Employee News - Tuesday, 5/4/21

Employee News 3 days 11 hours ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


May 3-7 is Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. We are so thankful for all the hard work our teachers do every day to make our schools a great place to learn and work! Please join us in celebrating FCPS' amazing, creative, and caring educators who inspire our students each day. 

View Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand’s message of appreciation in English and Spanish.


Return to School Update: Five in Fall 

We are looking forward to having our students and staff return for five days of in-person instruction this fall! Our safety measures against the spread of COVID-19 in our buildings have been working very well, and we are ready to have everyone back. Planning for the fall is ongoing, but expect an engaging and positive experience for everyone. Please keep in mind that virtual learning for the 2021-22 school year will be very limited and only available to students with medical or health-related needs. 

Stay tuned for more updates about five days for fall later this week.


Mask Up: Face masks are still required at all times, on all FCPS sites, indoors and outdoors.

On Thursday, April 29, Governor Ralph Northam amended Executive Order 72 to adopt new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on mask use in outdoor settings beginning on May 1. The CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks outdoors when alone or in small gatherings. Mask use is still required indoors and outdoors at large crowded events like concerts, sporting events, and graduation ceremonies. 

What does that mean for FCPS? The ease in the mask rule only applies to social gatherings. Sports (to include spectators of FCPS events) and entertainment (proms and other events) are not included.  Only athletes engaged in active play may remove their masks. Until further notice, FCPS’ Regulation 2109 still requires masks in facilities and on school property as FCPS has no way of knowing who is and who isn’t vaccinated. 


Summer Recovery Academy: Special Education COVID Recovery Services

Special education COVID recovery services may be considered for any student with a disability whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team or Section 504 Committee determines a significant educational impact due to the COVID-19 school closure and the virtual learning this school year. Recovery services are designed to address learning gaps and are determined by IEP Teams or 504 Committees.

Case managers are responsible for reaching out to parents about their recommendations for Recovery Services. Additionally, parents have been advised to contact their child’s IEP/504 case manager to further discuss and schedule a meeting if they think their child may require COVID recovery services. View additional information regarding FCPS’ Summer Recovery Academy

In The News: Outdoor Classrooms in the Washington Post

The April 29 issue of the Washington Post contained a story on the front page of the Metro section featuring the outdoor classroom at Centreville Elementary School. Read the story.

Read the original story by our new media relations team on the FCPS website. This post includes a full list of schools where outdoor classrooms have been piloted, set up, or are in motion.

The Employee Hub Launches May 5


What is the Employee Hub?

The Employee Hub is the new FCPS employee intranet site that will replace FCPSnet. Check your FCPS email tomorrow for your invitation to explore the Hub. 

What’s happening to FCPSnet? 

  • May 5 - No new content will be added to FCPSnet starting on this date.
  • June 30 - Last day FCPSnet is available to all employees.
  • July 1 - FCPSnet retires and is no longer accessible. 

See you at the Hub!

Be Thoughtful About Your Social Media Posts

FCPS staff members do an amazing job of using social media to showcase creativity, collaboration, and learning at its best. But sometimes, staff social media posts are not aligned with FCPS’ mission or values. Examples include using inappropriate language or being disrespectful to others.

As FCPS employees, we are all considered FCPS brand ambassadors. With that in mind, please review FCPS Social Media Guidance for Staff. Its three guiding principles are:

  1. Protect our students.
  2. Be professional.
  3. Use common sense.

Remembering these three tenets can help avoid situations that detract from our ability to effectively serve our students. Please contact the Office of Communication and Community Relations with questions at ccrsocial@fcps.edu.

Revised Fairfax County Budget Includes 2% Teacher and Staff Pay Raise

Over the past year, FCPS teachers and staff members have worked tirelessly to overcome the many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 6 the FY 2022 Approved Budget will be presented to the School Board, and on May 11 the School Board will hold public hearings on the budget. View the budget development calendar.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering an updated Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget that includes a 2% salary increase for FCPS employees, funded in part with dollars from the Commonwealth. More details about the updated FY 2022 budget are available here. Final adoption by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is scheduled for today at 1 p.m.

FCPS Seeks Input on Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Curriculum Policy

Fairfax County Public Schools is committed to educational equity in which every student thrives academically, socially, and emotionally. FCPS wants to empower students as the next generation of change leaders for a more just world. To achieve educational equity, FCPS is analyzing and addressing the beliefs and policies that inform what is taught in schools. As a school division, we are starting this process by revising the existing Controversial Issues Policy and developing a new Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Education Curriculum Policy.   

Families and staff will be asked to participate in a survey seeking input on what should be included in the Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Education Curriculum Policy. A survey will be sent to all families and staff this week and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. In addition, FCPS will conduct a series of focus groups to gather perspectives and input of all stakeholders. Learn more about the development of this curriculum.

2021-22 Employee Calendar Is Now Available: Note Upcoming Religious and Cultural Observances

The 2021-22 Employee Calendar is now available and can be accessed on the FCPS website. The 2021-22 Employee Calendar is aligned with the Student Calendar for School Year 2021-22.

FCPS is committed to honoring the religious and cultural diversity of our employees as demonstrated by allowing staff the time away from the workplace to observe those beliefs and practices. As part of the School Year 2021-22 Calendar development, 15 religious and cultural observances were identified. 

Of the 15 identified observances, the following fall within the 2020-21fourth quarter: Theravada New Year, April 27; Orthodox Good Friday, April 30; and Eid al Fitr, May 13. These are scheduled workdays and employees report unless otherwise noted. Regulation 4817 - Religious Accommodation for Employees provides options for employees wishing to observe religious/cultural observances. One significant update to the regulation allows employees to take leave for observances without an opportunity for their supervisor to deny based on operational needs.


Save the Date for the 2021 Summer Equity Symposium: It’s a New Day

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement’s Equity and Cultural Responsiveness team is pleased to announce the theme and dates for the 2021 FCPS Summer Equity Symposium. This year’s theme is It’s A New Day

  • June 23, 8:30 - 3:30 p.m., Division Leadership and Administrators
  • July 1, 8:30 - 3:30 p.m., Non-Administrator School and Central Office Staff

The Equity Symposium is designed for participants to break out of their comfort zone into growth, reflection, and continuous improvement when engaging in themes of identity, bias, power, and privilege as we seek a culture of inclusivity, equity, diversity, and acceptance. Keynote speakers and small group breakout sessions will be tailored to the specific audience with opportunities to engage in conversations to process and apply what was learned.

Registration and more information will be coming soon.


Last Chance to Nominate a Coworker for Excellence Awards: Nominations Close May 10
th

Don’t miss out on nominating a team or individual that is exceeding expectations supporting FCPS strategic plan initiatives. Nomination categories include: Growth, Impact on Others, Innovation and Student Achievement. Each winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and a certificate from Superintendent Brabrand, which will be presented at a ceremony this fall.   

Nominators, who must be current contracted FCPS employees, enter initial information about the individual or team they are recommending into an online portal and complete a nomination packet. The packet must be submitted electronically via the portal by Monday, May 10 at 4:30 p.m. Please visit the Excellence Awards webpage for details on award eligibility and the online nomination process.

Photo of the Week


Kings Glen ES Principal Sam Elson takes a pie in the face as the “payoff” for a schoolwide contest this year. The student who memorized the most numbers of Pi got to “pie” the principal. The 4th grader who earned Grand Champion rattled off 102 digits after the decimal. And, she recited it “live” just minutes before delivering the tasty pastry. Kings Glen live- streamed the event for all to watch and listen live.


Participate in
Wellness at Work Expo

To celebrate Mental Health Month in May, Employee Wellness is hosting a 5-day Wellness at Work Expo from May 3-7 with activities to help you reduce stress and improve your wellbeing. Activities include a fun virtual dance party, live yoga sessions, guided meditations, and more! Sign up to participate in the expo. After registering on this form you will receive a link to the Wellness at Work Expo website and daily emails from employee wellness May 3-7. Plus each activity you join in will count as a raffle entry towards a wellness prize. Questions? View the Wellness at Work Expo flyer to learn more or email HRWellness@fcps.edu 


Last Chance to Join Spring Into Motion

Spring Into Motion, the newest 4-week wellness challenge, has begun and the last day to register or form a team is Friday, May 7! Don’t miss out on the fun; join your colleagues in this exciting challenge designed to boost energy and improve your health as you enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle. In addition to the physical benefits, you can earn $25-50 Amazon gift cards for logging daily or earning a certain number of points. It’s a great time of year to get outside and Spring Into Motion! Register now. Questions? Visit the Spring Into Motion page or email HRWellness@fcps.edu. 

May Fitness Classes

The May fitness class schedule has been released! Relax with a yoga-based Stretch & Flow class or get your heart pumping with classes like Cardio Sculpt. Class recordings are available on the Employee Wellness Website. View the schedule and register here.

Increase Your Connections With Others: Register for this Wellness Webinar

Did you know that loneliness and social isolation have been steadily increasing and are now considered a health risk factor on par with cigarette smoking? Register now to gain a better understanding of the impact of loneliness on well-being and identify ways to increase connections with others. 

For additional information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Guidance Resources online, and use Web ID: FCPS, or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements of our Employee Wellness offerings.


OurFCPS Faces Profile - Jessica Csomay

Meet Jessica Csomay, 7th grade science teacher at Robinson SS.

What do you like most about your job? “I love interacting with my students the most and emphasizing being kind and making connections with each other. I also work with amazing colleagues at Robinson. The combination of students and my colleagues are why I really LOVE being at Robinson.”

What is your “why” for working for FCPS? “My ‘why’ for working for FCPS is connected to my ‘why’ for teaching. FCPS gives me the space to share my joy of biology and life science with students. I teach because I enjoy interacting and seeing students have those ah-ha moments. So many students start 7th grade hesitant about science or not-liking the subject. I strive for all of my students to at least be open to learning science. FCPS offers many resources for science that were not available to students in other districts I have taught in.” 

Who is your hero or role model? “WOW. This is a question I haven’t really thought of before. There are so many people that have left impressions on me that I would say are role models but I would be leaving so many out if I named just one. I would say that people that I strive to be like are those people that are kind and resilient while also being down to earth.”

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? “I am a mom to three amazing boys who all attend schools in FCPS. I enjoy being outside hiking, gardening, and biking. I also enjoy hanging out with friends and family.”

Enjoy Two New Short Highlight Videos

These videos (about two minutes long)  feature the historic John R. Lewis High School rededication held Friday, April 23. 

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Take Note of 11 Moments From Asian American History 

More than 30 years after President George H.W. Bush signed a law that designated every May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, much of Asian American history remains unknown to many Americans—including Asian Americans themselves. Read in TIME.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News - Tuesday, 4/27/21

Employee News 1 week 3 days ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Bus driver, Bonnie Napper, is all set for her morning route.
 


Rededication Ceremony of Lewis High School Honors Civil Rights Icon John R. Lewis

John R. Lewis High School in Springfield, Virginia, became the first high school in the nation to be named in honor of the late civil rights icon and congressman. 

Last Friday, FCPS held a rededication ceremony for John R. Lewis High School. During the event, attended by multiple dignitaries, elected officials, staff and students, the division and speakers reaffirmed FCPS’ commitment to equity and anti-racist principles. Dr. Brabrand said, “This is an historic day for our school division and our community. This is a moment when we can reflect on our past and look to our future while we continue our important work around equity and anti-racism.” 

The Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously to remove the former name last July.

View photos from the ceremony or read more about it.


Retirees–Submit Your HR-2 Retirement Form

Due to the current COVID safety protocols and limits on gatherings, FCPS is regretfully unable to host a central, in-person Retirement Ceremony in 2021. Retirees will be recognized on the FCPS website, and each retiree will receive an engraved retirement gift. Letters have been sent to those who have retired since April 2020 and those who have submitted their Notification of Resignation-Retirement form (HR-2) with a retirement date prior to December 31, 2021. If you received a letter, please go to the link provided to enter your information for the engraved gift. If you did not receive a letter, and you believe you should have, please email elboivin@fcps.edu

Learn to Teach in Nature; Get2Green Cohort for Teaching in Nature’s Classroom, May 17-August 30

Get2Green is hosting a cohort of FCPS teachers to participate in this free, nationwide Teaching in Nature's Classroom course. Limited garden grant support opportunities are available.

Teaching in Nature’s Classroom is an interactive, reflective course run by author Nathan Larson, as a companion to his book Teaching in Nature’s Classroom: Principles of Garden-Based Education. Learn best practices, collaborate with teachers across the country, and reflect on your own teaching practices in outdoor learning environments with this flexible, self-directed course to engage students in outdoor learning opportunities. 

Sign up for the FCPS cohort by May 14. Visit the Teaching in Nature's Classroom site to learn more, opt to receive graduate credit, and download your free copy of the book. Contact Donna Volkmann at dovolkmann@fcps.edu for more information.

Apply for Get2Green Scholarships: Chesapeake Bay Foundation Summer Courses

Get2Green is providing a limited number of full scholarships for K-12 FCPS educators to participate in two Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) summer courses: Northern Virginia: Fostering a Sense of Place with Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences from August 2-6. 

Each participant must complete this Google form in order for Get2Green to pay for registration. Please contact Donna Volkmann with questions at  dovolkmann@fcps.edu.


Congratulations to Our
March FCPS CARES of the Month Winners 
  • Central Office: Michael Ross – Gatehouse Administration Center.
  • Region 1: Julia Bargo – Madison HS.
  • Region 2: Jonathan Baker – Haycock ES.
  • Region 3: Sofie Khalid-Schieber – Woodley Hills ES.
  • Region 4: Jessica Csomay – Robinson SS.
  • Region 5: Marcy Fisher – Eagle View ES.

Read more about what makes them special. Recognize a colleague who goes above and beyond to help others and shows they care.

Are You the Victim of Fraudulent Unemployment Claims?

Unemployment insurance fraud has become a national issue that every state is struggling with, including Virginia.  Recently several FCPS employees have been impacted by fraudulent Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) claims. To date, the number of employees impacted is relatively small. We have no evidence that this is related to the September 2020 ransomware issue.

If you are contacted by someone from FCPS’ Office of Equity and Employee Relations regarding the possibility of a fraudulent VEC claim filed in your name, you will be directed to take the following steps:

  • FCPS will confirm with you if you have applied for VEC benefits within the last two years.
  • If not, submit a fraudulent claim/identity theft report directly to VEC.
  • Reach out to your local law enforcement agency to file a police report. Reports may be made directly to your school resource officer, if you work with one, made over the phone at 703-691-2131, or online at Financial Crimes Online Reporting (FiCOR) (fairfaxcounty.gov)

As an additional resource, the VEC recently announced that the US Department of Labor has launched a new website in English and in Spanish, to help individuals whose identities have been stolen and used fraudulently to file unemployment.

To contact VEC with specific claim questions, please call 1-866-832-2363 or check their website for additional contact information.

Register for Mental Health Awareness Webinar

Find ways to recognize the signs and symptoms of distress and support coworkers with effective strategies in this mental health awareness webinar. Register now for one of the upcoming sessions.

For additional information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Guidance Resources online, and use Web ID: FCPS, or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements of our Employee Wellness offerings.

Photo of the Week


Dominion Energy’s Solar for Students program gives students first-hand learning on capturing solar energy from a solar array. Centreville Elementary School is the first school in the county to receive a 1.2-kilowatt solar system that converts sunlight into electric power. Students will be able to track the generation of electric power by viewing their system's data online.

Update Your Calendar With Upcoming Religious and Cultural Observances and Employee Leave

FCPS is committed to honoring the religious and cultural diversity of our employees as demonstrated by allowing staff the time away from the workplace to observe those beliefs and practices. As part of the School Year 2021-22 Calendar development, 15 religious and cultural observances were identified. Of the 15 identified observances, the following fall within the fourth quarter: Theravada New Year, April 27, 2022; Orthodox Good Friday, April 30, 2022; and Eid al Fitr, May 13, 2022.

Additionally, a draft update to FCPS Regulation 4817-Religious Accommodations for Employees was proposed. As an interim measure, the updated Regulation 4817 will be in place for the balance of the 2020-21 school year. One significant update to the regulation allows employees to take leave for observances without an opportunity for their supervisor to deny based on operational needs.

Staff can subscribe to have the dates sync with their Google, Outlook, or other online calendar applications. To do so, go to the Subscribe to Calendars web page and select Religious and Cultural Observances.


Register Now for S
pring into Motion

It’s a great time of year to commit to your health by joining Spring into Motion! This four-week online wellness challenge is designed to help you boost energy and improve your health while enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle. View the two-minute preview video. In addition to creating healthy habits, win prizes for you and your school! Questions? Visit the Spring into Motion page (VPN required) or email HRWellness@fcps.edu 

June 8 Primary Election 

Tuesday, June 8, is the Democratic Primary Election. Because the Fairfax County Electoral Board and City of Fairfax Electoral Board will be using 165 school facilities as polling locations, June 8 will be a virtual synchronous learning day (no in-person classes) for students. Teachers may teach from their school building or from home.

