staying home when sick.
  • Signs in both English and Spanish from CDC/VDH will be placed around all schools to remind everyone of good etiquette during COVID-19.
  •  Staff will be required to access the Safe School online videos on COVID-19 (4 videos), First Aid and Bloodborne Pathogens prior to the start of school. This information is trackable and all employees will be required to complete.
  •  Parents and students will have virtual access to videos produced by staff at George Mason University by the end of July. These will be posted on our website. The videos are being provided by VDOE/VDH.
  •  Nurses will have access to a PowerPoint created by George Mason University discussing COVID-19 by the end of July.
14. What is the protocol for handling suspected, presumptive, or confirmed cases of COVID-19?

FCPS will follow the flow chart guidance below:

15. Where can I find the health assessment that staff will use to check their symptoms prior to coming to school?

The symptom checkers can be found here:

Student Symptom Checker 6Oct2020
Employee Symptom Checker 6Oct2020

For your convenience, we will also add it to our mobile app before November 9.  We will send a notification when it is ready.

16. What is required by FCPS regarding face coverings? (updated 10/15)

Fauquier County Public Schools (FCPS) requires all staff members, visitors, and students to wear cloth or disposable face masks at all times, except while eating or drinking. This includes any FCPS workplace, school buildings, school activities, and entering, exiting, and riding the school bus.

FCPS does not permit wearing gaiters, scarves or bandanas in place of cloth or disposable masks.

FCPS will allow the wearing of face shields by staff/students only with documented breathing difficulties or students with behavioral difficulties (ex. students with sensory issues who are identified on the autism spectrum.)  The principal has the authority to approve the option to wear a face shield based on the criteria described above.

FCPS will review the protocol for face coverings at regular intervals and may choose to modify the current requirements based on new credible guidance on COVID-19 health mitigation strategies.

Any exceptions to wearing of face masks must be approved by the principal and meet established FCPS health mitigation requirements. 

17. How will a COVID-19 case be handled within the schools? (10/14)

Fauquier County Public Schools will make decisions about responses to positive cases based on the facts of each scenario and the recommendations of the health department. In the absence of immediate information from the Virginia Department of Health, Fauquier County Public Schools will take immediate steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, which may include options such as shutting down a classroom to limit the potential spread of the virus in the short term until more information is available through the Virginia Department of Health, and to better inform long term decisions. The length of isolation for a staff or a student who tests positive will be a minimum of 10 days from when the symptoms begin. However, the decision is also dependent on the specific factors involved in the case. 

Special Education

1. What will the instructional setting look like for K-12 students with disabilities accessing the SOL curriculum? (updated 10/14)
  1.       Students will follow their assigned schedules (AA/BB).
  2.       Case managers will evaluate IEPs to assure that any accommodation or access issue is addressed via an IEP meeting. This could include:
  3. a)       Assistive technology
  4. b)     Additional support during virtual components (i.e. tutoring, check-in from special education teachers with students and/or parents)
  5. c)       Reduction or modification of goals
2. What will the instructional setting look like for K-12 Students Accessing ASOL Curriculum, (ID, MD, and Autism)? (updated 10/14)
  • PPE, to include face shields, masks and gloves will be available for all staff in these classrooms. 
  • Students will receive instruction face to face all four days school buildings are open.

These classrooms include:

  • High school level- 3  classrooms at KRHS, 3 classrooms at LHS and 3 classrooms at FHS
  • Middle school level – 2 classrooms at AMS, 1 classroom at MMS, 1 classroom at CLMS, 1 classroom at TMS
  • Elementary school level- 2 classrooms at GMES, 3 classrooms at CMB (* this includes the Alternative Augmentative Device Classroom), 1 classroom at JGB, 4 classrooms at CHR, 2 classrooms at PBS

Virtual Contingency Educational Plans will be developed via the IEP process to address services should another full closure happen.

3. What are some classroom considerations for the self-contained classroom? ((updated 10/14)

Many students in these high needs classrooms have comorbid health issues. In accordance with VDOE guidance (RRR), options will need to be considered for any parent not wanting to send their child back to the school building.

