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Fairfax County Public Schools will bring back groups for in-person instruction starting in November

FCPS said they will continue to honor family choice in the student learning format and will be contacting parents to reconfirm the choices made in July.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Fairfax County Public Schools will begin to bring back groups of students for in-person instruction starting in November, school officials announced Friday evening.

Superintendent Scott Braband said in a letter sent to families that in-person cohort instruction for Early Head Start, PreK, Kindergarten, Intensive Support Needs, as well as Specialized Center-Based Programs - Special Ed (Group 5) will open starting Nov. 16.

In-person cohort learning for Grades 1-2, and Specialized Career Centers – Special Ed (Group 6) will start no later than Nov. 30.

"As new grades open, our plan is to 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," Braband said in the letter. "We have concurrent instruction pilots underway in several of our schools and I will bring back to the School Board at their Nov. 12 meeting an update on this instructional method."

This approach maximizes teacher-led instruction by allowing in-person students to “log into” class on-at-home days, Braband said.

FCPS said they will continue to honor family choice in the student learning format and will be contacting parents and caregivers to reconfirm the choices made in July.

Watch Braband's full message via the video below:

Based on the student's experience with virtual learning, parents can choose for their child to remain all-virtual or choose the concurrent model of two days in person and two days online. 

If your circumstances have changed, Braband said school officials will try to accommodate the parents' request based on staff and space availability. As FCPS transitions to in-person instruction, some students may experience a change in schedule or class assignment based on staffing availability, Braband said.

In either format, FCPS said that Mondays will be a full day of independent learning for students to give our teachers more time to prepare and plan the week’s lessons – beginning on Nov. 9 for Group 5 and on Nov. 16 for Group 6.  

Nov. 12 and 13 will be teacher workdays and independent learning days for Group 5 students to give our teachers time to prepare and plan for in-person instruction. Nov. 20, 23, and 24 will be teacher workdays and independent learning days for Group 6 students. 

Braband said his recommendation for the rest of FCPS students is to resume in-person instruction on the following schedule:

(Group 7) Jan. 4:  Elementary School Students in Grades 3-6, Secondary Public Day Programs—Spec. Ed. (Burke MS, Cedar Lane, Quander Rd.) and Davis & Pulley Center (students w/ target learner profile)

(Group 8) Jan. 26: Middle and High School Students in Grades 6-12 and Davis & Pulley Career Centers. Middle school students in Grade 6 at Holmes, Poe, and Glasgow will be included in this group.

The School Board has directed for officials to come back with a plan on Nov. 12 that could possibly bring back Groups 7 and 8 for in-person instruction earlier than the current schedule, Braband said.

"We are returning to in-person instruction in a gradual and measured manner.  It is our plan and hopes to provide all students with in-person learning no later than the beginning of the second semester in February," Braband said in the letter.

This is a developing story that will be updated once more information becomes available.

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