Student Athletics Face Mask Updates

Face masks for all outside sports will no longer be required for athletes during times of physical exertion. This includes all Virginia High School League (VHSL) spring sports as well as fall sports that practice and play outdoors. Athletes must wear a mask during all other times when not engaged in physical exertion. This includes when on the sideline, going to and from practice, when huddled as a group during stoppage of play, or as stated, any time not actively engaged in physical exertion. Coaches and all others are always to wear a mask. All indoor sports and outdoor sports athletes coming indoors for practice will always be expected to wear a mask.  

VHSL’s specific guidance on masks currently is stated as: “participants should not be required to wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts or competitions, however, athletes, coaches, and officials should wear masks to the greatest extent possible”. 

Please be aware these standards are subject to change based on community and FCPS health conditions and will be reviewed on a regular basis. It is important to continue to take all appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

Stress Less with Wellness at Work Expo

May is Mental Health Month and FCPS Employee Wellness is celebrating with a Wellness at Work Expo! The daily activities are designed to help you reduce stress and improve your wellbeing. Activities include guided meditations, a seminar and demo about foods that boost mood, a fun virtual dance party, and more! Sign up to participate in the expo.

Questions? View the Wellness at Work Expo flyer to learn more or email HRWellness@fcps.edu

Access On-Demand Wellness Classes with Wellbeats

Wellbeats is your new on-demand fitness and wellbeing benefit to inspire healthy habits! The platform includes 800+ workouts, nutrition, cooking, and mindfulness classes for all ages, ability levels, and interests and is available to all benefit-eligible employees. Don’t forget to share a picture of your homepage with employee wellness on Twitter or Instagram @FCPSWellness or email your submission before April 30 to HRWellness@fcps.edu to enter a wellness raffle! Questions? Visit the Wellbeats page or email HRWellness@fcps.edu.

Employee Hub Launches on May 5

The new employee intranet site is almost here! On May 5, look for your invitation to log in to the Employee Hub!

A few reminders:

  • When logging into the Hub, you may be prompted for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) if you’re not already logged in through another application.
  • The FCPSnet will remain available through June 30 to give you time to adjust to the Employee Hub.
  • NEW content will only be added to the Hub (not FCPSnet) starting May 5.

See you in the Hub!


Our FCPS Faces Profile: Joe Morris

Although Joe Morris, carpenter at Edison Satellite Center, has only worked for FCPS for two years, he’s already making a big impact. Encouraged by his wife, Juli-Anne (who enjoys teaching at Annandale HS), he applied for the structural services division, and now he puts his carpentry skills to use at seven schools and Lorton Center.

Joe enjoys that his position entails a different job and location each day. As an FCPS carpenter, he repairs or replaces anything from doors, floors, siding, shingles, skirting, floor tiles, ceiling grids and tiles, carpet, drywall, masonry, roof and window leaks to outbuildings, press boxes, dugouts, benches, and even smart boards. Multiply that by seven and that’s a lot of work! 

Supervisor Kevin Gough agrees. “Joe is a hard worker and always willing to help out. We are glad to have him here with us at FCPS.” 

When Joe isn’t fixing leaks and solving structural problems, he enjoys music, golf, and fishing. And, Joe also shares that he’s #4 of 14 siblings!

Thank you, Joe, for hammering away at the project of the day for FCPS. 

Read more about Joe in a recent FCPS CARES.

Autism Awareness Month


Staff from the Due Process and Special Education office celebrated coworker, Cameron Hibschman, who recently passed away. Cameron was a specialist in the office with a big personality and supporter in FCPS special education. Coworkers wore shirts in his honor to celebrate Autism Awareness Month. Kindness and acceptance were extremely important to Cameron.

April Issue of the Audit Buzz Now Available

FCPS’ Office of Auditor General (OAG) publishes Audit Buzz to provide an update of the OAG’s work. In this issue of Audit Buzz, OAG summarizes the status of current engagements and information on Enterprise Risk Management in this month's Knowledge Hive. Read the latest issue of Audit Buzz! 

Celebrating Bilingual Learners Month: Check Out New Support Resources 

In April, we recognize FCPS’ bilingual/multilingual learners. Did you know that FCPS students speak 193 languages and come from 200 countries? The average number of languages at a school is 34; the highest at a single school is 73. Approximately 50% of all FCPS students (K-12) are enrolled in a World Language course.

To support teachers and schools, World Languages and ESOL services, in collaboration with many division stakeholders and educators, developed this Google site. Teachers and school staff will find ideas for classroom learning experiences across content areas and grade levels.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News - Tuesday, 4/20/21

Employee News 2 weeks 3 days ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Holmes MS ESOL Teacher, Rachel Looney, instructs a student in the library.


School Board Work Session Focuses on FCPS’ Five Days in the Fall

Tuesday’s School Board Return To School (RTS) work session will focus on plans to prepare for  five days of learning in fall to include: updating bell schedules and bus schedules, expanded outdoor learning and lunch room capacity, exploring COVID-19 screening and diagnostic testing pilots, developing master schedules for 5 days a week of in-person instruction, monitoring health and vaccine updates, reinstating School Age Child Care (SACC), discontinuing the use of classroom monitors, as well as an expectation that all employees will discontinue the majority of telework and will report buildings in person and discontinuing the COVID-Related Leaves of Absence (LOA).

We are looking forward to in-person instruction as the primary mode of learning for all FCPS students during the 2021-22 school year. Please note that virtual learning options will be limited, based on need and will be the exception. Twelve-month staff will be expected to return to work five days a week in person beginning on July 1.

Schools must continue to use the current mitigation strategies (masks, social distancing, hand-washing) to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Social distancing guidelines remain at 3 feet between students inside wearing masks and 6 feet between staff. Read more.

We will send you a more detailed update following the work session.


Spanish-Language Virtual Town Hall April 21

Join Superintendent Brabrand and two school officials for a virtual Spanish-Language Town Hall on Wednesday, April 21, 5-6 p.m. They will provide information on opportunities for four days of in-person instruction; summer learning plans, and vaccine updates. They will answer questions, too. The Town Hall will be streamed live on FCPS Facebook en Español. Please email your questions to ReturntoSchool@fcps.edu. You may also send a message on our Facebook page or leave it in the “Comment” section during the Town Hall. We hope you will join us!

Mask Up; Protect Yourself and Others

Please note that CDC Essential Elements of Safe K-12 School Operations for In-Person Learning indicates that staff must maintain 6 feet of distancing between adults (teachers and staff), and between adults and students, at all times in a school building. Several studies have found that transmission between staff is more common than transmission between students and staff, and among students, in schools.

The current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that even after teachers and staff are fully vaccinated, schools need to continue implementing layered prevention measures for the foreseeable future, including requiring masks in schools and physical distancing. 

Currently, all layered prevention strategies remain in place for all FCPS employees. Fully vaccinated employees are not exempt from this requirement. As stated in Regulation 2109 Face Coverings to Mitigate the Spread of Infectious Disease, every school employee is required to wear a face covering while on school property and whenever interacting with other persons on FCPS property. Additionally, face covering and physical distancing requirements are also referenced in the Employee Guide for Return to Work and the required Stop the Spread training for staff available in MyPDE.

FCPS Earns WELL Health-Safety Rating: Your Health Comes First

FCPS recently earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating for its schools and offices, which serves as proof of its commitment to good health for anyone entering its buildings. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy place to work. Based on operational policies, maintenance protocols and emergency plans, the rating gives 22 strategies to maintain health and safety indoors.  With this accomplishment, FCPS joins a community of organizations pushing the boundaries of what health and safety look like in a post-coronavirus environment. Read the news release.

Recognize Your Top Colleagues: Nominate an FCPS Individual or Team for Excellence Awards by May 10

Excellence Awards celebrate teams and individuals exceeding expectations in supporting FCPS strategic plan initiatives. Award categories include: Growth, Impact on Others, Innovation and Student Achievement. Each winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and a certificate from Superintendent Brabrand, which will be presented at a ceremony in the fall.   

Nominators must be current contracted FCPS employees. They must also enter initial information about the individual or team they are recommending into an online portal and complete a nomination packet. The deadline for submission is Monday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m. Please visit the Excellence Awards webpage for additional information.

Teaching Opportunities for Special Education Summer Recovery Academy Now Available

The Department of Special Services will hold the Summer Recovery Academy from June 21 through August 12, at various sites throughout the county, to meet special education and Section 504 obligations for recovery services. Special education teachers are needed to staff this program. Applicants will designate their weekly work availability and preferred work location during the application process. Teachers selected to work during Summer Recovery Academy will be compensated at their current per diem rate, up to $47.77 per hour, and could be asked to work up to 30 hours per week. Work schedules may vary depending on the needs of the program. Interested applicants must apply and submit their resumes via FCPS Google Apps.  The application deadline is Friday, May 14, at 5 p.m. For additional information, call Due Process and Eligibility at 571-423-4470. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Coaches Needed for Great Beginnings

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement (OPLFE) is seeking coaches for the Great Beginnings program for the 2021-22 school year. Great Beginnings coaches receive a stipend as well as recertification points for licensure renewal.

Please note that we are currently hiring for the following coach positions: PreK-6; ES General Music; 4-12 Band & Strings; FLES; HS English; MS Counseling; MS/HS Math; MS Science; MS Social Studies; Early Childhood SPED; Preschool Autism (PAC); Speech & Language Pathologist; ES SPED (High Incidence); SS SPED (High Incidence); Adapted Curriculum.

Interested candidates must submit both the Great Beginnings new coach application and a principal recommendation. Note that you may ask the administrator who has observed you the most and is best able to speak to your abilities to complete the recommendation. For qualifications and more information, please visit the Great Beginnings website. Applications due Friday, April 30.


FCPS Earns Best Communities for Music Education Award

"We use music to say things we could never say with words" by Andrea Bocelli. Feb. 7, 2018

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) has awarded FCPS the title of 2021 Best Communities for Music Education.  FCPS is one of several school districts that received the award nationwide. Read more.


Register Now for S
pring into Motion

It’s a great time of year to commit to your health by joining Spring into Motion! This four-week online wellness challenge is designed to help you boost energy and improve your health while enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle. View the two-minute preview video. In addition to creating healthy habits, win prizes for you and your school! Questions? Visit the Spring into Motion page (VPN required) or email HRWellness@fcps.edu 

Read Wellness News to Improve Your Well-Being

Learn more about new and upcoming wellness programming available to FCPS employees in the Employee Wellness newsletter: Wellness News! Read April’s newsletter to find out more about your on-demand wellness platform, the upcoming Wellness at Work Expo, and other topics! 

Three Ways to Get to Know the Employee Hub


The Employee Hub offers a better search engine and a personalized experience. The Hub is coming soon! Check out the following resources to help you prepare for launch:

  1. One-Page Overview on the Employee Hub (VPN required).
  2. Previous Communications (VPN required).
  3. FAQs (VPN required).

All NEW content will be posted solely on the Hub after it has launched. FCPSnet will remain active until June 30 for reference. Questions about the Employee Hub? Contact hub@fcps.edu.

Photo of the Week


James Bevard (transportation attendant) and Homa Bastaniallahabadi (bus driver) of Team 43, Area 4 Transportation, inspire and motivate each other throughout the day. James has earned four medals during the pandemic by participating in strenuous physical competitions. James often does burpees and push-ups in the bus lot, and Homa, encouraged by James’s enthusiasm, now walks on her midday breaks! (Photo: Nancy Bloomfield, Bus Driver, Stonecroft Transporation)


Goodbye Tension...Hello Pension

The staff at Educational Employees' Supplementary Retirement System (ERFC) would like to thank all FCPS employees for their perseverance and commitment to students and each other during this unprecedented school year. As ERFC staff enters its busiest season assisting members who have reached their career finish line, they encourage all members to understand the unique financial reward reaped in retirement because of dual pension contributions to ERFC and the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). 

If you haven’t viewed an ERFC plan specific webinar, please check out ERFC website to learn more about your ERFC plan, as well as an additional video provided by the FCPS HR benefits team to guide you through retirement health information. Don’t know what ERFC retirement plan you fall under? Just log in or register your convenient online ERFCDirect account and find the information you need. ERFCDirect is the place to go while you are an active employee member to update your beneficiaries and run your own benefit estimates.

For questions regarding your ERFC benefits or plan, call (703) 426-3900 M-F from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. or via email at: erfcoffice@fcps.edu


Our FCPS Faces Profile: Lauren Jones

Lauren Jones, technology support specialist (TSSPec) at Westfield HS, shares that her role model is her grandmother who taught her that nothing is too hard to do. With that mindset, Lauren tackles the technology needs of the staff and students including the thousands of devices (computers, printers, copiers, etc. ), network, hardware and software, at Westfield to keep the days running smoothly. She says, “During the pandemic I helped pivot [to] support students and staff virtually.” 

Lauren, a proud FCPS grad (Go Bulldogs!), has worked for FCPS since 2007 in various roles for the Department of Information Technology (IT) as a functional application specialist at the IT Service Desk and a TSSpec as well as coaching various sports.

She says her “why” for working for FCPS is simple. “[I] just want to help people with my skills and experiences.” 

Lauren values the relationships with staff and students and working in a school environment. “Every day is an adventure. […] It keeps things fun and enjoying what I do is important to me. I like the hands-on aspect of working with technology and the routine. I work with people that over the years have turned into friends so that’s a plus. I am a graduate of Westfield HS (2004) and it’s been unique and fun going from student to working there.”

Principal Tony DiBari says, “Lauren is an incredible staff member who truly does it all. She is always on the move not only within her TSSpec responsibilities, but is frequently seen taking on other roles as well. Whether it is specifically coaching or helping at other school events, Lauren can be found anywhere that staff and students need help. We are incredibly lucky to have her here at Westfield!”

When Lauren is not busy solving the technology challenge of the day, she enjoys coaching and attending after school activities. She shares, “I had a great time being involved as a student athlete for FCPS and still enjoy that experience as a coach and fan. I like to cook and be active and, if there is a palm tree, I will go. I like to visit the beach, go to sporting events, and attend as many concerts as possible.”

She also shared a goal of hers to watch a professional or collegiate sporting event in every state. Lauren says, “I’ve been to a few and have also seen some Rugby/Aussie Rules Football when I visited Australia.”

 Lauren, thank you for coming Back2Fairfax and sharing your expertise with FCPS!

Girl Scouts Provide Educators at Lanier MS with a Sweet Surprise

Tammara Hannah, principal at Lanier MS, was pleasantly surprised when Lauren Bauer, membership specialist, Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, notified her of an initiative with the local Girl Scout troop to have cookies donated for educators. Lauren dropped off 96 boxes of cookies for teachers. Through the Samoa Love for Teachers program, Girl Scouts in the greater Washington region sold 50,000 boxes of cookies that were specifically designated to be donated to their local school systems. It’s rumored that all FCPS schools will get this sweet surprise this spring! Learn more about the Somoa Love program

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News - Tuesday, 4/13/21

Employee News 3 weeks 3 days ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Lanier MS Assistant Building Supervisor, Yakelkis Ortega, gives a thumbs up for a crystal clean cafeteria.

Be Conscious of Supports Needed for Families With Religious or Cultural Observances During Spring Assessments

Standards of Learning (SOL) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams are scheduled throughout April, May, and June 2021. Even though schools try to avoid scheduling conflicts, a student’s exams may fall during a religious or cultural observance in some cases. FCPS welcomes and encourages the parents and guardians of students affected by this type of scheduling conflict to contact school staff. School staff will work with parents and guardians to make schedule adjustments or determine how best to address students’ needs.

View more about FCPS’ approach to supporting student assessments during religious and cultural observances.

FCPS Collaborates with Health Department to Raise Awareness of Vaccine Access

Starting April 18, all adults in Virginia will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. The CDC announced on Tuesday, April 6, that Virginia is receiving $77.1 million from the CDC to help remove accessibility barriers limiting vaccine access. FCPS will work closely with the Fairfax County Health Department to reduce disparities that, nearly four months into the vaccine rollout, indicate that white Virginians are being vaccinated at 4.7 times the rate of Black residents and eight times that of Latinos. Black and Latino Virginians in their 30s and 40s have a COVID death rate 6.3 and 10.9 times higher than white Virginians in the same age group when accounting for population. Visit the U.S. Health & Human Services website for more information or go to the Health Department’s site for specifics on how to get vaccinated.

April 20 Community Webinar on COVID-19 Vaccines

The FCPS Parent Resource Center will be hosting multilingual community webinars on COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccine process on Tuesday, April 20. Learn more and register for the webinar.

Recognizing FCPS Retirees 

Due to the current COVID safety protocols and limits on gatherings, FCPS is regretfully unable to host a central in-person Retirement Ceremony this year. Retirees will be recognized on the FCPS website, and each retiree will receive an engraved retirement gift and a commemorative program. Those planning to retire should submit their Notification of Resignation-Retirement form (HR-2) as soon as possible.