  1.       PPE requirements: face shields and masks. 
  2.       Each student will have their own materials to avoid contamination to other students.
  3.       Any shared item will be removed from use each time it is used until sanitation procedures are followed.
  4. Instructional materials will be transferable should a full closure occur. This will include core subjects as well as social/emotional curriculum.
  5. Lunches will be provided in accordance with school building procedures.
  6. Community-Based Instruction will be suspended until further notice.
  7. Students in these classrooms access instruction in a small group setting; therefore, this method will continue and will adhere to social distancing guidelines to include the use of dividers, when needed.
4. What will Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) be like? (updated 10/14)
  1. Students will attend four days for face-to-face instruction. 
  2. PPE requirements: Face shields and masks.
  3. Dividers for maintaining social distancing for students when at tables.
  4. Each student will have their own materials to avoid contamination to other students.
  5. Any shared item will be removed from use each time it is used until sanitation procedures are followed.
  6. Lunches will be provided in accordance with school building procedures.
  7. Teachers will color code the classroom to mark areas for student use. 
  8. Due to the need for social distancing, FCPS is suspending the typical peer program for the 20-21 school year.
5. What will the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) be like? (updated 10/14)
  1. Students will follow assigned schedules (AA/BB).
  2. Each student will have their own materials to avoid contamination to other students.
  3. Any shared item will be removed from use each time it is used until sanitation procedures are followed.
  4. Classrooms will access lunch in the classroom.
  5. Teachers will color code the classroom to mark areas for student use. 

A teacher’s aide will monitor a small group of students, allowing the teacher to work with a small group of students.

6. What will the Transitions program be like?
  1. Student schedules will be consistent with division scheduling (AA/BB).
  2. Face masks and hand sanitizer will be provided.
  3. Job site visits will be by van or car and limited to one student with one job coach, both wearing masks.
  4. Program work shirts laundered after each use.
  5. FCPS classroom configurations and cleaning procedures will be followed.
7. How will special education meetings (Child Study, Eligibility, IEP and 504 meetings) take place?
  • All special education meetings will continue to be held virtually
  • 504 accommodations will be reviewed and remain in effect. Any modifications required will be made.
8. How can we help students with disabilities wear face masks? (7/31)

This document shares resources and tips: Helping Individuals with Disabilities Wear Face Masks

Child Care (FCPS Employees)

Will FCPS continue to provide childcare for teachers and staff? (10/14)

FCPS is currently working with FCCC to see if we can continue to provide childcare for our teachers and staff. It’s going to be challenging because when students return to the building, there will be space issues. We’re working hard to mitigate all these issues and come up with a workable plan. 

Sports

1. What will happen to the high school sports seasons?

Seasons are set to officially get underway Dec. 7, when basketball and cheerleading can begin practices. Games for basketball begin Dec. 21. Other winter sports, which compete first under the new VHSL 2020-21 calendar, start practices and games a week after basketball.

Fall sports, including football and its six-game schedule that will span seven weeks, follow in “Season 2.” Those activities run from February through May. Spring sports close out the year and will take place April through June.

Facilities

1. Will there be any markers to remind students of the need to social distance? (7/31)

 Yes. New social distance floor decals will be installed at primary entrances and throughout the school to provide a visual reminder.

2. How does FCPS plan to keep school buildings clean? (7/31)
  • Additional surface /high contact disinfectant cleaning will be conducted during and after the school day.
  • Disinfecting procedures will be in place specific to COVID-19. The custodial staff will be trained in the requirements prior to the start of the first day of school. It’s important to note, it will take cooperation from all staff in the building to keep our buildings clean and safe during this time, not just custodians.
  • Additional disinfectant wipes will be provided for each classroom for teachers to help give additional disinfection of surfaces during the school day.
  • Additional custodial support services will be requested to the School Board during the reopening. This would allow for an increased labor force to focus on additional disinfecting during and after school days.  We are exploring additional 20-40 increased custodial support; placement would be considered by division-wide increase, then by student populations and school square footage.
3. What will Wednesday cleaning look like? (10/14)

On Wednesdays,  the cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas will be increased by the utilization of an electrostatic sprayer. The electrostatic sprayer helps to cover more areas. More information may be found in our detailed mitigation plan submitted to the State here.

