Oakton Parent FAQs

July 08, 2020

Good Morning Oakton Community,

Last night we had a successful virtual parent meeting.  I know some of you were unable to join so I am including the recording here. (Student Conference - recording_6).  I discussed the majority of the questions below.  I hope you find both the recording and the FAQ helpful as you navigate this decision making process.  Although it may look a little different than previous years, we are committed to making this an amazing school year for the Oakton community. Have a wonderful day!

Go Cougars!  

Sincerely,

Jamie S. Lane, Principal 

 

FCPS Return to School Resources - Updated Daily 

FCPS Plan for Return to School

 

Oakton Community Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

*The responses below were accurate as of the evening of July 7.  The FCPS Return to School page and Family FAQ (linked above) are updated daily.  That is the best place for the most up-to-date responses.*

Academic Questions

Will all classes that a student is currently registered for be offered in both in-person and virtual settings? Electives? 

We cannot guarantee that all classes will be available in both settings.  The reason is that we need to see the data first to determine our staffing needs for both in-person and virtual settings.  Some of our electives (AP classes included) may not be offered in one or both settings if we are unable to secure a certified teacher or we are no longer able to support that course with our staffing allotment.  

From FCPS Families FAQ: Will students have to change elective course selections? (6/29/20): While we will do our best to honor student course requests, there may be circumstances where it is not possible to offer a student a specific elective course based on the teacher availability in an online or face-to-face setting and/or other hard schedule conflicts. 

Will the current Online Course Catalog be expanded to include all Honors classes?

Since 100% virtual is now an option for all students, the types of classes offered will be expanded.  However, we can only guarantee classes that are graduation requirements.  The Online course catalog is a listing of what is generally offered during a normal school year.  

What about additional counselor support for the college application process?  Transcript deadlines?Senior teacher letters of recommendation?  Some schools require senior year teacher recommendations?

Counselors will be available as they always have to support our students.  We will shift our delivery methods of the support to best meet the needs of all of our students and families.  As we move closer to the start of the year, the student services department will advertise the variety of ways they will be supporting the college application process.   

How will the school ensure that the grading criteria is the same for students with in-person instructions versus students with all-virtual instructions? 

We will still be operating in collaborative teams.  Oakton teachers of the same subject will follow the same syllabus, grading criteria, etc.  Since both of these venues are different then our normal mode of delivery, we will be spending a considerable amount of time in August for teachers to look at their current lessons and curriculum and redesign them based on our new reality for the 2020-2021 school year.  

Will the in-person instruction students be taking their quizzes and tests in school or at home?

We have not been able to discuss this yet as faculty.  More information to come as we plan for the school year.  We will have to work to redesign our assessment practices.  We will spend a great deal of time discussing what our best practices look like based on our current reality for this school year when our staff is back on contract.   

Assessments: How do you envision assessments being conducted?  I hope that this will be consistent for kids going all online and those going in two days a week, as some kids taking tests at home may have an advantage because they would have access to additional resources.

We have not been able to discuss this yet as faculty.  More information to come as we plan for the school year.  We will have to work to redesign our assessment practices.  We will spend a great deal of time discussing what our best practices look like based on our current reality for this school year when our staff is back on contract.  

How will classes adjust their current practices based on this school year (for example, math)?  Will the classes begin with concepts the kids missed in the spring, particularly in math, but this would be applicable to all classes that build on each other, such as language?  

All of our curriculum teams will have to look at their lessons and pacing calendar and make adjustments based on what transpires throughout the school year.  FCPS has been working and will continue to work throughout the summer to update curriculum and resources for teachers. Teams will work vertically to identify essential standards and learning and fill in gaps necessary for students to be successful.  

From FCPS Families FAQ: Will the online curriculum be the same as the in-person curriculum? (6/29/20): FCPS is currently revising curriculum guidance to teachers to address the current teaching and learning conditions.  It is expected that all students enrolled in the same grade level/course will learn the same identified essential standards during SY2020-2021. There will be learning tasks that take different forms due to students learning in a variety of settings: in-person, at home direct/synchronous instruction, and independent/asynchronous instruction but the expected outcome will be the same. 