Letters have been sent to the homes of those who have retired since April 2020 and to those who have submitted their Notification of Resignation-Retirement form (HR-2) with a retirement date prior to December 31, 2021. If you received a letter, please go to the link provided to enter your information for the engraved gift. If you did not receive a letter and you believe you should have, please email elboivin@fcps.edu. 

Clint Mitchell Is Virginia's Recipient of 2021 NAESP National Distinguished Principal Award 

Congratulations to Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School principal Clint Mitchell, named the Virginia recipient of the NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals) National Distinguished Principal Award for 2021. The announcement was made on April 8 by the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals.


Save the Date for the 2021 Summer Equity Symposium: It’s a New Day

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement’s Equity and Cultural Responsiveness team is pleased to announce the theme and dates for the 2021 FCPS Summer Equity Symposium. This year’s theme is It’s A New Day

The Equity Symposium is designed for participants to break out of their comfort zone into growth, reflection, and continuous improvement when engaging in themes of identity, bias, power, and privilege as we seek a culture of inclusivity, equity, diversity, and acceptance. Keynote speakers and small group breakout sessions will be tailored to the specific audience with opportunities to engage in conversations to process and apply what was learned.

  • June 23 8:30 - 3:30 p.m. Division Leadership and Administrators
  • July 1     8:30 - 3:30 p.m. Non-Administrator School and Central Office Staff

Registration and more information will be coming soon.

Photo of the Week


Nia Manoleras, Centreville ES, gets her students moving to celebrate Mathematics Awareness Month in their outdoor learning tent.

Applications Open for Foundation for FCPS 2021-22 Teacher Grants

The Foundation for FCPS invites teachers, counselors, and other school personnel to apply for its annual grant program for projects to be completed in the 2021-2022 school year. The Foundation will provide up to $1,500 for classroom initiatives that respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and new needs that have arisen in classrooms. Grants should focus on one of three areas: continuity of learning, building or recovery of math and literacy skills, or social-emotional learning. Detailed grant guidelines and a link to the application can be found on the Foundation’s website.  

The application period is March 22 through April 23, and funding will be provided in August for the 2021-22 school year. Please contact the Foundation office with questions at foundation@fcps.edu or 571-423-1031.

FCPS Receives Post-Pandemic Funding: Federal CARES ACT, ESSER, and CRF Updates

Curious about post pandemic funding? Detailed information will be provided at the May 4, 2021 School Board budget work session. April CARES ESSER CRF Updates

Get Ready for the Hub!


The Employee Hub, your new intranet site, is launching later this month. Check out a one-page overview on the Employee Hub (VPN Required) to learn more about how to navigate the site and its new features.  

Celebrate Excellence: Nominations Now Open for FCPS Excellence Awards and Due by May 10

Do you have a colleague who consistently goes above and beyond? The Excellence Awards celebrate teams and individuals who exceed expectations in supporting the initiatives of the FCPS strategic plan. Award categories include: Growth, Impact on Others, Innovation, and Student Achievement. Each winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and a certificate from Dr. Brabrand, which will be presented at a ceremony in the fall.   

Nominators must be current contracted FCPS employees; enter initial information about the individual or team they are recommending into an online portal; and complete a nomination packet. The packet must be submitted electronically via the portal by Monday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m. Please visit the Excellence Awards webpage for additional details.



New Wellness Challenge: Spring into Motion

Mark your calendar! Registration opens for the spring wellness challenge, Spring Into Motion, on April 19th! Spring Into Motion is a 4-week online challenge beginning May 3rd where participants will earn points and discover spring activities by logging their physical activity. View the 2-minute preview video. In addition to creating healthy habits, participants will have the chance to win prizes for themselves and their school! The first 75 employees to register will receive a $25 Amazon gift card! Questions? Visit the Spring Into Motion page or email HRWellness@fcps.edu

Equity Profile/ Dashboard Updates

We are pleased to share that our Equity profile/dashboard has been updated to reflect data from the 2019-2020 school year in relationship to our strategic plan. As a reminder, this dashboard was part of our work with the Fairfax County Government and our collaborative One Fairfax Policy. There was a desire to maintain a level of transparency in our efforts towards our goals in particular around access and opportunity.  Each section of the dashboard is updated by the respective goal champion. Additionally, given the uniqueness of the 2019-2020 school year due to the pandemic, some data sets took additional time to get complete. Schools, central office, and our community may access this information for data dialogue and in support of culturally responsive decision making. Access the Equity Profile.

April Fitness Classes

There is still time to sign up for a free live fitness class in April! Relax with a yoga-based Stretch & Flow class or get your heart pumping with classes like Cardio Sculpt. Class recordings are available on the Employee Wellness Website.  View the schedule and register.

Wellbeats: Access On-Demand Wellness Classes

Wellbeats is your new on-demand fitness and wellbeing benefit, the platform includes 800+ workouts, nutrition, cooking, and mindfulness classes for all ages, ability levels, and interests. Watch this 15-minute demo to learn more about all that Wellbeats has to offer! Don’t forget to share a picture of your homepage with employee wellness on Twitter or Instagram @FCPSWellness or email your submission before April 30th to HRWellness@fcps.edu to enter into a wellness raffle.

Questions? Visit the Wellbeats page or email HRWellness@fcps.edu


Our FCPS Faces Profile: Stephanie Duffield

Stephanie Duffield, language arts advanced academics teacher at Haycock ES, explains that she was a shy elementary-aged student and unsure of herself. She says “It took me a long time to grow into myself, to develop confidence and my voice, and to find what I was passionate about. Now, as a teacher, I hope to inspire students to find things they are passionate about, to help build their confidence, and to encourage them to find their voice.”

One of Stephanie’s favorite parts of her job is seeing her students grow throughout the year, not just academically, but socially, creatively, and also with their public speaking and tech skills. She explains, “They are growing into themselves, and I enjoy seeing how they grow, and the many different sides to them.”

She also loves hearing about the things they are passionate about (piano, swim, soccer, space, etc.). Stephanie says, “When they talk about these things, they smile, because they are so passionate, and it is pretty inspiring to watch/hear! It also brings what they love into the classroom. Not only are they able to connect with their peers, but I learn more about them, and can incorporate more of what they enjoy into our learning.”

Principal Liz Beatty values Stephanie’s contributions to the Haycock ES community. She explains, “Stephanie Duffield prioritizes building positive relationships with students always, but especially this year.  She checks in with her students frequently to see how they are doing, not just academically, but also in terms of their emotional and social well-being.  She has even been checking in and monitoring how her students from last year are doing.  During this very challenging year, Stephanie Duffield has continued to make a positive difference for her students. The time and effort she takes to let students know how much she cares and that she is there for them has been instrumental in helping our students manage and cope with the many things that have made this year difficult for them.”   

One thing she’d like to share with her students: “I hope my students know that I care about them, that I think about each of them, and that I hear them. I want them to know that even when things get hard, or they make a mistake, that they can be honest and tell me and that I will meet them with the same grace that they give me when I make a mistake.”

This kindness and caring nature are backed by parents in the Haycock ES community. One parent wrote in a recent FCPS CARES, "At the beginning of this year, I requested a conference to let Ms. Duffield, my daughter's language arts teacher to let her know that my daughter had a very rough year last year and had been bullied in the class. [...] On top of all this, she was struggling with the digital learning format and all the COVID upheaval. Ms. Duffield was exceedingly kind and promised to keep an eye on her [...]. I have been surprised and delighted to observe over the course of the year that Ms. Duffield has not only been true to her word but that she has really gone above and beyond the call of duty in checking in with my daughter and making her feel like she has a caring adult looking out for her at school.” 

Stephanie, you are a shining example of the FCPS commitment to “engage, inspire, and thrive!” Thank you for your service.

 


April Is School Library Month

With the help of our fantastic school librarians, FCPS students checked out more than 4.2 million books this school year, and accessed 534,102 ebooks and online audiobooks! School librarians keep equity at the center by working with every student and connecting with teachers to build information literacy skills, spark students’ curiosity through inquiry, and provide resources that support students’ academic and personal growth. 

Our librarians went beyond the call of duty this year, stepping in to ensure families had access to books even as school buildings were closed. They provided curbside checkout services, and many librarians partnered with transportation and food services employees to pull, package, and even deliver books to mobile sites and students’ homes. In addition, the online informational resources provided centrally by the library program are essential to virtual and in-person learning and have over 10.5 million searches this school year to date! FCPS librarians provide a safe space where every student belongs. April is a great time to share your appreciation of all that school librarians contribute to the school community!

2021 ERFC Election Notification

The Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) Board is the governing body of ERFC and supports ERFC’s mission to enhance the financial security of members through prudent financial stewardship. An electronic election to fill one trustee position on the Board of Trustees will be held May 18-20.

For interested active members who seek to be candidates, Notice 4771 outlines the election process and requires: 1) nomination petitions and 2) a candidate statement of contribution.  

Electronic petitions and candidate statements must be received by the Office of Equity and Employee Relations, via email to Skburris@fcps.edu by April 23. If you have questions, please contact Sherri Burris at 571-423-3252 or Skburris@fcps.edu.

Subscribe to Religious and Cultural Observances Calendar 

The Fairfax County School Board approved the 2021-22 school year calendar that is designed to recognize, respect, and honor the plurality of religious and cultural observances in Fairfax County. SY 2021-22 Calendar.

The school year calendar includes 15 religious and cultural observance dates that are recognized by FCPS.

FCPS staff can subscribe to have the dates sync with an employee’s Outlook calendar. Subscribe to Calendars and select Religious and Cultural Observances.

English Learner Supports for Summer 2021

FCPS staff understand that due to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, our 36,000 English learners (ELs) should be provided with additional academic content and English language development support this summer. We will be offering a variety of programs to meet the needs of this diverse student population. In short, we will provide additional programming to every English learner who would like to participate this summer. Look for upcoming staff opportunities in job opportunities.

Arab American Heritage Month: New Resources  

In April, people all over the United States celebrate Arab American Heritage Month. Students deserve meaningful, sustained opportunities to learn about the diverse perspectives, experiences, and Arab American contributions. To support teachers and school divisions to that end, FCPS Social Studies, in collaboration with a group of community stakeholders and educators across subject areas, developed a new Google site: Planning for Arab American Heritage Month.  Teachers and school leaders will find ideas for classroom learning experiences across content areas and grade levels, as well as details on upcoming virtual events.  Resources will continually be added to this site. 

In addition, FCPS Social Studies will host a virtual information session on Wednesday,

April 14 from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. to support teachers and schools planning for Arab American Heritage Month. The BBCU link will be posted on the Google site. The session will also be recorded and posted to the Google site for educators who are not able to attend.

FCPS In The News: A Student-Athlete Success Story

We love to see great news about FCPS’ amazing student athletes! Congratulations to WJLA's Athlete of the Week, South Lakes' Brianna Scott. Briana is heading to Georgetown University to study law in the fall. Read more about Briana!


ICYMI - Employee Wellness Webinar Recordings

With busy schedules, some of our employees may have wanted to attend live sessions of our wellness offerings and were not able to do so. In support of employee wellness, our team has recordings of many webinars, seminars, and fitness classes for you to enjoy at your leisure.

Take some time for your wellbeing and enjoy the most recent webinar and fitness class below:

Visit the Virtual Wellness Resources page to view all available recordings.

For additional information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Guidance Resources online, and use Web ID: FCPS, or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements of our Employee Wellness offerings.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News - Tuesday, 4/6/21

Employee News 1 month ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


McNair Elementary School kindergarten teacher Grace An is excited to have students back in the classroom!

RTS Update: FCPS Is Expanding to Four Days of In-Person Learning

The updated CDC guidance from March 12 provides us the opportunity to expand in-person instruction throughout the month of April at many of our schools and centers. 

Please be aware, though, that these expanded opportunities will be based on community transmission rates as well as each school’s available space and staffing levels. They will not look the same in every school.

Beginning this month, we will offer four days of in-person instruction to students who are experiencing the greatest learning challenges, as identified by school personnel using FCPS’ Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). 

Starting the week of April 20, FCPS will then offer four days of in-person instruction to PreK-12 students already attending two-days in-person, if space and staffing allow. 

It is important to remember that this change in guidance from 6’ to 3’ is with respect to student-to-student ratios, not staff-to-student or staff-to-staff ratios. Additionally, students will remain 6’ apart during lunch when masks are removed. The CDC guidance requires all students to wear face coverings for the 3’ guidance to be in effect. Read Superintendent Brabrand's letter to the community

 


Photo of the Week

Ramandip Singh, art teacher at South County MS and 2009 graduate of Lee HS, was commissioned to paint the mural at Lewis HS. Lewis will be hosting a renaming ceremony on April 23, at 4:30 p.m.

Two New Staff Development Trainings

To ensure equity is at the heart of everything we do in FCPS, there are now two new training sessions assigned in MyPDE.

  • Supporting Gender Expansive and Transgender Youth is assigned to all school-based staff and additional employees who support students in various capacities.
  • Title IX Reporting Obligations for All K-12 Employees will be assigned to all FCPS employees.

Both serve as a continuation of our learning around Cultural Proficiency Module VII and will need to be completed by June 1.

The new trainings will provide participants with:

  • An understanding of Regulation 2603 and the key components necessary to implement the regulation in schools.
  • The ability to recognize that identities are fluid, and our identities intersect, influencing one another to create unique experiences.
  • How to use identified pronouns and a student’s chosen name.
  • The ability to understand the steps to take when a transgender or gender-expansive student reports they have been bullied or harassed.
  • Information about appropriate facility use.

You can find both of these modules on the Assigned Trainings page in MyPDE. To learn how to access Assigned Trainings, view this short video

Want to find out more about Regulation 2603 and why this training is now required? OCCR created Talking Points for the School Board on this topic, which you can also view here.

Derek Chauvin Trial Statement

FCPS has issued a statement on the Derek Chauvin trial, which began on March 29. The former Minneapolis police officer is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. We will continue to listen and learn in order to ensure that equity is at the center of all we do. View the statement.


Benefits of the New Employee Hub Launching This Month!


The new Employee Hub, a state-of-the-art intranet site, is scheduled to launch this month. Here are some of its features:

  • No VPN–Log in to the Hub from anywhere without VPN. (You will need VPN for some of the tools and links within the Hub, e.g., UConnect.)
  • Powerful Search Engine–Search the Hub and also the FCPS public website (www. fcps.edu).
  • Personalization–Customize the homepage with what matters to you. 
  • Gateway to Applications–View online applications in one place.
  • Accessibility–Enjoy the Hub’s ease-of-use no matter your ability or disability.
  • Modern–Access the Hub on your computer, tablet, and smartphone. 

Visit the Hub page on FCPSnet to learn more (VPN required). You can also watch this video for more information. 

FCPS Is Moving to Zoom

Effective July 1, FCPS will be transitioning from Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) to the Zoom video conferencing platform, which will give staff, students, and the community the opportunity to participate virtually in meetings and events. Zoom will provide users the ability to:  

  • View an entire classroom of students on one screen.
  • Integrate with other learning platforms (Schoology, MyPDE) and live streaming platforms for large broadcasts.
  • Modify and blur backgrounds for added privacy while participating in virtual events.
  • Overlay multi-language live interpretation for virtual town halls and display captioning options.

Training for all staff will be completed prior to the start of next school year. Stay tuned for more information to come.


Go Plogging to Celebrate Earth Week!

Join the fun and be a good steward of the Earth–go plogging! Plogging is picking up litter while jogging (or walking). Celebrate sustainability this April with Employee Wellness during Earth Week, April 19-24, by taking time to take care of yourself and your community. Share a picture of yourself plogging for the chance to win an eco-friendly gift basket. View the flyer to learn more and access more sustainability resources. (VPN required.) Questions? Email HRwellness@fcps.edu

Nominations Now Open for FCPS Excellence Awards; Due by May 10

Do you have a colleague who consistently goes above and beyond? The Excellence Awards celebrate teams and individuals who exceed expectations in supporting the initiatives of the FCPS strategic plan. Award categories include: Growth, Impact on Others, Innovation, and Student Achievement. Each winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and a certificate from Dr. Brabrand, which will be presented at a ceremony in the fall.   

Nominators must be current contracted FCPS employees; enter initial information about the individual or team they are recommending into an online portal; and complete a nomination packet. The packet must be submitted electronically via the portal by Monday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m. Please visit the Excellence Awards webpage for additional details.


Wellbeats: Your Newest Wellness Benefit Is Now Live

Stay fit with a new employee benefit called Wellbeats, an on-demand fitness and well-being benefit to inspire you to stay healthy and feel better than ever! The Wellbeats platform includes more than 800 workouts and nutrition, cooking, and mindfulness classes for all ages, ability levels, and interests. The platform is available to all benefit-eligible FCPS employees. All eligible employees received a “welcome” email from Wellbeats (support@wellbeats.com) on Monday, April 5. This email includes important login information to access the platform. Watch a short two-minute overview!

