FCFT Resources on the Coronavirus 

COVID-19 

Follow these links for the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic:

FCFT is Organized!

JUNE 2020: Educator Unions Urge FCPS to Continue Distance Learning.

MAY 2020: FCFT sent an open letter to FCPS and state leaders regarding the reopening of schools to ensure the safety and security of all FCPS Staff.

MARCH 2020: FCFT President Tina Williams sends letter to Superintendent Brabrand, urging that FCPS make all staff whole in the wake of the pandemic.

Older Information

[Updated 2020-03-17]

Latest Updates on Coronavirus Response:

  • The Virginia Governor is restricting public events/gatherings of greater than 10 people. For events of any size (public or private), organizers and participants each have a responsibility to reduce the chance of disease transmission.

  • The County is shifting resources to essential functions and strongly encourages residents to conduct County business online if possible

  • COUNTY FACILITIES: Effective Monday, March 16, Fairfax County parks, libraries, and community facilities will be closed for two weeks. All Fairfax County Senior Centers and Adult Day Health Care Centers are closed until further notice, effective immediately. Beginning Monday, March 16, Fairfax County will provide meal delivery services to registered participants who wish to obtain them.

  • TRANSIT: Beginning Monday, March 16, Metro is reducing service. WMATA also asks that customers do not use Metro to go to healthcare appointments if you are showing signs of illness. There are no changes to Fairfax Connector Bus Services, however cleaning protocols have been reviewed and updated.

  • UTILITIES: Verizon, Comcast, and Cox have pledged to keep customers connected for the next 60 days and not terminate services to any residential customer or small business that are unable to pay their bills. Read more. Dominion Energy suspended disconnections. Read more. Washington Gas will be waiving late fees and suspending disconnections. Read more.

For more info:

  • Visit the Health Department website, text FFXCOVID to 888777 for text alerts, or call the Health Department from 9:30 am to 9 pm weekdays and 9:30 am to 5 pm on weekends.: 703-267-3511

  • Neighborhood and Community Services provides access and referrals to both government and community-based resources for assistance with, but not limited to: food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, and healthcare.
    Call: 703-222-0880, TTY 711, Monday-Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm

County GoVERNMENT

[Updated 2020-03-27]

To continue to assist and support our members through this tough time FCFT is open and providing services to our members via telephone and email. Union staff are implementing the Telework option and are closed for face-to-face encounters in alignment with national state, and local guidelines for social distance to decrease the likelihood of spreading the Coronavirus.

 

It is important that we continue to hear members concerns and questions so that we can share them with FCPS leadership. As a reminder, please email your union at info@fcft.org if you have any questions, concerns or need support during this challenging time.

 

In March, FCPS announced the following actions:

  • All FCPS school buildings are closed until further notice.  

  • Food distribution at FCPS sites will continue as scheduled.  More details about the food program are below. 

  • With the school buildings closed, the laptop distribution scheduled for tomorrow is postponed. 

  • All FCPS administrative offices are closed until further notice.

  • Only essential personnel as defined by FCPS program managers and supervisors will be asked to report to work until further notice.  All other employees will work remotely.  It is expected that all FCPS personnel reporting to work will practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

  • In light of increasing concerns and media coverage surrounding the COVID-19, FCPS has partnered with  vendors to ensure there are no financial barriers to those who may need to obtain testing. Health plan supports can be found here:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/40442

 

FCPS is expanding the grab and go food distribution sites to a total of 18 locations.  The food distribution is set up outside the schools.  The food distribution is set up outside the schools. Breakfast will be served from 8-10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the locations listed here. ​

 

The Latest Regarding School Closures:

 

  • Read the Superintendent's Message on the Distance Learning Plan.

  • Read Message about Distance Learning Plan for Students with Disabilities.

  • FCPS schools are closed through the end of the academic year in June.  Read the Superintendent's Message from March 23.

  • FCPS provides a daily update to the community. View the updates.

  • Read updated FAQs

  • All FCPS school buildings and administrative offices are closed until further notice.  Food distribution at FCPS sites will continue as scheduled. More details about the food program are below.