4. What is a plasma ionization system and do all schools have it? (10/14)

Most of our schools have a plasma ionization system. This system takes air and shoots oxygen into a filtration system, which causes bacteria and viruses to be attached to the filter, and essentially goes through a process of destroying the viruses. Three schools don’t have this supplemental system in the building:  Warrenton Middle School, Taylor Middle School, and Southeastern Alternative School. We are conducting an assessment in these schools. Based on that assessment results,  we will determine whether it is necessary to install an additional system in those buildings.

School Nutrition

Where can I find more information about the current meal service options? (10/12)

Transportation 

1. Will students be required to wear masks on buses? (7/31)

Yes. Students and staff will be required to wear a face covering.  Staff will be provided with a cloth face mask and some additional masks will be kept on the bus for any student that forgets theirs.

2. How will buses be cleaned? (7/31)
  • Drivers and aides will routinely clean and disinfect vehicles prior to and after transporting students as well as following each school delivery.  This will include wiping down frequently touched surfaces such as seats, seatbacks, handrails, any seat belts in use and the driver’s compartment.
  • Drivers and aides will be provided gloves, disinfectant wipes, paper towels, trash bags and face masks, and face shields. These items meet all standard guidance provided by the CDC.
3. Will hand sanitizer be available on buses? (7/31)

Per VDOE guidelines, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be an accelerant in a fire and large dispensing stations do not meet FMVSS crash and flammability standards.  Therefore, if alcohol-based hand sanitizers are used, it must be dispensed in a clear plastic container that holds 12 ounces or less. 

4. Will there be proper ventilation on buses? (7/31)

To increase ventilation, when weather permits, at least one window in the front and one window in the back will remain open.

5. What is the seating capacity on a bus given social distancing guidelines? 7/31)

One student per seat reduces capacity to 22-26 student passengers per bus.  Special education buses will also have reduced capacity depending on the size of the bus and the accommodations required by the student, i.e. wheelchair.

6. How will students be seated on the bus? (7/31)

Students will have assigned seats on our buses to ensure student safety throughout the ride. Students will stagger their seating by one student sitting near the window and the next student sitting near the aisle.   Students who live in the same household may sit together in a single seat.

The red dots on the bus diagram below indicate where students will be seated.

7. How will students board and exit the bus? (7/31)

 Students will board the bus back-to-front and dismiss front-to-back. This practice will minimize the need for students to pass one another on the bus.

8. What will the training be like for bus drivers and aides? (7/31)

Prior to returning to work, all transportation staff will be required to undergo training related to our new policies and preventative protocols. Training is based on CDC recommendations and will be documented. 

Training will include:

  • Proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques
  • Proper use and disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Safe product usage guidelines (chemical safety)
  • Proper methods to empty and dispose of trash
  • Review new routes and what changes to expect
  • Drivers and aides are required to run their routes before school starts – no exception.
9. Will there be procedures in place for dealing with a potentially sick student?

Yes. Procedures will be developed and shared with all drivers and aides. 

This procedure will address the following:

  • Identifying a potentially ill student.
  • Developing a potential isolation zone for the school bus when it arrives on campus.
  • Isolation procedures for all students on the school bus.  Such procedures should correspond to procedures developed for classrooms.
  • Implementing a contact tracing system to identify which students were on the bus on the day in question.
  • Additional bus cleaning to include removing bus from service and using a disinfectant spray.
10. How will bus safety expectations be communicated to students and families? (7/31)

Transportation will communicate the expectations of students and families to promote safe transportation.

