April 24, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Last week we updated you on the failed roll out of FCPS's online distance learning and shared the Superintendent's plan to resolve the early problems with the Blackboard Learn 24-7 tool. Unfortunately those problems were not resolved this week and the Superintendent announced the decision to move away from the Blackboard Learn 24-7 system. Schools and teachers will continue with asynchronous learning while new plans are developed for teacher-led learning.

There will be an outside review of the distance learning roll out, with a report in several weeks to help guide future decisions, and an advisory council of private sector technology experts to offer guidance on distance learning challenges. You can read Superintendent Brabrand's message here .

I want to personally thank our amazing teachers, school based technology specialists, and support staff for their work during these challenging times. Throughout these difficult weeks, they've been figuring out innovative ways to get their students the materials and support they need to learn. We owe them a debt of gratitude in normal times, and even more so in these times.

To help you keep up with all of the Braddock District COVID-19 news and information, we've put together a new resource page. It includes past editions of our Braddock Beacon and Advisory emails, Governor Northam's Executive Orders, Food Resources, Human Services information, and more. Check it out here .

Finally, a public health reminder that I wish was not necessary. Yesterday President Trump suggested that injecting or ingesting bleach or other disinfectant might be a cure for the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Injecting or drinking bleach or other cleaning products will not cure the coronavirus and could cause serious illness or injury. This and other COVID-19 myths are addressed on Fairfax County's Myth and Rumor Control Page .

Continue reading for more information on:

  • Updates from Governor Northam
  • New Braddock COVID-19 Resource Page
  • FY 2020 Budget Public Hearings
  • Operation COVID Crackdown
  • Additional Metrorail Station Closures
  • #BuyBraddock Initiative to Support Local Restaurants
  • Upcoming Fairfax County Park Authority Meeting
  • Small Business Microloan Initiative
  • Staying Safe from Domestic Violence at Home
Yours in Service,
Supervisor James Walkinshaw
Updates from Governor Northam
Today, Governor Ralph Northam gave a presentation on Virginia's Blue Print for moving forward. Watch here.

Yesterday, April 23, Governor Ralph Northam shared his press release extending the current ban on elective surgeries by one week, until May 1, and the closure of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) public-facing offices by two weeks, until May 11. Virginia State Police are directed to continue suspending the enforcement of motor vehicle inspections and take several additional measures through July 31. Read the full press release here .
New Braddock COVID-19 Resource Page
We know keeping up with all of the developing information can be difficult. The Braddock District team has put together a COVID-19 resource webpage to help you stay informed. This website will be updated on a regular basis as new information becomes available. Click here to visit the website.
FY 2021 Budget Public Hearings
Public Hearings on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget will be held Tuesday, April 28 starting at 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 29 starting at 3 p.m., and Thursday, April 30 starting at 3 p.m.

The hearings will  be held electronically due to the state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. No in-person testimony will be heard. Click here to learn how to testify.

The virtual public hearings can be watched on Fairfax County Government Channel 16 and streamed via the  public website  or listened to by calling (703) 324-5300.
Operation COVID Crackdown
Fairfax County Police's Major Crimes and Organized Crimes and Intelligence Bureaus arrested 30 men earlier this month during Operation COVID Crackdown -- an online sting to identify and apprehend predators who use the internet to exploit children.

School closures and the implementation of distance learning have increased many children’s online presence and inadvertently placed them at higher risk of exploitation. Parents are urged to closely monitor their children’s online activities and use available security settings to prevent the use of age-inappropriate sites or platforms. Children should be encouraged to report any person engaging in inappropriate conversations or trying to coerce them into providing sexually explicit images of themselves. Additional internet safety information provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can be found  h ere .

Thank you to our law enforcement officers for their work to protect our community. Learn more here .
Metrorail Orange and Silver Lines Stations in Fairfax County to Close
The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority ( WMATA)   announced a new plan for construction activities for the summer of 2020  with a full closure of all Metrorail Orange and Silver Line stations in Fairfax County.

These adjustments to WMATA’s current construction efforts on the Silver Line and the up-coming platform reconstruction efforts on the Orange Line address the health and safety of WMATA’s workers operating the rail system and the contractors working on these two major capital projects. It also considers the low ridership on Metrorail related to the impacts of COVID-19 and the current Stay-at-Home Orders in place across the National Capital Region. Click here to learn more.
Our #BuyBraddock Campaign has officially launched! The first restaurant was Coyote Grill , which is just outside of Braddock in Fairfax City, but still a great option. Their Carne Asada meal is amazing!

Our second Buy Braddock choice was Giardino Italian Restaurant . With weekly specials for everyone to enjoy, this is a great local choice for all families. I enjoyed the Chicken Parm!

Follow me on Facebook , Twitter , or Instagram to find out our next Buy Braddock choice. Visit a local restaurant and use the #BuyBraddock hashtag. Lets enjoy great local food while supporting our small businesses!
Fairfax County Park Authority
Board Meeting
The Fairfax County Park Authority’s April 22, 2020, Board Meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 29, 2020. In light of current social distancing recommendations, the meeting will be held in virtual format accessible via live stream.

Click here to access the live stream feed. Live audio of the meeting may also be accessed via phone by dialing 855-925-2801 and entering  meeting code 8081 .

Meeting materials will be accessible through the above link or by visiting the  Park Authority’s Board and Committee Meetings website .
Small Business Microloan Initiative
Fairfax County has established a $2.5 million fund to support small businesses through micro loans and counseling. The Fairfax County Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund will provide eligible businesses up to $20,000 at 0% interest that can be used for critical operating expenses to offset some of the impacts of the shutdown. It will also assist businesses in identifying optimal federal or local programs where additional relief may be available.  Applications will be accepted starting April 28th.

Through an existing partnership with the County, the Community Business Partnership (CBP) will administer the program and target assistance to businesses that are not able to access federal support, due to immigration status or lack of an established banking relationship for example.The microloans will be available through the CBP to “for profit” businesses with one or more commercial locations in Fairfax County, including the principal place of business. Applicants must have fewer than 50 employees, been in business for 2+ years and possess a valid Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) to qualify. Loans can be used to cover working capital, equipment, rent, debt payments and other operating expenses.

In addition to helping businesses get back on (or stay on) their feet, Fairfax County’s goal is to get as many companies as possible educated on the funding options available to them. Click  here  for more information. 
Community Business Partnership is holding three Q&A Sessions on the Fairfax County Microloan and the Federal Cares Act. 

  • April 21 (Recording coming soon)
  • April 24 1:00-2:00 p.m. Register
  • April 27 2:00-3:00 p.m. (In Spanish and English) Register.
Staying Safe At Home
Sadly, home is not the safest place to be for some in our community.  Fairfax County Department of Family Services  has created this Staying Safe at Home guide to help anyone who fears for their well-being. If you're experiencing any form of domestic or sexual violence,  Make the Call  to our 24-hour Hotline at (703) 360-7273 or text/chat LOVEIS to 22522 for help.
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