Return to School

Our Safe Return to School: In-Person Learning Updates

As we plan for the safe return of students to in-person learning, it is important that families are kept informed.  This communication will outline several new procedures and guidelines that will be in place at Herndon to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

In this Edition

  1. Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form
  2. New Bell Schedule
  3. Freshman and New Student Orientation for In-Person Students
  4. Start Dates
  5. Guidelines During the School Day
  6. Sharing Items
  7. Students Services Staff
  8. Visitors
  9. Student Parking
  10. Bus Transportation


1. Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form

As schools prepare for the return of students to in-person learning, parents/caregivers will be asked to acknowledge a Health Screening Commitment form before their student(s) return to school buildings. This document confirms that a parent/caregiver/guardian will complete a daily health screening and will keep their students’ home when they are ill.

The Health Commitment form can be submitted electronically through in ParentVUE, or via hard copy. The Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form is also available in Spanish.  Completing this form now will be helpful as we plan for the return of students to in-person learning.  Thank you!


2. New Bell Schedule

As more students return for in-person learning, it will be necessary to revise the bell schedule to accommodate more bus runs. The number of students allowed on each bus will be reduced substantially to meet social distancing requirements. With fewer students able to ride a bus at the same time, FCPS must adjust the times that our buses are transporting students.  The school day will be reduced by 15 minutes due to the increased cleaning time required between bus runs.

A revised bell schedule has been developed to improve start times and end times for all levels. Barring any changes to the plan that may be impacted by the pandemic, the high school bell schedule (8:20 am – 2:50 pm) will be in place effective Tuesday, February 16, 2021 for both virtual and in-person instruction.  A more detailed bell schedule will be forthcoming.


3. Freshman and New Student Orientation for In-Person Students

This event will take place on Monday, March 1.  There will be two sessions as designated below:

Last Name


A – K

9:00 – 10:00 am

L – Z

1:00 – 2:00 pm


These sessions have been planned to help our in-person freshman and new students become comfortable with the high school, as well as to take care of some “new student business.” Transportation will be provided from our feeder schools. Once finalized the pickup and drop off times will be shared.

Due to health restrictions, it is important that students come at their designated time. Students must wear a mask and have a completed COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire (available in English and Spanish) with them upon arrival.  Additionally, this event is for students only so parents/guardians will not be permitted in the building. 


4. Start Dates

Schools will implement a staggered return to school for in-person students.  The chart below outlines the return dates for the specific grade levels based on the student’s last name.  As the start dates progress, students will join the previous grade level and/or alphabet group.

Start Date


Last Name

Designated Days

Tuesday, March 2

9 & 12

A – K

Tuesday and Wednesday

Thursday, March 4

9 & 12

L – Z

Thursday and Friday

Tuesday, March 9

10 & 11

A – K

Tuesday and Wednesday

Thursday, March 11

10 & 11

L – Z

Thursday and Friday


To ensure proper social distancing guidelines, it is important that students strictly adhere to their assigned days. 


5. Guidelines During the School Day

To maintain a healthy environment for all students and staff, it is imperative that students strictly adhere to the guidelines listed below for the designated area. 



  • Always wear a mask.  The mask must cover the nose and mouth.
    • If you forget your mask or you need a new one, inform a staff immediately.
  • Wash their hands frequently.
  • Use hand sanitizers frequently.
  • Keep your mask on covering your nose and mouth
  • Maintain social distancing 
  • Follow traffic patterns in the hallways (walk on the right side)
  • Go directly to your class and do not stop/gather in the hallway to socialize


  • Students will follow signs to enter and exit the cafeteria.
  • Students will eat exclusively in the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch.
  • Students will not be able to walk around the cafeteria, once lunch has been started.
  • Chairs are to remain at their designated desk or table. They will be marked to keep students properly social distanced.
  • Students will follow the markings on the floor to maintain social distancing when getting their lunch from the cafeteria line
  • Students will remain in the cafeteria for the entire duration of the lunch period

Water Fountains


  • Are to refill water bottles only. 
  • Students should never physically touch the waterspout.
  • Students will be required to keep their mask on, even in the bathroom
  • Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Go directly to and from bathroom with no other stops.

