Latest COVID-19 Update from FCPS

Hello again Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you are still remaining safe and healthy. I wanted to provide a few updates from my previous email sent on March 17, 2020.  I will continue to send updates as they become available.

First, I realized the links to my virtual office hours do not work properly. Below are updated links.

Virtual Office Hours

I plan to hold two sessions of virtual office hours on Tuesday, March 24th from 5:00-7:00 pm, and Wednesday, March 25th from 1:00-3:00 pm. These will be town hall style meetings and there will be options to participate via video or phone. Of course, if you wish to speak to me privately, I am available via phone or email. Please feel free to email me at to set up an individual time to talk if you prefer.

Here is information on how to join my March 24th 5:00-7:00 pm Virtual Office Hours:


Here is information on how to join my March 25th 1:00-3:00 pm Virtual Office Hours:


Latest Update from FCPS:

Things continue to rapidly develop, and COVID-19 continues to be a fast-moving event. I know there is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty that can cause great stress for our families and students. I have heard all your questions regarding teacher-supported online instruction, continuity of learning, AP and IB tests, staff pay, and more. Rest assured, our limited central office staff have been working long days to not only provide the continuity of learning resources, but also develop plans for required teacher-led learning. We have had to work in conjunction with state and federal government guidelines, which has at times slowed our efforts. I will continue to share information related to the Coronavirus and our schools as it becomes available. Please check regularly for updates that will be posted on the FCPS Coronavirus webpage, which includes frequently asked questions, fact sheets, videos, continuity of learning information, and other useful resources.

COVID-19: While most of those at risk are older, 1 in 5 of the people requiring hospitalization are people between ages 20 to 44. (See this article). I highly encourage everyone to follow the CDC and state guidelines regarding limiting travel and going out, not gathering in groups of more than 10 people, and practicing good social distancing. And above, all please wash your hands. Let’s all do our part to keep each other safe.


Stay connected to the latest C-19 information through the FCPS website        


Superintendent Brabrand on Facebook Live TODAY (Friday 3/20) at 3 pm

Please join FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand on Facebook Live, Friday, March 20, at 3 p.m. Dr. Brabrand will share updates regarding COVID-19 and FCPS’ operating status. He’ll also be taking questions so please feel free to submit questions during the broadcast.


Here is what has been going on:

When the Governor closed all schools through March 27th, the Virginia Department of Education guidance stated that since school divisions cannot ensure equity in access, school divisions could not require graded student assignments during this closure, at minimum through March 27th.

Rest assured, a limited number of essential FCPS staff have been working to prepare online and virtual education to reach our nearly 200,000 students, as well as working to ensure we meet the needs of all our students. This includes prepping laptops to be distributed as soon as we can to our middle and elementary school students who currently do not have 1:1 technology. Staff is working hard on making the transition to virtual teaching, which can involve both online learning and delivery of paper packets, but this can take a lot of time for a school system the size of Fairfax. I realize the frustration that state and federal requirements place on this process. FCPS leadership and the School Board are working with state and federal officials to figure out how to provide education for our students in these unprecedented times. We have sufficient instructional time built into our schedule to cover these two weeks of closures similar to what we might use during other school closures. Because school and admin buildings were ordered closed through March 27th, services like current FCPS online programs had to be “closed”.

We are currently developing a way to provide laptops and MiFi (portable wifis) to those students who need them. This was planned for last Monday, but the Governor’s announcement made it difficult to continue with our plans. Laptop distribution requires us to be inside the buildings because of weather concerns, unlike the food distribution that can take place outside. Equipment also needed to be cleaned. Many of our staff were concerned for their health as well, and we needed to respect their concerns. Staff are working now to find and prepare laptops and develop a safe system for distribution.

Superintendent Brabrand will provide more information next week regarding required online/virtual instruction. I am not sure right now when this may start or what the expectations will be over spring break. Rest assured, I will get you information as soon as I can.


Important Information from state and local officials:

Click here for the latest update from the Governor of Virginia:  (Co-pays eliminated for all Medicaid-covered services, child care, tax relief, small businesses can begin applying for low-interest federal disaster loans, correctional facilities, and more).


Click here for update for Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Jeff McKay. This has a lot of great information regarding county services and help for those who need it.


Need Support? Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services provides access and referrals to both government and community-based resources for Fairfax County residents in need.  If you are facing difficulties - including food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, healthcare and more other needs, please call 703-222-0880 for assistance.


Latest Updates from Fairfax County:


FAQs from FCPS

I have heard many of your questions and I have been asking our staff for details. Here is what I have so far from FCPS staff:

  • What resources are available to help families talk with their children about COVID-19?

There are a number of resources to support families in talking with children about COVID-19.

4 Things to Know About Social Distancing: Read More Here


  • What is happening with standardized testing? 

Virginia Department of Education will seek maximum flexibility for schools and students to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, including relief from federal and state requirements related to testing. 


