Lifelong Education and Learning

Outcome Statement

Fairfax County is a place where all residents at every stage of life are taking advantage of inclusive, responsive and accessible learning opportunities that enable them to grow, prosper and thrive.



About the Sections

Each priority area includes the following:

  • Outcome Statement: The aspirational future state for Fairfax County.
  • Introduction/Summary: Context about the priority area.
  • Challenge Questions: Describe the problem/opportunity people are experiencing informed by evidence, data, subject expertise, outside perspectives and realities.
  • Indicators: Ways to measure progress, both for the community at large and for county government. They are clear, quantifiable and they help manage progress.
  • Metrics: Specific data points to track whether Fairfax County is making progress.
  • Strategies: Actions that need to be taken to address identified challenges that “move the needle” on indicators and metrics.


Fairfax County is the home of respected learning institutions, a prospering business community and a richly diverse population. In addition, many residents are highly educated, gainfully employed, and welcomed members of a thriving community. The goal of this priority area is to ensure lifelong learning opportunities and the achievement of educational goals are within the reach of all residents at every stage of life, regardless of age or location.

COVID-19 has highlighted some challenges within this priority area, as most learning opportunities shifted entirely online; many residents were not able to access the required technology when they needed it, and others did not have the necessary skills to adapt to distance-based options.

These strategies and metrics were crafted to address existing disparities, while also expanding programming at some of the most critical, important and formative learning stages in our residents’ lives. Fairfax County will lead in collaboration, growth and opportunity for all.



Fairfax County fosters world-class education that includes full support and alignment with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and its strategic plan. Many people choose to move to Fairfax County because of its outstanding public school system. FCPS serves more than 190,000 students and is a primary contributor to our vision of building an educated, skilled, compassionate and culturally competent community. The FCPS strategic plan lays out the specific goals, metrics and strategies that will lead to student success, and the School Board, staff and families of FCPS are working diligently to implement that plan. However, the school system has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic has exposed many challenges to children and families because of the lack of in-person instruction. Fairfax County Government will continue to seek and communicate opportunities to collaborate with our school system, enhancing ways to support their educational efforts while advancing strategic community objectives such as:

· Integrating the delivery of county services and school services to create a more accessible and seamless experience for students and their families

· Sharing data and information about the needs of students and families to ensure more proactive and effective services, as appropriate

· Coordinating and consolidating administrative functions to achieve efficiencies and improved service

· Convening conversations of elected officials, residents and other stakeholders to raise awareness around critical issues and to set a shared direction for how the community should respond to those issues

· Identifying more coordinated opportunities to better attract, develop and retain the collective workforce of more than 50,000 employees across the entire FCPS/county organization

Challenge Questions

1. How will we ensure that all children have access to quality early learning opportunities?

2. How will we adapt our approach to effective lifelong education and learning as our county experiences changing demographics and gaps in language/communication proficiencies?

3. How will we ensure that we equitably and effectively support all county residents seeking to acquire the career and technical skills that employers want?

4. How will we ensure that social and racial factors do not predetermine residents’ access to quality lifelong learning opportunities?

5. How will we more effectively engage partners (FCPS, technical schools, higher education and employers) to provide education to meet the demand of the market and provide opportunities for all county residents?

6. How will we keep up with and provide equitable access to new and innovative learning technologies (whether within schools, at home or in public learning arenas), including lessons learned during COVID-19?


1. Early Childhood Education

2. Academic Attainment

3. Career-Based Education Attainment

4. Participation in Learning Opportunities

5. Technology and Learning

6. Language Proficiency


Indicator: Early Childhood Education


• % of 0 to 5-year-olds enrolled in an early childhood development program

• % of children entering kindergarten who meet age-appropriate developmental expectations

• # of households using parent/family center services

• # of 0 to 5 year-olds participating in county-funded early childhood development programs

• % of children enrolled in FCPS and Head Start early-childhood development programs who attend at least 90% of scheduled days

• % of eligible children participating in county-provided early childhood development programs


Indicator: Academic Attainment


• % of students who are reading at grade level by third grade

• % of students passing eighth-grade Algebra I

• % of high school students who either pass a college-level exam or earn an industry certification before graduation

• % of students conversant in more than one language

• % of full-time high school and post-secondary students who graduate on time

• % of families indicating the support they receive from family leaders, parent liaisons and/or other county and FCPS staff is useful and high quality


Indicator: Career-Based Education Attainment


• % of high school students who believe there is a realistic path to pursue meaningful career opportunities

• # of students enrolled in and % who successfully complete county-coordinated career and technical education programs

• % of residents with some form of post-secondary degree/certification

• # of county-provided post-secondary programs designed for residents with special needs.

