Dr. Noonan's Friday Reopening Update - December 18, 2020

Dear FCCPS Families,

First and foremost, I want to thank all of you for your incredible support throughout the first part of this school year. Your dedication to your children and FCCPS is second to none, and I am so appreciative of you. Your support of our school division during this time has been so wonderful. We are all so grateful. We also received the most wonderful news today that our student, Timmy, was found and is now with his family. I know you share in my relief over this news. 

As we head into the Winter Break, I want to brief you on a couple of happenings in the division. Below you will find information about our high school move, health metrics, updates on reopening, and other important topics.

HIGH SCHOOL MOVE DAY!!

First, today is a huge milestone moment in FCCPS and the new high school...today’s date has been on the calendar for almost two years, and to think that we made it is amazing. Today the move of the old George Mason to the new high school begins. The first boxes have crossed the parking lot, and the computer servers are also on the move. Over the next 15 days, we will be finalizing all of the placements of materials, technology, etc., so that when we return in the new year, we can hit the ground running. 

The opening of the new school is a huge celebration for the GMHS and Henderson staff, as their efforts and energy have helped make all this happen. The buildings are physically joined together, and the collaboration has been strong. It is also a celebration for the community. It was your support of the school bond three years ago that put us on the path to where we are today. Thank you!

Health Metrics and Return to School:

I want to give you a quick update on the work of the Health Metrics Task Force work. This team of teachers and other staff members was put together to align our efforts with the CDC K-12 information shared with our Board at a recent meeting. The group is represented by staff from all five schools and the Central Office. They have met several times and have also gathered feedback from fellow staff members. The team is working to ensure our reopening plan moving forward is aligned more closely with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) return to school measures for K-12. The group will provide decision making criteria for all of our students’ cohorts, specifically our special population students. 

As a division, we continue to monitor the health data for our region and community. We appreciate your patience as we prepare a thoughtful plan to share with our community in the very near future.  Many on the team have agreed to meet over the winter break to finish our work and present a meaningful and transparent plan in the next couple of weeks. Please be on the lookout for updates over winter break.

The plan today is to reopen our schools when we return from winter break. It is expected all staff will return to work in the buildings on January 4th in preparation for students. The task force is still reviewing the “who will return what day plan” based on newly developed cohorts of students by category and grade level with reopening decision points for each cohort of students. Since this is a work still in progress, the prudent move is to be ready for students following winter break, either the first or second week back. We are hopeful! Again, stay tuned!

My Wish For You

I want to wish you the happiest of holidays. My holiday wish for you is a vaccine, lots and lots of rest, time with your family (without traveling and keeping the mitigation strategies in mind), and peace. I also hope that we can collectively say goodbye to 2020 forever and ring in 2021 with fresh optimism and enthusiasm for the future.

With my greatest appreciation,

Peter