Recording classes: For kids that choose the 2 day a week option, is it possible to record each class session so that kids can watch the days they miss from home, and have every student in the class on the same page?

On the days that face-to-face students are not in school they will be asynchronous.  They will have assignments to work on, but will not be receiving direct instruction from the teachers on those days.  Lessons in the classroom cannot be recorded and posted because of the constraints of the technology needed to do that effectively.  In the classroom we will be maintaining social distancing, but students will not just be receiving lectures.  The teacher will be moving around the room and there will be multiple parts to a lesson.  That would make it very difficult for a teacher to record their lesson effectively for those that were absent.  

On the days that Group 1 is not in school Group 2 will be in school.  So teachers will be teaching full schedules Tuesday-Friday.  

My child wishes to make changes to his/her schedule. Will this still be allowed in August when the guidance counselors return to school?

Schedule changes will be handled as normal.  We will process any schedule changes where space allows in August once counselors return. To request a schedule change, students should email his/her counselor directly. They will receive an out-of-office message with a link to a form for requesting schedule changes.  If your student had Mr. Wigfall for their counselor, he sent a link to a form prior to his transfer to another school division. 

Why can’t kids who are at the school have the class streamed to the kids home ? This would give 4 days of instruction and if a child is sick they could dial in.

We are trying to create a system that is most beneficial for all students and balance teacher workload.  Teachers in face-to-face instruction need to be able to fully address the needs of the students in the classroom in front of them.  That would be difficult to do if you are also trying to give a different set of directions for students online and answer questions of students who are tuning in virtually. Further, planning for students in-person vs. planning for students virtually are very different.  We want teachers to plan the best lessons for their students.  To do that separating online vs. in-person instruction is the most effective model.  

Will the online instruction involve any type of live/ synchronous instruction by OHS teachers or will it be primarily self paced classes through online platforms?

While we do offer some online classes that are self-directed (Example: Economics and Personal Finance), the vision is that the majority of online classes would include synchronous time with the teacher as it aligned with the school bell schedule.  

What is the status of Academy classes?  Will Academy classes be taught in the virtual setting? 

We still have not received a clear answer on how we will operate Academy classes this year.  The bell schedule adopted will play a large role on how students will be able to access desired academy classes.  Not all academy classes lend themselves to a virtual/online teaching format.  

For high/middle school online learning plans, can project due dates and test dates be announced at the start of each quarter? Projects that take weeks to complete or tests that require additional study time would require parents to commit time to support their children's needs at home. Being able to plan ahead as a family would help us all be more successful.

As a staff we will be spending our teacher return professional development days to identify best practices with our new learning models in mind.  We have not yet had the chance to discuss and teachers need to be a large part of those discussions and decisions.  

How will students ask for academic help if they need it? For example, can they come to school asking teachers after school if it is not their in-person instruction?

Mondays are reserved to provide additional support and for teacher planning and meetings.  The current plan is that those days would be reserved for virtual meetings between teachers and students.  Once we have a solidified plan we will release it for both virtual and in-person instructional formats.  

Will the same teacher be teaching the same class for both in-person and virtual learning, or they will be taught by different teachers? For example, if one is enrolled in virtual learning in AP English, would the same teacher who teaches AP English through virtual learning be teaching the in-person class as well?

Not necessarily, those decisions will all be based on how many students select in-person vs. virtual instruction.  We also need to look at teacher preferences and the reasons they are requesting to work in-person vs. virtual.  The goal would be to have teachers teaching a full caseload of virtual or a full caseload of in-person.  A blend of the two may be needed though based on how the numbers work out.  

Will SOLs, PSAT, SAT proceed unaffected and in the traditional manner? Will students be able to do these remotely (vs in school)?

Standardized tests protocols are determined by outside groups (SOL’s - State mandated; PSAT/SAT/ACT/AP - College Board).   We will communicate as we learn more about the plans for standardized testing for the upcoming school year as it becomes available. 