If you have already created your account, share a picture of your homepage with Employee Wellness on Twitter or Instagram @FCPSWellness, or email your submission before April 30 to HRWellness@fcps.edu to enter a wellness raffle! Questions? Visit the Wellbeats page or email HRWellness@fcps.edu

April 12 Webinar Helps Staff Manage Emotions in the Workplace

We all experience emotions at work including frustration, worry, and (at times) anger. Learn how to remain calm and avoid impulsive acts during stressful times at work with a webinar on April 12, at 4:30 p.m. Registration is available online.

For additional information, visit Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Guidance Resources, online; use Web ID: FCPS. Or, call the EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for the EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements.


Our FCPS Faces Profile: Matt Shipley

Matt Shipley is a career-switcher who came to FCPS after walking into his child’s school to get his laptop fixed during COVID. He had worked in the federal government for 26 years and served 20 years in the Navy when he found himself in the principal’s office at Franklin Middle School. Now he is a business and information technology teacher at Franklin who does his best to adhere to three fundamental principles: integrity, respect, accountability. By using these traits, he hopes he is an effective communicator, a positive role model, and helps others to meet their potential.

Last fall, Matt was at Franklin MS checking out a replacement laptop for his child, he mentioned to someone in administration that he was in the process of submitting an application to the VIrginia Department of Education to obtain a teaching license. 

A few months later, he received a call from Franklin MS assistant principal Robert Gibbs, asking if he was still interested in becoming a teacher. Matt interviewed with Principal Dustin Wright and began teaching at Franklin in January. Matt currently teaches students a variety of computer skills including Computer Solutions, website coding, and one class of computer game development, using JavaScript at an online educational portal. He hopes these skills will serve students well while at FCPS and beyond.

What does he like most about his job? Matt says, “I can help fill a need for education during the challenging times our students are facing right now. Remote learning has been incredibly difficult on the children of our nation, and I felt a strong desire to do some small part to help. As an FCPS parent for almost two decades…it has been truly eye-opening to be on the teaching side…The job is incredibly challenging and the responsibilities are substantial. I have certainly learned a lot about the students, the teaching process, the administrator requirements, and not least, about myself over the past two months. I think that would be the most enjoyable aspect of this job–that I get to keep learning new skills, meet new people, understand new concepts, tackle new challenges, and solve new problems–every day.”

Principal Wright says, “We are thrilled that Mr. Shipley joined our school family this spring. His positive attitude, determination, and focus on relationships has allowed him to make an immediate impact with his students. When you enter his classroom, you can immediately tell that it is a student-centered environment where everyone matters. Franklin MS and FCPS are fortunate to have an educator like Matt Shipley join our ranks.”

As a Navy officer, Matt says he was fortunate to spend a lot of time with young men and women, mentoring them and helping them advance their careers. “It was one of the most satisfying aspects of the job,” he says, adding, “I saw a natural connection between that and teaching young students in the classroom. Thus far, it has truly been an incredibly fulfilling experience and I have enjoyed every moment.” 

When he is not teaching or mentoring, Matt enjoys reading, cooking, coaching, and watching lots of kids’ sports.

Thank you, Matt, for sharing your wealth of knowledge and your commitment to the students of FCPS!

April Is Month of the Military Child; Purple Up Day Is April 21

Military-connected youth face unique circumstances living the military lifestyle. By understanding the lifestyle of military-connected youth we can better meet their needs as they transition with their family members who serve our nation. Currently over 14,000 military-connected youth call FCPS home. Each year, our nation designates April as the Month of the Military Child to recognize and thank children from military families for the sacrifices they make living the military lifestyle. April 21 is Purple Up! day. All are encouraged to wear purple in recognition of the strength and sacrifices of military-connected youth.


Tune in to FCPS’ New Multilingual Podcast Series! 

In case you missed it, FCPS recently launched multilingual podcasts for families in Arabic, Korean, and Spanish. These podcasts provide timely and important information related to school news. Listen to the most recent podcast featuring Dr. Brabrand, who shares a message of hope, appreciation, and readiness.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 3/23/21

Employee News 1 month 2 weeks ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

McNair ES staff welcomes the final group of students returning to in-person learning. FCPS has returned over 109,000 students and staff to schools and offices, which represents the largest return in the area! See what 109,000 means!

Return to School Update 

Video: From Classroom Monitors to Aspiring Teachers  

Meet three of our classroom monitors from Lanier MS, Woodson HS and Fairhill ES who are studying education, or now have plans to become a teacher. We are excited they've had the opportunity to experience to support and work with students as they prepare for their career. Watch the video.

New Encouraging Three-Feet Guidance Opens Possibilities of More In-Person Learning - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced updated guidance on social distancing for schools, adjusting six feet of social distancing to three feet to the greatest extent possible. FCPS will be reviewing this new guidance over the coming  week and will provide an update on what this means for students and schools. Read Dr. Brabrand's letter to the community.

Additional In-Person Learning Opportunities - Our attendance data shows that some students who registered to return to school in person have not done so. This has left some empty seats in some schools and classrooms. FCPS is working to fill these seats to maximize in-person learning opportunities. 

Updates, including summer programs and opportunities, will be posted online and shared as we continue to develop, plan, and support our students, families and FCPS community.

Grading Policy Changes - In response to family feedback and student check-in results, FCPS will be seeking to lessen the stress and anxiety posed for some students who have been challenged by the virtual learning environment during the past (and ongoing) pandemic year. FCPS will provide three additional grading changes to support middle and high school students. More information on the grading policy changes is available online

Calendar - The FCPS School Board Approved the 2021-22 Calendar that is designed to recognize, respect, and honor the plurality of religious and cultural observances in Fairfax County. The calendar recognizes 15 religious and cultural observances in the school year as well as decouples Good Friday from Spring Break. This will ensure students will not have to make choices between honoring their religious or cultural observance, or taking a test this coming school year, and is designed to minimize disruption to instruction. In addition, two updated regulations reflect that tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, and FCPS-scheduled athletic events cannot be scheduled on any of the 15 religious and cultural observances.

For staff, the calendar mitigates any financial impact to employees who are not paid on holidays and ends the school year in the first half of June, so 10- and 11-month employees can pursue summer employment opportunities earlier. View the press release.

The Employee Hub Launches in April!


View the teaser video to see what’s in store for you!

2020 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Claims Deadline Is March 31

Mark your calendars. If you participated in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for 2020, the deadline to submit claims for all 2020 FSA expenses is Wednesday, March 31. File claims through the Optum Bank account. Visit the Benefits News and Updates webpage for details on filing a claim.

February FCPS CARES of the Month

Congratulations to the February FCPS CARES of the Month!

Central Office: Central: Nishi Langhorne (Willow Oaks) and Lindsey Fisher (Langley HS)

Region 1: Deana Dueno – Terraset ES

Region 2: Stephanie Duffield – Haycock ES

Region 3: Juliane Wines – Springfield Estates ES

Region 4: Claudia Dieguez – Lake Braddock SS

Region 5: Isaac Bumgardner, Tina Tagliavia, Terri Towle – Westfield HS

Find out what makes them special. Nominate a deserving employee.

Our Commitment to Keeping Equity at the Center 

In keeping with our commitment to ensure equity is at the center of FCPS and, as a continuation of our learning around Cultural Proficiency Module VII, two trainings will be assigned in MyPDE on March 31 with the due date of June 1. Supporting Gender Expansive and Transgender Youth will be assigned to all school-based personnel and additional staff who support students in various capacities, and Title IX Reporting Obligations for All K-12 Employees will be assigned to all FCPS employees. A MyPDE notification will be sent to staff on April 1. Both trainings can be found on the Assigned Trainings page in MyPDE. To learn how to access Assigned Trainings, view this short video

Thank you for your commitment to create an inclusive climate that affirms the identities and voices of traditionally marginalized students, so every student feels a strong sense of belonging in our schools.

2021 Retirement Recognition Reminder

Due to the current COVID safety protocols and limits on gatherings, FCPS is regretfully unable to host a central in-person Retirement Ceremony in 2021. Retirees will be recognized on the FCPS website, and each retiree will receive an engraved retirement gift and a commemorative program. Those planning to retire should submit their Notification of Resignation-Retirement form (HR-2) as soon as possible.

Letters have been sent to the homes of those who have retired since April  2020, and to those who have submitted their Notification of Resignation-Retirement form (HR-2) with a retirement date prior to December 31, 2021. If you received a letter, please go to the link provided to enter your information for the engraved gift and program. If you did not receive a letter and you believe you should have, please email elboivin@fcps.edu. 

Photo of the Week


The FCPS Science Fair team is ready for the big event, which was held last weekend. Congratulations to all participants and the winners! View the award recipients.

Applications Open for Foundation for FCPS 2021-2022 Teacher Grants

The Foundation for FCPS invites teachers, counselors, and other school personnel to apply for its annual grant program for projects to be completed in the 2021-2022 school year. The Foundation will provide up to $1,500 for classroom initiatives that respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and new needs that have arisen in classrooms. Grants should focus on one of three areas: continuity of learning, building or recovery of math and literacy skills, or social-emotional learning. Detailed grant guidelines and application can be found on the Foundation’s website.  

The application period is March 22 through April 23, and funding will be provided in August for the 2021-22 school year. Please contact the Foundation office with questions at foundation@fcps.edu or 571-423-1031.

2021 First-Class Awards – Nominations Open (All Levels)

First-Class Awards are presented each year at the FCPS Annual Special Education Conference to individuals who support, design, and/or implement inclusion activities that result in positive outcomes for students. The Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) is seeking nominations for the First-Class Awards. This is a great opportunity for the community to recognize and celebrate the inclusion efforts of educators, administrators, and students who demonstrate inclusion of students with disabilities in all facets of education. 

Please complete this form to learn more and nominate an administrator, a staff member, or a student who has made an exceptional contribution to inclusive practices in Fairfax County Public Schools. Nominations close April 5.

Special Education Summer Clinic Opportunity

The Department of Special Services (DSS) will hold Summer Clinic from June 21 through August 6, at Hayfield SS and Lake Braddock SS, in order to meet special education timelines regarding child find, eligibility, reevaluation, Section 504, and Individualized Education Programs (IEP). General education and special education teachers are needed to staff this program. Applicants will designate their weekly work availability during the application process. Teachers selected to work during Summer Clinic will be compensated at their current per diem rate, up to $47.77 per hour, and could be asked to work up to 30 hours per week. Work schedules may vary depending on the needs of the program.

Applicants interested in employment through Summer Clinic must apply and submit their resumes via FCPS Google Apps.

The application deadline is Friday, April 2, at 5 p.m. For additional information, call Due Process and Eligibility at 571-423-4470. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

OurFCPS Faces - Kelly Rankin


Kelly Rankin, substance abuse prevention specialist (SAPS), believes it’s never too late to change a behavior or start something new. She exclaims, “Take that leap of faith!”

She began working for Fairfax County Public Schools on Halloween 2018 transitioning from a substance abuse treatment center where she worked for eight years prior.

Kelly shares that while working the front lines of addiction in a treatment center, she watched the opioid epidemic destroy families.  In September 2018, Kelly received a text from a good friend and colleague that her 22-year-old brother had just died of an overdose. It happened to be the same time she was contemplating working for FCPS. She says, “So I took that leap of faith and have no regrets. Families need to understand that these young ’20-somethings’ [who] are dying of an overdose didn’t start off as an opiate addict; the behavior started in high school.”  

As a SAPS, she is responsible for substance abuse prevention to include providing education to students and parents about addiction, meeting with students who were caught vaping, drinking and providing education, presenting at community events and PTSA events. She also attends training to stay up to date on current trends, and researching data related to current trends.

What does Kelly like most about her job? She says when a student or parent lets her know they’ve learned something new. She adds, “Some students think they are ‘in trouble’ when I meet with them. Once they know I am not ‘discipline’ they ease up.”

Supervisor Stefan Mascoll says, “Kelly was one of the first hired [SAPS] in Fairfax County Schools. Her knowledge of substance use and abuse and how to prevent and address its negative impacts on young people’s health, relationships, and academic progress is very impressive. It’s easy to see that her approach to this work remains centered around partnering with students, parents, administrators, and school clinical teams for the purpose of doing what is best for students through education, prevention, and intervention strategies. FCPS is truly fortunate to have her on the team.”

With virtual learning, Kelly has found that she’s been able to access larger groups of people. She explains, “When presenting at PTSA meetings or community events, I get a larger turnout.  I miss the interaction with the students. Returning to school may not be the “normal” everyone is looking for, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

When Kelly is not busy with students for families, she enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren. She says, “At the beginning of Covid, I started to FaceTime my 5-year-old grandson at bedtime. This has turned into a nightly one-hour call. His imagination has no limits.” She also shares that she’s from a large family; she has five sisters and two brothers.

Thank you for taking the leap of faith and joining the FCPS family, Kelly!

Calm Under Pressure: How to Deal with a Difficult Person 

At one time or another, we have all dealt with a difficult person. Whether they are hard to communicate with, acting defensive, or just handling a situation inappropriately, interactions with difficult people can affect our confidence, mood, and focus. Learning to recognize and cope with common difficult behaviors in ourselves and others can help make difficult encounters much more manageable. Improve your ability to communicate with others with this webinar.

April 5 at 4:30 p.m.

For additional information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Guidance Resources online, and use Web ID: FCPS, or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements of our Employee Wellness offerings.

National Athletic Training Month

March is National Athletic Training Month and  this year’s theme “Essential to Health Care,” represents the important role and increased responsibilities certified athletic trainers employed by Fairfax County Public Schools play in keeping our students safe. FCPS employs 50 Certified athletic trainers to provide comprehensive athletic healthcare services for high school student-athletes.   

Nationally certified and state licensed medical professionals, FCPS athletic trainers dedicate themselves to promoting the health and safety of our student-athletes before, during and after practices and competitions.  While the last year has forced athletic trainers to adapt to a changing environment, FCPS athletic trainers remain committed to providing the full complement of athletic healthcare services. In fact, even with the interruptions to the spring athletic season, over 8,700 students received care from an FCPS athletic trainer during the 2019-20 school year, accounting for 67,000 visits to our 25 athletic training facilities.

OAG Auditor General Buzz Newsletter Now Available 

FCPS’ Office of Auditor General (OAG) publishes Audit Buzz to provide information about OAG’s role, the service they provide, and the work they do. In this issue of Audit Buzz, OAG summarizes the status of current engagements and highlights a survey that was sent to FCPS instructional staff and parents of students with disabilities. Stay up to date with OAG’s current and planned work by reading the latest issue of Audit Buzz.

Employee News on Spring Break Next Week

Employee News will be on Spring Break next week. See you April 6!

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 3/16/21

Employee News 1 month 3 weeks ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Returning Strong!

Staff at Westfield HS could not wait to welcome back their students. By the end of this week, FCPS will have welcomed back 109,000 students and staff to in-person learning using our “safe, steady, ready approach.”

Return to School Update & Five Days in Fall Announcement

Five in Fall: FCPS is planning for a strong five day in-person start to the 2021-22 school year and is currently weighing all options to find ways to keep health and safety at the forefront while ensuring all students get the access to in-person learning they want and need in the fall.

Playgrounds Now Open Again: FCPS is now permitting the use of playground equipment during recess. Just be sure to follow the guidance.

2021 AP/IB Testing Information: The College Board and International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization announced changes to this year’s exams. Information is now available online about 2021 AP and IB testing in FCPS.

Tomorrow, look out for Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand’s additional update on return to school changes announced in today’s work session. 

Video: Back to School Smiles at Greenbriar East ES 

FCPS is returning strong! Watch for those smiles under the face-coverings Greenbriar East ES welcomed first and second graders back to in-person instruction.

All Your Need-to-Know Information in One Place! New Employee Website Coming Soon


The Employee Hub, offering a better search engine, easier navigation, and a personalized experience for staff information and content, is launching in April. FCPSnet will still be available until June 30, though, giving you time to transition. A launch day video will give staff a tour of the site and highlight the features. Visit the Hub page on FCPSnet to learn more (VPN required).

Feedback Wanted on 2021-22 School Year Calendars

The FCPS calendar will be among the topics discussed at the upcoming School Board meeting on Thursday, March 18. Information about the calendars will be posted on BoardDocs prior to the meeting. Make sure you share your feedback.

Healthy Minds Podcast: Purposeful Conversations

In recognition of National Social Work Week, Sharita Crawford, a social worker in Region 3, joined last week’s Healthy Minds podcast. Sharita shares a day in the life of a social worker and discusses the importance of purposeful conversations, as we continue to process our thoughts around the pandemic.

En Pocas Palabras Podcast

Dr. Brabrand, FCPS Division Superintendent, offers a message of hope and expresses how proud he is of the students, staff, and families. He discusses how FCPS is Safe, Steady and Ready for students to either return to classrooms or continue virtual learning at home. He thanks families and gives information on school safety strategies which are detailed in a FCPS Family Guide booklet. Dr. Brabrand also talks about the importance of students’ social-emotional well-being.

This podcast is also available Korean in Arabic.

Congratulations to Our New and Renewed National Board Certified Teachers

Congratulations to the 11 teachers who recently achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification, and the 11 who renewed their certification in 2020. View their accomplishments.

