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Noonan to Recommend Virtual Start to 2020-21 School Year
Noonan to Recommend Virtual Start to 2020-21 School Year
Dr. Peter J. Noonan
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

FCCPS Community,

As Virginia continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, and with the health and safety of our students, families, staff, and community foremost in mind, tomorrow evening, I will make a recommendation that the School Board adopt a fully virtual start to the FCCPS 2020-21 school year. 

The Board is expected to discuss and take action on the recommendation at its meeting.

So much is unknown about this virus and its transmission. FCCPS does not want to put anyone at risk through in-person instruction. This virtual approach will begin August 24th and continue for at least the first nine weeks of school. We will remain online until we are confident of everyone’s safety in our classrooms, buses, and office spaces. Conditions will drive our decision making, not a timeline. Our commitment has always been to safety first, and we stand by that.

While a change of this significance can seem daunting, FCCPS staff members are working hard to make this format mirror a true-school experience as much as possible. The virtual learning will differ from the “emergency learning model” adopted after the March closure. The 2020-21 virtual format will be rich, structured, and robust, including new learning and graded. It will be a well-articulated and coherent school program, with a well-defined schedule for every student.

We pledge to keep you informed as we work together to engage all our children during this health crisis. We are grateful for your ongoing support. Our schools are working to provide the details you need. Everyone has lots of questions, but we are asking for your patience. We will be working on a new parent FAQ document to provide information about various topics related to the 100% online/virtual opening plan.  Please help our principals and teachers/staff with their work by sending all questions to: reopening@fccps.org, not to your schools. We will be responsive and ensure those questions are answered in a timely fashion and forwarded to the staff who can support you with your inquiry.

On Friday, following the School Board meeting, we will publish our routine Friday edition of the “Road to Reopening.” This will be designed to help parents understand more fully what our models will look like at each level and give further information about the impacts this change has on online instruction generally. Thank you again for your dedication to our schools and your students during this unprecedented time in history. This is not where we imagined we would be a few weeks ago and recognize this is not the ideal situation for anyone, but the health and safety of all is paramount. We need your support now more than ever.