FCPS This Week e-newsletter - January 8, 2022

Happy New Year 2022!

Navigating the January 2022 COVID Surge

On Thursday, Dr. Brabrand shared our plan to navigate the current COVID surge and our commitment to provide safe in-person learning for our students. We are all working together to put our students first. Thank you to every FCPS employee and all our families for your continued support. 

Details and updates about our plan to provide continuity of instruction during the COVID surge can be found on our website.

Changes to Quarantine and Isolation Effective January 10

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance for isolation and quarantine in late December, with an update January 4. This guidance reduces isolation and quarantine to five days. The VDH states that school districts may choose to continue more stringent isolation and quarantine requirements or may implement the new CDC guidance.

FCPS will adopt the new guidance with one exception:

  • FCPS will adopt CDC’s recommendation for quarantine for students and staff.
  • FCPS will adopt CDC’s recommendation for isolation for staff.
  • FCPS will NOT adopt CDC’s recommendation for isolation for students as we are unable to implement the required physical distancing protocols during meals.

This new guidance goes into effect January 10. More information will be available on our website soon and in upcoming issues of FCPS This Week. 

Working Together to Keep Students Safe on Social Media

Graphic of a student working on a computer

Social media can be a positive experience—giving us ways to stay connected, to share creativity, and to learn more about the world around us. Unfortunately, social media can also be used in ways that can cause harm to our community. Social media provides a wide-reaching platform that increases the impact of bullying, hate speech and other damaging behavior, which can lead to increased risk of mental health issues as well as psychological and developmental issues.   

Recently, FCPS and school districts across the nation have seen an increase in social media activity related to school safety. False social media threats take an extraordinary amount of time and resources away from school administrators, safety and security, and the local police because every single threat is thoroughly investigated. Students who post fake social media threats in order to impact school operations also face disciplinary action and potential criminal charges.

To help keep students focused on learning while at school and reduce the potential harm students may experience from social media, the following platforms are blocked for students on FCPS network and laptops:

  • Instagram.
  • TikTok.
  • Discord.
  • Reddit.
  • Snapchat.
  • Pinterest.

More information on keeping students safe on social media is available online.

Take the FCPS Superintendent Search Survey!

Superintendent search graphic

The Fairfax County School Board is committed to hiring the best possible candidate for FCPS’ next superintendent. With that in mind, the Board has contracted a search firm to conduct a national search for the new superintendent. Your voice is an important part of this effort! Please weigh in by participating in the Superintendent Search Survey today. The survey allows FCPS parents/guardians, staff, high school students, and community members to share their thoughts on the leadership characteristics and qualities of the next superintendent. Information gathered through the survey, focus groups, and upcoming town halls will help inform the selection of FCPS’ new superintendent.

Please check your email for a survey link from K12 Insight (survey administrator), which was sent on January 4. High school students received their survey invitation on January 5, via their FCPSSchools.net email accounts. If you are an FCPS community member and would like to take the survey, please visit FCPS’ Superintendent Search page for the community member survey link. Thanks in advance for your participation in this important process.

FY 2023-27 Capital Improvement Program Plans for the Future

School construction

Fairfax County Public Schools has released its proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-27 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that focuses on capital projects, including new school construction, capacity enhancements, and renovations, reflecting schools for the current school year (2021-22) and a five-year requirement of approximately $1.2 billion.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the CIP at its business meeting on Thursday, February 3. 

Details about the FY 2023-27 CIP are available online.

John R. Lewis Leadership Program Will Honor Namesake’s Legacy

Mural of John R. Lewis

The Fairfax County School Board unanimously supported the creation of the John R. Lewis Leadership Program at Lewis High School at their work session on December 14, 2021. 

In December 2020, at a Board Forum sponsored by School Board At-Large Member Karen Keys-Gamarra, the Board voted to ask staff to conduct research into the development of a Lewis Leadership Academy that adopts the principles of its namesake’s life in a curriculum that focuses on government, public policy, leadership, and human rights.

More information is available online.

PreK and Kindergarteners May Now Apply for Dual Language Immersion Programs

Painted picture of kids holding hands standing on a globe.

Online registration for the county-wide lottery for Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs will open on Monday, January 24. Current prekindergarten students may apply for the kindergarten immersion program and current kindergarten students may apply for the first grade immersion programs for the 2022-23 school year. 

The kindergarten DLI programs are available in Korean and Spanish. Korean is available at Powell and Spanish is available at Bailey’s Primary, Fort Hunt, Lake Anne, Laurel Ridge, London Towne, and Rose Hill Elementary Schools. First grade DLI programs are available at 12 elementary schools and are offered in French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.

Information Meetings Start on January 12

Parents who are interested in the DLI programs in FCPS are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming informational meetings. All meetings are held virtually. Information regarding virtual meeting access will be made available on the Dual Language Immersion registration site by the day of the meeting.

Get more information on Dual Language Immersion programs.

Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with Volunteer Fairfax and FCPS Service Learning

Martin Luther King Jr. sculpture

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday in January (January 17 this year) and is observed as a national day of service. This day of service helps to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, address social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

FCPS will be teaming up again with Volunteer Fairfax who will facilitate a weekend of service to provide service opportunities for all ages. Volunteer Fairfax will begin offering both virtual, in-person, and family-friendly activities January 15-17

To learn more about the Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service and specific service activities, visit Volunteer Fairfax’s website for more information.

Thank You to Our Operational Staff!

Snow plow driver sitting in a truck.

Thank you to our operational staff members who have been working hard over the past few days to clear snow from school buildings, parking lots, and sidewalks to enable students and staff members to return to school safely. 

Check out this photo gallery of snow day pictures from across the county.

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