FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — With the return to in-person learning in Fairfax County comes the return of before and after school programs. The School Age Child Care Program (SACC) will be back for the new school year, Fairfax County officials announced Thursday.
Over the past 16 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fairfax County and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) successfully partnered to create the Supporting Return to School program and Camp Fairfax to provide learning opportunities for children during the pandemic.
As students prepare to get back to class in the fall, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeffrey McKay and Fairfax County School Board Chair Stella Pekarsky held a press conference to announce that SACC will be providing before and after school services in 142 locations this year, including two new centers located at Clearview Elementary and McNair Upper Elementary.
"SACC provides fun, safe and educational care for children in kindergarten-sixth grade before school, after school and during school vacations in most Fairfax County public elementary schools," according to the program's website. Before school activities begin at 7 a.m. until school begins. After school activities run until 6:15 p.m. The SACC program serves children five days a week, Monday-Friday.
McCay said the pandemic amplified the importance of child care in the county, and he said he hoped Thursday's announcement quelled anxiety for parents.
The announcement comes just one day after FCPS sent a letter to parents saying the school district would start the school year with face masks required for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, in accordance with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Citing new information about the variant's ability to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status.
Both McCay and Pekarsky stressed the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccination to help kids who are not yet old enough to get vaccinated themselves.
"We need our community to help us keep kids safe in school," Pekarsky said.
FCPS Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand told WUSA9 that schools are still encouraged to be creative and innovative as social distancing will likely be impossible with over 99.5% of the 180,000 students in the county returning to classrooms.
"We'll have some outdoor classrooms and outdoor areas in many schools for eating," Brabrand said. "We are also sharing with our students and school leadership that we're asking students that when they're not eating even during lunch time to put their mask on when they're in very close quarters."
For more information on the SACC program, click here.
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