• % of students with special needs who are employed after high school


Indicator: Participation in Learning Opportunities


• % of residents who report they are aware of county-offered lifelong learning opportunities

• % of participants in county-offered lifelong learning programs who rated those programs as achieving their desired learning objective

• % of residents who are library cardholders and used it in the past year

• % of adult residents engaged in lifelong learning on a regular basis

• % of residents who report their county-provided training program was able to accommodate their special need(s)


Indicator: Technology and Learning


• # of households who do not have internet access at home

• % of residents who believe they have the technology and competency needed to be effective digital learners

• % of instructors in FCPS and other county-supported learning environments who feel they have the technology needed to deliver a quality learning experience


Indicator: Language Proficiency


• % of residents who report their English language proficiency is a barrier to success for themselves and their family

• % of residents whose primary language is other than English who report they felt included in and had access to learning opportunities

• # of adult participants in language-proficiency classes/programs offered through libraries and community partners

• % of adult participants of language-proficiency classes/programs offered through libraries and community partners who report their language proficiency improved


Expand Equitable Offerings of High-Quality Early Development Programs and Learning Experiences as well as Related School Readiness Supports

  • LEL 1. Leverage Fairfax County’s full complement of social service agencies, community nonprofits, faith groups, homeowners associations and business leaders to promote awareness of the positive impact that early childhood education has on the child, their family and community.
  • LEL 2. Create a plan and resource model to ensure access to high-quality early childhood education.
  • LEL 3. Ensure early childhood educators have access to effective professional learning and development informed by evidence and best practices.


Prepare All Residents to Become Digitally Savvy Learners

  • LEL 4. Expand and enhance the technology skills of learners of all ages.
  • LEL 5. Identify and eliminate barriers to digital access through partnerships with local businesses and digital service providers.
  • LEL 6. Expand the capacity for digitally enhanced and distance learning so that educators are successful in that environment.
  • LEL 7. Expand year-round literacy and science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs, with a focus on widening the interest and participation of underrepresented students.


Strengthen the Connection Between Our Schools and Our Community

  • LEL 8. Champion initiatives that encourage family engagement in educational activities within and beyond the classroom.
  • LEL 9. Engage with adults and the 50+ community to serve as volunteer mentors, educators and career coaches.
  • LEL 10. Increase and enhance lifelong learning opportunities for the 50+ community, especially programs with a technology focus.


Support the Success of a Diverse Student Population

  • LEL 11. Support recruitment and hiring pathways that are designed to bring instructor and teacher demographics more closely in alignment with student demographics.
  • LEL 12. Expand county/community partnerships, including family supports and interventions, to foster student (learner) social, emotional, behavioral and academic competencies.


Expand Opportunities for All County Residents to Acquire the Skills They Need to Succeed in a Modern Economy

  • LEL 13. Promote career and technical education and associated career paths — including apprenticeship and internship programs — across schools, postsecondary institutions and workforce development organizations.
  • LEL 14. Identify and address common barriers that prevent many residents from accessing career and technical education.
  • LEL 15. Increase the supply and improve the quality of career and technical education — including apprenticeship and internship programs — by expanding comprehensive public-private coalitions across schools, postsecondary institutions and workforce development organizations.


Strengthen Our Portfolio of Lifelong Learning Programs, Technology and Events that Support English Proficiency

  • LEL 16. Engage businesses, nonprofit service groups, faith-based organizations and social services agencies to expand the number of English-language learning opportunities.

strategic plan logo


Fairfax Virtual Assistant