District News and Superintendent Updates

District News and Superintendent Updates

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District News and Superintendent Updates

January 13, 2022

Message from the Superintendent

Dear Students, Families, Staff Members, and Community: 

This edition is packed with helpful information.  Please take a moment to read and review this information in its entirety.  Thereafter, if you have any questions, please notify your school principal, school counselor, school nurse, or school secretary. Just a reminder that Monday, January 17th is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Holiday so schools are closed for students and staff.  Have a great weekend! 


Dr. Bernice Cobbs, Superintendent

Discontinuing the Virtual Learning Option

Franklin County Public Schools will discontinue the virtual learning option for the 2022-2023 school year. Due in part to the teacher shortage and the resources it takes to support virtual education, Franklin County Public Schools is not able to offer a virtual option for the next school year. If you have questions about the 2022-2023 school year, please contact your child’s school. 


  •     January 8-14    Virginia School Principal Appreciation Week
  •     February 4    Progress Reports Emailed to Families 
  •     February 7    Teacher Workday - Schools Closed for Students
  •     February 7-11    National School Counseling Week
  •     February 13-19    Virginia Kindness Week
  •     March 4     End of 3rd Nine Weeks
  •     March 7    Teacher Workday - Schools Closed for Students
  •     March 11    Report Cards Issued
  •     April 18 - 22    Spring Break - Schools Closed for Students & Staff
  •     May 19    Last Day of School for Students (Early Dismissal)
  •     May 19    Graduation
  •     May 20 & 23-24    Teacher Workdays

Updated CDC Guidelines

We are closely monitoring the recent spike in COVID-19 transmissions in our county.  Universal masking remains in effect for all PK-12 students, staff, and visitors in school buildings and on buses regardless of vaccination status. Medical and religious exemptions approved in the fall will be honored. Masks are available upon request. 

We are aware of the updated CDC guidelines and working closely with the Virginia Department of Health.  As most of you have heard on the news or read the “CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.”  Following the CDC’s revised recommendation, we are shortening our quarantine and isolation period to align with the CDC.  The updated guidelines are provided below that our school staff will use when calculating isolation and quarantine.  When it is necessary to make adjustments to the COVID guidelines, we will make sure that we inform our families and staff members with the goal of keeping everyone safe and continuing in-person learning.

Revised Contact Tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine

Please follow the guideline below when calculating isolation and quarantine.

  • The onset of symptoms is defined as the day a person starts to show symptoms.  Fever, sniffles, cold-like, loss of taste or smell.
  • Asymptomatic is defined as having no symptoms.  Most likely someone who gets tested because of close contact, family member, or pre-surgical procedure.
  • The test date is the day a test was given.

When calculating for isolation or quarantine day 0 is the first date.  Count five days following.  A person can return on day 6.

If you test positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

*Everyone regardless of vaccination status

  • Stay home and isolate for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving, you can leave isolation after 5 days.
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for an additional 5 days.
  • If you have a fever, stay home until you are fever-free.

If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

*If you are boosted, vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna within the past 6 months, or vaccinated with J&J within the past 2 months.

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.

*If you completed the Pfizer or Moderna over 6 months ago, the J&J over 2 months ago, or are unvaccinated.

  • Stay home for 5 days and wear a mask for an additional 5 days.
  • Test on day 5 if possible.

Daily COVID Notification

Franklin County Public Schools will change the format of the daily Covid letters that have been sent to families. A sample of this notification is below. This notification will provide the number of new cases reported on a certain date. If there are no new cases a notification will not be sent. The notification will also include a link to the Covid dashboard where current and previous numbers are stored. The new notification format will begin January 11, 2022.

NEW Notification Sample Letter

Our school division is informing parents and guardians that there were _____ cases of COVID-19 reported today at (Name) School.  Any staff or students who were exposed due to the reported cases have been notified.  The division dashboard will reflect current numbers.  

Tentative Response Plan for Increased Staff Absences

These are our tentative plans for keeping schools open, safe, and providing continuity of instruction as we navigate this surge.

Plan A - Normal Operations: Classroom coverage can be managed using teachers, substitutes, other staff, or administration. 

