Return to School

Return to School Handbook

The information in this guide will help families know what to expect as your children return to school. The guide includes steps families will need to take at home in preparation for the return to school. Please take time to review the information. We recommend talking to your children about how school will be different when they return. Ask them what questions they might have and share how we are all working together to prepare for a safe return. Have your children practice wearing a mask during the day. Discuss the importance of hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes.

Parent Handbook PDFs- 

Welcome Back

The information in this guide will help families know what to expect as your children return to school. The guide includes steps families will need to take at home in preparation for the return to school. Please take time to review the information. We recommend talking to your children about how school will be different when they return. Ask them what questions they might have and share how we are all working together to prepare for a safe return. Have your children practice wearing a mask during the day. Discuss the importance of hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes.

COVID-19 remains a fluid situation. Our core focus remains the health and safety of students and staff. FCPS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for reopening schools for in-person learning. Mitigating strategies include, but are not limited to:

  • Washing hands often
  • Avoiding close contact
  • Covering mouth and nose with a mask when around others
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Monitoring health daily

Concurrent Instruction

As additional grade levels return to school, we will employ concurrent instruction for in-person students, a model in which students receive two days of teacher-led instruction in the school building and two days of teacher-led instruction at home. The concurrent instruction model is currently being piloted in several schools.

Concurrent instruction maximizes teacher-led instruction (two days in person, two days virtual) by allowing in-person students to “log into” class on at-home days. Teacher-led concurrent instruction is the best instructional model for our in-person students.

concurrent model graphic

Elementary school concurrent schedule: Two days of instruction in the school and two days of virtual instruction at home – both led by the teacher.

Mondays: Teachers will use for planning. Students will have independent workday.

FULL-TIME VIRTUAL

Students who prefer to continue full-time virtual learning will receive four days of teacher-led instruction while learning from home.

Sample Instructional Schedule

SAMPLE INSTRUCTIONAL SCHEDULE FOR VIRTUAL & IN-PERSON

schedule

 

Building | Safety Protocols

Cleaning Protocols

FCPS cleaning personnel clean and sanitize the school building regularly. Custodians use effective disinfectant and sanitizing products every day. The following steps are performed to maximize our sanitizing efforts: Sanitizing and disinfecting restrooms more frequently, including thoroughly disinfecting and sanitizing all surfaces, doors, toilets, and handles, and ensuring that all supplies are always fully stocked. Increased cleaning to high-touch surfaces/points such as door handles, glass, elevator buttons, doors, tables, chairs, and light switches. Daytime custodians have been instructed to continuously disinfect and sanitize all touch points throughout the day. FCPS has updated health and safety guidance for air ventilation in schools. A comprehensive review of school ventilation systems was performed to ensure facilities are operated in accordance with CDC and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers guidance and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Social Distancing at School

Social distancing should be maintained as much as possible. In limited cases, exceptions may occur when a student requires support for activities of daily living that may make staff unable to maintain a distance of six feet or caring for infants. In all other cases, six feet of social distancing should be maintained as much as possible.

  • Six-foot separation wherever possible; limited mixing among student groups.
  • Social distancing on buses in accordance with health and safety protocols.
  • Desks/seats will be separated by up to a six feet distance, facing same direction.
  • Student traffic patterns in hallways will be set up to maintain social distancing, including during arrival and dismissal.

Please discuss the importance of maintaining social distance with your child. It is important for children to understand that common interactions (holding hands, hugs, high-fives, sitting close to other students) are not allowed when social distancing. School officials also will do their best

Lunch

Students will eat meals in classrooms in small groups whenever possible. FCPS will offer grab and go lunches for all students. For students participating in virtual learning, grab and go meals are still available to all FCPS students at school sites and on bus routes.

Recess

Playground structures (large structural equipment, swings, jungle gym, etc.) are approved for use. Additionally, students are required to sanitize their hands immediately before and immediately after using the apparatuses. Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is to be made easily accessible near playground areas for students and staff.

Additionally, school staff will encourage students to play games or activities that minimize close physical contact and allow for social distancing unless otherwise directed by an FCPS staff member. Each cohorts/class should have their own set of recess equipment.  We will encourage the use of items that can be used individually (hula hoops, jump ropes, basketballs, etc.) or in pairs with “foot use” only (soccer balls, playground balls). Equipment must be sanitized between and after use. Masks must be worn at all times. Students will wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before returning to class.

Restrooms

FCPS cleaning personnel will be sanitizing and disinfecting restrooms more frequently. Their cleaning protocol will include thoroughly disinfecting and sanitizing all surfaces, doors, toilets, and handles, and ensuring that all supplies are always fully stocked.

Library

School librarians will provide library services and instruction for students virtually, in their classrooms, or in the library following social distancing and safety guidelines. Library staff will assist students in PreK through grade 2 with book checkout. Students in grades 3 through 12 will use self-checkout stations that limit contact. Schools have the option to provide curbside checkout to students not attending school in person. Books that are returned to the library will have a 7-day isolation period before they are available again to students. School staff will communicate how virtual students can check out books.

School Health Room

Support to students in the health room will continue to be provided by the School Health Aide. FCPS personnel will staff the isolation room. Students with Individualized Health or Action Plans who require specialized care, medication administration and emergency care will be seen in the health room. Parents will be required to bring in medications needed to support their student during the school day prior to or on the first day of school.

Health Screening Commitment Form

Parents/guardians who chose in-school instruction for their child will be required to complete a Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form as students are phased back into in-person learning. The document indicates the parental/ guardian’s agreement and commitment to completing a daily health screening prior to sending the student to school and also to keep ill students at home. These health screenings will be done on an honor basis and will not be required to be submitted to the school each day.

