FCPS considers plans for reopening in the fall

As Covid-19 continues to spread across the world, FCPS officials are considering ways to reopen schools in the 2020-21 school year. The health and safety of students and staff is the deciding factor in the school board’s decision. Currently, there are three options for how to reopen school in August.

The first option would be to continue with distance learning. This would be an updated version of what FCPS has been doing since March. Distance learning 2.0 will revise instructional schedules to better meet student needs and it will expand community partnerships to support students with distance learning.

“I think school would be taken as a joke if we continue to do distance learning. It’s difficult to maintain any motivation to complete tasks on time and to learn new materials on our own,” junior Annie Nguyen said.

The second option would be returning to school with social distancing. This option includes alternating day schedules where students would rotate being in school and at home using virtual learning.

The third option is planning for how to support students and staff unable to return to the school building for personal reasons. This would mean mixing face-to-face and online classes.

Whatever they choose must fit the diverse needs of students throughout the county.

Another factor the school board must consider in their decision are state regulations on the virus. Virginia’s Covid-19 Education Task Force will be coming out with policy guidance for school districts in June. The policy guidance will include mandatory circumstances for reopening schools.

If Covid-19 continues to spread, it is very likely FCPS will be continuing distance learning to combat it.

“I really miss school. I miss my friends, my teachers, and all the events that would happen throughout the school year,” Nguyen said.