Will FCPS be hosting the August SAT?  

FCPS will not be hosting the July 18 ACT exam. We hope to have more information soon to confirm whether or not schools will be able to host the August 29, 2020, SAT. The decision will be shared as soon as it becomes available.

As a reminder, due to our renovation Oakton HS does not currently serve as a testing site for these standardized exams.  

What will be happening with the performing arts; specifically Chorus and Drama?

We are working through how all of our classes will work under these new models.  To do that, I need to know a couple of key factors that I still do not have: 

  • How many students are signed up for in-person vs. online?  
  • What format will Oakton’s teachers be assigned, in-person vs. online? 
  • Engaging our teachers specifically in discussions on how they wish for the courses to be run. 
  • Following the safety guidelines as provided by the health department and FCPS.  

Once we have the answers to these questions we will share with families enrolled in each class.  

Can students register for English DE at NOVA and use that credit for graduation from Oakton?

Yes, but in order for it to count as a substitute course it must be two semester classes.  More information can be found here.  Any desire to substitute courses in this way should be discussed with a school counselor before a decision is made to ensure graduation requirements are being met.  

Assuming there are only 12-15 seats in a class, and perhaps less teachers to offer multiple classes, how will you select who gets those seats and who is forced to change their schedule?

Our standard operating procedure for electives is that we give preference to upperclassmen first.  With that said, for graduation requirement pieces we are looking to identify many new spaces in our building that have a larger footprint (square footage) to accommodate as needed.  

Do we have any guidance on the nature of the asynchronous learning for the return to school children?  Who provides the curriculum?  Will they be in a virtual classroom setting? Virtual group projects?  Partner work?  How will this affect grading?

Asynchronous assignments will be assigned and graded by the in-person teacher.  That teacher will be solely responsible for that child’s learning.  Asynchronous assignments can come in a variety of formats and could be reading, projects, videos, etc.  It will not include direct instruction or office hours on the asynchronous days.  

If an in- person classroom is shut down because someone tests positive, how will the students receive their Other class instruction? Will in person classes be live streamed for those students?

We do not have an answer to this question yet. Once we figure out how we will address any situations that arise as a result of students or staff missing class time due to the need to self-quarantine or a COVID-19 diagnosis, we will communicate that.   

If my child is a rising senior planning to take multivariable calculus and it isn't offered during the 2 days she is scheduled to be at OHS, would it be possible to change the days she could attend Oakton or would the only option be to take it online?

All classes offered in-person will be available to students in both in-person groups.  As in previous years, students can still pursue some classes through the online campus.  However, those classes are not guaranteed.  Any student taking an online class is not able to stay on campus during that class period. 

Will the teacher be able to teach all the materials like the regular school year since the instructional time is much less than regular school year? 

FCPS is currently revising curriculum guidance to teachers to address the current teaching and learning conditions.  It is expected that all students enrolled in the same grade level/course will learn the same identified essential standards during SY2020-2021. There will be learning tasks that take different forms due to students learning in a variety of settings: in-person, at home direct/synchronous instruction, and independent/asynchronous instruction but the expected outcome will be the same. 

Will there be any change in grading scale? 

No I have not heard that there will be any change in the standard grading scale for FCPS.  

Was there any consideration to dropping electives to provide more instruction for core classes? 

No, we believe very strongly in the importance of all of our classes.  Electives are an essential part of our school and student curriculum.  We will make every attempt to honor student course requests submitted last year.  

 

Social Emotional Health & Well-being Questions 

High schoolers are very social beings. For those choosing online learning for the year, are there student resources, services or collaboration opportunities considered to maintain their social emotional needs? 

From the FCPS FAQ: Social emotional and mental health resources will be available to support students this fall. Schools may use morning meetings/ check-ins, intervention blocks, or advisory periods to provide instruction on social emotional topics using new and existing curriculum. FCPS instructional staff will have required professional development that focuses on understanding mental wellness and appropriate tools to support students.  