FCPS 2021 Retirement Recognition 

Due to the current COVID safety protocols and limits on gatherings, FCPS is regretfully unable to host a central in-person Retirement Ceremony in 2021. Retirees will be recognized on the FCPS website, and each retiree will receive an engraved retirement gift and a commemorative program. Those planning to retire should submit their Notification of Resignation-Retirement form (HR-2) as soon as possible.

Letters have been sent to the homes of those who have retired since April  2020, and to those who have submitted their Notification of Resignation-Retirement form (HR-2) with a retirement date prior to December 31, 2021. If you received a letter, please go to the link provided to enter your information for the engraved gift and program. If you did not receive a letter and you believe you should have, please email elboivin@fcps.edu. 

Photo of the Week


Teri Hampton, an assistant principal at Lake Braddock SS, greets the Bruins Class of ‘21 with celebratory balloons. Read the tweet.

Concurrent Instruction Professional Development

Dr. Catlin Tucker, bestselling author and expert in blended learning, will facilitate optional webinars for FCPS teachers on April 8. During the webinars, teachers will hear about concrete strategies to address common challenges faced in the concurrent classroom and practical application of blended learning strategies. A learning guide for before, during, and after the webinar can be found at April 8 Learning Guide 

The webinar will be streamed via Google Meet Live, and the link will be sent prior to the event. Registration is in MyPDE using the link below:

Concurrent Teaching with Dr. Catlin Tucker

To learn more about Dr. Tucker, visit her website. General questions about the webinar can be sent to MyPDE_PDInfo@fcps.edu.

Spring Break Travel Guidance

Spring break is just around the corner (March 29 to April 2), and we hope you take time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. If you make plans to travel, please consider the following information:

  • The Virginia Department of Health urges all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel, especially if you are at higher risk of serious COVID-19 or if you will be visiting someone at higher risk of serious COVID-19. This recommendation applies to everyone, even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have fully recovered from COVID-19.
  • FCPS does not currently have travel restrictions. Students are not required to quarantine or provide COVID-19 test results for either domestic or international travel. Parents may opt to keep their students at home for 14 days after they return from travel. 
  • Upon returning, any student, staff or visitor demonstrating symptoms of illness is asked to stay home to help “Stop the Spread” of COVID-19. 

Updates and more information are available online.

2021 ERFC Election Notification

The Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) Board is the governing body of ERFC and supports ERFC’s mission to enhance the financial security of members through prudent financial stewardship. An electronic election to fill one position on the Board of Trustees will be held May 18-20.

For active members who wish to be candidates, Notice 4771 outlines the election process and requires: 1) Nomination petitions and 2) a candidate statement of contribution.  

Electronic petitions and candidate statements must be received by the Office of Equity and Employee Relations, via email to Skburris@fcps.edu by April 23. If you have questions, please contact Sherri Burris at 571-423-3252 or Skburris@fcps.edu.

OurFCPS Faces - Stephen Matthie


Stephen Matthie, itinerant orchestra teacher and director at Rocky Run MS, tries to live his life according to his purpose and cherishes the relationships he builds. Stephen has taught at FCPS for 16 years, including time at Carson MS, Robinson SS, and Greenbriar West ES. 

Stephen, a proud FCPS alum of Brookfield ES, Rocky Run MS, and Chantilly HS, says he always wanted to come back to FCPS and give back to a school system that gave him so much. 

He admits that he’s never bored at work. “I have a passion for mentoring and building relationships with kids. So, the fact that I have a job that gives me the opportunity to build relationships and mentor kids every day is awesome. I also love middle school. I think it’s the most fun and interesting age to teach. You never have a dull day.”

Stephen reveals that one thing people may not know about him is that he is an immigrant, having moved from Jamaica to the United States when he was five years old. He says, “It’s important for my students, especially my immigrant students, to be aware of this. Immigrating to this country can be really hard on the families and takes a while to get a foothold. I love to be an example to all fellow immigrants that you can find your passion, purpose, and dream job if you keep working hard and focus on achieving your goals.”

Principal Amy Goodloe says, “Stephen Matthie builds a classroom community where all students - in-person and online, feel that they are seen and belong. His music room is magical.”

He thought he had things all figured out by his 16th year of teaching as far as planning, structures, and the routines he likes and thought, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Then along came COVID!

He says, “Well…with virtual learning I had to throw all that out the window and start fresh. Orchestra has certainly looked very different this year. I have had to be really creative and think outside the box. However, because of that, I don’t think I will just go back to doing exactly what I did before. I have expanded my view of what is possible and important. I’ve also started a few new traditions that I would like to keep going in future.”

When he’s not instructing students virtually or in-person, Stephen enjoys teaching private violin lessons, playing violin in various orchestras and a string quartet, watching movies, and playing tennis.

Thank you, Stephen, for being a role model and sharing your musical talents with FCPS students!

Search and You Will Find

Did you know that the FCPS website search tool is the most efficient method for finding information on the FCPS website? The tool is available in the top left of every page of the website (look for the magnifying glass next to the translation tool) and in the center of the home page. Some recent refinements include a spell check (if there are no results) and the ability to filter content by type and date. Remember to use double quotes when searching for a phrase like “community relations.” Try the search tool.

Fresh Air Ventilation

As staff and students return to FCPS school buildings, you might be wondering about air circulation in schools. Rest assured that FCPS not only uses mechanical ventilation systems to provide classrooms with outside air, but fresh air is provided at an appropriate rate, and the air is filtered and conditioned before it enters the space. 

This practice is in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus that advises windows be opened in the absence of outside mechanical ventilation.

FCPS meets the industry recommended standards for outside air ventilation in classrooms and offices. Our schools are designed to ventilate fresh outside air and mitigate the buildup of odors and pollutants. Get more information.

There’s Still Time to Get Veg-ucated 

Learn about various nutritional topics and effective application strategies to eat healthier and feel better! Participate in an upcoming event:

  • March 18, 5-6 p.m., Quick and Healthy Meals on a Working Schedule Seminar 
  • March 25, 5-6 p.m., Live Chef Demo (Hummus Veggie Wrap and Baked Oatmeal)

View the flyer for more details (VPN required). Register for the seminars and live chef demo.

Did you miss the Power in Plants Seminar and/or the Live Chef Demo (Mason Jar Salad and Energy Bites)? Or, maybe you won’t be able to make the remaining live sessions? Don’t worry! Access the recorded sessions at your convenience.

Fairfax County Government Strategic Plan Survey

Help shape the future of Fairfax County and your community by giving feedback to the Fairfax County Government on the proposed Countywide Strategic Plan. Give your feedback online.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 3/9/21

Employee News 1 month 4 weeks ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

As part of #womenshistorymonth, these Lorton Station ES staff members celebrated three strong women for Read Across America week. (Photo: courtesy of Christine Berry)

Health and Safety Guidance: Response to a COVID Positive Case at a School

Based on recent additional collaboration with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD), FCPS is making some adjustments to our COVID notification process for school-based incidents.

While the notification process will be generally the same as the one that was used in the fall, the FCHD will now determine which students and/or staff have potentially been exposed and need to return to a virtual setting until contact tracing is completed. Any students and/or staff directed by local health officials to quarantine will be asked to adhere to FCHD guidance.

As we have been welcoming new groups of students back to in-person instruction, we want to remind staff to review the five key mitigation strategies and the importance of following them every day to help keep everyone safe inside our school buildings. Get more information on the response to a COVID positive case at a school.

New Employee Website Launching Soon


The Department of Information Technology (IT) is excited to announce the April launch of a new employee website, the Employee Hub. The Employee Hub is a state-of-the-art website and a central place for staff to easily access the information needed to get work done and stay updated on what’s happening throughout FCPS. Watch this one-minute Hub intro video.

Students Relocating Within Virginia and Contiguous States May Remain Enrolled in FCPS

The Fairfax County School Board has voted to support an exception to Policy 2202, Section III. I. that allows families who are permanently relocating within Virginia or to states contiguous with Virginia to request their child remain enrolled in their current Fairfax County public school (either virtually or in-person) for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, effective immediately.

The temporary exception, which does not change the policy long-term, is to support students and families who may be relocating during the COVID-19 emergency for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

Central Office Staff Volunteering as Classroom Monitors 

Thanks to 88 Central Office volunteers for helping to bring our students back to in-person learning this month!  Curious about a day in the life of a classroom monitor? Watch this short video to meet Central Office employee Manuel Portillo and learn more. If you are interested in volunteering to support our schools as a temporary classroom monitor, please fill out this form.

2020 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Claims Deadline is March 31

Mark your calendars. If you participated in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for 2020, the deadline to submit claims for all 2020 FSA expenses is Wednesday, March 31. File claims through the Optum Bank account. Visit the Benefits News and Updates webpage for details on filing a claim.

Recognizing FCPS Social Workers During SSW Week, March 7-13


This year’s National Association of Social Workers theme is “Social Workers are Essential.” School social workers are master's degree professionals who are trained to examine and address life’s challenges in a holistic way. FCPS social work staff have expertise in many areas including mental health, human development and behavior, trauma, and family systems. They increase student and family engagement by fostering positive relationships and creating hope and opportunity for youth and families in need. School social workers' support of students and families is particularly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also facilitate skill building and strengthen support systems to help students cope, problem solve, overcome barriers, and access resources to support distance learning and the return to school buildings. Thank you to all of our school social workers.

Newsletter Feedback: We Hear You

The results are in! Thank you to everyone who took time to provide feedback. We heard you, and we will incorporate your suggestions with the following actions: Employee News will primarily focus on need-to know news and professional development. Starting on Tuesday, March 23, Employee News will begin distribution on Tuesday morning.

Keep sharing your ideas and suggestions by emailing us at employeenews@fcps.edu.

Photo of the Week


Annandale HS Principal Shawn DeRose is interviewed by NBC4 about students' return to in-person learning.

Women’s History Month Instruction Resources Available

March is Women’s History Month. FCPS staff seize this moment as an opportunity to honor and highlight meaningful contributions of brave, courageous, and diverse women and girls throughout history. FCPS Social Studies, in collaboration with a group of FCPS educators across subject areas, offices, and teams have developed a new Google site: Planning for Women’s History Month. This website brings together resources and guidance to support teachers and schools planning for Women's History Month.  Staff will find ideas for classroom learning experiences across content areas and grade levels, as well as details on upcoming virtual events. 

Teacher Grant Applications for 2021-22 Open March 22

The Foundation for FCPS invites teachers, counselors, and other school personnel to apply for its annual grant program for projects to be completed in the 2021-22 school year. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the grant priorities have been modified this year. The Foundation will provide up to $1,500 for classroom initiatives that focus on one of three areas: Continuity of learning, building or recovery of math and literacy skills, or social-emotional learning. Find grant guidelines and a link to the application.  

The application period will be March 22 through April 23, and funding will be provided in August for the 2021-22 school year. Please contact the Foundation office with questions at foundation@fcps.edu or 571-423-1031.

Apply for Summer Curriculum Development Starting March 15

The Summer Curriculum Development projects website from the Instructional Services Department and the Department of Special Services will be available on Monday, March 15. Projects will begin in the latter part of June and vary in length.  Interested teachers are encouraged to apply online by April 2.  Please email questions to SCD@fcps.edu. Summer Curriculum Development projects are contingent upon approval of the FY 2022 Advertised Budget.

OurFCPS Faces - Tara Hewan

Tara Hewan, educational specialist for the Equity and Culturally Responsiveness (ECR) team in the FCPS Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement (OPLFE), says this position is more than a career choice; it’s part of her identity. She explains, “My family and I are members of our local NAACP and I serve on the Loudoun County Public Schools Equity Ad Hoc Committee, and the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC). I’m committed to serving my community and increasing equitable and culturally responsive practices in FCPS and beyond.” 

Starting her career with FCPS almost 20 years ago as a teacher at Crossfield ES, she left after a few years, and returned to begin her work in ECR. 

Tara explains her role as developing, organizing, and delivering equity and culturally responsive professional development and coaching support across FCPS and particularly in Region 1. 

She stresses, “Our support ensures the implementation of equitable and culturally responsive practices for teaching and learning across our system, we also serve as a resource to our region leaders, and departmental staff.”

Tara enjoys the energy of being a part of the ECR Team community. She says, “This group of committed leaders serves our division with a spirit of excellence while working to collectively build equity literacy to those we serve.”

Tara believes that while the pandemic has shed a light on the inequities that exist within our systems, it’s important to fix the systems that cause the inequities rather than exerting energy on “fixing” students and families.  She elaborates, “This is important because focusing on the policies and practices that cause inequities in our system will also help us to center the voices and the humanity of Black, Indigenous,  people of color, and other communities who have been marginalized by systems of oppression.”

Supervisor Nina Thomas shares, “What's special about Tara is how her strong depth of knowledge is interwoven with grace, consciousness and humility which invites us into the work and into her realm of thinking. She authentically navigates the complexities of supporting leaders and teachers to understand what is necessary and true to support our system in making sure our students and families to thrive no matter the circumstances. She comes from a place of reality and reflection that makes the folks working with her want even more.”  

Tara says, “I have the privilege of being a parent. My daughter is 20 and my son is 6, and he just entered the public school system this year. So, this work is extremely personal to me. What I want for my son is what I want for all students; an equitable, identity affirming and culturally responsive learning experience.”

Thank you, Tara, for your dedicated service to ensure equity in education for all FCPS students.

Boost Mental Fitness for Optimal Brain Power

Interested in optimizing your brain power? Engaging regularly in physical exercise, addressing mental health issues, meditation, and learning a new language or musical instrument, are proven ways to support “new wiring” and can make existing pathways in our brain stronger. Essentially, we can slow down or somewhat prevent cognitive decline by doing challenging mental exercises to keep our brains fit for optimal power. To learn more, register with the date and time below: 

For additional information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Guidance Resources online, and use Web ID: FCPS, or call the EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements of our Employee Wellness offerings.

Wellness On-Demand Platform Kicks Off April 5

Employee Wellness is launching a new, innovative wellbeing platform called Wellbeats on Monday, April 5. Wellbeats is an easy-to-use, on-demand fitness and wellbeing benefit that can help FCPS staff feel better and improve overall wellness. The platform has over 700 classes ranging from 1 to 60 minutes including yoga, HIIT, strength training, cycling, running/walking, mindfulness, office breaks, and nutrition. More information will be shared very soon.

Tips to Help Decompress and Practice Self-Care

Self-care makes a difference in personal well-being. The FCPS Employee Wellness Team is providing weekly well-being resources and this newsletter will highlight them each week. Some helpful tips include:

EAP also offers free and confidential resources for employees to manage work-life balance.  Here is a two-minute video explaining the vast array of services available to FCPS employees.  

School Board Ready to Sign Contracts for Solar Program

The Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously to move forward with a solar program that will allow FCPS to purchase renewable energy with little or no upfront or operational costs. The Fairfax County Public Schools program will install solar panels on school buildings with the goal of reducing FCPS’ greenhouse gas emissions and electricity costs.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 3/2/21

Employee News 2 months ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Hutchison ES administration and staff jump for joy to welcome back students! 

March Is Equity in Education Month; FCPS Team Works to Eliminate Gaps in Opportunity and Achievement for All Students

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)—in conjunction with the Virginia School Boards Association—observes March as Equity in Education Month, a division-wide opportunity to deepen our commitment to creating a climate and curriculum where all students receive the resources they need to reach their fullest potential.  

As part of the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement, the Equity and Cultural Responsiveness (ECR) team designs professional learning and provides customized support to schools and leaders. Get more information about Equity in Education Month.

FCPS Statement Regarding Asian American and Pacific Islander Harassment

FCPS is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for people of all races, national origins, and ethnicities. Please read FCPS’ response regarding Asian and Pacific Islander harassment.

Vaccine Information Update

All FCPS teachers and staff who received a first dose from Inova Health System, in partnership with the Fairfax County Health Department, should have already received information on how to schedule a second dose with Inova. If you received a first dose at Inova but have not heard back about a second dose, please log in to Inova’s MyChart portal to schedule an appointment. Appointments are required and are subject to vaccine availability. Inova verifies all FCPS teachers and staff. Questions? Call 1-855-694-6682.

ICYMI: FCPS Featured on National Sunday News Show

Holmes MS staff and Superintendent Brabrand discussed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 6-foot social distancing limitations on in-person learning on CNN. Watch the interview.

Region 5/Westfield HS Principal Announcement

Congratulations to Westfield HS’ new principal, Antonio “Tony” DiBari, who has served as assistant principal at Lake Braddock Secondary School since 2016. Read more about Principal DiBari.

Remember to Take the Employee News Poll!

If you haven't done so already, please help us better serve your needs with Employee News. We’d like to know when you’d like to receive your issue and what content you’d like to see. Take the Employee News Poll.

IRS Form 1095 Coming Soon

FCPS employees and retirees who were enrolled in FCPS health plan coverage (or who were eligible for coverage but did not enroll) will receive IRS Form 1095-C in the next several days. Much like Form W-2 and Form 1099, Form 1095 provides information regarding your health insurance eligibility and enrollment. Learn more about IRS Form 1095.