  • The May 2020 International Baccalaureate (IB) exams are canceled .

  • Traditional face-to-face Advanced Placement (AP) exams will not take place.  On April 3,  the full exam schedule including the specific free-response question types that will comprise each AP exam will be published by the College Board.

  • FCPS offers grab and go food distribution sites, including pop-up sites in the community, curbside pickup at two schools, and meal delivery along some bus routes. Details on locations and times is available here.

FCPS Employee Compensation and Benefits:

Benefits are not impacted by the school closure. If you have any benefits-related questions, please click here.

All contracted employees (those who accrue leave) with defined contract days and daily scheduled hours will continue to receive pay for their regular scheduled work hours for the remainder of their 2019-2020 school year (190-day, 194-day, 218-day, etc.).

Substitute Teachers and Temporary Hourly Employees

Hourly and substitute employees will receive income replacement for the first two weeks of the closure (3/16/20 – 3/27/20). Hourly and substitute employees eligible for pay will be those who received earnings for any work between Monday, February 17, 2020, and Friday, March 13, 2020 (the most recent two biweekly pay periods). These employees will receive pay equivalent to their average earnings per pay period over the past six months (since 9/14/19) for the next biweekly pay period (3/16/20 – 3/27/20). Those with less than six months employment will receive pay based on their average biweekly earnings for the pay periods since employed with FCPS.

 

Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, hourly employees will be paid only for actual hours worked as directed by a principal or program manager.

Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, long-term substitutes who continue with assignments at schools to support instructional activities will receive pay for assigned hours. Long-term substitutes should remain available for direction by their supervisors, and their time will be entered and approved at the school level. Further instructions for Time & Attendance processors will be provided by the HR Business Services Office.

Based on the addendum to Regulation 4810 that was issued last week, all active pay status employees are expected to telework. Those unable to telework should contact their programs managers to discuss work options. Employees who are not willing to work remotely or be on call will be assigned to leave without pay status unless the employee is on an approved leave status by his/her program manager. The governor’s announcement does not change the directives outlined in the amended 4810 1B document shared last Friday. 

 

Information on 4810 and the accompanying FAQs.

To the greatest extent possible, staff in the Administrative Offices are providing services to employees. Administrative Offices remain closed with employees working remotely (telework). (FCPS

Employee Resources Webpage)

 

Please note that FCPS is still observing the Spring Break as originally planned and less-than-12-month employees will not be expected to work during this time.

What to Expect for Instructional Staff:

 

As a result of the recent school closure announcement, instructional staff may be wondering what this means for your role in supporting student learning.

 

The FCPS School Board is voting on March 27th to establish the details of Distance Learning.

 

Those resources to promote continuity of learning, which can be accessed via FCPS 24-7 (http://fcps.blackboard.com). 

 

https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/fairfax/Board.nsf/files/BN442M097615/$file/DLP_School%20Board_March27.pdf

https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/fairfax/Board.nsf/files/BN4GUH430C36/$file/FCPSDistanceLearningPlan.pdf

 

As committed educators, you may feel anxiety or stress about the loss of instructional time and the impact on student learning. However, our first concern at this time must be the health and welfare of our entire community--students, teachers and staff. 

We are all in this together.   We encourage you to practice social distancing and healthy habits.   Wash your hands frequently, cough into your sleeve, and if you feel sick – stay home.  Thank you for your continuing support and cooperation.  

CORONAVIRUS LESSON PLANS AND RESOURCES

Coronavirus Lesson Plans and Resources: Understanding Outbreaks

CHECKLIST FOR DISTANCE LEARNING:

An educator checklist to prepare for potential remote learning.

How you can help

We joined with UNITE HERE to call for paid sick days.

 

We joined the Association of Flight Attendants to call for a coordinated federal response plan to the virus.

 

We joined with other healthcare unions to call on the CDC to maintain safety standards for frontline workers.

Email organizers@fcft.org if you want to get involved in other ways.

