Update from School Board Member Rachna Sizemore Heizer


Hello again friends and neighbors,

Again, I want to thank you for your patience during these unprecedented times. The school board and the leadership team spent five hours Monday night in an emergency meeting after the Governor’s announcement closing schools for the rest of the academic year. Here is a quick FCPS update with more to come.

First, I want to say I see you. I see you, all our teachers and staff missing their kids but even more so, I see you, our kids missing their teachers, friends, activities, life. The prom, the school play, that first soccer goal, the yearbook, competitions, awards, trips, laughter with old friends and new friendships yet to be made, the million things you deserve and should have. I see you, our young students who may not fully understand and our high school students who can’t get these special moments back and all our other students missing their friends and the normalcy of their routines and their world.

My heart breaks for each and every one of you and each and every one of those moments.

I feel especially for our seniors. Know that we want to do right by you in whatever way we can. We just don't know right now what that means.

Rescheduling Office Hours

Due to unforeseen circumstances (doctor’s orders to limit talking, amongst other things), I will NOT be holding office hours today or tomorrow (March 24 from 5-7 pm or March 25th 1-3 pm).

I apologize for any inconvenience. You are always welcome to email me in the meantime.

Instead, I will be holding virtual office hours March 30th from 5-7 pm.

This will be a townhall style meeting via Google Hangout. Here is the call in and video information:

Join Hangouts Meet – March 30th 5-7 pm


Join by phone

‪+1 443-429-0645 PIN: ‪732 890 537#

The Latest Update:

Governor’s Order and Distance Learning: The Governor has ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia closed for the remainder of the academic year.

  • School divisions will determine how learning will continue.
    • We have been making plans for distance learning - more on that in the next couple of days as we wait for guidance from VDOE. Some of the information we are waiting for VDOE to supply us includes graduation requirements for seniors, verified versus standard credits, specifics regarding continuity of learning, distance learning requirements, especially for special education and English language learners, and much more.
    • Rest assured that we have been and continue to make distance learning plans for all our students, which includes plans to distribute additional laptops and involves both online learning and distribution of paper packets.
    • More guidance on IEP meetings, special education accommodations and support for other populations coming soon.
    • The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will be providing school districts additional guidance in the next day or so.

Caring Culture

    • Teachers may be in contact with students to foster relationships, nurture a caring culture, and provide reassurance and encouragement during a stressful and unprecedented global experience.
    • We are not discouraging teachers from reaching out to their students and many, many teachers have been doing just that.


    • We are working with principals to develop a plan for 3rd quarter grading and will communicate that information to you as soon as we can. The third quarter grading book is not closed.

Learning Resources:

Standardized Testing:

  • SOLs: U.S. DOE announced last week that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. Virginia is planning to submit a waiver request.
  • IB PROGRAM: The May 2020 IB examinations for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme students are canceled.Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work.
  • AP Update: Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. College Board timeline for next steps:
    • March 23 – an update sent to students directly from the College Board.
    • March 25 – students will have access to College Board’s free, live AP review lessons, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These optional, mobile-friendly classes are designed to be used alongside work that may be given by schools. Students can find the classes at youtube.com/advancedplacement
    • April 3 – the full exam schedule including the specific free-response question types that will comprise each AP exam will be published by the College Board.
  • Self-directed Economics and Personal Finance. Students who are currently registered for one of the summer courses will receive an email through the summer school registration system to their fcpsschools.net email address with the information about beginning the course.
  • All students, regardless of which summer session they registered for, will have until July 31, 2020 to complete the course.
  • Beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020, those students who were registered for the self-directed Economics and Personal Finance course as of March 19, 2020 for either summer session 1 or summer session 2, will have the ability to begin the course online through Virtual Virginia.

Food Services:

  • We have incredible teams from Food and Nutrition Services, transportation, and other departments that are working to distribute grab and go meals to our students who are experiencing food insecurity. It is a critical function.


For more information from FCPS regarding coronavirus, please click here.

For more information from Fairfax County regarding services and supports, please click here.


Some Final Thoughts:


I appreciate all your emails and messages. Rest assured you have been heard and your concerns are being shared. Never for an instance think you aren’t being heard. We are doing our best to do our best for all our students. Our staff and leadership team have been working hard on distance learning plans and recognize the importance of supporting the wellbeing of our students, teachers, staff and families.

I leave you with something we could all use right now – some humor. Here is a video of a British sports commentator. Having no sports on which to comment, he has taken to commenting on ordinary people going about their daily activities (before total social distancing was put in place). I hope this makes you laugh in these difficult times. Click here to watch

Hang in there. Much cannot be decided until we see how this pandemic will play out. Until then…. Be well. Be safe. More information soon.

We see you.

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