Clinical and counseling staff will provide mental health support and resources, including group counseling and consultation for students and families as needed as well as individual counseling with students and related consultation with families and staff.

 

Health and Safety Questions

I want my children to wear masks except when eating - how will mask-wearing be enforced at school? 

Masks will be required for all students (developmentally appropriate) and staff members. Schools will provide masks to students unable to provide their own or who report to school without a mask.   

Please see the FAQ Here for more information on masks.

The Q&As state that, where developmentally appropriate, students and staff will be required to wear cloth face coverings including on bus transportation to and from school.  For middle-school and high-school, does this mean that masks will also be required to be worn during in-class instruction with teachers in enclosed class-room spaces?  

Yes.  

If one child or one teacher gets sick, does that shut down the entire school? Just the classrooms where that child attended classes? and if just one class is shut down, how will my child continue to receive instruction? 

Per the FCPS Family FAQ: If there is a diagnosis of COVID-19 in a school building, what will happen?  FCPS will work closely with the Fairfax County Health Department to determine the appropriate next steps if there is a COVID-19 diagnosis in a school. The response to an individual case will depend largely on the circumstances surrounding the case and contact(s) the individual had within the school setting.

Is it possible to set up a station to test everyone's temperature before entering the school building?

Per the FCPS Family FAQ: Will there be temperature checks for students before they get on the bus and for students and staff each day? (6/28/20)  FCPS has convened a work group to determine the best way to screen students and staff each day. FCPS continues to work closely with the Fairfax County Health Department and Virginia Department of Health to develop a screening tool. The screening tool may include temperature checks. 

Will there be washing or hand sanitizer stations?

Yes, prior to the closing we ordered multiple hand sanitizer stations.  We will also ensure there is time for handwashing as needed.  

 

Facilities and Transportation Questions

If we select the in-person option, are we guaranteed to attend school at Oakton HS?

Our in-person option was designed to maintain no higher than 50% capacity on a given day.  Our goal would be to have all of our students at Oakton.  Per FCPS Family FAQ: Will teachers and students be assigned to different schools under this model (virtually or in person)? (7/2/20)  One of the primary goals in the FCPS Reopening School Plan is to provide students with choice in learning format (in-person or online). The default rule will be to have students receive instruction at their base schools (either in-person or online). In select instances where student preferences cannot be met at their base schools, we may explore coordinating scheduling across schools in the division. However, no definitive plans have been developed for this yet and any decision to move forward with this approach would only be taken after the first phase of base school scheduling has been completed.

What will the parking situation be for student drivers? The form requires a commitment to bus or drive. I would prefer my junior to drive, will there be a chance of a parking spot on campus?

As with any other year, I still cannot guarantee parking on campus.  This is particularly true in that our campus is limited due to renovation.  Once we see the number of students intending to return to school and the staff we will have on campus, I will better be able to answer that question.

How will access to the trailers (which this past year was just one door) be accomplished so as to also ensure social distancing?

Like this school year, there is one exterior door that is closest to the trailers, however, students have also used different walking routes around the building. We will clearly identify for students the paths that they can use and which ones they should be using based on where their next class is located.  With the Phase 1 addition, students will also be able to come through the cafeteria or around the front of the building.  We will also have less than 50% of students on a given day reducing the number of students in any given area.   

Kiss n ride is being strongly encouraged by FCPS admin - how will this be streamlined at Oakton given that kiss n ride is already a long and difficult process in the best of times? 

With less students attending everyday the kiss-n-ride line will be reduced.  Further, with the addition of Phase 1 we will be redesigning both the kiss-n-ride and the bus drop off loop.  This should help us both for this coming school year and whenever we become fully operational again.  I cannot share this just yet, as these loops are designed in consultation of Design and Construction, Transportation, and the School.  Once we have our new driving patterns in and around campus I will release them.

How will cleaning practices within schools change? 

Please see the FCPS FAQ for more information on cleaning here.  