Additional  Resources 

Talking to Students about Coronavirus/Mental Health

More Information Here

Executive Functioning/Organization information:

It is helpful to create and maintain a schedule. Feel free to involve your kids in making the schedule - discuss the change in their schedule and how to be flexible. Brainstorm and write ideas down. Consider developing a visual schedule with "plan A" and a "plan B" together and letting children choose what to do

  • teacherspayteachers.com is a great resource to make a schedule.  Search e "First then board" or "Visual Schedule" on the website. 

  • Choiceworks is a good app for creating visual schedules and first/then boards.

  • PBS Kids is releasing some helpful things for including a new episode of Daniel Tiger focused on germs

  • Post a visual schedule for handwashing near sinks, particularly for kids who may not have mastered this skill yet.

Calm and Sensory Activities:

Academic Resources – there are many resources on FCPS 24-7 (Blackboard) and on the FCPS website

Active Time/Fitness/Indoor Activities

  • YouTube: There are many free exercise videos on YouTube. Here is a link to an article that lists many of these resources.

  • Outside: On nice days, make plans to go outside.  Go for a spring scavenger hunt in a park with hiking trails. If avoiding large public spaces, consider playing in the yard, going for a walk in your neighborhood, or working in the garden.

  • Indoor Active time:

    • Consider building in active time indoors. Kids can create a "spy maze" to climb through by stringing up yarn

    • Painter's tape can be used to make indoor hopscotch, tracks for cars, and obstacle courses.

    • Baking/cooking activities can be fun, active ways to occupy kids. Able2Learn.com and www.AccessibleChef.com both have an array of free visual recipes to help people learn to cook. It can also keep up math skills during the break - work on counting, adding, and/or fractions, depending on your child's skill level.

Other Useful Resources:

Self-Care

Do you have a regular self-care routine? If not, now would be a great time to start one if you so choose and can. If you are having trouble coming up with some ideas, here are a few to get you started:

  • Rest

  • Exercise

  • Develop a home yoga practice (Yoga with Adriene has a suite of yoga videos for various levels: Link here)

  • Read a book

  • Deep breathing/relaxation exercises

  • Watch your favorite TV show

  • Prayer and/or meditation (If you visit YouTube and put in "meditation for beginners" you should be able to find something to appeal to you)

  • Write in a journal and or start a gratitude practice (This article explains how to get started: Link here)

  • Take a warm bath or shower

  • Color mandalas (This website has mandalas for printing and can be colored online too: Link here)

How to Be PrepareD:
Bulletin for Teachers and School Staff

What We Do Know

 

Symptoms and Transmission

  • Symptoms include fever and lower respiratory illness—coughing, difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

  • It appears that infection is more prevalent in adults than children. Elderly people and those with predisposing conditions are more vulnerable to the viral illness.

  • The coronavirus can be transmitted through inhalation of airborne infectious matter, through splashes from coughs onto mucous membranes, and by touching objects contaminated by splashes and then touching the nose, mouth or eyes.

  • Thus far, the coronavirus has not been associated with upper respiratory symptoms—runny noses and sneezing.

 

Public Health Response

 

  • The CDC and the World Health Organization are working to control the spread of the illness and to develop antiviral treatments and a vaccine.

  • The CDC is warning against all nonessential travel to China, and the U.S. State Department has increased its advisory for China to Level 4: Do Not Travel.

  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of citizens and flight crew returning from travel in China within the last 14 days will be funneled into one of 11 airports for enhanced health screening. Those who have been in Hubei province within the last 14 days will be subject to mandatory quarantine for up to 14 days for medical care and monitoring. Those who have traveled within China in the last 14 days but not Hubei province will be required to self-quarantine with health monitoring for up to 14 days.

  • The CDC has already developed a test used to diagnose patients and is working on making it available to local hospitals.

  • Researchers suspect that the coronavirus is easily transmitted. It has been confirmed that infected people can transmit before they exhibit symptoms.

 

Infection Control in School Settings

Now is a good time for school districts to review and evaluate their current infection control practices. If schools follow the evidence-based guidance developed over the last few years, the risk of exposure to this newly identified coronavirus and other droplet/airborne diseases will be significantly reduced.

