Return to Learn, Office Hours, and More…

Return to Learn, Office Hours, and More…

Dear Providence District Families,

As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, I hope you will join me in thanking our world-class educators for everything they do to help our students thrive. In ways big and small, they have proven their reliability, resourcefulness, and resilience. Their commitment to student success has been especially evident during this public health crisis.

After weeks of frustrating technology failures, online instruction expanded significantly last week with nearly 155,000 real time, teacher-led sessions comprising more than 940,000 attendees. I am grateful for our tireless staff who continue working around the clock to make sure our technology works so that teachers can teach, and students can learn.

Your continued input is critical. Because of the nature of social distancing, it is more important than ever that the School Board hears from parents, students, and staff about their experiences – good and bad. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has reached out thus far, and I am always looking for new ways to connect and engage with Providence District residents.

This month I have held three virtual town hall meetings with small groups of Providence District teachers and staff. I will also be hosting a virtual town hall open to all Providence District residents this Saturday from 2:30-3:30pm with Supervisor Dalia Palchik. Additionally, I have scheduled more than 40 hours in May for virtual one-on-one meetings by phone or video conference with parents, students, and other community members.

This email contains information concerning the following topics:

  • Town Hall with Supervisor Dalia Palchik
  • Office Hours for One-on-One Meetings
  • School Board Meetings, Works Sessions, and Public Hearings
  • Return to Learn (Summer/Fall Plans)
  • Celebrating the Class of 2020
  • Shrevewood Parking Lot Update
  • Kindergarten Registration 2020-21
  • Family Food and Technology Resources
  • Attendance During Distance Learning
  • Going Paperless for Report Cards
  • Independent Audit of Distance Learning Initiative

I encourage you to participate in the upcoming events listed below if your schedule permits, and please share this email with friends and neighbors who may find it informative.


Karl Frisch
Providence District Representative
Fairfax County School Board


P.S. You can connect with me on Twitter and Facebook for important news and updates.

Town Hall Meeting (Virtual)

  • SATURDAY, MAY 9 at 2:30 PM - PROVIDENCE COMMUNITY TOWN HALL: Join Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik and School Board Member Karl Frisch for a Providence Community Town Hall this Saturday, May 9 from 2:30-3:30pm. This virtual event will be streamed LIVE on Facebook. Questions can be submitted on Facebook during the event or in advance by emailing

One-on-One Meetings (Virtual)

School Board Meetings (Virtual)

Members of the public can sign-up to offer testimony or attend virtually by watching online or on channel 99.

Return to Learn (Summer/Fall Plans)

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: Next week at a School Board work session, Superintendent Scott Brabrand will present his initial plans for future “return to learn” scenarios. These options will require close examination as they will have a major impact on summer and fall learning opportunities for students. Regardless of what is presented, I will remain focused on student and staff safety as these conversations continue.

Celebrating the Class of 2020

GRADUATION: Yesterday, all seniors and parents were sent a survey soliciting their views on the shape of 2020 graduation ceremonies. Years after finishing school it may be easy for some to downplay the significance of the Class of 2020 missing out on so many rites of passage: prom, the last big show or performance, a final season on the team, the list goes on. But for seniors, this moment still carries tremendous importance. We owe it to them to make the best out of a disappointing situation and celebrate their accomplishments. Students, principals, and others are clamoring for some form of in-person commencement ceremonies when it is again safe to do so, and I agree. I will be watching this issue closely as it develops.

RESOURCES FOR SENIORS: Members of the Class of 2020 are encouraged to check out this website (using their FCPS Google Login) packed with information and resources to help solidify their plans for next year. #CelebrateYourPlan!

Shrevewood Parking Lot Update

PARKING PROGRESS: With the addition of 10 new parking spots, phase one of the parking lot project at Shrevewood Elementary School is now complete! Weather permitting, phase two will begin on May 15. When completed, about 17 new spots will have been added!


Kindergarten Registration for 2020-21

If your child will reach their fifth birthday on or before September 30, 2020, they are eligible to attend kindergarten in the Fairfax County public school that serves your address. To register your child:

  1. Find your neighborhood school by entering your address in the FCPS Boundary Locator.
  2. Complete the online packet of registration forms. If you require a paper copy, please call your school or the central registration office.
  3. Gather your supporting documents—proof of residence in the school boundary, certified copy of your child’s birth certificate, parent/guardian photo identification, and any custody orders, if applicable. A certificate of physical exam and immunization will be required before the student starts school, but is not required for registration.
  4. Call your school to notify staff of your intent to register your child and instructions will be provided regarding next steps. School contact information is listed in the Schools Directory.

Families who need language support may contact the central registration office. Parents who choose to delay enrollment in kindergarten by one year are required to notify the school in writing of their intent.

Food and Technology Resources

FOOD SERVICES: FCPS continues to help distribute meals throughout the county. As of May 5, 2020, over 720,000 meals have been served. Visit the Food Resources for Families webpage for up-to-date information on locations and times for meal distribution. You can also use the Fairfax County interactive map to find community meal distribution sites, food pantries, and other related services.

TECHNOLOGY: As of May 1, FCPS has distributed 17,164 laptops and 1,216 MiFi wireless hotspot devices to ensure students have access to technology and a reliable internet connection. If your student is in need of a laptop, please contact their school.

Attendance During Distance Learning

Participation in asynchronous and synchronous learning is encouraged at all levels during the school closure. Teachers will note student non-participation in synchronous sessions in SIS, which will be visible to parents. This data will not be included in student attendance history and will not be reported to VDOE.

Students who are not engaging in any form of synchronous or asynchronous work will be contacted by the teacher and/or other staff members, such as the school counselor, to encourage participation, provide additional supports, and remove barriers, if possible. For students who do not have access to technology or connectivity, teachers and school counselors will work together to determine appropriate opportunities and resources.

The last day of school for all students (except seniors) is Friday, June 12. Seniors will have their last day based on their original graduation date with the last day of school occurring on or before Friday, May 29.

Go Paperless for Report Cards

Report Cards/Progress Reports will be mailed centrally for both third and fourth quarters to all parents/guardians, except those secondary families who have opted to “Go Paperless.” Middle and high school parents/guardians may opt to “Go Paperless” for report cards by logging into ParentVUE, then going to “My Account” and selecting "Go Paperless!” This is the only way to keep a paper report card from being generated for students at the secondary level. All parents who share the same address as the student must have a SIS ParentVUE account and must select the paperless option. This option must be selected before May 12 to prevent the 3rd quarter report card from being mailed.

Independent Audit of Distance Learning Initiative

WHO, WHY, AND HOW: While things are operating more smoothly today, we still need to know why our technology failed and what role FCPS as a school system and Blackboard as a company played in this ordeal. That is one of the reasons why I was an early proponent of the independent audit now being conducted for the School Board, the first phase of which should be completed and made public in a few weeks. This is the only way to make sure nothing even remotely like this happens again. In addition to reviewing these technological shortcomings, the audit will investigate a variety of the FCPS distance learning initiative’s other elements, as well.

The School Board has retained experienced and longstanding outside counsel Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP to conduct the investigation. They will report directly to the School Board and will follow the facts wherever they lead. The firm has extensive experience in a number of areas, including investigating IT-related problems in a wide range of sectors.

Stuart Raphael and Paul Tiao will lead the effort. Stuart is the former Solicitor General of Virginia and has represented and advised the School Board in a wide range of matters for more than 20 years. Paul co-chairs Hunton’s cyber-security task force and regularly advises both public and private-sector clients on cyber incident response. He previously served as special senior counselor for cyber security and technology to the Director of the FBI.

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