FCPS Faces Staff Shortages in the Face of Omicron

FCPS Faces Staff Shortages in the Face of Omicron

Superintendent pledges to keep students in the classroom, but it will “not be business as usual.”

FCPS is resolved to keep schools open.

FCPS is resolved to keep schools open.

Fairfax County Public Schools is immediately switching to a new operational plan as the
FCPS is resolved to keep schools open. 


 area is being slammed by the size and speed of the Omicron wave. 

"We will follow this operational plan for the next two-to-three weeks,” said Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand, on Friday, Jan.  6. “During this time, we must adjust our expectations about instruction and give our staff the space needed to make adjustments and on-the-spot decisions needed to combat this Covid spike." 

FCPS plans to deploy its central office and management staff to school operations.

"It will not be business as usual," Brabrand said. "These shortages will impact us in every way, from classroom instruction to operations." Brabrand outlined the plan and asked for patience. "There will be some things that simply cannot happen as we move central office staff to supporting school operations," Brabrand said.

Brabrand outlined the division's five-point plan beginning with classroom coverage. He reminded teachers to upload materials to Schoology and said that FCPS may not always be able to provide StreamIN/CheckIN, the plan for for students who are paused, quarantined, or isolated due to Covid. FCPS will seek a substitute teacher from the sub pool, another teacher or staff member, and Central Office volunteer subs who have instructional experience when a classroom teacher is absent. FCPS  could combine two classes with one teacher and group multiple classes together, to provide supervision. 

FCPS is urging families to get their children vaccinated as the best protection against Covid-19.


The shortage of school bus drivers is causing delays in bus routes, double-back runs, and students arriving at school after the bell. 

"Schools will adjust instruction to ensure that no child is missing important classroom time," Brabrand said. Check the Bus Delay App https://busdelay.fcps.edu/.

Food Services continues to provide breakfast and lunch, but bag lunches may be offered instead of the regular meals given more significant staff shortages 

Brabrand asked families to help beginning with their health and safety: 

* Keep sick children home; 

* Get students vaccinated; 

* Enroll students  in optional screening testing 

* Use FCPS' diagnostic testing if a student has symptoms. 

* Help students use layered prevention strategies: proper masks, wash hands, and use hand sanitizer, and be sure students bring home their laptops and chargers every night. 

* Finally, he urged parents to apply to be substitute teachers

"Please know that while things will not be perfect, we are all doing our best. We are all in this together as a community, and it will take all of us to keep our schools open," Brabrand said,

Read Dr. Brabrand's January 6 Letter to Families


The Fairfax County Health Department explained a more specific approach to vaccination for the coronavirus for children and teens.

“There are now expanded vaccination opportunities for teens and children effective this week. Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health, the Fairfax County Health Department immediately adopts the following recommendations:

* individuals ages 12–17 years should get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose five months after finishing their two-dose primary series;

* individuals ages 18 years and older should get any COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose five months, rather than six months, after finishing their two-dose primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine; and

* 5–11-year-old vaccine recipients who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are eligible to receive a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 28 days after the second dose.