Dear FCCPS Families,
This week we were able to reach a huge milestone in our reopening efforts safely. All of our K-5 Elementary grades returned for hybrid instruction. It has been eight months since we’ve had all of our youngest learners in the buildings. The sights and sounds of in-person learning were so wonderful this week! I am certainly thankful for all of the great coordination by the teachers, staff, and administrators at TJ and Mount Daniel for their efforts to make this happen. Thank you also for working with your children around knowing and engaging in the mitigation strategies we expect of our students.
Our Secondary team continues the planning process. This is a final reminder that all parents of students in Grades 6-12 should complete the FCCPS Learning Intention Form --- Formulario de intención Secundaria de FCCPS by today. Details for the plan can be found on the Secondary Reopening Plan web page. If you have additional questions for Mary Ellen Henderson or George Mason High School, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is critical that all parents complete the survey. Please know that if you indicate your student will attend in hybrid learning, but your family situation changes, you will have the opportunity to switch to the virtual option when needed. However, if you select virtual, you will not be able to shift to hybrid because of planning and operational processes.
My singular message this week is...STAY HOME & BE SAFE.
Next week all students will be virtual for both Monday and Tuesday to help our community’s mitigation efforts. This step provides a “buffer” of 9-days for families to “hunker-down” together to help slow the virus’s spread across our community. This is incredibly important for our FCCPS community.
While we remain in the “moderate” range, the trend data suggests we are moving in the wrong direction. If these data continue going in the wrong direction, the increases could impact our ability to stay open and move forward with our return efforts. According to the CDC Pandemic School Metrics, our number of cases per 100k for 14-days in FCCPS is 54.16, up from 20.31 two weeks ago. Our % positive for FCCPS is now 7.4% up from 2.9% from 2 weeks ago for our city. This is of great concern given we haven’t even moved into winter or flu season as of yet.
We need all of our families to heed the guidance of the national and local public health officials. Please don’t travel unless you absolutely must, do not host or attend gatherings with others outside of your immediate household, and please avoid large-scale events or crowded locations. Take a look at the CDC's COVID-19 Holiday Celebrations and Gatherings Guidance for important recommendations to help make Thanksgiving safer. Please help us in our efforts to reduce the impact of the virus on our community.
The decisions we make today...impact our options for tomorrow.
The CDC website states, “More than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last seven days. As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.”
These are scary times for all, but I hope you can enjoy this time as a family and reflect on what you are thankful for despite the challenges we face.
Happy Thanksgiving and all my best,