Main Office


  • If you need to come to the main office, you may do so during class with teacher’s permission.  You will not be able to come to the main office during lunch, unless you have a pass.
  • When you reach the main office, make sure to speak with the front office staff behind the plexiglass.
  • If the are other students in the main office, please wait outside
  • Only travel to clinic when absolutely necessary with permission from the teacher
  • If you have exhibiting any of the following symptoms:
    • Fever, new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, loss of taste or smell, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Inform your teacher immediately. They will then call the main office.



  • Go to the nearest exit door and walk towards the Kiss & Ride or bus lanes.
  • Walking outside the school will avoid crowding in the hallways.
  • Will not be available.
  • Students should plan to bring what they need in backpacks and take backpacks home at the end of the day.


6. Sharing Items

  • Students will be required to label and maintain their own personal set of required classroom supplies.
  • Student will keep their supplies in their backpack and take them to and from school each day.
  • Students will not be allowed to share electronic devices, toys, books, games or learning aids unless they can be cleaned or disinfected.
  • Students should bring their own water bottle for use during the day.
  • Water fountains can be used to refill water bottles if practical, but students and staff should not drink directly from any water fixtures; individual water bottles should be used instead.


 7. Students Services Staff

School counselors and mental health team members will only be available by appointment.  Students are asked to e-mail their school counselor, social worker, the school psychologist, or college and career center specialist to request an appointment. The contact information is available at the following link:  


8. Visitors

All visitors must have a scheduled appointment with a staff member to enter the building.  Upon arrival to Door #1, visitors must push the buzzer which will connect them to security.  All visitors will be asked to complete the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire (EnglishSpanish) before being granted access to the building. 

If any visitor answers “YES” to any question on the health questionnaire, they will not be permitted to enter the building.  Visitors who answer “NO” will be permitted to access the building and will be greeted by a masked employee, who will direct them to their meeting.  All visitors must wear a mask while inside the building.

As we continue to practice social distancing, we will limit the number of visitors to our building.  If you have an appointment with a staff member, only bring others with you who are relevant to the meeting.

We encourage parents and students to email questions or concerns using the Herndon HS staff directory. Contact information is available at the following link  


9. Student Parking

Students who are interested in parking on school grounds for the 2nd semester of 2021, will have to register on the Google Form here. Once you have registered using the Google Form please review, print, and complete the attached parking application/forms (form 12, and 3). Bring your completed packet (with parent signatures), a copy of your driver’s license, to the cafeteria on the assigned days.

  • Seniors can pick up parking pass on Monday, 2/22 & Tuesday, 2/23 from 12n – 3pm at door 14 by the cafeteria.
  • Juniors can pick up parking passes on Thursday, 2/25 & Friday, 2/26 from 12n – 3pm at door 14 by the cafeteria.
  • Sophomores can pick up parking passes Monday, 3/1 from 12n – 3pm at door 14 by the cafeteria.

There is no fee for parking on school grounds during the 2nd semester of 2021. All vehicles must be registered and a parking permit must be displayed in your windshield at all times between the hours of 7:30am and 2:55pm while school is in session.

Reminder: Students may not park on campus without completing this process. We will continue to review our parking availability and add student parking when possible. 


10. Bus Transportation

  • Parents will receive information about bus schedules prior to start.
  • Seating capacity will be reduced to allow for social distancing.
  • Students are reminded to wear a face covering when riding the school bus.
  • Students will be required to sit in seats as marked on the school bus.
  • Bus stop information will be available at the school and in ParentVUE.
  • Here Comes the Bus app is available and provides school bus arrival information.
  • Social distancing requirements limit capacity on school buses.