Per FCPS Family FAQ: Cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be intensified. There will be daily sanitizing of high touch areas (doorknobs, handles, fixtures, etc.) with medical grade sanitizing solution. In addition, there will be more frequent monitoring and cleaning of restrooms throughout the day and contracted cleaning services will be available as needed. Additional breaks will be provided for hand washing to ensure students wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; before eating; and upon entering classrooms. If soap and water are not readily available, sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will be provided.  FCPS will limit building access, including restricted building access for visitors. 

How are Physical and Health Education classes going to operate? 

Like other classes, we will adhere to all health guidelines.  Specific details are not yet available.  Still to be determined if students will access the locker room and what type of curriculum would be followed for the physical education portion of class.  Health and Drivers Ed will follow an in-person set-up similar to any other classroom set-up.  

How are science labs going to operate?

Like other classes, we will adhere to all health guidelines.  Specific details are not yet available.  We are still awaiting guidance with regard to use of laboratory equipment and how we would need to operate labs under social distancing and health department guidance.  

When will it be determined if the school can permit MORE than 2 days of in-person learning?  How would that work if we are alternating 1 day in-person and 1 day asynchronous learning under the current plan?  

This would only become known once we saw the number of students/families wishing to come in-person and we are able to figure out our room usage accordingly.  Each day we would have to ensure we remained at 50% of school capacity or less, maintained social distancing and all health department guidelines, and could create a fair and equitable rotation of students.  This is a huge undertaking so it is going to take us some time to figure out how to make all the pieces of the puzzle come together. Once we are able to determine if we are able to go above the minimum of two days we will communicate that out. 

What is the arrangement of lunch time? More time slots with fewer students in each slot? More tables so limited students in one table? 

Per FCPS Family FAQ: Where will students be eating meals? (7/2/20)  Food and Nutrition Services is currently exploring meal service options in collaboration with school administrators.  School populations and their participation will be the main drivers of our meal service possibilities - impacting how meals are served and where meals are consumed.   

Once Oakton has a specified plan we will share that out with the community. 

How much of the new addition will be usable for the fall for the students attending in-person? 

We have just completed our move to the new addition from the existing building.  The science and math wing will be fully utilized for the new school year.  The addition also includes several other classrooms, a much larger clinic, and other spaces that we will utilize as classrooms if additional space is needed (Example: lecture hall, library).   

How many students per class?  

Student class size will be determined by the amount of square feet for the space and our ability to adhere to social distancing guidelines.  

Per FCPS Family FAQ: How many students will be in a classroom in the fall in the in-person model?  It depends on the physical size of the classroom and ability to socially distance based on Health Department and CDC guidance (currently 6 feet). While an average size classroom may be able to accommodate 12-15 students with social distancing in place, classroom sizes vary and some classes will have fewer students while others may have a greater number of students.

Are schools trying to limit use of trailers- such as 42+ modular cougar town at Oakton HS? If yes, what measure will be taken to ensure social distancing and necessary air purification/circulation safety measures?

We are planning to use our trailers.  We will be following all of our parameters based on health guidelines and social distancing in trailers, as well as, classrooms.  

Our trailers were brand new when installed at the beginning of the renovation.  They are up-to-code with regard to ventilation and air quality.  We have a building engineer on site who performs regular routine maintenance, to include regular changing of filters, etc.  He immediately reports to me any concerns so that we can address them, and if needed, close down a space and relocate until a problem is addressed.  

Can you explain more about Oakton’s ventilation system?  

FCPS follows CDC and Virginia Health Department guidance to reduce the risk for exposure to coronavirus.  Schools are designed to ventilate outdoor air throughout the day to reduce the buildup of pollutants and odors.   Maintenance staff conduct routine and preventative maintenance on all mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems – including replacing air filters.   Custodians and operating engineers conduct building checks to identify where workers might be at risk while at work (ex. - checking exhaust fans in restrooms for proper operation).  In areas where an indoor air quality concern is identified we use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to enhance air cleaning.  