 

As much as possible, schools should evaluate general dilution ventilation to make sure that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems deliver adequate fresh air to classrooms and other school areas. Good indoor air quality can dilute the concentration of infectious viral droplets and aerosols and thus reduce the risks of infection.

 

For more information about preventing the spread of the coronavirus, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html.

 

Other Important Practices Include:

1. Excluding children with fever and respiratory symptoms from school until symptoms are resolved. This is an ideal policy that is rarely followed. Many parents and guardians send sick children to school because they have no alternative. The school nurse or a designated responsible adult when no school nurse is available should work with teachers and staff to quickly identify sick children and isolate them from the general school population. These students should be cared for in a separate area until they can be picked up.

2. Working with the local public health department to adopt extraordinary measures if the coronavirus threat grows in the community. School districts should follow the directions of the health department in referring any suspected cases of the new virus to the appropriate healthcare facility or provider. For instance, the district should adhere to the protocol for referring students and staff with respiratory illness who have traveled outside the country or been in contact with anyone with suspected or confirmed coronavirus illness.

3. Stepping up education and good reminders (posters, etc.) in classrooms and to parents on the current infection control policies, including:

  • Good hand hygiene. Schools must provide soap and hand sanitizer. Students should be given additional time and opportunities to wash their hands. Instruct students to wash their hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before eating. For more information and resources, such as posters, see www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.

  • Reminders to all to avoid touching their faces, particularly eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.

  • Students and staff should be encouraged to stay home from school for any respiratory illness and consult their healthcare provider. Staff should not be sanctioned for taking sick leave.

 

As much as possible, custodial and classroom staff should follow commonsense cleaning and disinfection practices and avoid the overuse of disinfectants. Exposure to disinfectants has been associated with asthma exacerbation. Staff may wish to use disinfectant to clean high-use areas, such as doorknobs and other frequently handled objects and surfaces, with diluted bleach or disinfectants recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Avoid using quaternary compounds (such as Lysol) to clean desks and other surfaces. These

surfaces can be cleaned with general natural cleaners and microfiber cloths.

 

For School Nurses:

  1. School nurses should ask students presenting with a fever if they have traveled outside the United States or been in contact with anyone who has.

  2. Students who may have the coronavirus should be supported and given a surgical mask and treated away from other students.

  3. If the school nurse suspects that the child may have the coronavirus, the nurse should don an N95 respirator while treating the child.

  4. Contact the local or state public health department to report the case.

 

For School Custodians:

  1. Custodians should be given adequate training and supplies to address any extraordinary cleaning and disinfection practices.

  2. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Hazard Communication Standard, workers covered by OSHA have the right to training on how to use cleaning supplies and other chemicals safely. They should have gloves that are appropriate for the chemicals used. To determine if you are in an OSHA-approved State Plan state, check here: www.osha.gov/stateplans.

  3. Additional custodial staff may be needed if there are a lot of potential cases.

  4. Custodians who routinely use disinfectants should be counseled to report any respiratory symptoms or asthma associated with use of the chemicals. They may need respirators and additional personal protective equipment to avoid symptoms or attacks.

 

Unions have a key role in defending workers’ rights to be protected from infectious disease—from seasonal flu to newly emerging, highly infectious diseases like the coronavirus. Local leaders can make information requests and demand to bargain on infection control plans and the location and supply of personal protective equipment, like gloves.

 

For more information, see https://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/coronavirus_info_request_local_leaders.pdf.

Contact The Office

7405 Alban Station Ct. Suite B215

Springfield, VA 22150

T: (703) 451-6840

F: (703) 644-0330

E: info@fcft.org

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FAirfax County

Federation of Teachers

Fairfax Co. Federation of Teachers represents all non-administrative certified and classified Fairfax County public school employees. we are the teachers, counselors, librarians, teaching assistants, clerical employees, and other staff who work so hard to make our schools work. 

Fairfax County Federation of Teachers is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers and AFL-CIO.