Update on the 2021-2022 School Year Calendar

Draft calendars for the 2021-22 school year were developed with a focus on instruction and learning time for students. The Fairfax County School Board will introduce the calendars as new business at its March 4 meeting, and plans to take action on the 2021-22 School Year Calendar at its regular meeting on March 18.  

After School Board action, the employee calendar will be developed and shared with employees when available.View the draft calendars.

RequestIT info

The Department of Information Technology (IT) Support Team launched an upgraded version of RequestIT yesterday. Other IT support tools such as the IT Service Catalog and the Incident Management System have also been refreshed. This modernized Service Catalog Portal includes intuitive navigation for entering and tracking requests as well as a new chat capability for providing rapid user support. This allows the IT Service Desk to expand its service from emails, tickets, and phone calls to live chat for faster incident response and resolution. Access RequestIT as you did before by using the RequestIT shortcut on your desktop or from the link on the FCPS intranet. Bookmark it now (VPN required). 

Save the Date: FCPS Virtual Special Education Conference Set for April 17

FCPS will hold its 16th annual Special Education Conference virtually on Saturday, April 17. Registration will begin later this month. A student strand will be held for youth ages 14-22. FCPS educators, administrators, and pre-service teachers can earn recertification points for attending the conference. Exhibit Hall and Inclusive Schools resources will be shared. Visit the Special Education Conference webpage for more information.

Photo of the Week


Sandburg MS Librarian Dominique Price shows off art at the Sandburg Library celebrating Black History Month. (Photo: Sandburg MS)

2021-23 FCPS/George Mason University Educational Leadership Cohort

The FCPS/George Mason University Educational Leadership Cohort for 2021-23 begins this summer. If you are interested in joining, please register for a virtual information session on March 10 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Register now. The Zoom link will be sent one week prior to the session.

Instructional Employees’ Voluntary Transfer Window Is Open

Current teachers, librarians, school counselors, and classroom instructional support staff (instructional assistants, public health training assistants, and public health attendants) interested in transferring to another school for the 2021-22 school year may do so during the FCPS Voluntary Transfer Window. Instructional staff interested in transferring to another school or work location should apply to the FCPS Instructional Candidate Transfer Gateway to express interest in interviewing for instructional vacancies at other Fairfax County public schools. All instructional staff are permitted one voluntary transfer during  the FCPS  instructional employees’ Voluntary Transfer Window which will be open through Friday, June 25. 

More information is available via FCPS Instructional Employees' Voluntary Transfer Window (VPN required).

Teacher Voices: Learning for Teachers, by Teachers

Interested in learning more about how teachers are navigating concurrent learning? Do you have tips to share with your colleagues? Join us for this unique series amplifying teacher voices and sharing stories on concurrent instruction. FCPS teachers are invited to come together as a professional learning network to share ideas and problem solve.  Each series of opportunities will be scheduled based on the Return to School calendar (sign up accordingly). The first kickoff is Wednesday, March 10, with subsequent groups’ kickoffs each Wednesday. Registration is available in MyPDE

Special Education Survey 

Beginning March 1, instructional staff in FCPS will be invited to participate in an independent, third-party survey on the special education services provided to students with disabilities. A survey link will be sent to staff via email and will remain open through March 15.

OurFCPS Faces - Jeremy Doxer


Jeremy Doxer, coordinator for transportation services, loves the people, the kids, and the action in FCPS! With thirteen years of experience in the FCPS Office of Transportation, he claims there is never a dull moment.

Jeremy explains, “We start at 5:00 a.m., and we don’t stop after the office closes. We are a family, and we really take care of each other. […] I look forward to seeing our team reunited as our students begin to safely phase back into the classrooms.”

Jeremy is responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of all students in the southern end of the county. His team handles vehicle and route assignments, after-hours emergencies, compliance with special education laws, and ensuring employees have met state requirements. During the pandemic, his team has taken on meal distribution and supply delivery for schools and students.

Supervisor Sherry Dyson says, “Jeremy is a highly motivated, passionate, and enthusiastic individual. Jeremy started his career as an activity/athletic driver while attending George Mason University. [He] set his sights on becoming a teacher; however, he enjoyed pupil transportation so much that he decided to pursue his transportation career. […] His drivers admire him and love to see him out there with all of them.[...]  If you need an employee in your corner—He is the ONE you want.”

Bus driver Barbara Davis expresses her appreciation of Jeremy in a recent FCPS Cares nomination, “[Jeremy] goes above and beyond to make certain each employee is treated fairly. [..]The fact that Jeremy still jumps in a bus when needed, is a perfect example of his "All Hands On Deck" motto. [...]We are fortunate to have him as coordinator, particularly during this stressful time."

As a proud FCPS graduate (Go Cougars!), Jeremy loves to support the students in the community where he was raised and currently lives. He thrives by spending time with his family and friends and being outdoors. He says, “I live for summer and weekends at the beach!”

Thank you, Jeremy, for being a driving force for FCPS!

Celebrate National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month and the Employee Wellness Team is celebrating by hosting a “Veg”-ucational Series of seminars and live chef demos! Learn about various nutritional topics and effective application strategies to eat healthier and feel better:

  • Thursday, March 4, 5-6 p.m., Power in Plants Seminar.
  • Thursday, March 11, 5-6 p.m., Live Chef Demo (Mason Jar Salad and Energy Bites).
  • Thursday, March 18, 5-6 p.m., Quick and Healthy Meals on a Working Schedule Seminar. 
  • Thursday, March 25, 5-6 p.m., Live Chef Demo (Hummus Veggie Wrap and Baked Oatmeal)

View the flyer for more details. Register for the seminars and live chef demos.

Resources for Expectant Parents

Thinking about expanding your family? The Office of Benefit Services will offer virtual workshops providing information on how to prepare and plan for maternity, paternity, and adoption-related leaves on the following dates:

  • Friday, March 12, 3-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 1, 2-3 p.m.

To register for an upcoming workshop, please visit the Expectant Parent Workshop webpage. All workshop materials, including the voiceover presentation and accompanying handouts, will also be posted to this webpage.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 2/23/21

Employee News 2 months 1 week ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Churchill Road ES shared the love on Valentine's Day. The love of books, that is! (Photo: Churchill Road ES)

School Board Adopts Advertised Budget Focused on COVID Recovery

The Fairfax County School Board unanimously adopted its FY 2022 Advertised Budget placing student health, well-being, and learning at its core, while remaining fiscally responsible during this uncertain economic climate. The FY22 Advertised Budget prioritizes and funds resources that support our students’ academic and social-emotional needs. The $3.2 billion budget also recognizes the sacrifices and commitment of FCPS teachers and staff with a proposed 3% salary increase for all employees. Read more

Updated FCPS Weather Conditions

FCPS Inclement Weather Closing Conditions have expanded to include additional options for the school division to consider as we bring more students back for in-person instruction. Please make a note of the new conditions:

  • All Schools and Central Offices Closed.
  • Virtual Learning for All Students, Division Operations are Open On Time, School and Central Office Building Work Spaces are Available to Employees.
  • Virtual Learning for All Students, Division Operations are Open On Time, School and Central Office Building Work Spaces are Not Available to Employees.
  • All Fairfax County public schools and offices will close two hours early.
  • All Fairfax County public schools and offices will open two hours late.

Visit the Inclement Weather Closing Conditions page for more information.

Draft Calendars for 2021-22 School Year

Draft calendars for the 2021-22 school year were developed with a focus on instruction and learning time for students. FCPS’ Calendar Committee received input and feedback from the Religious Observance Task Force and draft calendars were created to provide consideration for increased absenteeism on four religious observance holidays–Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, and Eid al Fitr. The Fairfax County School Board will introduce the calendars as new business at its March 4 meeting and vote on the calendar on March 18. View the draft calendars.

Photo of the Week


South County MS Principal Peter Kownacki had a blast performing in a Masked Singer competition organized by the South County MS and HS Choral Department. Teachers and staff from both schools participated in the virtual community event, which was streamed live on YouTube. We hear the show was a big hit with the South County community! Watch the video. (Photo: Sherlee Glomb, director of Choral Activities, South County MS)

Flexible Spending Account Participants Have Increased Flexibility to Make Changes in 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 recently passed by Congress provides health care and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) participants the ability to change elections on a prospective basis. Employees who have balances remaining from 2020 also have increased carryover amounts. Please visit the FSA Updates webpage for a summary of the changes provided by the Act and how it impacts the FCPS health and dependent care flexible spending accounts.

Help Improve Employee News

Please help us better serve your needs with Employee News. We’d like to know when you’d like to receive your issue and what content you’d like to see. Take the Employee News Poll.

Custodian Appreciation Week


Through rain, sleet, or snow, our custodians make sure our schools are safe, steady, and ready to welcome our students. Be sure to #thankacustodian. Thank you FCPS custodians!

Black History in FCPS: Providence Chapter of the NSDAR Posthumously Honors FCPS Teacher Minnie Beckwith Hughes

Recently, as part of Black History Month, the Providence Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) posthumously honored former FCPS teacher Minnie Beckwith Hughes with its Women in American History Award, which Dr.  Brabrand accepted on her behalf. Learn more about Minnie Beckwith Hughes.

Black History Month: Resources from VDOE and FCPS

In February, people all over the United States celebrate Black History Month—because Black history is American history. Students deserve meaningful, sustained opportunities to learn about the experiences and contributions of Black and African American people year round, and Black History Month is one opportunity to honor these diverse and important stories.

To support teachers and school divisions, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has provided Black History Month resources to celebrate the many achievements and contributions made by Black and African American people to the economic, cultural, and political development of America. 

FCPS Social Studies, in collaboration with a group of teachers and specialists across subject areas, developed a new Google site: Planning for Black History Month.  A link to the site will be shared directly with social studies department chairs, social studies leads and Equity Leads.

Pathways to Leadership 2021: Breakout Sessions and Panels for Aspiring Instructional Leaders

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement is pleased to offer a new, asynchronous Pathways to Leadership for instructional employees. The event will be hosted on an asynchronous Google site to meet instructional staff's diverse career goals and interests, and allow participants to view all sessions and booths. Please register in MyPDE. A link will be sent to registered participants Tuesday, February 23, in the morning. Participants that register after Tuesday can find the link in the MyPDE offering description. The participation window will be open through Monday, March 1. Attendees will be able to engage with panelists using FlipGrid. Please contact Sara Royer with questions at smroyer@fcps.edu or 703-732-9952.

Accelerated Certification Cohort XVII Information Session 

An Accelerated Certification Cohort (ACC) information session will be held Thursday, February 18, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Participants will learn about the structure and requirements of the program. Current ACC members will share their experiences and answer questions. The ACC is a partnership with the University of Virginia that allows FCPS staff to obtain the Virginia PreK-12 license in Administration and Supervision in a cohort setting. ACC cohort members complete a one-year intensive program which includes an administrative internship and coursework. The information session will also be recorded and posted to the Pathways to Leadership webpage from Monday, February 22, to Friday, March 5. Please register on MyPDE before 3 p.m. on February 18.

OurFCPS Faces: Brittany Rogers


Brittany Rogers, instructional coach at Shrevewood ES, always strives to do her best and over deliver on her promises. Instilled in her by her parents that “Excellence is rewarded by increase,” Brittany believes the role of an educator is invaluable, and the job is too important to not give it one’s best.

Brittany has been teaching for Fairfax County Public Schools for 10 years, previously teaching first and third grades at Rose Hill ES. Her responsibilities as an instructional coach include supporting teachers in collaborative teams as they use data and high quality instructional practices to support students, providing one on one coaching for teachers in which they set small, measurable goals that have a huge impact on student achievement, and supporting the school’s School Innovation and Improvement Plan (SIIP) through creating and delivering professional learning for teachers. Brittany is also an active member of Shrevewood’s professional development team which is a collaborative team including administration and other school leaders.

 “One thing I love about being an instructional coach,” Brittany says, “is the ability to serve as a thought partner alongside other teachers in the building. It brings me so much joy to collaborate with teachers on strategies that will help them reach the goals they’ve set for their students. My position allows me to be creative, thoughtful, and thorough in serving teachers and students.”

Principal Josh DeSmyter, says, “Brittany Rogers models excellence with everything she does. She is consistent with her work in CLTs [Collaborative Learning Teams], her coaching with staff members, and she demonstrates high quality instruction in both a virtual and in-person classroom. Ms. Rogers is someone we can always count on as a true professional. I am very proud of her work at Shrevewood Elementary, and I am proud to be her principal!”

What makes it all worth it? Brittany believes that every student deserves love, respect, and the opportunity to achieve at high levels. She adds, “As teachers, we are the architects of the joy and possibilities that school can bring. My “why” revolves around leaving every school that I serve better than when I came, because that’s what our students deserve.”

In the virtual world, Brittany explains that virtual learning has been an opportunity for her “to flex a new muscle.” She elaborates, “This year has felt like year one for a lot of us, and I am happy to say that I’ve been able to work with teachers in new and different ways as a result of virtual learning. Many of the main tenets of my position such as working with individual teachers and teams have remained the same, what comes out of that work might need to look different due to our setting. I look forward to seeing students and teachers back in school!”

In her free time, Brittany enjoys long walks through Target, binging a great TV show, and trying out new recipes. 

Brittany adds, “I can be a little extra at times, but I mean well!”

We believe that Britany is “extra” ordinary! Thank you for your dedication to excellence, Brittany.

VDOE Requests Public, Educators’ Comments on Proposed History and Social Studies Standards of Learning

FCPS is encouraging staff and the community to provide comments to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) for its review and revision of the History and Social Science Standards of Learning. The public comment period is open through Monday, March 1. View the press release.

SEPTA Honored with 2021 Outstanding Advocacy Award

National PTA announced its 2021 Outstanding Advocacy Awards honoring state, local, and individual PTA advocates for taking action to improve the education, health, safety, and well-being of every child. New this year, National PTA honored a PTA for advocacy specifically in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Fairfax County Special Education PTA (SEPTA) received the 2021 Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy award by showing demonstrated true dedication and leadership through their determined advocacy on the issue of restraint and seclusion in schools. As a result of their advocacy, a new policy was passed on December 17, 2020, banning seclusion and limiting restraint use in Fairfax County Public Schools.The honorees will be recognized during the 2021 National PTA Virtual Legislative Conference, Wednesday, March 10.

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Don’t let the idea that healthy food is expensive keep you from a balanced diet. Learn new strategies to stick to your budget while enjoying healthy, nutritious foods. Anyone looking to improve their nutrition while being mindful of the cost can register for the Eating Healthy on a Budget webinar with one of the links below:

March 1, at noon 

March 1, at 4 p.m. 

For additional information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Guidance Resources online, and use Web ID: FCPS, or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements of our Employee Wellness offerings.

Stuff the Bus Was a Success!

On January 30 and February 6, Fairfax County held Stuff the Bus food drives at various locations to collect nonperishable food donations for area food pantries. The food drives resulted in 33 tons of food, surpassing the 27.6 tons donated during the previous Stuff the Bus drives in September 2020. The county would like to thank everyone who helped fight hunger in our neighborhoods. If you missed the drives but wish to donate, you can make a monetary donation by visiting Volunteer Fairfax’s Stuff the Bus Donation page.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Return to School News - February 22, 2021

Employee News 2 months 1 week ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Safe, Steady, Ready: FCPS Welcomes Students Back to School Buildings

Last week, FCPS staff members were excited to welcome back more than 8,000 students to in-person learning. Our buildings and staff were ready, our mitigation measures were in place, and there were smiles on the faces of our students when they walked back into their classrooms! FCPS leaders visited students at Key Center and participated in a morning meeting.

Tomorrow, we will welcome back our next group of students, including our kindergartners, many of whom will celebrate their first day ever of in-person learning! Following our steady and measured approach, all FCPS students are scheduled to return to school by March 16.

School Board Adopts Advertised Budget Focused on COVID Recovery

The Fairfax County School Board has unanimously adopted its FY 2022 (2021-22 school year) Advertised Budget that places student health, well-being, and learning at its core, while remaining fiscally responsible during this uncertain economic climate. 

The FY 22 Advertised Budget prioritizes and funds resources that support our students’ academic and social-emotional needs. The $3.2 billion budget also recognizes the sacrifices and commitment of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teachers and staff with a proposed 3 percent compensation rate for all employees.

Learn more about the FY 22 Advertised Budget

.

Updated FCPS Weather Conditions

FCPS inclement weather closing conditions have expanded and include additional options for the school division to consider as we bring more students back for in-person instruction. Please make a note of the new conditions:

  • All Schools and Central Offices Closed.
  • Virtual Learning for All Students, Division Operations are Open On Time, School and Central Office Building Work Spaces are Available to Employees.
  • Virtual Learning for All Students, Division Operations are Open On Time, School and Central Office Building Work Spaces are Not Available to Employees.
  • All Fairfax County public schools and offices will close two hours early.
  • All Fairfax County public schools and offices will open two hours late.