Plan B - In-Person Blended Learning for Targeted Classrooms: Classrooms without dedicated coverage would be grouped together for supervision. Designated class coverage will provide some instruction for the whole group and may need to have blended instruction for periods of time.   Teachers, other instructional staff, administration, and central office will support supervision. IEPs will be followed as stated in the student’s present level of performance and 504 accommodations will be provided. 

If a significant number of classes cannot be covered: 

Plan C - School-Wide Blended Learning on site:  The school would switch to blended learning on-site for a specified period of time. Teachers will put all lessons on Canvas. Students would be grouped* together in large meeting spaces. Teachers, other instructional staff, administration, and central office staff who are not on sick leave would still report to the school building to supervise students and students could access the learning at school.  IEPs will be followed as stated in the student’s present level of performance and 504 accommodations will be provided. 

*Grouped students will maintain social distancing, where feasible, when classes are combined.

Transportation Challenges

I wanted to make you aware of our current transportation challenges. There may be transportation delays due to bus driver shortages.  The driver shortage, as many of you know, is a result of a combination of factors which include an overall national and local shortage and the impact of COVID-19.  

We will do our best to accommodate students but there may be delays in morning pickups and afternoon drop-off times.  The Transportation Department will do its best to contact families if there is a disruption to your child(ren)’s bus transportation. When time allows, please take this opportunity to make sure that your child(ren)’s school has your correct contact information.  Please feel free to contact your child(ren)’s school if you need assistance.    

We appreciate your patience as we work to transport students safely to and from schools and navigate these challenges.

Public Safety

         Click here to view the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 School Calendars 

Public Comments
(Rev 11-12-21)

During the November 8th School Board meeting, the Board revised the procedures for requesting to speak during the public comment period.  Please see the procedures listed below:

Public comment gives the citizens of Franklin County, parents/guardians of students currently enrolled in Franklin County Public Schools, and the employees of Franklin County Public Schools, an opportunity to address the School Board on matters appropriate to the responsibilities of the Board. There shall be a maximum time limit of three (3) minutes for comments from each speaker. The maximum time limit of 30 minutes is allocated for Public Comment at each regular monthly meeting. The purpose for the 30-minute time limit is such that the School Board can conduct business as documented on its agenda. For those who had signed up and did not have time to speak during the 30 minutes public comment period, additional time will be provided at the conclusion of the Board meeting.

If you wish to speak during the public comment period, please submit a completed Public Comment form. The completed form can be submitted, in person or via email, to the Clerk of the School Board (janet.stockton@frco.k12.va.us) no later than 4:30 pm on Thursday before the upcoming School Board meeting. This form can be found on Board Docs, policy BDDH-F2 or by clicking on this link.

Crisis Line/Resource Information

  • Text SCHOOL to 741741 for FREE, 24/7 crisis counseling
  • Piedmont Community Services - 540-483-0582 (after hours crisis line 1-877-934-3576)
  • Connect (24 hour crisis line)/Carilion - 540-981-8181 or 1-800-284-8898
  • Respond Crisis line/Lewis Gale: 540-776-1100 or 1-800-541-9992

FCPS Support Services/Staff

School Counselors collaborate with parents, teachers, administrators, and other school and community members to foster, promote, and improve student success and achievement in schools. The school counselors’ duties include academic counseling, career counseling, and social-emotional learning counseling lessons throughout the year. 

School Psychologists work with the administrators, teachers, students, and parents and assess students to determine if their learning and behavioral profiles require special education services.

Family Liaisons currently serve students in 10 of our elementary schools. They serve as a liaison between the school and students/families to assist in resolving student behaviors/issues that interfere with learning. 

Student Assistant Specialists (SAS) / Social Workers are there to help students/families. They can link students/families to resources within FCPS as well as in the community. Please reach out to the school/SAS if you have any concerns. They can also help you if you need school supplies. 

These support services collaborate and some of their roles overlap to help make sure our students have the necessary resources/supports that they need. Please reach out to your child's school if you would like to speak with one of these staff members.