FCPS also works closely with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to communicate the latest health information with our staff and community to better prepare for returning to school.  During a June 15th Work Session Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, director, Health, FCHD was asked by School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders if there was any possible COVID transmission implications through building ventilation systems.   Dr. Addo-Ayensu discussed that COVID transmission is droplet based, not airborne, and this factor has led to the general guidance of 6 feet socially distancing.  Ventilation systems play more of a role in airborne disease transmission.  The CDC does recommend improved air circulation and sunlight to help decrease transmission, but these are not CDC requirements as per Dr. Addo-Ayensu.

 

Athletics and Extracurricular Programs

Will students who opt for virtual learning be able to participate in sports?

Per FCPS Family FAQ: Will students selecting the full-time online option be able to participate in athletics and other Virginia High School League (VHSL) activities? (7/2/20)  Under Virginia High School League rule students who access the full-time online option through FCPS will remain eligible to participate in VHSL activities and athletics.  

What is the plan for fall sports? 

Per FCPS Family FAQ (7/2/20) The VA Department of Education is working with the Virginia High School League (VHSL) and individual school districts on specific return to play plans.  The VHSL provided an update on June 25th that stated no decision has been made regarding fall sports.  FCPS has worked with the VHSL on contingency plans for return to play.  These will be dependent on final guidance from the state as well as the VHSL.

 

General Questions

If we choose in person instruction but change our mind after the school year starts will there be an opportunity to change to virtual?

Staffing models will be designed around the selections submitted by families.  Per FCPS Family FAQ: Will families have the option of changing their child’s placement from face-to-face to online or vice versa at any point during the year? (6/28/20):  Parents and caregivers need to choose one of these options for the entire 2020-21 school year for each child. If health conditions improve that would allow FCPS to resume in-person instruction for all students, we would reassess FCPS’s operating status at that time.

We have three children in three different schools and are not comfortable with busing.  Do you have any idea what the schedules could look like?

We are currently working on the schedules for all levels.  Proposed schedules can be found under each plan for each level on the FCPS Return to School website. 

With regard to a specific bell schedule, we are currently discussing an 8 period day option where students would meet with each of their classes for a shorter period of time, but with greater frequency per week.  Or, we are considering maintaining a block scheduling option where students would meet with their teachers for a longer period of time, but less frequency per week.  Students in both settings will be following the same bell schedule.  

Should health conditions deteriorate during the fall and in-person instruction is not possible, will there be a seamless transition to online instruction or will there be a 1-2 week break needed?  If so, how will that affect the school calendar?

Per FCPS Family FAQ: If the health conditions worsen, how will things change?  Students may have to move from in-person learning to online learning at some point in the year if health data and recommendations from the Fairfax County Health Department necessitate closing an individual school or multiple schools.

FCPS will regularly monitor developments with Fairfax County Health Department authorities regarding cases, exposures, and hospitalizations that might require a change in school operating status.

How will distance learning be different in 2020-2021 compared to what FCPS offered in the spring of 2020?

From FCPS Family FAQ: If a parent elects to have their child enrolled in full-time online learning or health circumstances require a school or schools to convert to distance learning during the school year, the experience for students will look different than it did during the spring of 2020.

The major changes for 2020-2021 include more time in synchronous learning, online attendance, grading of assignments and assessments, and laptop access for all students. 

During snow days, will classroom learning switch to online?

We have not reached this part of our planning yet.  Once we have an answer on how snow days will be handled, that will be communicated by the school division.  The same policy would be followed system wide. 

Is there a priority of who will attend school in person if the school “fills up”?  

No, the two days a week for each group is designed to ensure that we will remain at 50% or below everyday.  That guarantees that even if 100% of the student body opted to return we would be able to accommodate that because students are being split into two groups by alphabet.  

Can we request certain days if we opt for in-person instruction?