Learn more about the updated FCPS weather conditions.

FCPS Newsletter Poll

On March 17, this newsletter, Return to School News, will be changing its distribution day from Mondays to Wednesdays. In anticipation of the move, please help us better meet your needs by answering four short questions.

Take the FCPS Newsletter poll.

 


Video: Back to School at Bucknell Elementary

Superintendent Brabrand toured concurrent classrooms at Bucknell Elementary School on February 16, as part of his visit to welcome students returning to the school.  

Draft Calendars for 2021-22 School Year

Draft calendars for the 2021-22 school year were developed with a focus on instruction and learning time for students. The School Board will vote on the calendars at their regular meeting on Thursday, March 4. View the draft calendars.

School Board Votes to Rename Mosby Woods Elementary School as Mosaic Elementary School

The Fairfax County School Board has chosen Mosaic Elementary School as the new name for Mosby Woods Elementary School, a reflection of the school’s multicultural community that will represent inclusivity for students, families, and staff members. The new name will become effective at the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

Black History in FCPS: Providence Chapter of the NSDAR Posthumously Honors FCPS Teacher Minnie Beckwith Hughes

Recently, as part of Black History Month, the Providence Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) posthumously honored former FCPS teacher Minnie Beckwith Hughes with its Women in American History Award, which Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand accepted on her behalf.

Learn more about Minnie Beckwith Hughes


Return to School Photos of the Week

Take a look at these photos from last week's return to school for the first group of FCPS students in this week's photo gallery.

New Podcast: En Pocas Palabras FCPS

A new podcast, En Pocas Palabras FCPS, in Spanish and English, has been launched to provide timely and important information to busy FCPS families in their primary language. The goal of every podcast is to help families access key resources and understand how to best support their children’s education. New episodes are available online

Fairfax County Special Education PTA Receives Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award

The Fairfax County Special Education PTA has been named the recipient of the National PTA’s 2021 Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award.  This is one of five national advocacy awards given to PTAs around the country by National PTA.

The Fairfax County Special Education PTA was recognized for demonstrating “true dedication and leadership through their determined advocacy on the issue of restraint and seclusion in schools,” according to the National PTA. The group will be recognized at the 2021 National PTA Virtual Legislative Conference on Wednesday, March 10.

 


Fairfax County Student Representative to the School Board Fulfills Campaign Promise

Business leaders in our region recently were asked by Nathan Onibudo, student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, to donate books to students in Fairfax County Public Schools or to purchase the books for themselves. The books, personally and carefully chosen by Onibudo, share messages of inclusion and equity that would interest elementary, middle, and high school students as well as adults.

Onibudo fulfilled a campaign promise by creating on online bookstore to help make the donations happen.

 

The Launch of NASA Mars Rover Perseverance

Last week, the NASA Mars Rover Perseverance made a successful landing on the red planet. Lake Braddock Secondary School student Alex Mather was last year's winner of the contest to name the new Mars Rover. His submission was the winner out of 28,000 entries. NBC Washington had a chance to speak with Alex as the Rover was making its way to Mars. 

Important Special Education Parent Survey Coming Soon

On March 1, parents of FCPS students with disabilities will receive an invitation via email from the FCPS Office of Auditor General to complete an independent, third-party survey on FCPS’s special education services provided through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan. All responses are confidential and will be used to generate recommendations for the Fairfax County School Board. 

Your voice counts, so please share your thoughts once you receive the survey.


Video: Smiling Faces at Kilmer Center

On February 16, students from the Kilmer Center were welcomed back by staff who were excited to see the smiling faces and joy in being back together again.

Elementary Magnet Schools Applications Accepted March 2-April 6

Fairfax County Public Schools will be accepting applications for its elementary magnet school programs beginning Tuesday, March 2. Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences will accept lottery applications for students who will be in grades K-2 during the 2021-22 school year; Bailey’s Upper School for the Arts and Sciences will accept applications for students in grades 3 and 4. Hunters Woods Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences will accept lottery applications for students who will enter grades K-6 during the 2021-22 school year.

Selection for available magnet school spaces is based on a lottery. Registration for the elementary magnet school lottery closes on Tuesday, April 6, at 4 p.m.    

Get more information about the magnet school lottery.


January FCPS CARES of the Month Winners

FCPS Cares is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. All FCPS Cares submissions were reviewed, and six winners were selected for the month of January—one for each region and the central office—to receive extra recognition for their work. They are:

  • Central Office: Gregory Robinson, Sideburn Satellite Center, Department of Facilities and Transportation.
  • Region 1: Leah Conte, South Lakes High School.
  • Region 2: Barbara Oswalt, Sleepy Hollow Elementary School.
  • Region 3: Monica Pelzer, Stratford Landing Elementary School.
  • Region 4: Carmen Correa Ibarra, Ravensworth Elementary School.
  • Region 5: Erin Denton, Daniels Run Elementary.

Get more information about the winners and how you can acknowledge an FCPS employee who has gone above and beyond.

 

Video: Back to Building for CTE Students

Earlier this week, students in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) construction program returned to their job site at Spring Village Estates to get back to hands-on work.

FCPS Return to School in the News Quick Links:

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube | Instagram

Employee News – Special Edition, Tuesday, 2/16/21

Employee News 2 months 2 weeks ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Back to Our Buildings: Safe, Steady, Ready

FCPS employees have shown an incredible commitment to ensure successful day-to-day operations during these uncertain times. While students and staff prepare to return to school buildings in phases beginning Tuesday, February 16, we will all work together to ensure we are safe, steady, and ready! In sync with our schools, FCPS Central Office staff will begin transitioning back additional staff to their offices throughout the month. Please reach out to your principal or program manager for specifics regarding your workplace.

Message from Superintendent Brabrand


This week is an important milestone as we move forward to a new normal that requires flexibility and trust. Dr. Brabrand has a special message for staff about returning to work and keeping safety our number one focus. Watch Dr. Brabrand’s video. 

Updated Return to Work Guide

As you plan to return to your worksite, please remember to practice the five mitigation strategies. Review those and other important information in FCPS’ updated Return to Work Guide.  

Return to Work FAQs

It has been almost a year since some of us have been to our worksites. Understandably, many staff members have questions around returning to work. Please review these Return to Work FAQs. If you still need help with other questions, reach out to your principal or program manager.

Childcare Options for Student-Facing Staff

FCPS has childcare options for student-facing staff to allow them to return to work as student groups begin returning for in-person instruction. Principals will work to accommodate teachers’ requests as they are able, but social distancing requirements in their schools may present limitations.

If a student-facing staff member, such as a teacher, has children (grades K-6) in a Fairfax County public school, their child(ren) may attend their elementary base school for four days of in-person instruction, space permitting. Teachers may bring their child(ren) in grades K-8 with them to their workspaces if needed, and if it is agreed upon by the principal. This option is contingent upon the school’s capacity to maintain social distancing in classrooms/workspaces as well as balancing the job expectations of the employee. The principal reserves the right to determine if an arrangement is impacting an employee’s ability to fully perform their duty.

Please reach out to your principal to discuss the options available and what will work best for you and your school.

January CARES of the Month Winners

Congratulations to the January FCPS CARES of the Month recipients. The winners are:

  • Central: Gregory Robinson – Sideburn Satellite Center – Facilities
  • Region 1: Leah Conte – South Lakes HS
  • Region 2: Barbara Oswalt – Sleepy Hollow ES
  • Region 3: Monica Pelzer – Stratford Landing ES
  • Region 4: Carmen Correa Ibarra – Ravensworth ES
  • Region 5: Erin Denton – Daniels Run ES

See what makes the winners special. Recognize a staff member today.

Accelerated Certification Cohort XVII Information Session 

An Accelerated Certification Cohort (ACC) information session will be held Thursday, February 18, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Participants will learn about the structure and requirements of the program. Current ACC members will share their experiences and answer questions. The ACC is a partnership with the University of Virginia that allows FCPS staff to obtain the Virginia PreK-12 license in Administration and Supervision in a cohort setting. ACC cohort members complete a one-year intensive program which includes an administrative internship and coursework. The information session will also be recorded and posted to the Pathways to Leadership webpage from Monday, February 22 to Friday, March 5. Please register on MyPDE before 3 p.m.February 18.

Black History Month Events Planned by FABSE

The Fairfax Alliance of Black School Educators (FABSE) is hosting a series of events in honor of Black History Month. This year’s events are virtual due to the pandemic. Find more information.

There’s Still Time to Show Your Heart Some Love!

To celebrate American Heart Month, Employee Wellness is hosting a five-day Love Your Heart Challenge! Give your heart some love by participating in daily heart-healthy challenges with a focus on fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, and awareness/education. Participants who complete all challenges will be entered into a raffle to win prizes such as Amazon gift cards and other wellness goodies. Find more information on the Employee Wellness webpage (VPN required). Complete this form to register.  

Running on E: Adding Energy and Fun to Your Work and Life

Are increased responsibilities, constant change, and more pressure draining your tank? Replenish with the Running on E: Adding Energy and Fun to Your Work and Life workshop. This event will provide strategies to help you thrive in today’s high-pressured world. By unleashing your energy, igniting your enthusiasm, and finding fun in your job, you are sure to maximize your work performance and even enjoy it!

Please register by clicking one of the following links:

For additional information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Guidance Resources online, and use Web ID: FCPS, or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Also, sign up for the EAP-Wellness Newsletter for monthly updates and announcements.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 2/9/21

Employee News 2 months 3 weeks ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


In celebration of Black History Month, Region 2 recognized their Black principals as “modern day history makers impacting their students, staff, and communities.” (Photo: Region 2)

Vaccine Information

Staff members can stay informed on the COVID-19 vaccination process by checking Inova's website as well as the Fairfax County Health Department's site. The Health Department also has information about scheduling appointments

Daily Health Screening Forms 

Students and staff are required to complete a daily health screening before accessing in-person instruction and coming to work. Anyone responding “YES” to any of the identified symptoms should stay home. The health screening tool is available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese

Daily health screenings are completed by students, staff, and visitors on an honor basis and are not required to be submitted to the school or work site. 

Superintendent Brabrand to Host Virtual Town Hall 

Dr. Brabrand will discuss the Return to School plan during a Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, February 10, at 6 p.m. Email your questions in advance to returntoschool@fcps.edu or ask a question during the event by calling 1-800-231-6359. View the Town Hall on Watch the Town Hall on FCPS' website or FCPS Cable Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11).

Clarification on Return to School Plan and Timeline

Based on the latest guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education, FCPS will begin bringing back the first groups of students (Groups 1-4) for in-person instruction on Tuesday, February 16.

In preparation for students’ return, schools created staffing plans based on the number of students who selected in-person instruction earlier this school year. Students who have already selected to return to in-person instruction will be able to do so for two days a week. Due to social distancing requirements, schools may not be able to accommodate additional students who wish to change their selection from virtual to in-person instruction. 

Photo of the Week


Who's counting down until students return to school? McLean HS teacher Robert Bouchard! He's excited to start coaching spring soccer, too. (Photo: McLean HS)

Listen to the Healthy Minds Podcast


Being apart from each other hasn’t been easy for anyone. Check out FCPS' Healthy Minds Podcast to hear how others are handling uncertainty; get new ideas to help you, your friends, and family feel better; and learn ways to feel more energized. Tune in to the Healthy Minds Podcast.

10 Strategies for Improving Your Finances

The current economic climate brings both challenges and opportunities from a financial perspective. If you are wondering what you and your family should be working toward or looking for a path to financial well-being, please join the 10 Strategies for Improving Your Finances webinar on Tuesday, February 16, at 4:30 p.m. Register now.

For additional information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Guidance Resources, (use Web ID: FCPS) or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097.

NOTE: If you cannot attend the live session, please register to receive the recording.

VDOE Teacher-Staff Climate and Working Conditions Survey Extended to February 12

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Teacher/School-Based Staff Climate and Working Conditions Survey window has been extended to Friday, February 12. The information collected from the survey will help schools ensure that all staff have access to a healthy, positive school environment in which to work, collaborate, and grow. School access codes have been distributed via email to school-based staff by each school's survey coordinator or principal. Please visit the Department of Human Resources webpage (VPN required) for more information. 

Accelerated Certification Cohort (ACC) XVII Information

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement is pleased to announce that the application window for the Accelerated Certification Cohort (ACC) program will open at noon Monday, February 15. The application window will close at noon Monday, March 15. The ACC is a partnership with the University of Virginia that allows FCPS staff to obtain the Virginia PreK-12 license in Administration and Supervision in a one-year cohort setting. Please refer to this Google site for information on the program experience and application process.

Stop the Spread of COVID-19


Helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 is everyone's responsibility. Let's all commit to doing our part. Visit the CDC's website for more information on stopping the spread.

Show Your Heart Some Love

February is American Heart Month. To celebrate, Employee Wellness is hosting a five-day Love Your Heart Challenge! Give your heart some love by participating in daily heart-healthy challenges with a focus on fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, and awareness/education. Participants who complete all challenges will be entered into a raffle to win prizes like Amazon gift cards and other wellness goodies. Complete this form to registerFind more information on the Employee Wellness webpage (VPN required). 

February Fitness Classes

There's still time to sign up for free, live virtual fitness classes in February! Relax with a yoga-based Stretch & Flow or try a class like Cardio Kickboxing to get your heart pumping. Class recordings are available on the Employee Wellness webpage (VPN required). View the schedule and register.

#OurFCPS Faces: Christina Kern


“Aim high and your students will reach for it!” Christina Kern is putting that sentiment into practice as a multiple disabilities teacher at Crossfield ES. Christina began working for FCPS in 2000 as a special education instructional assistant. She has also taught at Lynbrook, Chesterbrook, and Timber Lane  Elementary Schools.

As an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) teacher in an enhanced autism class, Christina provides instruction and materials to students with a wide range of learning abilities and preferred learning styles. She loves that every day is different. She explains, “You never know what the day’s challenges and triumphs will bring. I understand my students’ areas of need and celebrate every victory alongside them! I am one of their biggest cheerleaders and try to teach to their interests and help them make relevant connections with today’s world.”

Principal Mark Granieri agrees that Christina is all about her students. He says, “Mrs. Kern is a tireless advocate, teacher, collaborator, thinker, and leader for her students and families. Her 'students-first' mindset rubs off on the entire staff, especially her administrators! She finds varied and high-quality educational resources to supplement the Program of Studies, provides the required differentiation for each child, and sets high expectations for her students and vigorously supports them in achieving their goals.”

A Crossfield parent wrote the following about Christina in a recent FCPS Cares submission: “[Mrs. Kern] goes above and beyond to engage the students. She made hard-copy binders of every subject covered in a virtual environment, so the kids had worksheets and handouts to touch, feel, and write on and even went as far as hand-delivering them to student homes. She practiced mask-wearing in the virtual environment every day to normalize and desensitize sensory sensitive kids to wearing them, so they’d be ready for in-person. She developed and delivered all of her virtual instruction without an IA [instructional assistant], teaching to 8+ kids and ensuring full and equal participation.”

Christina is eagerly anticipating her students' return to in-person learning. She says, “As we return to school, I am most looking forward to seeing the growth my students have had over the last few months at home! Every moment is a teachable moment and life has gifted us with so many natural opportunities to experience, explore, and engage. I bet all of my students have grown physically, mentally, and in maturity. These will be the moments I cannot wait to witness and embrace!”

In her free time, Christina loves to explore other countries, be with her family, and connect with friends (virtually for now).

Christina, thank you for being a staunch advocate for students!

School Board Approves FY 2022-26 Capital Improvement Program

The School Board has approved FCPS' Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-26 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP focuses on capital projects, including new school construction, capacity enhancements, and renovations, reflecting schools for the current School Year 2020-21 and a five-year requirement of approximately $1.1 billion. See the approved the following amendments.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 2/2/21

Employee News 3 months ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Rose Hill ES celebrated their administrators during Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week. (Photo: Tara Boone, Instructional Coach)

School Board Supports Superintendent's Plan to Bring All Students Back into Schools by Mid-March

Today, the Fairfax County School Board gave unanimous support for an updated timeline that will offer all students the opportunity to return to school buildings two days a week beginning Tuesday, February 16, through Tuesday, March 16. The first students to return will include students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and younger students. Read the news release.

Please Complete Vaccine Survey

A message regarding the Vaccine Status Survey was recently emailed to all FCPS staff. As noted in the message, all employees are being asked to complete the survey. FCPS must provide the Health Department with a list of employees who need their first vaccination appointments by Wednesday, February 3. If you have not returned your survey by that time, and you still wish to receive the first dose of the vaccine, you may have to wait until the general population is able to register. Please fill out the survey today.

Inclement Weather Reminder

FCPS is using additional approaches for "snow days" this winter, including synchronous and asynchronous instruction. If conditions warrant, there will likely be "snow days" as we have had in the past.

While weather decisions impact everyone in different ways, the superintendent makes the decision based on the safety of our students and staff, and FCPS' desire to maintain continuity of instruction, if possible.