Applications for Pre-K

If your child will be four years old by September 30th, 2022 and you would like to enroll your child in our Preschool Program, please complete the application information located in the flier below. Please note that you will need to have your child’s original birth certificate to enroll them in our program. Spots in the Preschool program are limited and allocation of student slots are based on criteria outlined by the Virginia Preschool Initiative. We encourage all interested families to apply. 

Check out the
Western Piedmont Health Department 

Updates on COVID and other public health matters
COVID-19 in Virginia - Coronavirus

State Health Commissioner Order of 

Public Health Emergency Statewide Requirement 

to Wear Masks in K-12 Schools


Return to School Plan

2021-2022 Return to School Plan

Español (Spanish) Version

Mitigation Strategies

Below are some mitigation strategies we are incorporating in schools to help avoid school closures:

  • Sanitizing between classes
  • Stagger or minimize use of larger spaces 
  • Limit assemblies and other school gatherings inside the school buildings 
  • Prioritizing education over extra-curricular activities
  • Mask usage (masks are available) 
  • Layered mitigation strategies
  • 3-6 ft social distancing, where feasible 
  • Desk shields are available upon request for all students and staff
  • Cohorting student groups, which means restricting student movement during the school day, where feasible 

Important as well, we will continue to monitor Covid-19 positive cases in the school on a daily basis and will work closely with the Franklin County Health Department regarding contact tracing, quarantine protocols, and recommendation for the need to have virtual instruction.  

We recognize that there will be students and staff members who must quarantine or isolate due to COVID. When this occurs, these students will not be marked absent and will work through Canvas as assigned by their teacher. Further, I am sharing the FCPS Frequently Asked Questions document that may answer some additional questions you may have FAQ 2021-22.

COVID Testing for FCPS Families

Students and staff may take advantage of an on-site testing location to determine Covid status.  Test results will be made available to the parent/guardian within a 24-hour time period.

School Board Office
Lower Level Parking Lot
Monday through Friday 3:30-4:30 pm

There is no charge. 
Insurance is billed; uninsured can also participate.

What you will Need
Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  
Bring your insurance card. 
Uninsured individuals are covered through a federal program.

How it Works

  • Come to the School Board Office Lower Level between 3:30 and 4:30 pm.  
  • Stay in your vehicle.  Someone will come to you.
  • Fill out a personal information form, insurance form, and sign consent form.
  • Perform a self nasal specimen collection.
  • You will be given directions on how to register on the Dynamic Medical portal to get results.
  • Results come back to the parent or staff member within 24 hours.

Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you at Vaccines.gov

Franklin County Public Schools
Vision and Mission Statements

Virginia is for Learners link

Our schools are already on board implementing the 5 C’s (critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship skills) into instruction in a variety of ways.   Strategies integrating the 5 C’s will be ongoing throughout the school year.  FCPS’s ultimate goal is to prepare our students with the skills they need for college, workforce, careers, and/or citizenship to: 

  • Achieve and apply academic & technical knowledge;
  • Demonstrate workplace skills, qualities, & behaviors;
  • Build connections and value interactions with others as a responsible & responsive citizen; and
  • Align knowledge, skills & personal interests with interests with career opportunities.

Virginia Department of Education link

Check out this website from the VDOE regarding Oral Health

Oral Health Care and Your Family

Checklist for currently enrolled students:

2021-2022 Checklist for Currently Enrolled Students (English)

Checklist for newly enrolled students: 

2021-2022 Checklist for Newly Enrolled Students (English)

Now Hiring School Nurses
Applicants must hold an active LPN or RN license.

School Nurse will assist in the organization, administration and implementation of school health services in the assigned school setting.

Apply Online




School Nutrition Employment Opportunities

Apply Online https://mss.franklincountyva.gov/ess/employmentopportunities/default.aspx

Franklin County Schools Food Services & Nutrition link

All schools will be operating under the Seamless Summer Option for the 2021-22 school year.  This means that ALL enrolled students will be provided a nutritious meal for breakfast and lunch each day at no charge to the household.   

FCPS Sports Information


Indoor Events

Masks are required by all spectators during indoor sporting events and social distancing is recommended to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Outdoor Events

We would like for all fans to consider wearing a mask and social distance to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.


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