  • Transportation will work closely with the family of any child who puts others at risk.
  • Students will only ride the bus to which they are assigned.  Students are not permitted to ride home with friends or be dropped off at an alternate location.  This will result in overcrowded buses.
  • If you need an alternate childcare address, you will enter this information into the OLR (Online Registration). The information is processed by Transportation. 
  • Parents will be asked to assist in maintaining social distancing at the bus stops.
  • Parents are asked to provide face masks for their children before they enter the bus.  If there are health concerns, they are to contact Transportation so we may work together to find the best solution for their student. 
  • Transportation will work closely with families to identify their transportation needs and intentions by semester.
11. How will the Transportation Department work with the Special Education Department to support students? (7/31)

In addition to all existing COVID-19 related protocols, transportation will collaborate with the Department of Special Education to ensure that we meet the needs of students with disabilities and the expectations of their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

  • Transportation will continue to provide specialized transportation for students included in the McKinney Vento Act (Homeless).  We are expecting a significant rise in the number of students in this category.
  • Staff transporting special education students will receive appropriate PPE equipment related to the services required for each child. 
  • Special Education drivers and aides will be wearing gloves, face masks or face shields and gowns if required.  The vehicles will be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after every run.  Students are not used to seeing their drivers and aides wearing all this equipment.  This can be a lot to take in. We will make every attempt to ease the students into this new normal.
  • Special Education students may be identified to attend school 4 days per week rather than 2 days. All others will follow the School Board adopted plan.
12. What might transportation schedules look like? (7/31)

Transportation will create and communicate plans to manage an increase in the number of families who choose to drop off and pick up their children. ***Conditions will vary depending on circumstances specific to the school community.

  • Bell schedules may be staggered to ensure safe conditions and an efficient process for drop-off and pick-up.
  • Transportation will communicate schedules and processes to families and school administrators.
  • There will be additional “Double Runs.”  Buses may be dropping off 1st load and return to a nearby neighborhood to pick up the second group of students. We are estimating 40-50 double runs daily resulting in extra hours, pay and fuel – some of this will be offset by closing for 20% of the week. A better picture will be known closer to final enrollment. 
  • As unforeseen issues arise, there will likely be delays – we thank the School Board, families, and staff in advance for your kind understanding and cooperation with the transportation staff – there is no schedule that will arise above the safety of our students.
13. Describe the FCPS Transportation fleet. (7/31)

Currently Transportation Fleet consists of:

  • 162 buses in the fleet (16 spares)
  • 12 Dodge Caravans (1 spare and 6 assigned to high schools)
  • 14 cars 

Purchased for the new school year:

  • Four 77 passenger gasoline buses (delivered)
  • 4 Sped Buses (Late August delivery – the plant was closed due to COVID-19 which slowed production)

Additional emergency purchases (approved by Finance Committee) to enhance fleet due to social distancing on school buses and county cars during COVID-19 pandemic:

  • 9 Used 77 passenger buses from Prince William County
  • 6 additional Dodge Caravans to support Special Needs transportation

Budget & Finance

1. Will FCPS be collecting consumable fees this year? (7/31)

No.

Communication

How can I keep track of how many COVID-19 cases are in FCPS? (10/3)

To report the confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, FCPS published its COVID Dashboard on September 24.

Why are positive cases prior to September 24 not reported on the FCPS COVID Dashboard? (10/3)

FCPS decided to first publish the COVID Dashboard on September 24.  Previous cases were not reported because cases that occurred previously do not serve any useful purpose. The individuals who were positive with COVID-19 are no longer contagious,  and therefore there is no risk of spread going forward.

When will the symptom checker be accessible in the FCPS mobile app? (10/4)

The week of October 12.  We will be sure to send an announcement when it is available. 

What's the best way for staff to submit questions? (10/12)

Staff can submit questions through email.  Staff can also submit questions to their ACES rep within their building. This needs to be done prior to the ACES meeting. Our next ACES meeting is October 15. If you have questions, please submit them to your ACES rep, and he or she will vet them through their building principal, and then they will be discussed at the ACES meeting. The next ACES meeting on October 15 is open to all teachers who are interested in participating.

Does the COVID Dashboard data include results from both the rapid and the PCR tests? (10/14)

Yes. The COVID Dashboard reports confirmed positive cases from both tests.