Each weather event is unique. For example, poor road conditions may affect bus transportation for distributing grab and go meals to thousands of students, in addition to the staff who must get to work and prepare the meals. Also, power outages can impact students and staff during an instructional day whether they are in person or remote. Fortunately, all students have been provided devices to be able to participate in virtual learning.

Please see Dr. Brabrand's inclement weather message for more information. 

Important Update: Required Compliance Training and Notifications

A few weeks ago, all employees were asked to review the completion status of required compliance training by February 1. All assigned training can be viewed on your Assigned Trainings page in MyPDE. To locate this page, watch this short video.

In the coming weeks, additional required training will appear on all employees’ Assigned Trainings page and Timeline in MyPDE. Employees will also see new MyPDE notifications related to assigned required compliance training.

MyPDE will auto-generate notifications and send to the employee’s FCPS email in the following circumstances:

  • Assignment–A new assignment has been made. The email will contain important information on how to access the course or activity.
  • Reminder–The due date is approaching, and the activity is incomplete. Reminders will be sent only if the activity remains incomplete prior to the established due date.
  • Overdue–The due date has passed, and the activity is incomplete. Notifications will be sent weekly, and the employee’s name and status will be included on their supervisor's and/or program manager’s exception report.

If you believe you have been assigned a training in error, please check with your supervisor, or reach out to the course sponsor or contact.

FCPS Celebrates Black History Month

Yesterday marked the beginning of Black History Month. In his message to staff, Superintendent Brabrand wrote, "During this month, and throughout the school year, we are dedicated to telling a more complex and inclusive story of our shared past by acknowledging and honoring Black lives." Read the full message.

Photo of the Week


Since last September, bus drivers Jenny Yoon (left) and Joanne Cha (right) have been coming to the Powell ES library on Thursday and Friday afternoons to help prepare mystery book bags for kindergarten and first grade students. Read all about it

Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers: Interactive Google Slides

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement is pleased to offer When a Slide is Not Just a Slide Part 2, professional development focused on Interactive Google Slides to support student learning.

Whether this is your first time attending, or you joined Part 1 last summer, you will walk away with valuable strategies to engage students using Interactive Google Slides during virtual, concurrent, or in-person instruction.

This professional development includes both asynchronous and synchronous learning. Please click one of the dates below for more details and to register:

Elementary Teachers

Secondary Teachers

Please contact Michelle Lis with questions at Mllis@fcps.edu or 571-423-1359.

Pathways to Leadership 2021: Breakout Sessions and Panels for Aspiring Instructional Leaders

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement is pleased to offer a new, asynchronous Pathways to Leadership for instructional employees. The event will be hosted on an asynchronous Google site to meet instructional staff's diverse career goals and interests, and allow participants to view all sessions and booths. Please register in MyPDE. A link will be sent to you Tuesday, February 23, in the morning. The participation window will be open through Monday, March 1. Attendees will be able to engage with panelists using FlipGrid. Please contact Sara Royer with questions at smroyer@fcps.edu or 703-732-9952.

It's National School Counseling Week!


National School Counseling Week highlights the essential contribution of our country's school counselors and their tremendous impact on student success. FCPS school counselors are doing outstanding work with our students and helping them to realize their full potential. Please take a moment to thank a school counselor this week!

Leave of Absence Application Due March 1

Employees who intend to request or extend a Leave of Absence (LOA) for the 2021-22 school year must indicate their intentions by or before Monday, March 1. An LOA is an approved, unpaid, extended absence from work which exceeds 30 calendar days. In late-January, FCPS' Disability and Leaves Office emailed staff currently on an approved LOA, asking them to indicate their leave intentions by the March 1 deadline. Learn more about LOAs and the application process. If you have questions, please email DisabilityandLeaves@fcps.edu or call 571-423-3200 and select Option 2.

Note: If you are expecting a baby or planning to adopt a child, the March 1 due date does not apply to you. 

#OurFCPS Faces: Edmon McClam


In his first year working for FCPS, Edmon “Eddie” McClam is already having a great impact on student success. The college and career specialist (CCS) at Oakton HS focuses on guiding students and their families through the college admissions process which can be a daunting one. His main responsibilities include scheduling college visits, offering scholarship opportunities to students, and advising them on the college application process. 

Eddie believes, “Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary with just a little extra?” He's putting in plenty of extra effort for his students for sure. Oakton HS' Director of Student Services Jennifer Hogan shares, “As a first year CCS, Eddie did not skip a beat. He was able to successfully plan and organize 140 virtual college visits for our juniors and seniors, and set up virtual college application meetings for all seniors needing extra support.”

Jennifer adds, “Eddie is an amazing team player. He consistently volunteers to help out any way he can stating, ‘That’s what I’m here for.’”

While virtual learning has been an adjustment for everyone, it has given Eddie a different outlook. He’s finding new ways to establish and build relationships with students, while also providing the assistance they need. Jennifer says, “During this pandemic, Eddie’s positivity and enthusiasm has helped our students and staff stay focused and continue working hard to achieve their goals.” 

Principal Jamie Lane shares, “We are so fortunate to have Mr. McClam at Oakton High School. He is the epitome of a team player and works tirelessly to provide opportunities that support our students. In a year like no other, he was new to the position and found ways to virtually support our students with college visits, their college applications, and scholarship opportunities. He always has a smile on his face and is passionate about finding ways to help our students as they figure out their next chapter in life.”

When Eddie is not advising students, he enjoys spending time with his family and exploring different places to eat. We also have it on good authority that he really likes football! 

Our students are very lucky to have you as their guide, Eddie. Thanks for saying "Yes" to FCPS! 

Thank You for Supporting Homeless Students!

The response to FCPS' annual holiday gift card drive for homeless students was amazing. Staff and friends of FCPS contributed more than $21,000 in donations and gift cards, which is more than double the amount received in the previous year's drive!  

FCPS usually identifies up to 3,000 children per year as homeless. Many of them are unaccompanied students living without a parent or legal guardian. Thank you so much for bringing some joy into their lives. Please contact Patti Parisi with questions at poparisi@fcps.edu.

Help Stuff the Bus This Saturday

Fairfax County's Stuff the Bus food drive is committed to meeting the increased demand for food due to COVID-19. Donate nonperishable foods in person on Saturday, February 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at locations throughout Fairfax County. Social distancing will be in place. You may also make monetary donations by visiting Stuff the Bus partner websites. Get more information

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 1/26/21

Employee News 3 months 1 week ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Lewis HS staff connect at a swim meet. Pictured from left to right are Kathleen Winston, head swim and dive coach; Alfonso Smith, principal; and Sarah Clouse, assistant coach and teacher. Kathleen is also an administrative assistant at South County HS. (Photo: Lancers Swim & Dive)

Important Vaccine Update

Due to vaccine supply limitations, first dose appointments for FCPS employees, and others in 1b, are cancelled as of today, Tuesday, January 26, until further notice. Inova will reach out to everyone who registered to reschedule their vaccine appointment when more information is available. Read the message from Inova.

Be on the Lookout for Your W-2 

W-2 tax forms for 2020 were mailed Friday, January 22, to the address employees had on file in UConnect as of December 30, 2020. Please visit the Office of Payroll Management’s webpage (VPN required) for more information about your W-2.

Superintendent Shares Interim Return to School Plans

At last Thursday's School Board meeting, Superintendent Brabrand provided an interim update on FCPS' plans to return to in-person learning. The plans will be discussed in detail during the School Board Work Session on Tuesday, February 2. See the proposed timeline for returning to in-person instruction. 

It's Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week!


Governor Northam proclaimed January 24-30 as Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week, and we second that motion! FCPS has the hardest working principals in the world. Please join us in recognizing them for their incredible leadership and unwavering support of staff, students, and families. Read the Governor's proclamation.

Reminder: Mid-Year Assessment Due February 16

The performance evaluation mid-year assessment deadline is Tuesday, February 16, for the following staff:

  • Probationary employees (instructional and operational).
  • Teachers with a conditional rating.
  • Employees currently on evaluation cycle who are not meeting performance expectations, as documented by their principal or program manager.

Except for the employees noted above, mid-year assessments during the 2020-21 evaluation year are not required for any other staff members. At this time, there are no other changes to the evaluation process and their respective timelines. Please visit the Performance Evaluation intranet page (VPN required) for more information. If you have questions, please contact your Equity and Employee Relations specialist or HRConnection@FCPS.edu.

VDOE Teacher-Staff Climate and Working Conditions Survey Closes February 5

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Teacher/School-Based Staff Climate and Working Conditions Survey closes Friday, February 5, at 11:59 p.m. This will be the only opportunity to take the survey this year. School codes, along with survey links, have been distributed to school survey coordinators and principals. For more information, please visit the Department of Human Resources intranet page (VPN required).

Reminders About Masks 


When you wear a mask, you protect others as well as yourself. Please wear your mask while following social distancing guidance, especially when indoors around people who don’t live with you. Also, remember that your mask should:

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric.
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth.
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and not have any gaps.

A gaiter needs to have two layers, or fold it to make two layers. Learn more about masks from the CDC.

#OurFCPS Faces: Jose Flores


Until last week, Jose Flores was Fairfax Villa ES' student information assistant (SIA). He is now embarking on a new adventure. Jose has left Fairfax Villa to complete an internship at Silverbrook ES as a step toward becoming a school counselor. He is also working part-time at the Dunn Loring Administrative Center. 

As an SIA, Jose handled student enrollment, data entry, and family and community engagement. He was also part of the school’s equity team. Jose enjoys creating connections with students and their parents. He adds, "I absolutely love when they use the resources given to them to advocate for themselves.”  

It is in that vein of helping students and utilizing resources that Jose decided to become a school counselor. He shares, “I want to help our students become the best version of whatever it is they want to be. I also want to help those less privileged, and those with whom I share some similarities (immigration status, [supplemental educational services], English language proficiency), overcome some of the barriers that interfere with the educational and social emotional journey.”

Jose was Region 5's Outstanding Operational Employee last year. Fairfax Villa ES Principal Dave Gerstner can’t praise Jose enough for his dedication to the Fairfax Villa community. Dave says, “He is a kind, compassionate, intelligent, and hard-working individual who is clearly dedicated to our community and staff. As he works toward a master's degree in counseling with a goal of continuing in that path with Fairfax County Public Schools, Jose is the employee who exemplifies the promise and success of the Premier Workforce that strengthens our schools and our communities – in the present and in the future.”

Fairfax Villa will truly miss Jose. Dave adds, “His professionalism, his willingness to help others at any given moment, his love for the students, his enthusiasm, and the bonds he creates with his teammates will, without a doubt, make him an outstanding counselor. Mr. Flores will forever hold a place in our hearts.” 

You will be an outstanding school counselor, Jose. Good luck!

Get Ready to Stuff the Bus

Fairfax County's Stuff the Bus food drive is back and committed to meeting the increased demand for food due to COVID-19. Donate nonperishable foods in person on Saturday, January 30, and Saturday, February 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at locations throughout Fairfax County. Social distancing will be in place. There is also an option to make monetary donations by visiting Stuff the Bus partner websites. Get more information

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

Employee News – Tuesday, 1/19/21

Employee News 3 months 2 weeks ago

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, director of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Fairfax County Health Department (above, left) and Lisa Williams, FCPS chief equity officer (above, right), joined Superintendent Brabrand for a Vaccine Town Hall last Thursday.

FCPS Staff Receive Vaccine for COVID-19


January 16 was the first opportunity for FCPS employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic operated by Inova Health System, as part of the Governor’s 1b vaccine group. Watch the video and see photos.

If you post a photo of yourself on social media after receiving the vaccine, be sure to tell us who you are vaccinating for and use hashtag #vaccinateFCPS


Vaccine Registration Information

Inova's vaccine clinics will be available to FCPS staff for the next three weeks. We anticipate that all staff who choose to be vaccinated will be able to receive both doses through the Inova clinics. Please make your appointment for your specific week as noted under Schedule of Appointments by Week on this page

December CARES of the Month Winners

Congratulations to FCPS CARES of the Month recipients for December! The winners are:

  • Central Office: Dawn Cochran, Stonecroft Center, Transportation.
  • Region 1: Christina Kern, Crossfield ES.
  • Region 2: Dave Wall, Justice HS.
  • Region 3: Brian Welfle and Ann Jopke, Hollin Meadows ES.
  • Region 4: Mike Craven, Burke School.
  • Region 5: Kaitlin Donohue, Eagle View ES.

See what makes the winners specialRecognize a staff member today

Chrome Sync Staff Rollout

Using unique and complex passwords is an important step in protecting your data as well as our students' data. Beginning January 25, the Department of Information Technology (IT) will make Chrome Sync available to all staff. Turning Sync on will help you manage complex passwords as well as access other time saving features across devices such as bookmarks and Chrome extensions.

Please review Chrome Sync documentation and videos to help determine if you would like to use Chrome Sync. If you decide to move forward, IT recommends that you export your Chrome bookmarks before enabling Chrome Sync. Learn how. Please contact the IT Service Desk with questions at ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu or 703-503-1600.

Photo of the Week


Jake Kohut teaches Canterbury Woods ES band students from a Humvee. (Photo: NBC News)

It started with a tweet from Canterbury Woods ES last Wednesday. The school praised Jake Kohut for continuing to virtually teach his band students while protecting the U.S. Capitol Building, as a member of the National Guard. (Jake also teaches band at Frost MS.) The tweet, which has more than 3,600 likes, attracted media from around the country. Jake has since been interviewed by NBC Today, NBC Nightly News, WJLA, CNNThe Washington Post, and other news outlets.

We are beyond proud of Jake for his unwavering commitment to our country and his students. Be safe, Jake, and thank you for your service.

Best of the Web Awards Honor Excellence in School Websites

FCPS has recognized six school websites for excellence in web content and use of web-based tools in the 2020 Best of the Web Awards. Winners were recognized at a virtual meeting on January 15. The annual awards are organized by the Office of Communication and Community Relations, and celebrate schools that create excellent websites to inform and engage readers. Read the news release

Congratulations to Our Newest Principals

We are excited to acknowledge our newest principals: 

Please join us in congratulating them! 

VDOE Teacher-Staff Climate and Working Conditions Survey Is Open

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Teacher/School-Based Staff Climate and Working Conditions Survey is open through February 5. The information collected from the survey will help schools ensure that all students and staff have access to a healthy, positive school environment. For more information, please visit the Department of Human Resources intranet page (VPN required).

#OurFCPS Faces: Luis Guerra

 

Not only is Luis Guerra the assistant building supervisor at Westlawn ES, he is also a community staple. He has worked at the school for 20 years (this April), and he lives in the neighborhood.

Luis is guided by the quote, “El que no sirve para servir, no sirve para vivir,” which translates to, “He who does not serve to serve does not serve to live.”  His motivation for working at FCPS is to support his family and to serve his community. He says, “I’m a man of faith who tries to love and respect everybody I meet/work with.” The Westlawn school community deeply appreciates Luis. A great example of that is this virtual celebration that a fifth-grade class organized for him. 

Principal Christoph Hill states, “Mr. Guerra makes us proud to be a part of the Westlawn Family. His love for the children, families, and community is palpable, and his smile is contagious. Mr. Guerra has been a member of our community for over 20 years, seen thousands of children enter kindergarten and graduate 6th grade, and seems to remember everyone. He places the needs of our children above all else, to ensure that every day students enter a building in which they are safe, happy, and loved. Mr. Guerra is the embodiment of #OurFCPS!”    

Luis opens the school every morning at 6:30 a.m. While his favorite part of the job has always been serving the students, without them in the building, Luis says, “Maintaining security and cleanliness makes me happiest.” He adds, “Virtual learning has made me miss working with the students and my staff members inside of the school.” 

When Luis is not busy making Westlawn sparkle, he enjoys watching tv (mainly sports), running with his dog, Bolt, sharing quality time with his family, and attending church.

Luis, we thank you for your shining example of dedication and service to Westlawn and FCPS!

Employee Wellness Webinar: Being Adaptive in an Ever-Changing World

In a world where nothing stays the same, we are seeing shifts in our workplace, cultural norms, behaviors, and ourselves. During our Employee Assistance Program's (EAP) webinar, Being Adaptive in an Ever-Changing World, participants will learn how to be adaptive and maximize the benefits of change at work or home. Please register by clicking one of the sessions below:

NOTE: If you cannot attend the live session, please register to receive the recording.

For additional information, visit our EAP, Guidance Resources, and use Web ID: FCPS. Or, please call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097.

Check Out the January Issue of Audit Buzz

The FCPS Office of Auditor General's (OAG) Audit Buzz newsletter provides an in-depth look into OAG’s work. In this month's issue, OAG summarizes the status of current engagements, highlights its FY 2020 Annual Report, and offers insight on what a risk assessment is and how it is used to identify and prioritize future audit engagements. Read Audit Buzz today

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)Email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

Web | FacebookTwitter | YouTube

12 hours 56 minutes ago
FCPS Employees - Recent Updates
http://www.fcps.edu/index.shtml Subscribe to Employee News feed