Bus Transportation

Seating capacity will be reduced to allow for social distancing. Students are reminded to wear face coverings when riding the school bus. Students will be required to sit in seats as marked on the school bus. Bus stop information will be available at the school and in ParentVUE. Additionally, Here Comes the Bus app is available and provides school bus arrival information. The bell schedule adjustment will be necessary due to social distancing requirements which limit capacity on school buses. A bell schedule change will impact both in-person learning as well as students who are doing full-time virtual learning. 

Additionally, for the remainder of this school year, no bus will allow other non-riders to ride its bus, even with a note from both parents. 

School Arrival and Dismissal

Walkers and bus riders will enter through door one. Those that will be dropped off via a car will use the kiss and ride lane on the side of the building and enter that way. Parents will not be allowed to enter the building to escort their child to class, in an effort to minimize as many guests into the building.

School Supplies and Communal Classroom Items

Students will be required to label and maintain their own personal set of required classroom supplies, keep them in their backpack and take them to and from school each day. Electronic devices, toys, books, games or learning aids are not to be shared unless they can be cleaned or disinfected. Students should bring their own water bottle for use during the day. Water fountains can be used to refill water bottles if practical, but students and staff should not be drinking directly from any water fixtures; individual water bottles should be used instead.

Student and Family | Safety Protocols

Face Coverings/Masks

All students who are two years of age and older are required to wear face coverings (cloth or disposable) while on school property (including inside FCPS facilities, during FCPS-provided transportation and school sponsored activities). Face coverings will be provided to students unable to provide their own. Any student requesting an exemption to wearing a face covering due to a medical exemption will provide the school a written statement from his or her physician confirming that not wearing a face covering is medically necessary.

The graphic below shows what types of masks are recommended and which are not recommended.

Mask Graphic

Handwashing

Students will wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; before eating, and upon entering classrooms. There will be breaks provided during the day for handwashing. Automatic hand sanitizer dispensing stands have been placed at school entrances and 1-gallon pump containers of hand sanitizer are available in all classrooms.

Student Laptop

Students returning for in-person school should plan to bring their FCPS-assigned laptops with them to school and take that laptop home each day to support digital learning activities in school to remind students of the need to maintain social distancing. The laptop should be fully charged each morning to ensure it is ready to use when the students get into the classroom. This helps limit the number of shared surfaces among students. Parents should not spray disinfectant spray on the device or apply hand sanitizer directly on the device as it may damage the electronics. Parents may use an alcohol wipe or disinfectant wipe to gently wipe down the laptop and keyboard if necessary.

Visitors to BBES

All visitors will be required to complete a health screening questionnaire prior to entering the building. All visitors are required to wear a face covering (cloth or disposable) while on school property and inside FCPS facilities. Visitors who do not have face coverings will be provided a disposable mask upon entering a school. Visitor access will be limited to essential activities.

Mental Health Resources

If Sick at School

Becoming Ill While at School

Students demonstrating fever greater than or equal to 100.4 Fahrenheit, new chills, new cough, new sore throat, new muscle aches, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, or diarrhea will be sent home from school. Parents/guardians will be notified and are expected to pick up their child within one hour of notification. Parents are to check in with the front office. If a student becomes ill during the school day, FCPS follows protocols provided by the FCHD. Each case will be handled individually in accordance with the FCHD established communicable disease and contact tracing protocols. FCPS will follow health department guidelines for communicating information to parents/guardians. For more information visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.

Student Illness at Home

If a student becomes ill at home, the student should stay home from school. Parents need to contact the school and report the reason for their child’s absence. Parents will need to follow established procedures when contacting the school regarding student illness. Parents/guardians will be required to complete and return the Permission to Return to School/Child Care Form when the student returns. The form will be completed by the health care provider and will indicate to the school when the student may safely return.

Returning to School After Illness

Families will receive guidance from the FCHD Public Health Nurses (PHNs) and School Health Aides (SHAs), identified as the school health team as to when their student can return to in-person learning.

Students who are showing signs of COVID Like Illness may not return to school until:
  • Student has tested negative for COVID-19 OR
  • A healthcare provider has seen the student and documented a reason for the symptoms other than COVID-19 OR
  • All of these are true:
  1. At least 10 days since the start of symptoms AND
  2. Fever free off anti-fever medicines for 24 hours AND
  3. Symptoms are getting better
Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, may not return until:
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms started AND
  • The student has had no fever or anti-fever medicines (ex: Tylenol, Ibuprofen) for 24 hours AND
  • The student’s symptoms are getting better
Students who have been exposed to COVID-19:
  • If someone in the household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or the student is exposed, the student must remain home for 14 days after their last exposure to the household member.
Response to COVID Case in a Classroom

With one confirmed case of COVID, the classroom will transition to 100% virtual learning for up to 14 days from the date of onset. FCHD Public Health Nurses (PHNs) and School Health Aides (SHAs), identified as the school health team, will support the contact tracing process in our schools during this time. School staff, students and additional staff, such as transportation staff and related services providers, that are identified by the PHN will be transitioned to distance learning or teleworking as part of this cohort. These individuals will receive notification, as directed by the FCHD. The community will also be notified that a COVID case has occurred in a cohort and the contact tracing process has been initiated. Upon the conclusion of contact tracing, cleaning, and disinfecting, students and staff in the cohort will be notified as to when they will return to in-person learning. The length of time for this process may be shorter than 14 days based on results of contact investigation and tracing by the FCHD. The community will also be notified that the contacting tracing has been completed and of any further recommendations.

How to Find Us

BBES New Bell Schedule

New Bell Schedule will be implemented beginning February 16

FCPS Return to School

Learn more about FCPS' plan for Return to School