Per FCPS FAQ: How will schools split their student population for in-person learning days? (6/28/20)  In order to support families’ childcare needs, FCPS will work to provide families with children in different grades and different schools with consistent schedules for in-school and at-home learning days. For in-person instruction, the school’s population will be split based on the alphabet by last name to the greatest extent possible. For siblings at different schools and/or with different last names, adjustments will be made to allow families to have the same schedule for their children’s in-school attendance, whenever possible. At the elementary level, further consideration outside of the alphabet by last name may be given to class assignments to meet the needs of individual students and create balanced classes.

Will students be grouped to stay together (as in ES) so teachers move from room to room? 

In a high school this model does not work.  Each of our students takes a different mix of classes.  It would not be possible to group students so they did not move rooms.   

What arrangements would you make if an insufficient amount of teachers do not return in the fall for in-school instruction?

Teachers are able to provide the division with their preference of how they wish to teach.  We may not be able to honor teacher preferences if the overall numbers do not match up with what the students/families decide.  We will work to ensure we are appropriately staffed within our school, region, and division. 

The FCPS web site for online enrollment option states that "When a cohort model cannot be established for a course or grade level, a hybrid model may be leveraged, in which staff support a combination of in-person and online learners using blended learning strategies and digital resources. " Can you explain what this means specifically? 

This means that in some extenuating circumstances we may consider having specialized staff members teaching their classes as a combination of both online and in-person.  We do not believe that is best practice and would only do this in extenuating circumstances with regard to specialized classes.  

Can the students be allowed to come to school at scheduled times just for labs even if they choose all virtual options?

No, by reducing our class sizes to meet social distancing requirements we would not have spaces available for virtual students to report to school for any type of school work (labs, etc.) 

Has the school start date changed? Is the 2020-2021 calendar being revised?

Dr. Brabrand has announced that he is planning to recommend to the Fairfax County School Board on Thursday (July 9) that we move the first day of school for students to Tuesday, September 8. Starting two weeks later will give school administrators sufficient time to plan schedules and staffing assignments for both virtual and in-person instruction.  Our teachers and staff will return at their scheduled time in August to prepare for the start of school.  This later start date will allow for additional professional development and planning time. We also want to ensure that we are doing all we can to provide a rewarding learning experience based on the return to school choices that families are making.  Under this proposal, the final day of school in June 2021 would remain the same- June 11.  

No other changes have been announced that I am aware of.  FCPS will communicate if any changes to the 2020-21 school year are adjusted.  

Does FCPS have the ability to make decisions on their own?  like the private schools in our area are doing?  

As a public school we are obligated to follow the direction of the state and the VA Department of Education.  However, there are cases where the state leaves some decisions to local school divisions to determine.  

Parents are asked to consider driving their children to school.  Where will those students wait prior to the first bell?

Commons areas will not be available for students to ensure that we are able to maintain social distancing.  We will determine appropriate procedures on where students report prior to the start of 1st block before 

Will seniors who do online school this year be able to participate in graduation with their class?

Yes, absolutely! Even though Oakton students will be opting for an online teaching method, they will still be considered Oakton students.

How large is the online course size?

We will not know for sure until we see the final numbers for our students compared to our staffing numbers exactly how large online classes will be.  They will likely run larger than our in-person classes.  We are typically staffed at 31 students per class. General Education online classes can expect to be at 31 or higher.    

Is FCPS 100% sure that the IT infrastructure is prepared for all of FCPS to be educated online? 

Once we migrated to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Google Meets for classes in the spring we had minimal technology issues for the duration of the school year.  We will be using the same platforms this fall.  Additionally, some schools in the county will be piloting Schoology as a new learning platform.  

If there is only two days of in person schooling will you lengthen the school to 8 plus hours? The education of our kids is vital.

No, the school day will remain the standard length of time.  That bell schedule will be set and standardized for all high schools in the county.  

Will there still be burgundy and gold days?

It will depend on what bell schedule we adopt.  If we go with an 8 period day bell schedule we will run our odd day classes in the morning (burgundy) and our even day classes in the afternoon (gold).  If we run a block schedule, we will keep our traditional burgundy and gold days.