Frequently asked questions
What is happening with discipline related issues? How is FCPS handling these cases?
How will FCPS handle harassment/discrimination claims and grievances already in process?
Harassment/Discrimination claims are on hold. On April 14th, FCPS will review to see if feasible to restart this work.
Will educators still be evaluated this year?
VDOE is recommending that local school districts create their own policy. We are recommending that FCPS suspend all evaluations for this school year.
What is the status for employees that cannot complete licensure requirements prior to original 2020 deadline?
Employees should submit their complete renewal application packet to the FCPS licensure office via US Mail. The following information can be found on our FCPSnet Licensure Renewal Site (http://fcpsnet.fcps.edu/hr/tam/licensure/professional-licensure-renewal.shtml):
COVID-19 UPDATE: The FCPS licensure team is still working to process renewal packets.
For those that have their complete 2020 Licensure Renewal Packet Cover Page and Checklist, please send it via US Mail to: FCPS Licensure Office 8115 Gatehouse Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042.
For license holders that are unable to meet any of the renewal requirements (renewal points or Hands-on CPR) due to closures related to COVID-19, the VDOE is working on establishing a process to facilitate granting one-year extensions (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) to those that need it. Once information on the process is made available, the FCPS Licensure Team will be contacting license holders to identify who will need the one-year extension. Thank you for your patience as we work to navigate these most challenging and unprecedented times
UPDATE : The initial round of non-renewal notices due to licensure will be going out May 11th, 2020. Individuals who hold a provisional license set to expire on June 30, individuals who have yet to submit an application for a license, and those who have pending licenses at the VDOE will receive this first notice. Final action will not be taken until June. Individuals in all three categories have an opportunity to “clear” over the next several weeks. Every individual on the list should have received several communications from the Office of Talent Acquisition and Management, with the most recent communication explaining the individuals possible next steps to “clear”.
Members who are concerned should email their licensure person. Our licensure team will respond within 48 hours.
How will the closings impact educators already on maternity leave or about to take maternity leave?
Employees currently on maternity leave would continue maternity leave and once those employees have gone through the return to work process with their Doctor and HR would be allowed to return to work.
For employees already out on maternity or medical leave that have used all of their sick leave and are now using FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) or leave without pay, does this mean they will receive some pay when they were scheduled to go back? How will this impact their timeline to go back once FMLA is over for them?
For employees with contracts longer than 194 days, will those continue to be honored?
Yes, they will be honored.
How will the closings affect retirement pay and pensions for educators who are retiring this year or next year? For educators set to retire this year, will they receive their pension based on the salary they would have received this year regardless of what happens with the closings?
FCPS is working to allow the process to be done online. Many employees are rescinding retirement at this point. However, FCPS is still processing retirement and will continue to collect.
Will my compensation and benefits be impacted by the closure?
Am I expected to work over Spring Break?
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. If you are asked to perform work during Spring Break, kindly ask for clarification or give the union a call.
Will VDOE suspend all required tests for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year?
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has received formal approval from the U.S. Department of Education to cancel all federally mandated tests for this school year. The official letter can be viewed here. In addition, the local scoring and score entry requirements for the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program, and the administration of the ACCESS for ELs assessment for English Learners are suspended.
Will VDOE extend the deadline for all requirements related to licensure renewal?
For those holding a provisional license that expires June 30, 2020, VDOE is extending for at least one additional, but no more than two additional years. Flexibility beyond what is provided in the Code will require General Assembly review and action. The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene at the end of April, at which point, VDOE will provide additional information for individuals with provisional licenses expiring on June 30, 2020. For those holding a renewable license that expires June 30, 2020, there will be a one-year extension of the license so license holders can complete all renewal requirements. A form to request an extension will be posted on the Licensure Webpage with additional instructions by May 1, 2020. Action is required by the General Assembly to waive or extend the hands on CPR training requirement for license renewal. This is also expected to be addressed when the General Assembly reconvenes at the end of April. For more information on license renewal visit VDOE’s website here. For more information on license renewal can be found here.
Will IA’s and other support staff be paid during the school closures?
Yes, IA’s and other support staff will be paid through the end of the year.
What are expectations for IA’s and other support staff during the school closures?
Principals are supposed to communicate their expectations of IA’s and other support staff during this time. We are encouraging FCPS to issue clear guidance for everyone on expectations for these positions during this period and issue technology for any staff that do not have these resources.
What are the distance learning requirements for educators that work with students that have special needs?
According to VDOE with regards to free and appropriate public education (FAPE), “If a school closure causes educational services for all students to pause within a school or division, then the school/division is not required to provide services to the affected students eligible for special education services during that same period of time. If a school division does begin to offer instructional services by alternative means the division will remain responsible for the free appropriate public education (FAPE) of its students eligible for special education services with an individualized education program (IEP).” Once schools reopen, they are required to provide special education services in accordance with the student’s IEP, or for students entitled to FAPE under Section 504, consistent with any plan developed to meet the requirements of Section 504. Additionally, after an extended closure, divisions are responsible for reviewing how the closure impacted the delivery of special education and related services to students eligible for special education services. Additional specific guidance will be provided to division level special education directors. At this time, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs has not issued guidance regarding a waiver of federal timelines related to special education compliance. However, OCR has provided guidance that, “IEP teams are not required to meet in person while schools are closed.” In addition, OCR has stated that, “If an evaluation of a student with a disability requires a face-to-face assessment or observation, the evaluation would need to be delayed until school reopens. Evaluations and re-evaluations that do not require face-to-face assessments or observations may take place while schools are closed, so long as a student’s parent or legal guardian consents. These same principles apply to similar activities conducted by appropriate personnel for a student with a disability who has a plan developed under Section 504, or who is being evaluated under Section 504.” The FCPS distance learning plan can be found here.
Do all FCPS Employees qualify for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
Yes, the FCCRA Act requires FCPS to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 effective immediately.
If I am laid off from my part-time, non FCPS job, do I qualify for unemployment?
What is happening with summer school, how will this be rolled out?
The Office of Talent Acquisition and Management coordinates the hiring for summer programs. FCPS isn’t quite yet ready to move forward just yet; much of what they have planned for since February has changed, and FCPS has stated that they will need to make a number of adjustments prior to taking the next steps forward. As soon as more information is available on the operations aspect, we will update our members. Additionally, they have informed us to anticipate some sort of communication coming from the workgroup who has been meeting to discuss the proposed plan.
Concerns surrounding item retrieval, classroom pack-up and medication distribution.
FCPS has decided to move forward with item retrieval, classroom pack-up and medication distribution. As schools have started, there are several points which we hope will provide additional clarification and guidance.
- It is important that during this process, teachers and staff know they may choose not to return to the building based on their individual level of comfort or for individual/family health considerations. FCPS is communicating to us that the return is not required.
- As a reminder, staff must complete the health screening questionnaire, wear a cloth face mask, and be scheduled in a manner that limits the number of individuals in the building while following social distancing guidelines.
- The health department informed FCPS that there is no reason to delay this process as long as all of the guidelines are strictly followed.