The State Superintendent has also directed VDOE staff to review state laws and regulations related to state graduation requirements to determine what steps must be taken to ensure that seniors who would otherwise graduate this spring are not denied diplomas. We will provide updates as soon as they are available.


  • What is the plan for 3rd Quarter Grades?

Instructional Services Department will work with principals associations to develop procedures and timelines. These will be communicated as soon as possible.  


  • Will students be able to pick up medication they have stored in the clinic? If so, what is the procedure?

Parents should contact their primary care physician if additional medications are needed. We are planning to schedule a day or days next week where students/families and staff can pick up essentials, including emergency medications.  


  • We are hearing concerns about AP/IB testing.  Is there an update regarding testing schedules?

FCPS staff members are working closely with officials from the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) program and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) regarding the impact of school closures on AP/IB instruction, review, and testing.  With the evolving COVID-19 health crisis, we do not yet have answers about the impact to the 2020 AP-IB testing schedules. Our current focus is providing parents and students with resources for continuity of learning. The following links will provide ongoing updates from the AP and IB programs. 



We will keep parents, students, and staff members informed of updates to AP/IB instruction and testing.  As students continue their preparation for spring 2020 AP and IB examinations, they are encouraged to use resources and tools provided until direct teacher instruction and support can be provided.



Food Resources for Students and Families

Beginning Friday, March 20, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) buses will deliver grab and go meals along several additional bus routes. Beginning tomorrow, FCPS is also offering curbside pickup service at two schools. 

The same bus routes served today will continue to provide grab and go meals tomorrow, March 20, along with several additional bus routes in other school neighborhoods.

Please check the Bus Route Meal Service web page for location of intersections and times. 

Two school sites will offer curbside pickup starting Friday, March 20. Breakfast and lunch will be available from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Those interested in picking up the meals are asked to follow the kiss and ride signage for traffic flow at the school.  FCPS staff will deliver meals to children and adults while they wait in their cars in the kiss and ride line.  Curbside pickup will be available beginning tomorrow at:

  • Westgate Elementary, 7500 Magarity Road, Falls Church
  • Oak View Elementary, 5004 Sideburn Road, Fairfax 

For a complete list of distribution sites and times please click here.


Coronavirus Information:


A few words for our teens (and their families)

First, a few words from me for our teens, especially our Juniors and Seniors. I know this is a particularly terrible time in your lives for something like this to happen. My own son is a Junior in high school this year and my daughter graduated two years ago. I know all the things you have been working hard for and things you must have been looking forward to - shows, plays, athletic events, school trips, competitions, yearbook, time with your friends, work, activities, and so much more. I know many of you have been studying hard to prepare for AP and IB exams and the SAT or ACT, working hard on schoolwork, and preparing for college visits and building your “college resume.” For those of you pursuing vocational, career and technical endeavors, I know you were learning valuable skills and perhaps working towards a certification in your chosen field. For our artists and musicians, this was a time to build your portfolio, participate in regional state-level competitions and programs, and put on that “Cappies” play or musical you’ve been working on. For our spring athletes, there were many games, tournaments, and scholarship and scouting opportunities. I understand all the hard work you put into those and the disappointment. For our Seniors, I know many of you are concerned about meeting requirements for graduation. We are working with our State Superintendent on this and are advocating for modifications that will allow you all to still meet the requirements for your diploma. I am sure you are wondering about prom and graduation and all the fun end-of-Senior year activities. We are working very hard to hopefully provide you with some of those opportunities, but the reality is, times are very uncertain right now, and safety has to come first. We just don’t know yet how this pandemic will play out. Please hang in there and know we see you and feel your disappointment.

As hard as it is, it is really important to abide by the Governor’s requirement of no gatherings of more than 10 people with maintaining a good social distance of at least 6 feet. I know this is hard, but it is what we need to protect us all. While the risk is highest for our older population, over 40% of those who are hospitalized, some severe, are aged 20-44. Let’s all do our part to keep everyone safe.

For those teens who have reached out to offer virtual tutoring and/or tech support, I see you, and applaud your initiative and desire to help those in need. I’ve long said “Gen Z” is going to be the next greatest generation and you are proving me correct! I have shared your desires with staff and we will get back to you soon! In the meantime, I suggest the tech savvy among you reach out to your local “Geek Squad” to offer virtual services.


Some Final Thoughts

I know these are frightening and uncertain times. As best we all can, please take some time to care for yourselves. While we are all focused on the very real dangers of the pandemic, I also realize we are all grieving the loss of normalcy, the loss of the small and big things in our lives that we were doing or looking forward to. It is okay to take time to grieve that loss, even if we still recognize much of that loss we are grieving are “first world problems.” It is still a real loss. Here is an article that talks more about this. Read More Here

I encourage you to forward this email to friends, family, and other members of the community who may find it informative.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if I can help in any way.

Please stay safe. And know that we are all in this together.

In health,


The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© 2020 Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia