Employee News - Tuesday, 12/3/19

Employee News 5 days 10 hours ago

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


Say "Hello" to the Adapted Curriculum, and Assessment and Extended School Year teams. Find them on Twitter @ACT_FCPS and @AssessESY_FCPS. (Photo: Adapted Curriculum)

Earn Your $100 Wellness Incentive Before Winter Break!

If you participate in an FCPS health plan as the primary cardholder, you may earn a $100 wellness incentive, if you complete your online health assessment (HA) by December 31.

The HA is an online questionnaire related to your general health and well-being. It's easy to complete, takes about 15-20 minutes, and is confidential. Only you and your health plan receive the individual information. It is never shared with FCPS, in compliance with state and federal privacy laws. 

Click on your health plan to get started:

Visit the Employee Wellness webpage to learn more about the $100 wellness incentive. Please email questions to HRWellness@fcps.edu.

Access Employee Resources 

Wondering how to access your FCPS email when you're not at work? Looking for quick links to licensure, payroll, or benefits information? Find those links and more on the Employee Resources page.

Photo of the Week


Canterbury Woods ES Principal Diane Leipzig got to "spin the wheel" as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune! Diane and her father were huge fans of the show when she was a child. He passed away when she was 15. Diane hadn’t watched the show in 30 years, but when the Wheelmobile was in the area last summer, she decided to audition. The rest is H _ _TO_ _! Watch Diane's episode on Wednesday, December 4, at 7 p.m. (Photo: Sony Pictures/Wheel of Fortune)  

Attend an Instructional Coaching Program Information Night

Teacher leaders interested in applying for the Instructional Coaching candidate pool for the 2020-21 school year are invited to attend one of two upcoming information nights. During these events, teachers will:

  • learn more about the roles of an instructional coach and the FCPS Instructional Coaching model.
  • learn about the qualifications and application process.
  • have an opportunity to ask questions and learn from experienced instructional coaches.

Register in MyPDE (course code 000914-Instructional Coaching Information Sessions) for one of the following dates:

  • January 14, 4:45-6:45 p.m., at Willow Oaks Center, Room 1000A.   
  • February 19, 4:45-6:45 p.m., at Willow Oaks Center, Room 1000B.

If you have questions, please contact Michelle Lis, coordinator, Instructional Coaching, at mllis@fcps.edu

Meeting Every Child by Name and by Need

 

You have to watch this amazing video about how FCPS focuses on getting students the services and supports they need to succeed. It's thoughtful, inspiring, and truly energizing! Find out more about meeting every child by name and by need.

#OurFCPS Faces: Pam Clingenpeel


Pam Clingenpeel never dreamed she’d be hiking through a jungle, fighting ice and windstorms or scaling peaks in Tanzania as she entered her 25th year of teaching with FCPS. “It’s interesting,” she said, “While I challenge my students every day, encouraging them to try, to work hard, and to go the extra mile, I think I’d lost the will to push myself.” 

Pam is a physical education teacher at Lanier MS and a lifelong athlete. She recently adjusted her lifestyle to focus on less strenuous hobbies, including geocaching in local parks and walking or hiking the hills of Fairfax County. But, once she decided to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro, Pam jumped into preparation and training for the challenging trek. How did she do against the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro? Find out and see her amazing photos!

Superintendent's Advisory Councils

Did you know that there are eight advisory councils that meet with Superintendent Brabrand to discuss systemwide issues? Visit the Advisory Councils page for details.

Check Out the Fall Issue of Audit Buzz

FCPS' Office of Auditor General (OAG) publishes Audit Buzz to provide a view into OAG's work. In the latest issue, you'll find a summary of results from the recently completed Local School Activity Funds Financial Statement Audit; a recap of the Auditor General's presentation to the Education Committee of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Association; and an overview of current work. This work includes the ongoing Performance Audit of Grants Administration, Accounting, and Monitoring, and the Performance Audit of Time and Attendance. Read the latest issue of Audit Buzz.

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 11/26/19

Employee News 1 week 5 days ago

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


Key MS staff members show they're #1 in team spirit! All staff and students are divided into four teams. Each team earns points for helping one another and the Key community through service and spirit. (Photo: Amy Holleb, Principal)

VRS Hybrid Members: Take Advantage of Matching Retirement Contributions!

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) is a mandatory defined benefit program sponsored by the Commonwealth of Virginia. All full-time educational, administrative, and operational employees (monthly-paid) are members of VRS. Most staff hired after January 1, 2014, are members of VRS' Hybrid Retirement Plan. If you are a hybrid member, it’s time to enroll or make changes to voluntary contributions.  

VRS Hybrid Voluntary Contributions to Increase in January 1, 2020, Unless Opt-Out Submitted

The VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan is designed so that voluntary contributions automatically increase or auto-escalate by 0.50 percent every three years, continuing until members reach the maximum 4 percent in voluntary contributions. The purpose is to encourage members to maximize their retirement savings. Hybrid members who want to opt out of auto-escalation must do so by 4 p.m., December 16. Review the schedule of employer matching contributions.

Video of the Week


Walking into Thanksgiving Break like... Watch as Hayfield SS administrators get pumped up before running the nearly one-mile long Turkey Trot with staff and PE classes. This is serious business, folks. (Video: Hayfield SS)

Attend ERFC's Retirement Information Session on December 3

Attention: Full-time, Monthly-Paid Instructional, Administrative, and Educational Support Employees 

The Educational Employees' Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) hosts Retirement Plan Information Sessions throughout the school year for all of its members and their financial partners. ERFC's last session for 2019 will be held on Tuesday, December 3, from 4-6 p.m., at Gatehouse Administration Center. Register today through MyPDEFind ERFC’s full Information Session Schedule on ERFC's webpage on the intranet. 

#OurFCPS Faces: Command Sergeant Major Clint Pearson and Colonel Gary Bullard


Command Sergeant Major Clint Pearson (left) and Colonel Gary Bullard (right) have worked at FCPS for four years and five years, respectively, at West Potomac HS. Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Pearson is a Junior Reserve Office Training Corps (JROTC) Army Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) instructor. Colonel Bullard is a JROTC Army senior instructor. 

After serving 35 years in the Army, CSM Pearson brought his wealth of knowledge to teaching Leadership Education and Training (LET) Level 1 and the second year LET class, which is split into two units. He is responsible for "motivating young people to be better citizens." CSM Pearson adds, "To accomplish this purpose, the text discusses citizenship, leadership, and a number of other courses designed to help the cadets succeed in high school and after graduation.” There are also extracurricular activities such as Color Guard, Drill Team, Rifle Team competition, and participation in local community events. 

What does CSM Pearson like most about being a JROTC instructor? His quick response is, “My cadets.” He also states emphatically, “I believe in our school, teachers, parents, and our students.”

Colonel Bullard joined FCPS after serving 30 years in the Army. He says, “In the classroom, I'm the primary instructor for the 3rd and 4th level cadets (primarily juniors and seniors).” Some of his responsibilities include managing the operational and administrative functions of West Potomac's JROTC program. He also conducts communication efforts with the school's administrative staff and local community officials.

CSM Pearson and Colonel Bullard are a tag team of sorts. West Potomac HS Principal Tangy Millard cannot contain her enthusiasm when speaking about these two instructors. She describes them as holding a high standard for their students, "super inclusive, and top-notch.” She adds, “They are bringing a high level of excellence to the JROTC program that permeates the whole school. You can see a sense of pride in the cadets around West Potomac. They have a selfless dedication to their students and they will not give up on them.”

As an example, CSM Pearson and Colonel Bullard took students to a rifle competition in Richmond on a Friday, then turned around to accompany them to New York City for a Veterans Day parade. Tangy beams, “I believe we are the only school in Virginia that received an invitation to participate in this prestigious event. That invitation is based on a level of excellence.”

For Colonel Bullard, the best part of his work is “assisting cadets to reach their fullest potential, and helping them establish and achieve their short and long-term goals (to include post-high school plans).” He adds, “2019 was our best year for JROTC graduates. Three of our students received Service Academy appointments and five received ROTC Scholarships.” 

It is easy to see why Colonel Bullard and CSM Pearson won an FCPS Excellence Award in the Impact on Others category! We thank both of these outstanding gentlemen for their service to our country and to FCPS cadets.

Become Familiar with the FCPS Editorial Style Guide

Whether you are writing an email, a newsletter article, or drafting language to be posted to your website, your communication should be clear, consistent, and aligned with FCPS’ brand identity. Why? It's important, because every message you communicate reflects upon you, your school or department, and ultimately, the school division. Our Brand Guidelines include an Editorial Style Guide with information on abbreviations, acronyms, punctuation, possessives, and other elements of writing. Please take a few minutes to review FCPS' Editorial Style Guide

Help Support Homeless Students for the Holidays!

More than 2,400 homeless children are enrolled in FCPS; roughly 24 percent of them are without a parent or guardian. In keeping with FCPS’ Caring Culture, and as part of the mission of the Foundation for FCPS to serve our kids in need, we are supporting homeless and unaccompanied students this holiday season by collecting gift cards for them to buy personal items. Here's how you can help:

  • Purchase as many gift cards, in any amount, as you would like. (Walmart, Target, and grocery store gift cards are suggested.) Be sure to mark the value on the back of the card(s).
  • Send gift cards to Patti Parisi, Financial Services, Gatehouse, Room 4214; Tina West, Special Services, Willow Oaks, Room 2109; or Amy Verdin, Foundation for FCPS, Gatehouse, Suite 5101.
  • No time to shop? Send cash or checks to The Foundation for FCPS or donate online. The Homeless Liaison Office will do the shopping for you.

Last year, because of the kindness and generosity of FCPS employees, families, and friends, more than $9,200 was collected in cash and gift cards. We hope you will help again this year! Please contact Patti Parisi, 571-423-3750, with questions. 

Thanksgiving Break Starts Tomorrow!


Thanksgiving Break is Wednesday, November 27-Friday, November 29. We hope you will carve out some time to relax, recharge, and enjoy some really delicious food! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Inclusive Schools Week Is December 2-6

FCPS will be celebrating Inclusive Schools Week next week. This year’s theme is Charting the Course for Inclusive Schools. All schools are encouraged to share their story about steps taken to promote greater access, participation, and support for students with disabilities in inclusive settings. If you would like to have your school highlighted and celebrated on FCPS' Inclusive Education webpage, please share your success story! Submit information, including photos if possible, describing how your school embraces a culture of inclusiveness to Erica Jones, at ejones1@fcps.edu

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 11/19/19

Employee News 2 weeks 5 days ago

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


Staff from Areas 3 and 4 in Transportation Services took part in a "pink out" for cancer awareness. (Photo: Sharon Smith, Area 3 Transportation Services)

October Cares of the Month Winners

Congratulations to FCPS Cares of the Month recipients for October! The winners are:

  • Central Office: Jennifer Craft, Special Services, Montrose ALC.
  • Region 1: Luis Villalta, Clearview ES.
  • Region 2: Brian Stagliano, McLean HS.
  • Region 3: Andrea Cabrera, Lynbrook ES.
  • Region 4: Mindy Flory, Rolling Valley ES.
  • Region 5: Amy Hansen, Frost MS.

See what makes the winners specialAcknowledge the great work of an FCPS employee

Update on Employee Engagement Survey Results

The Employee Engagement Survey closed on Monday, November 11. Here's a quick preview of the divisionwide results:

  • 70 percent of employees participated in the survey.
  • 84 percent of employees are considered to be engaged or highly engaged, and feel that they work in an atmosphere where there is mutual respect among staff.

Full reports will be available in early 2020. Visit the Employee Engagement Survey page for more information.

Photo of the Week


Thanks to Cardinal Forest ES Teacher Maurice Hubbard for this important public service announcement. (Photo: Cardinal Forest ES)

Attend an Instructional Coaching Program Information Night

Teacher leaders interested in applying for the Instructional Coaching Candidate Pool for the 2020-21 school year are invited to attend one of two information nights. During these information nights, teachers will:

  • learn more about the roles of an instructional coach and the FCPS Instructional Coaching Model.
  • learn about the qualifications and application process.
  • have an opportunity to ask questions and learn from experienced instructional coaches.

Please register for one of the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 4:45-6:45 p.m., at Willow Oaks Center Room 1000A.
  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 4:45-6:45 p.m., at Willow Oaks Center Room 1000B.

Register now in MyPDE (course code 000914-Instructional Coaching Information Sessions).

2020 Supporting Success Applications Open Soon

Supporting Success is a 12-week professional development program for FCPS operational employees. The program provides an opportunity for employees to learn more about the school system's departments, offices, and school-based functions. It fosters the building of a network of colleagues through a rich and diverse cohort setting, and gives participants a wider perspective of available opportunities in FCPS.

Supporting Success is open to all FCPS operational Schedule A employees (formerly US-19 and below). Applications will open on December 2, and will close on January 7, 2020. Get more information and access the application on the Leadership Development intranet page, under Operational/Support Employees.

#OurFCPS Faces: Carmen Saravia

 

Carmen Saravia's warmth and friendliness are a special part of the Gatehouse Café's caring culture. Carmen is a Food Services kitchen manager/assistant manager and has worked at FCPS for 17 years. 

Whether preparing and delivering catering orders for meetings, preparing meals, or working the cash register, Carmen's dedication to her job always shines through. She explains, “I do the job the best I can with my priority being the customers. It’s important to be nice with everyone and see them happy. They make me happy too and keep me going day by day.”

Carmen believes in learning something new every day. She says she works hard to achieve her goals, one of which was to see her sons obtain a professional career. Carmen exclaims, “The dream came true!” She believes that "nothing is easy, but we can do it."

Gatehouse Café Supervisor Shobana Sen says, “I have had the pleasure of working with Carmen for the past year and a half. I have always found her to be a people person. I love the way she is so much at ease with everyone. She does everything to ensure the clients feel at home here at Gatehouse Café.” And feel at home they do. Julie Fowler, manager of business operations, says, “Carmen has brightened every day I’ve worked at Gatehouse. I am happy for her, and I will miss her.”

Yes, that means Carmen is retiring. This is her last week. She explains, “Now is my time to take time for myself. I plan to spend more time with my family. I will thank everyone for all the support. I’ve really had a good time, and I enjoy my job and have good memories. Everybody will be in my heart.”

Shobana adds, “We will certainly miss her presence here, but we also are very excited for her new journey.”

Carmen, thank you for serving up a side of excellent customer service with our meals for 17 years. We wish you all of the best in your retirement!

Tips to Maximize Your Social Media Efforts

Here are two tips to help you get the most out of your FCPS-related social media efforts: 

  1. Include clear, well-lit photos or videos in your posts to increase engagement. Ensure that students are not on their school's photo opt-out list prior to featuring them on social media.
  2. Proofread your posts. When a mistake happens, acknowledge it, apologize, correct it (if possible), or delete it and repost. Different situations may require different actions. Use your best judgment and move on! 

Find more tips on FCPS' Social Media Best Practices for Staff page

Save Energy During Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break is Wednesday, November 27-Friday, November 29. Please visit the Energy Conservation intranet page for tips and resources that will support FCPS' energy savings initiative during Thanksgiving. 

Follow FCPS on Instagram!


Are you following FCPS on Instagram? If not, you should! FCPS' Instagram account showcases gorgeous photos of our amazing students and staff learning, laughing, and living their best lives at FCPS! You'll love the clever animations, too. Check out our weekly features including #FCPSTeacherTuesday, #WellnessWednesday, and #TGIFcps. Enjoy FCPS' Instagram page and don't forget to follow

Save the Date: Special Education Conference to Be Held on April 18, 2020

FCPS will hold its 15th Annual Special Education Conference on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Hayfield SS. Registration will begin in February. A student strand, for youth ages 14-22, will be part of the event. FCPS educators, administrators, and pre-service teachers will earn five recertification points for attending the entire conference. Visit the Special Education Conference webpage for 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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 11/12/19

Employee News 3 weeks 5 days ago

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


Beech Tree ES staff enjoyed a visit to the U.S. Capitol Building during last week's Teacher Workday. (Photo: Karim Daugherty, Principal)

How FCPS Communicates Weather Closures and Delays

When FCPS cancels or delays the opening of school due to inclement weather or other emergencies, staff, students, and parents are notified in multiple ways as soon as the decision is made.

FCPS' official Twitter account, @fcpsnews (with the blue check mark), is where you'll first see closing or delay announcements. That's because we've found Twitter to be the fastest, most effective method of disseminating news. Additional communication channels used to announce a delayed opening or closure include FCPS’ public website, email, text, Facebook, local television and radio stations, and Channel 21. Subscribers to the Delayed Openings and School Closings email on News You Choose will also be notified.

Please keep in mind that there may be a delay from the time messages are transmitted to them being received by users. More than 588,000 emails and texts are being transmitted during every weather closure or delay. However, FCPS has no control over how long it takes cell and internet service providers to distribute emails and texts to customers.

Please view FCPS' Weather Cancellation Procedures page for more information on weather closings and delays.

Open Enrollment Confirmation Statements Arriving Soon

Open Enrollment ended on Friday, November 8. Elections made during Open Enrollment will become effective January 1, 2020. Later this week, you will receive a confirmation statement, which will show your elected benefits for 2020. Please review this statement carefully. Find out more.

Photo of the Week


What are Marshall Road ES teachers to do when it's raining during Kiss and Ride duty? Grab umbrella hats, of course. They're practical and perfect reminders that rainbows are just ahead. (Photo: Marshall Road ES)

FCPS Recognizes 10 School Websites 

Congratulations to the 10 schools who were honored for excellence in web design and use of web-based tools at the 2019 Best of the Web Awards! The awards were presented during FCPS' annual Web Curators Conference, which was held on Tuesday, November 5. See the list of winners.

#NoVAedchat: Culturally Responsive Professional Learning Communities

The Equity and Cultural Responsiveness (ECR) team invites teachers and administrators to join the second Leaders of the Lens series of #NoVAedchats. ECR will partner with professional development education specialists @FCPS_PD to consider learning from Cultural Proficiency Module IV, unpack how Professional Learning Communities foster equity, examine Collaborative Learning Team practices, and engage student voice.

The Twitter chat will be held on Wednesday, November 13, from 8-9 p.m. If you are new to Twitter chats, please refer to these helpful tipsRegister on MyPDE (course code ECR003TW) to receive one recertification hour for participation. Follow the Equity and Cultural Responsiveness team on Twitter @FCPSEquity and tag your tweets with "#FCPSWeseeyou." Check out the Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Professional Learning Toolkit.

#OurFCPS Faces: Evie Ifantides


If you hear an enthusiastic voice saying, “Hello, nice people!” that voice probably belongs to Evie Ifantides. Her energy is boundless and brightens up every room she's in.

Evie began working for FCPS in August 1991 as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and social studies teacher at Bryant Adult HS (now Bryant HS). In 1999, Evie became the school-based technology specialist at Bryant. Since 2011, she's been a preK-12 ESOL technology specialist with the Office of ESOL Services. In this role, Evie helps support the ESOL office and ESOL teachers with any technology needs they have. She also assists with reviewing digital resources for ESOL students. 

Given Evie's charisma, we're not surprised to learn that what she likes most about her work is "the people." She adds, "The folks that support our ESOL students are bright, caring, and so thoughtful.” Those adjectives describe Evie perfectly, too. She is one of the founding members of the Caring Culture Committee, which helps to promote well-being at Willow Oaks.

Colleague Meghan Hyland-Eddy says in a recent FCPS Cares, "Evie Ifantides recently helped me to plan a presentation and troubleshoot the technology setup. She even joined me on a 'field trip' off site to scout out the location in advance and test drive all of the technology. On the day of the presentation, she arrived early to ensure that everything was working correctly. Evie is always helpful and it is such a pleasure to work with her! Thank you, Evie!"

Evie's supervisor Darina Walsh says, “Evie is dedicated to creating and maintaining a caring culture in our office, department, and FCPS.”

In her free time, Evie enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She also likes attending "live productions," playing tennis, and supporting all events taking place in Fairfax City. 

Evie was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She explains, "When I was four, my family immigrated to Athens, Greece. When I was 12 years old and in 8th grade, my family immigrated once again, this time to the great state of Maine. I have been on a bicycle since I was a little kid. I went to a lot of places on my bike in the outskirts of Athens. For some reason, I took a biking hiatus once I came to this country.”

Evie credits her Leadership Development Cohort including Richard Michelback, who presented on biking to work, and Frank Linton, who showed her the bike route to Fairfax Ridge, with biking's resurgence in her life. At the end of March 2012, at the age of 45, she began biking to work. She boasts, “Here I am almost 1,000 round trips and over 9,400 miles later. Read my blog, ride with me, and donate to the FCPS Safe Routes to School program by clicking on this FCPS website.”

We thank you, Evie, for embodying a caring culture and encouraging others to do the same. 

#OurFCPS: Together It's Possible


Food Services Operations Specialists Tracie Thomas and Rahul Nooniwal are all in with #OurFCPS!

Know Your Numbers: Free Health Screenings for FCPS Employees

In conjunction with Inova Well, FCPS Employee Wellness is offering a convenient opportunity for employees to know their numbers. Staff members can receive a free health screening that includes a fingerstick for glucose and cholesterol as well as a blood pressure and body mass index measurement. Eligible participants can also complete their online health assessment to earn a $100 credit on their deductible through their FCPS health plan. They can participate in fun wellness activities, too, such as a smoothie station, sleep deprivation goggles, and fitness demonstrations. Screenings will be held on Wednesday, December 11, 2:30-5:30 p.m., at the Gatehouse Administration Center Café. 

Appointments are required. Please visit the Employee Wellness webpage on the intranet to sign up. Email questions to HRWellness@fcps.edu.

Do You Know Someone Who Wants to Be in the Driver's Seat?


Do you have friends or relatives who might be interested in driving a school bus for FCPS? If so, please tell them about FCPS' Bus Driver Job Fair. The event will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 13, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at the Gerry Hyland Government Center, located at 8350 Richmond Highway in Alexandria. The current salary for bus drivers is $19.20 per hour! Drivers receive great benefits, too, including retirement, health, and dental plans; life and disability insurance; six paid non-working days; and a paid training program. Read the news release.

County Voters Approve 2019 School Bond Referendum


We are extremely grateful for Fairfax County voters' approval of the 2019 school bond referendum! More than 77 percent of those who voted in last Tuesday's election supported the $360 million bond referendum, which is one of the highest bond approvals in FCPS history. Read the School Board Chair's statement.

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 11/5/19

Employee News 1 month ago

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


Shout out to
 Liberty MS staff who participated in the school's inaugural Bow Tie Tuesday. "Knot" bad, gentlemen! (Photo: Liberty MS)

Open Enrollment Ends Friday, November 8!

Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to enroll and/or make changes to your medical, dental, and/or flexible spending account (FSA) benefits for the upcoming year. Would you like assistance with making your elections? If so, there will be extended hours at Gatehouse Administration Center on Thursday, November 7. Remember, Open Enrollment ends on Friday, November 8. Visit the Open Enrollment webpage.

Superintendent Brabrand Featured on "Connect with County Leaders" Podcast

The "Connect with County Leaders" podcast shares the latest news and information on Fairfax County programs and services. On this edition of Connect with County Leaders, host Jim Person connects with Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill and Superintendent Brabrand. They discuss the budgets and strategic plans of each organization, the One Fairfax initiative, as well as winter weather and the difficult decisions related to keeping schools and county government open. Listen to the podcast.

Employee Engagement Survey Closes This Friday!

If you haven't taken the Employee Engagement Survey yet, please participate by Friday, November 8! Your feedback will help ensure that FCPS is a great place for all employees to work and grow professionally. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete. All responses are strictly confidential. No one at FCPS will know whether you participated or how you responded. Check your FCPS email account for the survey invitation from K12 Insight, our survey administrator. Get additional information on the Employee Engagement Survey page on the intranet. 

Photos of the Week


Every year, we are amazed by the ingenious Halloween and Storybook Character Day costumes created by FCPS staff. The roller coaster riders from Lemon Road ES (above) are an excellent example! Check out our Facebook album which features more than 70 fun photos of FCPS employees. We also created an additional post showcasing students and staff. Enjoy!

MyPDE Assigned Training

Before MyPDE was launched, all professional development (PD) for instructional and operational staff required by FCPS and/or federal, state, or local government was reviewed by the MyPDE team. Approved topics are now being added to employees’ MyPDE profiles as “assigned training,” as appropriate.

In some cases, topics that previously applied only to certain groups, special education teachers for example, are now required of all instructional staff regardless of level or content. Instructional and operational employees who receive a notification of a newly assigned training should consider it an accurate reflection of the requirement. View the current list of required training for select instructional groups on the intranet.

All required PD is based on requirements necessary to meet federal, state, local, or Division mandates. For example, Anaphylaxis Basics is required per Virginia code for all employees, not just school-based staff. Employees who have not had an expectation to complete the Anaphylaxis Awareness - for all FCPS Staff course in the past should work with their supervisor to access and complete the online module.

Keep in mind that additional requirements will be assigned as the MyPDE team continues to align the requirements with the intended audience. Employees will receive a notification directly from MyPDE if and when a training has been assigned. Please direct questions to your supervisor.

Space Is Still Available for Financial Wellness Workshop

Employee Wellness, in conjunction with our Employee Assistance Program Guidance Resources, is offering a financial wellness workshop, Managing Personal Finances. If you are looking for guidance on how to better manage your personal finances, we encourage you to attend. This workshop will help you demystify the numbers and get you living beyond paycheck to paycheck. Workshops will be held:

  • November 13, 4:30 p.m., Hayfield SS, High School Lecture Hall.
  • November 19, 4:30 p.m., Gatehouse Administration Center Café.
  • December 3, 4:30 p.m., Chantilly HS, Lecture Hall.

Objectives include identifying financial warning signs, creating a budget, and identifying good credit behaviors and practical savings tips.     

Please register through MyPDE, course code HR-808039.

#OurFCPS Faces: Dorothy Bonica

 

Dorothy Bonica says, "I hope to someday be as cool as my mom!” Dorothy is a full-time art educator at Fort Belvoir Primary. Her mother is an art teacher, too, and “always has awesome ideas!” Dorothy teaches students how to plan, engineer, problem solve, collaborate, build, refine, reflect, communicate, and express themselves though art. She explains, “We don’t just make pretty stuff in the art room, we make connections to our community, our cultures, our world, and each other. We also make messes, but we always get it cleaned up by the end of class!”

Dorothy adds, “One thing that I say in my classroom again and again is, 'How can you solve that problem?' There are so many solutions to art problems, and young minds are so creative! It’s always amazing to see how students can use the provided tools and their imagination to find solutions. I’m excited to see what the world will look like in the future when it is led by our students.” 

Alicia Ogrodny, Fort Belvoir Primary's school-based technology specialist, submitted an FCPS Cares on Dorothy's behalf. She mentions, “Ms. Bonica is an amazing art teacher that truly cares about the students, school, and military community." Principal Margo Pareja adds, "Ms. Bonica has an amazing ability to build relationships with students and staff and has created a learning environment in which all students are engaged and feel successful. She worked this summer to paint kid-friendly soldiers outside to emphasize our pride in serving a military-connected community and worked collaboratively with our new art teacher, Symone Simmons, to paint a mural at school welcoming military kids."

Dorothy is grateful to her mentors and co-workers, saying, “Shout out to all of my mentor and partner teachers who have worked with me to help me to get where I am!”  

When Dorothy isn't teaching, she enjoys making her own artwork and spending time with her mother. 

We appreciate the many ways in which you inspire creativity in young minds, Dorothy!

Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Professional Learning Toolkit 

The Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Team has expanded the Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Professional Learning Toolkit for the 2019-20 school year. This site is designed to support FCPS staff with professional learning resources to foster welcoming and culturally responsive environments, and provide access to additional systemwide initiatives that promote equitable outcomes. 

Be sure to check out the video library and courageous conversations tools as well as links to other school district initiatives, such as FCPSOn and Culturally Responsive Teaching, that work to close gaps in achievement, access, and opportunity. You must be logged into your FCPS Google account to access materials. 

Fostering Resilience at Hutchison ES


Hutchison ES staff went above and beyond the call of duty as a community school by serving as an evacuation site when 16 homes in the community had to be cleared for a natural gas leak. Hutchison staff welcomed community members warmly, while continuing the uninterrupted school day for more than 1,100 students. The Hutchison team worked closely with FCPS' Office of Safety and Security, Fairfax County Emergency Medical Service, Fire and Rescue, and the Red Cross to provide supports for the families who had been evacuated.

Support went well into the evening and included providing shelter, food, and necessities. All families were either united with family or friends, or were placed in hotels overnight. Despite the situation, 18 of the 26 Hutchison students who were displaced reported to school on time the next day. The remaining eight students made it to school by noon, due to the committed actions of the parent liaisons, social worker, office staff, and the administrators at Hutchison ES. It was truly a team effort and an excellent representation of Caring Culture.

Quit Mondays: Free Tobacco Cessation Program and Resources

FCPS Employee Wellness, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, is participating in a tobacco cessation campaign called Quit & Stay Quit Monday. There are many resources available to help FCPS employees be tobacco free. Use Monday to get back on track by taking advantage of one of the resources listed below. Some links may require FCPS intranet access:

If you have questions about the campaign or would like Quit & Stay Quit Monday materials to share and post at your site, please email HRWellness@fcps.edu.

Veterans Day Observances in Schools

Veterans Day is Monday, November 11. FCPS Policy 3380.2 provides an expectation for the observance of Veterans Day in our schools: “Although a federal holiday, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) does not include Veterans Day as a school holiday. School personnel shall follow the Calendar of Religious and Cultural Observances regarding Veterans Day, and shall provide students with instructional activities that honor veterans and recognize the role of the military in American democracy.”  

Schools have the flexibility to honor Veterans Day with learning experiences that they deem appropriate. However, a general announcement about Veterans Day does not satisfy the intent of the FCPS policy. A list of suggested learning experiences and resources is posted on the Instructional Services Department intranet 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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 10/29/19

Employee News 1 month 1 week ago

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


Herndon HS staff sport their spirit wear for the school's Homecoming Spirit Week. (Photo: Herndon HS)

Next Benefits Open House at Chantilly HS

The next Benefits Open House will be held at Chantilly HS on Wednesday, October 30, from 4-7 p.m. This will be a great opportunity to speak with Office of Benefits Services staff, health plan vendors, and retirement savings plan vendors about your FCPS benefits. You can also get help with UConnect. Visit the Open Enrollment webpage for more information.

Take the Employee Engagement Survey!


FCPS' Employee Engagement Survey is open! Please watch this short video and be sure to take the survey, if you haven't already participated. Just check your FCPS email account for an invitation from K12 Insight, our survey administrator. All responses are strictly confidential! Questions? Visit the Employee Engagement Survey page.

FCPS Says #FinishtheFight!


Fox 5 News stopped by Glen Forest ES last week to do a live broadcast during the school's Washington Nationals pep rally. 


FCPS staff and students continue to serve nothing but #Natitude in support of the Washington Nationals' first World Series. Before cheering on our team tonight (game time is 8:07 p.m.), take a look at photos featuring staff and students in their Nats gear. #LetsGoNats

Photo of the Week


We're really looking forward to our annual Halloween and Storybook Character Day photo feature in the next issue of Employee News! Until then, we'll warm you up with this western-themed trunk or treat display created by Laurel Ridge ES staff. (Photo: Megan Counts, Assistant Principal)

MyPDE Is Live!

MyPDE (My Professional Development and Evaluation) is now available to all FCPS employees. Log in to access your performance evaluations, register for professional development courses, and explore the content library.

There's a MyPDE webpage on FCPS' public website. You can also find a link to it on the Employee Resources page. If you're on the intranet, look for the link to MyPDE on the left navigation, under Account Sign On.

Quick reference guides, tutorials, and videos are available in MyPDE's User Guides. For additional support, please submit a RequestIT ticket in the IT Service Catalog.

Attend an ERFC Retirement Information Session

Attention: Full-time, Monthly-Paid Instructional, Administrative, and Educational Support Employees 

The Educational Employees' Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) hosts Retirement Plan Information Sessions throughout the school year for all of its members and their financial partners. Sessions outline the provisions of each ERFC plan structure:

  • ERFC Legacy Plan is for members hired prior to July 1, 2001.
  • ERFC 2001 Plan is for members hired on or after July 1, 2001.

ERFC's next session is Tuesday, November 12, from 4-6 p.m. at Gatehouse Administration Center. Register today through MyPDE and receive credit for your attendance. Find ERFC’s full Information Session Schedule on ERFC's webpage on the intranet. 

#OurFCPS Faces: Gordon Brown


There are many extraordinary people at Fairfax County Public Schools. Gordon Brown is one of them. Gordon has worked for FCPS for almost 12 years. He taught at Glasgow MS and Fairfax HS before joining Mount Vernon HS.

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher recently won an FCPS 2019 Excellence Award in the Impact on Others category. Gordon says, “In my capacity as director of the nonprofit, A Place to Stand, I ensure the school is supplied with enough fresh and nonperishable food to feed our hungry students and families.” That’s exactly why Gordon was nominated for the award.

Rose Bottle, a learning disabilities teacher at Mount Vernon HS, nominated Gordon. She writes, “In the classroom, Gordon takes on our most vulnerable students by teaching ESOL English Level 1 and our most gifted by teaching IB [International Baccalaureate] Theory of Knowledge. As if this incredible feat of flexible teaching were not enough, Gordon also helps feed our hungry kids through his Food Pantry Club supported by his non-profit organization, A Place to Stand. Gordon saw a need at Mount Vernon where over 50 percent of our students are food insecure. The food pantry was underutilized due to the stigma of asking for food. Gordon used student volunteers and established a barrier-free after school food program and 'satellite food pantries' in the classrooms of willing teachers. As a result, no student at Mount Vernon has any reason to go hungry.”

Gordon believes the best part of his work is "developing relationships with colleagues and students as well as teaching and learning with colleagues and students.” 

When Gordon isn’t teaching or organizing the food pantry, he enjoys traveling, playing guitar, and spending time with family.

Gordon, thank you for your monumental impact on students!

School Bond Referendum to Be on November 5 Ballot


The 2019 school bond referendum includes school improvement projects that will help ensure students have effective and efficient learning environments. The referendum will be on the general election ballot November 5. Get informed and remember to vote on November 5.

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 10/22/19

Employee News 1 month 2 weeks ago

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


Whitman MS staff wore red after the Washington Nationals' secured their first World Series berth in franchise history! #stayinthefight (Photo: Whitman MS)

Excellence Awards Recipients Celebrated at Fairfax HS


FCPS' Excellence Awards was another cause for celebration last Wednesday. Seventeen teams and 14 individuals were recognized at Fairfax HS. In total, 106 staff members were honored across four different categories: Growth, Impact on Others, Innovation, and Student Achievement. See the list of winners.

September Cares of the Month Winners

Congratulations to FCPS Cares of the Month recipients for September! The winners are:

  • Central Office: James Swider, Lorton Transportation.
  • Region 1: Jillian Bickelman and Jennifer Lawrence, Herndon HS. 
  • Region 2: Allison Mallon, North Springfield ES.
  • Region 3: Donna Eyler and Marye Carter, Riverside ES. 
  • Region 4: Shakila Asif, Cherry Run ES.
  • Region 5: Peggy Linski, Woodson HS.

See what makes the winners specialAcknowledge the great work of an FCPS employee

Take the Employee Engagement Survey Today!


FCPS’ Employee Engagement Survey is now open! Please check your FCPS email account for your invitation and survey link sent from K12 Insight, our independent research and communications partner. Your feedback will help ensure that FCPS is a great place for all employees to work and grow professionally. All responses are strictly confidential. Watch this short video to learn more and please take the survey today!

Attend the First Benefits Open House on Thursday

Benefits staff, health plan vendors, and retirement savings plan vendors will answer questions about your FCPS benefits at the Benefits Open House on Thursday, October 24, 4-7 p.m., at Hayfield SS. The event will also include a mini-workshop for expecting parents as well as a flu shot clinic. Please register for the mini-workshop and clinic in advance. For more information, visit FCPS' Open Enrollment webpage.

Video of the Week


FCPS employees have so many hidden talents! This time around, we're "wheely" amazed by Jared Shields, a second grade teacher at Rolling Valley ES. As you can see, Rolling Valley students were very impressed, too. 

Policies Concerning the Conduct of Political Campaigns

Did you know that FCPS staff should not wear campaign buttons, T-shirts, hats, or other items promoting political candidates during work hours? Are you aware that anyone wanting to use school facilities for political activities outside school hours must apply for such use? Visit the intranet for more campaigning do's and don'ts at FCPS.  

Register for the Fall Wellness Challenge: Feel Like a Million

Register now for Feel Like a Million, Employee Wellness' new game show-themed, six-week virtual wellness challenge! It begins Monday, October 28. During the challenge, participants earn virtual money by logging healthy habits in five core areas. The goal is to accumulate one million virtual dollars while building healthy habits, managing stress, and inspiring camaraderie and friendly competition among staff. Participants can also choose to form a team of four or more colleagues to join the Millionaire’s Club. Individuals who would rather not be on a team can still earn and track Feel Like A Million dollars. Prizes can be earned weekly as well as at the end of the challenge. They include gym bags, yoga mats, Fitbits, and gift cards. Get details on the Employee Wellness webpage. Then, visit the Feel Like a Million website to register for the challenge. Questions? Email fitnesschallenge@fcps.edu.

#OurFCPS Faces: Shakila Asif


Cherry Run ES staff members Shakila Asif, preschool autism class instructional assistant, and Mark Bibbee, principal. 


Shakila Asif is a preschool autism class instructional assistant (PAC IA) at Cherry Run ES. This is her eighth year at FCPS. Before joining Cherry Run’s team, Shakila worked at Parklawn ES and Annandale Terrace ES.

As an IA in a PAC classroom, Shakila has many responsibilities. She says,”I execute instructional delivery as planned by the teacher using best practices. This includes data collection on student IEP [individualized educational plan] goals and supporting generalization of their goals to other activities and environments. I use positive reinforcement to help students develop skills.”

Shakila ensures that classroom materials are ready for same-day use according to the teacher’s lesson plans. She adds, “During the week in designated planning time, I prepare materials for planned future activities, organize student work bins, and participate in collaborative planning with my classroom team.”

Preschool Autism Teacher Leslie Lauth-Torres truly appreciates Shakila's efforts. The following is an excerpt from Leslie's FCPS Cares submission on Shakila's behalf: "Shakila Asif is an instructional assistant with a commitment to excellence. Shakila and I have had the pleasure of working together for four school years in a preschool autism class. Shakila brings many talents to our classroom team, especially in the area of organization. Details make a big difference in the smooth running of a classroom. This fall we welcomed a new member to our classroom team. I quickly realized how many details Shakila just quietly handles in a day as we began to teach our new team member. Shakila has taken our new colleague under her wing and is patiently teaching her about the many tasks that need to be completed each day for our students to have successful days at school."

What's the best part of Shakila's job? “The kids, because I love them," she says. We are certain that they feel the same about you, Shakila. 

Apply for the Spring 2020 Cohort of Supporting the Mission

Would you like to gain a better understanding of how offices, departments, and schools within FCPS work together to support the mission of our school division? Are you interested in building your knowledge and skills around core leadership competencies?

If so, please consider applying for the spring 2020 cohort of Supporting the Mission! Eligible employees include teacher leaders, and Schedule B and C staff (formerly US-20 and above). Interest and recommendation forms are due by November 13. Forms will be shared with FCPS Leadership Team members. They will forward nominations for the cohort. 

Acceptance to participate in Supporting the Mission is highly competitive. Applicants and supervisors are encouraged to provide evidence as to why applicants are prepared to participate in the cohort and how they will utilize what they learn to support the Division's goals. Please visit the Supporting the Mission webpage for more details or contact Tiffany Lee at ttlee@fcps.edu.

School Bond Referendum to Be on November 5 Ballot

Did you know that the building and renovation of schools is not financed through the school system’s operating funds, but through bonds? Similar to an individual or a family obtaining a mortgage on a residence to spread the cost of home buying over many years, bonds spread the cost of major capital improvements over many years. 

As long as debt service costs do not increase significantly as a percentage of combined general fund disbursements, the county’s bonded debt will not be a contributing factor to any increase in local taxes. 

A school bond referendum will be on the general election ballot Tuesday, November 5. Get more information

Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout Is Coming

Take advantage of a free, convenient, confidential, and safe disposal of unused or expired medications during Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout on Saturday, October 26, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Drop off medications at any of the eight Fairfax County District Police Stations (pills or liquids only, no pressurized canisters or needles). Find out more about Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout.

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 10/15/19

Employee News 1 month 3 weeks ago

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


Bucknell ES staff wear pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Photo: Bucknell ES)

Open Enrollment Is Underway!

Open Enrollment began yesterday and will continue through Friday, November 8. This is your annual opportunity to enroll and/or make changes to your medical, dental, and/or flexible spending account (FSA) benefits for the upcoming year. If you would like help figuring out which benefits plans will best serve your needs, talk to ALEX®, the virtual benefits counselor! ALEX provides personalized, confidential benefits guidance on any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Connect with ALEX and find detailed benefits information on FCPS' Open Enrollment webpage. 

New MyPDE System: Important Deadlines

As a reminder, MyPLT and eLearnIT systems will go offline on Thursday, October 17, at the end of the day. MyPLT historical employee performance evaluations, courses, and course completions will be accessible within MyPDE (My Professional Development and Evaluation) on Monday, October 28, at the start of the business day.

Employees requiring access to professional development transcripts during the transition period (Friday, October 18-Sunday, October 27) should print their transcript before October 17. 

Employees using eLearnIT who have courses in progress need to complete their courses before the close of business on October 17. If the course is not completed by that time, employees will need to restart the course once MyPDE becomes available on October 28.

Highlights of the new system include online access to employee performance evaluations for operational employees, increased search functionality to easily locate learning opportunities, and a more engaging and functional user interface. Take a sneak peek at the new system.  

Photo of the Week


More than 1,000 South County MS staff and students put their hearts into showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month during the school's annual Pink Out. (Photo: South County MS) 

Employee Engagement Survey Opens Monday

Let your voice be heard! On Monday, October 21, employees will receive an email from K12 Insight with a link to FCPS’ Employee Engagement Survey. Your feedback will help ensure that FCPS is a great place for all staff to work and grow professionally. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete. All responses are strictly confidential. Visit the Employee Engagement Survey page for more information.

#OurFCPS Faces: Angela Aldave

 

One of Angela Aldave’s favorite quotes is from Dr. Mariam Stoppard: “Happy, healthy parents make happy, healthy children.” As the parent liaison at Annandale Terrace ES and Frost MS, Angela seeks out the opportunity to do just that–create an environment for happy parents to cultivate happy students. She says, “My primary responsibility is ensuring parents are informed of the wealth of resources available to them within FCPS to help their kids be successful. I also maintain and run the Parent Center at Annandale Terrace ES, always ensuring it provides a welcoming and inclusive environment, and is a safe place where families can get information and be involved in their kids’ academics day to day."

Angela has put together a calendar of parent coffees that will empower parents and, in turn, help their children. She adds, "I concentrate on personal development, so I partner with Britepaths for the financial classes. [...] The other coffee, in partnership with Edufuturo, is a resume-building workshop for parents. One of our success stories was one of our ATES parents becoming an IA [instructional assistant] for FCPS due to the partnership. Really amazing!”

What does Angela like most about her job? She exclaims, “I love the fact that in a way I’m helping make the difference in our community one family at a time and this is extremely rewarding.”

Principal Lisa Pilson says, “Mrs. Aldave is an incredible member of the Annandale Terrace school community. […] She’s striving to not only empower parents with information about what to do, but also how to apply new information learned during parent coffees to action. This energy elevates a caring culture while promoting parent involvement, engagement, empowerment and home school partnerships which extends the work of equity beyond the school day.”  

Frost MS Principal Anthony Harris reiterates, “Ms. Aldave is an active and positive member of our school community. […] She advocates for the needs of the parents and is currently collaboratively planning with the me the first event of a parent learning series at Frost MS this year!" 

Outside of FCPS, Angela loves "creating good memories" with her two children and husband. Angela also enjoys baking, practicing her graphics design skills, and discovering holistic ways to balance and improve her family's life. Angela is improving the lives of FCPS families, too!

Check Out #TeacherTuesday on Instagram!


Every Tuesday, we highlight one of FCPS' awesome teachers on Instagram as part of our #TeacherTuesday series. Please stop by FCPS' Instagram page and check out today's #TeacherTuesday profile. And, remember to follow @fairfaxcountypublicschools

FCPS Celebrates Digital Citizenship Week October 21-25

Helping students develop technology habits that take their health and well-being into consideration is an important part of being a good digital citizen. That’s why the theme for this year’s Digital Citizenship Week is Media Balance and Well-Being: Developing a Healthy Relationship with Your Technology.

This school implementation package has materials to support everyone with healthy technology use, and the materials can be customized to meet your school's needs. By the way, don't forget to use "#FCPSDigCit" on social media!

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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–Special Edition, Thursday, 10/10/19

Employee News 1 month 4 weeks ago

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

Get Ready for Open Enrollment! October 14-November 8

 

Open enrollment is the time for benefits-eligible employees to review their plan elections and make changes to their medical, dental, and flexible spending account benefits. This year, open enrollment for 2020 benefits will start on Monday, October 14, and end on Friday, November 8. Take a look at Employee Benefits Briefing, our open enrollment publication. You may also visit FCPS' Open Enrollment webpage for additional information.


Meet ALEX®, Your Virtual Benefits Counselor!

ALEX® is an interactive online tool that will walk you through your FCPS benefit options and provide personalized assistance along the way. When you talk to ALEX, he'll ask you a few questions about your health care needs and explain different aspects of each benefit, including plan details and premiums. If you have questions, ALEX has answers! Meet ALEX

Upcoming Open Enrollment Events

Open houses provide you with an opportunity to speak face-to face with Human Resources staff, benefit plan vendors, and retirement system representatives. The Office of Benefit Services will be hosting two open houses this month:

  • Thursday, October 24, 4-7 p.m., Hayfield SS (Cafeteria)

Open houses will also include flu shot clinics and mini-workshops for expectant parents. Registration is required. Visit FCPS' Open Enrollment webpage to register.

The Office of Benefit Services will also host two extended hours events at Gatehouse Administration Center:

  • Tuesday, October 15, 4-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 7, 4-7 p.m.

Human Resources staff will be present to answer questions and provide assistance with UConnect. Please Note: Flu shots will be unavailable during extended hours. Also, due to space constraints, benefit vendors will not be able to join us for extended hours.

Questions About Open Enrollment?

Please visit the FCPS Open Enrollment webpage for more information. Thank you!

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday during the school year. 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, 10/8/19

Employee News 2 months ago

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


Meet FCPS' new advanced academic resource teachers (AARTs)! (Photo: Lori Bedsole, advanced academic education specialist)

Open Enrollment Starts October 14!

Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to enroll and/or make changes to your medical, dental, and flexible spending account (FSA) benefits for the upcoming calendar year. As you prepare to make important benefit decisions, you may want to talk to ALEX®, the virtual benefits counselor. ALEX provides personalized, confidential benefits guidance on any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Visit the Open Enrollment webpage to get detailed information and to connect with ALEX.

Office of the Ombudsman to Support FCPS Employees

The Office of the Ombudsman is now offering services to employees. This service was requested and approved as a follow-on motion at the May 23, School Board meeting. The ombudsman will provide employees with a confidential, independent, impartial, and informal resource to obtain information and resolve problems. The services of the ombudsman are optional, will function in parallel to FCPS structures, and do not assume the responsibilities of any existing FCPS office, manager, or employee association.

The Office of the Ombudsman has no authority to make or change decisions, practices, policies, or regulations. As an impartial and informal resource, the ombudsman can listen to employee concerns and identify options for their desired outcomes. The ombudsman does not make recommendations for next steps. 

This plan has been created with input from Division Counsel and Human Resources, and after consulting with ombudsman offices in various K-12 divisions. If you have questions, please contact the Office of the Ombudsman 571-423-4014 or ombudsman@fcps.edu.

Photo of the Week


On September 24, Jackson MS Principal Mike Magliola and Glasgow MS Principal Shawn DeRose were literally on the run. As part of a friendly competition, Mike and Shawn ran the PACER test during Jackson's After-School Program. (The PACER is a part of wellness testing that measures students’ strength, flexibility, and endurance.) With sheer determination, the two pushed through to run the full length of Glasgow's gymnasium 81 times. Whew! And there may be a Part 2–Mike tweeted, "Next time, it's at our house." (Photo: Mike Magliola) 

Register Now for the Feel Like a Million Virtual Wellness Challenge!

Register now to participate in Feel Like a Million, the new game show-themed, six-week virtual wellness challenge hosted by Employee Wellness. The challenge begins on Monday, October 28. The goal is to earn one million virtual dollars by practicing healthy habits. Solo participants are welcome, or staff can choose to form a team of four or more colleagues to join the Millionaire’s Club. Participants can earn health-related prizes such as gym bags, yoga mats, Fitbits, as well as gift cards to Target, Amazon, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Get the details on the Employee Wellness website on the intranet. Then, visit the Feel Like a Million website to create an account and register for the challenge. Questions? Please email fitnesschallenge@fcps.edu. 

FCPS Employee Engagement Survey Coming Soon

Help make FCPS a great place to work and grow professionally by taking our fourth Employee Engagement Survey! All contracted employees–teachers, instructional assistants, administrators, transportation staff, custodians, and food service workers–are invited to participate in this confidential survey. The results will be used to determine our division’s strengths, opportunities, and challenges, and to bring about meaningful improvements. Your invitation and survey link will arrive in your FCPS email account on Monday, October 21. Visit the Employee Engagement Survey page on the intranet.

#OurFCPS Faces: Brooke Majors

 

“Surround yourself with people that want the best for you in all areas of your life.” That's the motto by which Brooke Majors lives. And, she’s making sure she’s doing just that for the students at Stone MS.

Assistant Principal Phil Hudson commented, “Brooke truly enjoys working with kids. She has an ability to build relationships with all students while setting high expectations. During the day, she works collaboratively to support a safe environment for all students and staff. She can be found reteaching and reviewing information with students prior to a reassessment or working with a group on a new step dance routine. Brooke will do about anything to support student success at Stone.”

Brooke is homegrown–an FCPS graduate who attended London Towne ES, Stone MS, and Westfield HS. For the last eight years, she has been working with Stone's After-School Program and assisting Student Services with testing. Last year, she became the school's safety and security assistant.

“In my role with safety and security," Brooke says, "I do my best to ensure the teachers’ and students’ safety while conducting all safety drills that [are] required by the state.” She also serves as a mentor to students, is the Step Team coach, and monitors after-school activities and school grounds.

Brooke adds, “The thing that I enjoy most about my job is the ability to make an impact in the students’ lives and to build positive relationships with them, so that they know there is at least one adult that does care about them holistically." 

In her free time, Brooke enjoys hiking, cooking, going to movies, and experiencing new restaurants alone or with friends. Brooke loves Chick-fil-a ice and is "obsessed with blue crabs!!" 

Stone students and staff are lucky to have you, Brooke!

Teaching Artists Display Their Creativity at Annual Artist Teacher Exhibition

In collaboration with the Workhouse Arts Center, FCPS' Fine Arts Office presents the 12th annual Artist Teacher Exhibition, an art exhibition recognizing the creativity and technical expertise of FCPS art teachers, beginning Wednesday, October 9. 

This year, 56 teachers submitted 111 original works of art. Fifty pieces will be featured. The exhibition will be open to the public Wednesday, October 9-Saturday, October 26, in the McGuire Woods Gallery at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. A reception will be held on Saturday, October 12, from 6-8 p.m. Read the news release.  

40 Seconds for Mental Health Awareness

World Mental Health Day is Thursday, October 10. Each year, the World Health Organization promotes this day as an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world. This year’s theme is Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention. Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. Let’s put those 40 seconds into action and raise awareness! Now is the perfect time to review, share, and promote mental health resources available through FCPS' Employee Assistance Program, Guidance Resources. It's your free, confidential, and 24-hour support network.

Register for the 2019 Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference

FCPS will host its 2019 Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference at Carson MS, on Saturday, October 19, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The RATE Conference is an educational technology conference focusing on the use of assistive technology to support all students, especially those with special needs. This year's keynote speaker is Fadel, an FCPS post-secondary student. He will share how assistive technology has impacted his life and school experiences.

FCPS employees will receive five recertification points for attending the conference. View the conference schedule and sessions. Register now

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 10/1/19

Employee News 2 months 1 week ago

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


Glen Forest ES' Portrait of a Graduate (POG) Presentations of Learning (POL) cohort took a quick break from determining next steps to teach students the skills to become collaborators and communicators. (Photo: Glen Forest ES)

Are You Set to Receive Emergency Notifications from FCPS?

Have you added your cell phone number(s) to Uconnect yet? If not, please do it as soon as possible. Only employees who have listed their cell phone number(s) in UConnect will receive FCPS text messages regarding delayed openings, school closings, and other critical communications. Please follow the steps below to add your cell phone number to UConnect:

  1. Log into UConnect.
  2. Click Bookmarks > Employee Self Service > Personal Information > Contact Numbers.
  3. Click Add.
  4. On the Detail section, click Contact Type, then select Cell Phone.
  5. Enter your cell phone number in the Phone Number field.
  6. Enter the Start Date or leave on the default date (today’s date).
  7. Click Update.

Please contact HR Connection with questions at 571-423-3000.

Summer FCPS Cares of the Month Winners

Congratulations to FCPS Cares of the Month recipients for July and August! The winners are:

Central Office: Mark Hyer, Sprague Technology Center.

Region 1: Gladys Laureano, Waples Mill ES.

Region 2: Jan Napoliello, Falls Church HS.

Region 3: Griffin Payne, Lane ES.

Region 4: Eileen Hoppock, Lake Braddock SS.

Region 5: Anne Fenton, Chantilly HS.

See what makes the winners specialAcknowledge the great work of an FCPS employee

Video of the Week 


There's no snow in sight, except for this "Thankful Snowball Fight" at Woodburn ES. This activity is part of Collaborative Learning Team (CLT) meetings, where members write thank-you notes, ball them up, throw them, and share with the group. Watch the video. (Via Brian Shields, Instructional Coach)

FCPS Employee Engagement Survey Launches October 21!

Mark your calendars: FCPS’ fourth Employee Engagement survey will be open on Monday, October 21! Your participation will help ensure that FCPS is a great place for all employees to work and grow professionally. Contracted employees including teachers, instructional assistants, administrators, transportation staff, custodians, and food service workers are invited to participate. All responses are confidential. Find out more about the Employee Engagement Survey.

#OurFCPS Faces: Sabrina Boyd


Sabrina Boyd began her career with FCPS in 2013 as a substitute teacher, after staying home to raise her three children. She joined the Instructional Services Department (ISD) in 2016 as a part-time facilitator of college fairs, the Gap Year Fair, and the seven division-facilitated scholarships for students. In this position, Sabrina was named the 2018 ISD Outstanding Non-School Based Hourly Employee of the Year, and she was an FCPS Honors finalist for Outstanding Non-School Based Hourly Employee of the Year. 

In April 2019, Sabrina returned to her degree field of accounting full-time as financial analyst I for the Office of Facilities Management (OFM) at the Sideburn Support Center. As a financial analyst I, Sabrina's duties include preparing financial management reports (FMRs) and analyzing, verifying, and reconciling various budget items such as credit card supply purchases and work order requests. Sabrina states, “On any given day, I may support anyone from the director of OFM to the finance technician of a school to one of the trades personnel maintaining one of our 198 schools and centers." 

Sabrina is an Educational Employees' Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) ambassador for her office. She was also recently accepted into the fall 2019 Supporting the Mission cohort. What does she like most about her job? Sabrina shares, it's "the people and the reach of what I do. [...] It is the people who take pride in ensuring our buildings and grounds are operating efficiently to support our mission of reaching every student by name and by need. I am fortunate to work under a supervisor and coordinator who encourage me in my growth as a financial analyst and as a stakeholder in FCPS.”

Sabrina’s supervisor, Tim Coleman, says, “Sabrina has contributed very much since she began a few months ago. She brings a warm and professional demeanor to the office and has definitely been a team player by pitching in to undertake additional assignments with the temporary vacancy in our office.”

Outside of FCPS, Sabrina serves on the Edison PTSA board as well as her children's swim team board. When traveling, she prefers exploring roads less traveled. This has also been a metaphor for her career. She explains, "The early part of my career was ‘charted’, so to speak, but I have since been ‘off the map’s edge.’ I have taken several unexpected detours, yet I have found my way back to accounting and finance. I am always seeking new ways to do my job better, understanding that 'better' may take me to uncharted processes. My detours speak to my willingness to change and to try something new.”

We are glad your journey led you to FCPS, Sabrina!

The FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference Is on Saturday!

FCPS' sixth annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference will be held on Saturday, October 5, at Fairfax HS, at 8 a.m. Inova and Kaiser Permanente are partnering with FCPS on this event. From 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the focus will be on social and emotional learning. Marc Brackett, Ph.D., founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will deliver the keynote address. A special session for high school students—the Our Minds Matter Teen Summit—will also be held during the morning. There will be breakout sessions, too. Attendees are invited to stay for Inova’s Act on Addiction Summit, from 12:30-4 p.m. The summit will offer several breakout sessions addressing substance misuse identification, resources, and recovery. Please register now to attend.

School Bond Referendum to Be on November 5 Ballot


A school bond referendum will be on the general election ballot Tuesday, November 5. Bond sales, a form of long-term borrowing, are used to finance the building and renovation of schools and must be approved by voters since they are a future obligation for taxpayers. Get more information about the school bond referendum

Weigh in on Fairfax County's Strategic Plan

Hundreds of people attended community meetings regarding Fairfax County's first-ever countywide strategic plan. The county still wants to hear from you through an online questionnaire. Feedback is needed on dozens of draft strategies. (There are a lot of questions; answer as many as you would like.) Your continued input will be critical in helping Fairfax County identify key priorities. Take the survey.

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 9/24/19

Employee News 2 months 2 weeks ago

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


Deans of students (DOS) from across FCPS participated in their first Collaborative Learning Team (CLT) meeting of the 2019-20 school year. (Photo: Susie Lilburn, DOS, Justice HS)

Save Money on Healthcare Expenses

Employees participating in an FCPS health plan as the primary cardholder may earn a $100 wellness incentive when they complete their online health assessment (HA) by December 31!

The HA is an online questionnaire related to your general health and well-being. It's easy to complete, takes about 15-20 minutes, and is confidential. Only you and your health plan will receive the individual information. It is never shared with FCPS, in compliance with state and federal privacy laws.

Choose your health plan to get started:

Learn more by visiting the Employee Wellness website. Please email questions to HRWellness@fcps.edu.

Know Your Numbers: Free Health Screenings for FCPS Employees

In conjunction with Inova Well, FCPS Employee Wellness is offering a convenient opportunity for employees to know their numbers. Staff members can receive a free health screening that includes a fingerstick for glucose and cholesterol, as well as a blood pressure and body mass index measurement. Participants can also complete their online health assessment to earn a $100 credit on their deductible through their FCPS health plan, and participate in fun wellness activities such as a smoothie station, sleep deprivation goggles, and fitness demonstrations. Health screenings will be held on Thursday, September 26, at Hayfield SS, from 3-5:30 p.m. 

Appointments are required. Get more information or sign up for an appointment. Please email HRWellness@fcps.edu with questions.

Photo of the Week 


Wouldn't it be awesome if we could click and smell these flowers? McNair ES Teacher Alice Luea received these beauties as a kick-off to the new school year. Alice tweeted: "It's the start of my 18th year of teaching and my mom continues the tradition...she has always sent me flowers at school during my 1st week. She may be in Michigan, but she's always with me. I am one lucky lady." Indeed you are, Alice. (Photo: Alice Luea)

Participate in Employee Wellness' Financial Wellness Workshop

Employee Wellness, in conjunction with FCPS' Employee Assistance Program (Guidance Resources), is offering a Financial Wellness Workshop entitled Managing Personal Finances. Money is a huge stressor for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. This workshop will help you demystify the numbers and stop living paycheck to paycheck. Workshop objectives include identifying financial warning signs, good credit behaviors, and practical savings tips. Participants will also get advice on how to create a budget. Choose one of the following sessions:

  • November 13, 4:30 p.m.
    Hayfield SS, High School Lecture Hall
    Register on MyPLT. Go to Course Offerings, then search #HR-808039. Select Section 2019-1.
  • November 19, 4:30 p.m.
    Gatehouse Administration Center, Café
    Register on MyPLT. Go to Course Offerings, then search #HR-808039. Select Section 2019-2.
  • December 3, 4:30 p.m. Chantilly HS, Lecture Hall
    Register on MyPLT. Go to Course Offerings, then search #HR-808039. Select Section 2019-3.

If you are looking for guidance on how to better manage your personal finances, please consider attending!

#OurFCPS Faces: Luke Stoothoff


“I listen to my music loud, love cold weather, and drink my coffee black,” says Luke Stoothoff, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher at Poe MS. This school year marks Luke's 10th year teaching ESOL in FCPS! He’s proud to say that all of his years in FCPS have been at Poe MS.

Luke, along with his colleague, Jennifer Blanco, are co-department chairs for ESOL. Luke says, “Together, we handle all aspects of implementing ESOL services for our 300+ students and 10 staff member department. Additionally, I co-teach Pre-Algebra with Ms. Anita Lockett. Ms. Lockett and I have team taught for the past six years." This school year, Luke became the ESOL representative to the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Guiding Coalition.

School Counselor Brig Carrie says, "Under our MTSS protocols, we have been supporting a 7th-grade student who has had little success in his academic career, moved schools more than 5 times, has a history of truancy throughout elementary and middle school, and faces mounting financial and social barriers which significantly impact him and his family system. [...] Luke, his math teacher, has been working with me (the student's counselor) and our grade-level administrator to support this student, who has been presented with consistent and disruptive behavior concerns in math class throughout the [last] school year. After a powerful conversation, Luke shifted his approach with this student with such success that the student earned his daily goal for work completion in math the following four classes in a row. Additionally, the student's grade has increased. [...] For a student who has always hated math, Luke's self-reflection, patience, and growth mindset have already made a huge impact on this student's trajectory."

For Luke, the best part of his job is, “Simply, being able to make a difference in someone's life. Whether it is through a learning experience in math class, a relationship that has been built through the After-School soccer club, or by making a connection through music, being able to help support middle school students is what I like the most.” 

Principal Jason Pannutti says, “Through his actions, Luke constantly sends the message that there is always room for growth when working with kids!”

In his free time, Luke says, “I am usually found either playing or watching soccer, playing the drums, or spending time cooking. However, I am just as content sitting with my boys watching cartoons and eating a bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning.”   

Luke, we truly appreciate your efforts to meet each student by name and by need.


Tanya Siwik, assistant principal at Centre Ridge ES, served up plenty of #OurFCPS pride during FCPS' annual Leadership Conference. (Photo: Tanya Siwik)

Pathways To Leadership for Operational Employees

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement is delighted to host the Pathways to Leadership Conference for Operational Employees on Tuesday, October 8, from 4:30-6:45 p.m., at Willow Oaks. The conference will showcase departments and offices within the Chief Operating Office. Leaders within those departments will host two 30-minute sessions that highlight the knowledge and skills needed to advance, and how to acquire these skills. Additionally, there will be sessions and booths to exhibit professional learning opportunities and resources for FCPS operational employees. More specific information about the schedule, breakout sessions, and booths will be posted on the Leadership Development page on the intranet by the first week of October. Please log into MyPLT, select Course Offerings, and search Pathways to Leadership. If you have questions, please contact Baek Chong at bochong@fcps.edu or 571-423-1334.

Register Now for NEW FCPS Teacher Workday/Student Holiday Camps; Employee Discount Is Available!

Need something fun, engaging, and educational for your child during teacher workdays? Adult and Community Education (ACE) has the solution! Introduce your child to a foreign language and related cultural culinary activities taught by enthusiastic and experienced instructors at ACE’s news FCPS Teacher Workday/Student Holiday Camps! FCPS employees who register their third-eighth grader(s) will receive a $29 tuition discount per day, per student. This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts. Camp dates are October 14, November 4, November 5, and December 23.

For camp fees and other details, please visit the K-12 Classes & Camps page on ACE's website, then select Elementary Enrichment or Secondary Enrichment, as appropriate. Register online, by phone at 703-658-1201, by mail, or in person. Spaces are limited; please register today!

Walk to School Day Is October 2

International Walk to School Day will be held on Wednesday, October 2. The goal is to promote physical activity, and reduce traffic congestion and pollution near schools. Students and staff are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work. Schools are encouraged to register online with Walk and Bike to SchoolRead the news release.

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 9/17/19

Employee News 2 months 3 weeks ago

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


New school psychologists connected at FCPS' Great Beginnings Summer Institute. (Photo: FCPS Office of Psychology Services)

Aspiring Teacher Leaders Wanted!

Would you like to gain a better understanding of how teacher leaders positively impact schools and the Division? Are you interested in building your knowledge and skills around core teacher leadership competencies? If so, the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement invites you to apply for an upcoming Teacher Leadership Cohort. Please visit the Teacher Leader Cohort webpage on the intranet to learn more about each cohort and access the application. The deadline for submitting applications is October 4. Please email questions to Raegan Hanson at rnhanson@fcps.edu.

Blood Drive at Sideburn Support Center

The Office of Facilities Management will be hosting a blood drive on Thursday, September 26, from 6-10 a.m., at the Sideburn Support Center (across from Robinson SS). Please donate if you can. Friends and family may participate as well. Blood donations take about one hour, and platelet donations take about two hours. A free breakfast will be provided for those who attempt to donate. Please tell your supervisor that you are donating blood or platelets! Questions? Contact Sharon Allen at 703-764-2405 or skallen@fcps.edu

Photo of the Week 


West Springfield HS principals from the past and present attended the school's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony last week. Mark Greenfelder (left), executive director, Office of School Support, was principal from 2011-2014. Mike Mukai (center) has been West Springfield's principal since 2014. Paul Wardinski (right) was principal from 2007-2011. Above, they are each holding the school Spartan "S" from the school's original signage. Fun Fact: All three staff members are FCPS grads! Mark attended West Springfield HS. Mike went to Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology. And, Paul graduated from Mount Vernon HS. (Photo: West Springfield HS)

See Who's on the Move!

Are you wondering who's brand new, moving up, or moving around at FCPS? Be sure to check out People on the Move on the intranet! There's also a link to it at the bottom of every Employee News issue. 

How the Foundation for FCPS Can Help Schools and Staff

The Foundation for FCPS is the separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports FCPS and its students. It can help schools and staff in several ways. For example, the Foundation:

  • Offers teacher grants between $1,000-$2,500 to fund innovative projects centered around workforce development. In the past two years, the Foundation has given more than $150,000 to teachers in FCPS. Watch for their next grant cycle in spring 2020.
  • Accepts donations for schools from their communities. They handle all aspects of the giving process, from working with donors to acknowledgements and recognition. They can even set up a special dedicated donation link.
  • Assists the 56,000 FCPS students in need by raising community funds to provide essential school supplies and necessities.
  • Celebrates FCPS employees with financial support of the annual FCPS Honors, as well as divisionwide recognition events.

Visit the Foundation's website or call 571-423-1031 for more information.

#OurFCPS Faces: Hanna Nguyen


If Hanna Nguyen looks familiar, it may be because she was named 2019 Outstanding Elementary New Teacher at FCPS. Hanna teaches fifth grade at Garfield ES. She started teaching in August 2017 and has been making a tremendous impact on students ever since. Hanna's former colleague Alicia Ogrodny (now at Fort Belvoir ES) submitted the following FCPS Cares submission about Hanna: 

"Hanna is an amazing second year teacher who goes above and beyond for her students. She welcomes all students each morning with a smile and a handshake or side hug. She makes sure to pull aside students who need a little pep talk each morning. Hanna takes her lunch time to have lunch bunches with students and really build strong bonds with them. In addition, Hanna is teaching an afternoon hip hop club and also teaches a fifth grade class before school science club." 

The following is how Hanna was described at FCPS Honors:  

"Hanna radiates positivity and greets her students with a huge smile every morning. She is there for them whenever they need a laugh on a tough day or a motivational talk to remind them to keep trying. Her students have transformed into everything from environmentalists to poets in her classroom. She has the ability to come up with innovative ways to teach content, while getting the kids to dance, rap, compete, or even let their creativity fly through a project. She has taught a hip hop dance club after school and is currently a part of a science club that meets before school. Her passion and love for her students shines through her commitment in helping them see their own true potential."

Thank you, Hanna! Keep shining!

Register for the FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference

FCPS' sixth annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference will be held on Saturday, October 5, at Fairfax HS, at 8 a.m. Inova and Kaiser Permanente are partnering with FCPS on this event.

From 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the focus will be on social and emotional learning. Marc Brackett, Ph.D., founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will deliver the keynote address. A special session for high school students—the Our Minds Matter Teen Summit—will also be held during the morning. Breakouts will include sessions on stress and anxiety, fostering resilience, healthy use of technology, drugs and the adolescent brain, vaping, and other topics. Attendees are invited to stay for Inova’s Act on Addiction Summit, from 12:30-4 p.m. The summit will offer several breakout sessions addressing substance misuse identification, resources, and recovery. Breakfast and lunch will be provided courtesy of Inova. Register now!

Register for the 2019 Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference

FCPS will host its 2019 Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference at Carson MS, on Saturday, October 19, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The RATE Conference is an educational technology conference focusing on the use of assistive technology to support all students, especially those with special needs. This year's keynote speaker is Fadel, an FCPS post-secondary student. He will share how assistive technology has impacted his life and school experiences.

FCPS employees will receive five recertification points for attending the conference. View the conference schedule and sessions. Register now

Help Shape a Countywide Strategic Plan

Join Fairfax County Government for another round of community meetings September 16-25, where you’ll learn more about progress on the first-ever countywide strategic plan. In the months since public feedback yielded nine areas of focus, teams have been working to further define and shape the future of our community in these areas:

  • Cultural and recreational opportunities.
  • Economic opportunity.
  • Education and lifelong learning.
  • Effective and efficient government.
  • Health and environment.
  • Housing and neighborhood livability.
  • Mobility and transportation.
  • Safety and security.
  • Self-sufficiency for people with vulnerabilities.

Come hear about each area, then share your thoughts, insights, opinions, and experiences that will be used to help further shape a countywide strategic plan. Register for a community meeting.

It's Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is acknowledged annually from September 15-October 15. The celebration was created to honor the rich history, culture, and many contributions of Hispanic Americans. Visit the Library of Congress' website to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 9/10/19

Employee News 2 months 4 weeks ago

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


Kudos to the custodians at Mount Vernon HS for keeping the school clean and safe!  

June Cares of the Month Winners

Congratulations to FCPS Cares of the Month recipients for June! The winners are:

  • Central Office: Katie Tardiff, Bull Run Early Childhood Resource Center, Special Services.
  • Region 1: Jane Waldrop, Clearview ES. (Jane is now at Hughes MS.)
  • Region 2: Ruth Baxley, Kilmer MS.
  • Region 3: Mackenzie Bergh and Sadaf Tariq, Bush Hill ES.
  • Region 4: Molly Rumberger, South County HS.
  • Region 5: Latrena Warthen, Greenbriar East ES.

See what makes the winners specialAcknowledge the great work of an FCPS employee

Policies Concerning the Conduct of Political Campaigns

Did you know that FCPS staff should not wear campaign buttons, T-shirts, hats, or other items promoting political candidates during work hours? Are you aware that anyone wanting to use school facilities for political activities outside school hours must apply for such use? Visit the intranet for more campaigning do's and don'ts at FCPS.  

Photo of the Week 


Longfellow MS staff celebrated Food Services Worker Dorothy Jackson for her 40th year at FCPS! Congratulations, Dorothy! We truly appreciate your dedication and service. (Photo: Longfellow MS)

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, being disrespectful to others, and posting student photos on personal social media accounts.

As FCPS employees, we are all viewed as 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.

Simply remembering these three tenets can help prevent mishaps that could detract from our ability to effectively serve our students. Please contact the Office of Communication and Community Relations (OCCR) with questions at ccrsocial@fcps.edu.   

Important Information for Current National Board Certified Teachers

FCPS is required to confirm the eligibility of all National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) every year in order for them to receive the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Incentive Award. All NBCTs must provide necessary information by completing this form. Please have your VDOE license number available! Every year, FCPS must certify that NBCTs are “engaged in direct instruction” with students more than 50 percent of each school day. Also, if you are up for renewal this year, please consider joining your NBCT colleagues in an Academy Cohort beginning in October. Register in MyPLT.

#OurFCPS Faces: Daniel Smith


Lake Braddock SS' principal, Dr. Daniel Smith, officially started leading the school on April 22. He joined Lake Braddock after serving as principal of Floyd E. Kellam HS, where he achieved the highest on-time graduation rate and lowest dropout rate in the history of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS)! Daniel was also the principal of Princess Anne HS and Corporate Landing MS in VBCPS, and of Luray MS and Grove Hill ES in Page County Public Schools. Prior to his appointment as principal of Sandy Hook ES in Shenandoah County Public Schools in 2007, Daniel served as the school's assistant principal.

Daniel began his teaching career in 2002. He taught in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District in Alaska, where he developed and implemented a physical education curriculum for middle school students. He later moved to Ashby Lee ES in Shenandoah County Public Schools, where he taught kindergarten through fifth grade.

Daniel earned his Bachelor of Science at James Madison University, his Master of Science at Shenandoah University, and his Doctor of Education at the University of Virginia.

Jay Pearson, assistant superintendent, Region 4, describes Daniel as "a strong instructional leader who believes in promoting best practices for teaching and learning. He builds collaborative relationships with staff, students, parents and community members wherever he has served." Read Jay's full article about Daniel on Lake Braddock's website.

Daniel says he is passionate about, "What goes on in classrooms with kids [...] and how we can ensure that new learning is occurring." He adds that one of the reasons why he became an educator was to "have that larger impact" and to make things happen in the best interest of students.

Watch Daniel's Meet the Principal video. We're lucky to have him at FCPS!

Know Your Numbers: Free Health Screenings for FCPS Employees

In conjunction with Inova Well, FCPS Employee Wellness is offering a convenient opportunity for employees to know their numbers. Staff can receive a free health screening that includes a fingerstick for glucose and cholesterol as well as a blood pressure and body mass index measurement. Participants can also complete their online health assessment to earn a $100 credit on their deductible through their health insurance and participate in fun wellness activities such as a smoothie station, fitness demonstrations, and wearing sleep deprivation goggles. Health screenings will be held on Thursday, September 26, at Hayfield SS, from 3-5:30 p.m. 

Appointments are required. Get more information or sign up for an appointment. Please email HRWellness@fcps.edu with questions.

World Suicide Prevention Day and National Suicide Prevention Week 

September 8-14 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Every year, nearly 1 million people die by suicide. Your Employee Assistance Program, Guidance Resources, can help you manage emotional concerns with free and confidential counseling from trained professionals. Learn about the warning signs and how you can help someone who may be in severe emotional distress

If you or someone you care about might be at risk of suicide, reach out for help right away. The following resources are available 24/7:

  • Call Guidance Resources at 855-355-9097.
  • Call Community Services Board Emergency Services at 703-573-5679.
  • Text "CONNECT" to 855-11 to contact PRS CrisisLink.
  • Call PRS CrisisLink at 703-527-4077.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • In an immediate, life-threatening situation, please call 911.  

One simple action can make a world of difference for someone in need. See why you should #BeThe1To...Ask. Keep Them Safe. Be There. Help Them Stay Connected. Follow Up.

School Bond Referendum to Be on November 5 Ballot


A school bond referendum will be on the general election ballot Tuesday, November 5. Polls will be open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Residents of Fairfax County may vote if they are 18 years or older on Election Day and have registered to vote 22 days prior to the election (on or before October 15, at 5 p.m.). Bond sales, a form of long-term borrowing, are used to finance the building and renovation of schools and must be approved by voters since they are a future obligation for taxpayers. Get more information about the school bond referendum

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 9/3/19

Employee News 3 months ago

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


We are delighted to feature some of FCPS' fantastic bus drivers!  

Phishing Email Advisory

We have had a number of phishing emails sent to FCPS staff in which the sender appeared to be an FCPS staff member. Since the attacker used an FCPS staff member’s account to send the messages, the system does not add “[External]” to the subject line, making recognition of the phishing attacks more difficult. Some FCPS users did not recognize the phishing attack, opened the message, clicked on the link(s) within the message (usually advertising a product discount or income opportunity), and provided their username and password on the fake login screen. The attacker used that login information to access FCPS contacts and send yet more phishing and scam emails to FCPS staff. 

We are currently blocking the phishing and scam messages from the compromised accounts that we know about. We are also blocking the phishing website(s) and assisting with password resets for the compromised user accounts. We need your help to prevent these scams. If you receive any messages that you were not expecting, either from an FCPS staff member or an external source, please do not click on any links or enter your FCPS credentials without verifying the sender. When in doubt, please consult with your TSSpec or forward any suspicious emails to SpamRemoval@fcps.edu. If you have questions, please contact the IT Service Desk at  ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu or 703-503-1600.

Summer Tuition Reimbursement Is Now Open!

The application portal for reimbursement of courses taken between May 16- August 31, 2019, is now open. Interested contracted employees may apply for up to $700 in tuition reimbursement for one summer course. To apply for tuition reimbursement, use FCPS’ Tuition Reimbursement Portal from now through September 30. (VPN required if accessing remotely.) Tuition reimbursement is available on a first-come, first-served basis using the current priority list. Please review it, since there have been changes. As previously announced, the process to request reimbursement has been streamlined. Remember to have your tuition paid receipt and grade report handy to complete the request. For more information, please email  Tuitionbenefits@fcps.edu.

Photo of the Week 


Before the new school year began, Poe MS celebrated their amazing custodial staff and thanked them for working hard to get the school ready for students and staff. Please save a plate for us next year! (Photo: Poe MS)

Teachers and Administrators: Dare to LeadWelcoming and Culturally Responsive Environments 

The Equity and Cultural Responsiveness Team wants to engage you in their first Leaders of the Lens series of #NoVAedchat for the 2019-20 school year with FCPS Director of Equity and Family Engagement Leona Smith-Vance. The Twitter chat will be held on Wednesday, September 11, from 8-9 p.m. Prepare to share and reflect on Brené Brown’s latest book, Dare to Lead, as you consider ways to foster a welcoming and culturally responsive environment for students, families, and staff. If you are new to Twitter chats, please refer to these helpful tips. Register on MyPLT (Course ECR003TW) to receive one recertification hour for participation.

#OurFCPS Faces: Linda Ysewyn, Jackson MS

 

Although Linda Ysewyn (Ease-win) is a Jackson MS mathematics teacher, she explains, “In reality each day, I’m also a learner.” Linda joined FCPS during the 2000-01 school year and has been at Jackson since then. “It’s been so rewarding to have former students return, in person or via email, to share with me their continued life journeys since they were in my middle school math classroom.”

Linda sees her responsibility as more than teaching seventh graders the math curriculum. She says, “Foremost, my responsibility is to be present each day as my best self and to maintain an open heart and open mind.” Linda is also on the Math 7 Honors and Pre-Algebra Collaboration Teams; an advisory teacher for seventh graders; and an active member of the Faculty Advisory, Human Relations, and Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) Committees. She has served as a “Check and Connect Mentor” for students, which is a program administered by the school social worker, and has collaborated with Student Services to initiate a peer tutor program for math students.

Principal Michael Magliola adds, “When you step into Mrs. Ysewyn's classroom, two things are clearly visible: She seeks to understand the educational and emotional needs of her students and uses love, humor, and thoughtful consideration to meet those needs."

Linda says, "Over the years, I’ve been blessed to work and learn alongside the Jackson Middle School staff and with our students and their families, as well as the Falls Church High School softball coaches and players.”

Linda has been enamored with baseball since she was 4 years old. She describes it as a sport that requires remarkable offensive and defensive skills, a slower pace, and strategy. Linda asks, "Did you know Hall of Famers generally fail seven out of ten times? With that stat, my belief is, let’s remain optimistic.”

Optimism and gratitude seem to be a theme for Linda. One of her favorite quotes is from Melody Beattie: “Gratitude turns what we have into enough [...]”

And with that gratitude in mind, Linda beams, “My parents were my beacon. I would simply not be who I am without their love, sacrifice, support, humor, and boundless faith in me.” Linda, we believe you are a beacon for many students in FCPS, and we are grateful for all you do!

Register Now for Fall 2019 Adult and Community Education Classes; Employees Eligible for Discount!

Did you know that FCPS ACE (Adult and Community Education) offers a huge variety of courses in professional development and personal enrichment? There is something for all ages and interests from students K-12 to adults. Whether you want to learn how to bake German Christmas Stollen, take a CPR/first aid class, learn to speak confidently in public, or attend ACE’s Bathroom Remodeling Workshop, you can discover your passion from ACE’s treasure trove of learning opportunities!

The fall 2019 course catalog, ACE Classes, is now available online and has been mailed to Fairfax County residents. Register now. It can also be found at Fairfax County public libraries. Employees are eligible for a 25 percent tuition discount on most ACE classes! Learn more about FCPS ACE, a self-funded program. Your journey begins with ACE!

Take a Look at #TeacherTuesday on Instagram!

Every Tuesday, we highlight one of FCPS' awesome teachers on Instagram as part of our #TeacherTuesday series. Please stop by FCPS' Instagram page and check out today's #TeacherTuesday profile

New Tobacco Cessation Program Launches

FCPS Employee Wellness, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, is launching a tobacco cessation campaign called Quit & Stay Quit Monday. The campaign is running now through November. For more information about why Monday is a prime day to quit smoking, watch this short video. Below are resources to help individuals commit to quit:

You can do it!

Check Out Audit Buzz

FCPS' Office of Auditor General (OAG) publishes, Audit Buzz, to provide an update into our OAG's work. In the latest issue of Audit Buzz, you'll find key takeaways from the recently completed performance audit of payroll oversight and process, and an update on the performance audit of safety and security compliance. The newsletter also highlights OAG's FY 2019 Annual Report, and provides a look into the FY 2020 Risk Assessment and Audit Plan. Read the latest issue of Audit Buzz now.

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 8/27/19

Employee News 3 months 1 week ago

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

 

Members of Glasgow MS' Health and Physical Education Department are ready to play! See who they are.

A Fantastic #firstdayfairfax!


#firstdayfairfax was the best day ever for Belvedere ES Teacher Sanya Chopra! (Photo: Sanya Chopra)

Thanks to everyone who used #firstdayfairfax on social media yesterday! Although we were unable to share all of your photos and videos, it was amazing to see so much enthusiasm about the beginning of a new school year. Check out #firstdayfairfax on Twitter and Instagram for numerous examples of #OurFCPS awesomeness in action on Day One!

What Do Parents Think About Our Schools?

The Fairfax County School Board recently released the results of FCPS' 2018-19 Family Engagement Survey. The survey solicited parent opinions and feedback on a variety of topics that impact student achievement. More than 29,000 family members participated. Survey highlights include:

  • More than 92 percent of participating parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child's school welcomes families of different backgrounds and cultures.
  • 91 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their child feels safe at school.
  • 87 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their school provided a welcoming environment.

Find out more about the Family Engagement Survey results.

Photo of the Week 

 

FCPS' Office of Transportation Services recently held a Back-to-School Kickoff Cookout at Stonecroft Transportation Center. Staff enjoyed food and fellowship, and showed off their fancy dance moves! (Photo: Tina Hunt, Coordinator, Area 3 Transportation)

Become a National Board Certified Teacher in FCPS!

Certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is considered one of the most prestigious certifications a teacher can achieve. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recognizes this by awarding $5,000 for the first year of certification and $2,500 each additional year a teacher maintains the certification! Teachers interested in learning more about the National Board's certification process, and how FCPS supports it, should attend an information session on September 11, at Willow Oaks Center from 4:45-6:15 p.m. Please register in MyPLT.

Also, the Academy Course offered to support the development of the individualized portfolio to be assessed by NBPTS is open for registration

Important Information for Current National Board Certified Teachers

FCPS is required to confirm the eligibility of all National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) every year in order for them to receive the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Incentive Award. All NBCTs must provide necessary information by completing this form. Please have your VDOE license number available! Every year, FCPS must certify that NBCTs are “engaged in direct instruction” with students more than 50 percent of each school day. Also, if you are up for renewal this year, please consider joining your NBCT colleagues in an Academy Cohort beginning in October. Register in MyPLT.

#OurFCPS Faces: Elaine Scott

 

Elaine Scott is quiet and unassuming, but her impact is resounding. Elaine is a hearing and legal technician in the Hearings Office which she joined 15 years ago. Before that, she was a program assistant in what used to be FCPS' Office of Monitoring and Compliance.

As a hearing and legal technician, Elaine is responsible for bringing together all parties involved in discipline and grievance hearings. She says, "The process involves assigning jobs, and coordinating dates and times with principals, assistant principals, parents, students, Hearings Office staff, School Board office staff, and, if required, law offices, and interpreters.” What does Elaine like most about her job? She says, “I like working with one of the best teams in FCPS. The Hearings Office staff are people who care about students and do what is necessary to help every student succeed in [his or her] education.” 

Administrative Hearing Officer Dana Scanlon writes, “There is no one in the Hearings Office who has been here longer than Elaine. She is our rock: dependable, unfailingly professional, and steadfast. Elaine is a friend to us all and has always been willing to lend an ear and share her perspective. Further, she has inspired her colleagues with her dedication to lifelong learning, earning a general studies degree, a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, and a Master’s degree in Christian Education, all while working full time in the Hearings Office." 

Mark Holbrook, one of Elaine's colleagues, adds, “Elaine is the consummate professional–the backbone of our office.”

This article is a bit bittersweet, as Elaine is retiring this month after 31 years with FCPS! Dana says, "Elaine will be greatly missed!” She’ll have plenty of time for her hobbies, though, such as reading, working in ministry, traveling, spending time with family, and watching classic movies.

Congratulations on your remarkable career with FCPS, Elaine. We know you will continue to inspire others for many years to come!

#OurFCPS: Together It's Possible


At Lorton Station ES, staff members are ready to go above and beyond for student success. That's #OurFCPS! (Photo: Christine Berry, Assistant Principal)

FCPS to Host Annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference

Registration will soon open for FCPS' 6th Annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference. The event will be held at Fairfax HS on Saturday, October 5, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. This year’s conference is being sponsored by Inova. The morning session will focus on social and emotional learning, with a keynote address from Dr. Marc Brackett, of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Attendees are encouraged to stay for Inova’s Act on Addiction Summit, which will be held from 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. For more information, please visit the Mental Health and Wellness Conference webpage.

Save the Date: Real Assistive Technology for Everyone Conference to Be Held October 19 

FCPS will host its 2019 Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference at Carson MS, on Saturday, October 19, from 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. The RATE Conference is an educational technology conference focusing on the use of assistive technology to support all students, especially those with special needs. This year's keynote speaker is Fadel, an FCPS post-secondary student. He will share how assistive technology has impacted his life and school experiences.

FCPS employees will receive five recertification points for attending the conference. More information and registration will soon be available on the conference webpage

Buy Tech Products at a Discount 

The Technology@Home program offers FCPS staff and students an opportunity to purchase technology products at discounted rates. Most of the vendors allow one purchase each year per employee. You will be required to verify your relationship with FCPS. Learn more about the Technology@Home 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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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, 8/20/19

Employee News 3 months 2 weeks ago

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


Woodburn School staff members are ready for the new school year. (Photo: Woodburn School) 

Welcome Back, Teachers!

It is so wonderful to have our teachers back after summer break! We are very thankful for each and every one of them. It’s going to be a great school year! See our Welcome Back tweet.

Leading with 20/20 Vision


Instructional and operational leaders from around the school division attended FCPS' annual Leadership Conference on July 31, at George Mason University's Center for the Performing Arts. The half-day event included amazing student performances, such as "An Ode to Kindergarten," as well as Superintendent Brabrand's inspiring remarks on how we can meet each student by name and by need. Watch the Leadership Conference main session and keynote

Update: MyPDE Evaluation and Professional Development System

The Department of Human Resources, Department of Information Technology, and Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement are launching MyPDE this school year. MyPDE, FCPS' new online evaluation and professional development system, is for all employees, including operational staff and non-school based administrators.

All employee evaluations will be completed within the new system. In addition, all employees will have the same cycle for beginning and completing evaluations: July 1-June 30. Employees will no longer be evaluated on their anniversary date. The change to the completion date will not impact an employee’s anniversary date or salary increment. More information will be available this month. Stay tuned for specific details regarding training, support, and MyPDE access. If you have questions, please contact Cindy Fitzgerald at CSFitzgerald@fcps.edu or 571-423-3263.

ICYMI: Summer News Headlines 

FCPS released several major divisionwide announcements during the summer including the ones below: 

Visit the News section of FCPS' website for more announcements.

Photo of the Week 

 

Carson MS Principal Gordon Stokes has a paw-some new staff member this school year. Meet Tucker, the therapy dog! Tucker's trainer will accompany him to school, so he can work with students to increase their reading time, as well as provide soothing therapy to students and staff when needed. If things get ruff, Carson can count on Tucker! (Photo: Sybil Terry, Assistant Principal, Carson MS)

VDOE Climate Survey Results Available 

The 2018-19 Virginia Department of Education Climate Survey school reports were shared with principals in June 2019. All school reports are available on the intranet. Employees will need to be logged into the FCPS network to access the survey results.

VRS Hybrid Members: Take Advantage of Matching Retirement Contributions!

Most instructional and school-based staff hired after January 1, 2014, are members of the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan. If you are a hybrid member, it’s time to enroll or make changes to voluntary contributions.  

#OurFCPS Faces: Jennifer Burns

 

Jennifer Burns has been an FCPS educator for 12 years. She teaches World History II Honors, Government for English Learners (EL), and Strategies for Success at South Lakes HS. She taught at Langley HS for nine years before joining the South Lakes team.

Jennifer says, “I love that I have a variety of classes and a variety of students. Each course has something special about it. I love working on skills and teaching the writing process in history. This is something students can take with them to other classes, college, and beyond.” She adds, “Having students share successes with me that they worked hard for in Strategies for Success is amazing. I also like that I can work on all subject areas with students, not just history. It is fun to get to see what students are learning in all of their classes. In government, I love when I can connect content to current events and make the ideas and concepts relevant to them.”

Principal Kim Retzer says, “South Lakes is lucky to have Ms. Burns on our staff. She is a student-focused educator who goes above and beyond to support and push her students to achieve their very best. Her dedication to her students is a shining example of a caring culture.”

Colleague and Systems of Support Advisor Chrissy Kelley shared wonderful words about Jennifer in an FCPS Cares submission: "Jen Burns is a phenomenal human being and teacher. Jen takes caring for her students to a high level. As a social studies teacher who teaches government and Strategies for Success, Jen knows her students and their needs as well as anyone in the building. [...] Jen's students trust her and with good reason; she is their true advocate. Jen Burns is a true definition of a caring teacher."

One of Jennifer's favorite mottos is, "Never give up on a student. Always provide opportunities." She clearly lives that motto every day. Thank you, Jennifer! 

2019 FCPS Outstanding Employee Award Winners

Excellence in teaching students, leading schools, and providing support is what Fairfax County Public Schools is all about. The Department of Human Resources sponsors recognition of outstanding performers as they seek to create and demonstrate the best instructional and operational practices. The annual FCPS Honors event, held on June 12, recognized 569 employees, including 64 finalists and 12 winners in 12 different award categories. See this year's award winners. Thanks to all of the FCPS parents, students, community members, and staff who nominated an employee!

#OurFCPS: Together It's Possible


The traveling #OurFCPS frame found some fantastic staff members at Region 3's kickoff on August 1. Pictured clockwise from the left are Kristin Wiley, education specialist; Nardos King, assistant superintendent; Evangeline Petrich, executive principal; and Grace Taylor, executive principal. #squadgoals indeed! (Photo: Region 3)

An Opportunity for Middle Managers to Develop Leadership Skills

Consider applying for the Middle Managers Round Table! The Middle Managers Round Table (MMRT) is an eight-month collaborative leadership development program for both operational and school leaders, conducted by The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement and the Fairfax County Government. The application deadline is close of business August 30. Apply now.

During the program, middle managers from both systems build leadership capacity and collaborate on a group capstone project. The program is seeking coordinators, managers, and school-based administrators (not principals) who have a supervisory or management role and want to develop their leadership skills. Supervisors of MMRT applicants will need to complete a recommendation form on the applicant’s behalf. Get more information on MMRT. Please e-mail Tiffany Lee at ttlee@fcps.edu with any questions!

Check Your Voter Information

Viewing your registration status and voter information has become easier with the Virginia Department of Elections' citizen portal. Check out the portal to: 

  • register to vote, if you have a driver’s license or Department of Motor Vehicles ID.
  • update your voter record if your address has changed.
  • find your assigned voting location.
  • learn more about absentee voting, if applicable.

Remember–the next general and special elections will be held on Tuesday, November 5!

Use #firstdayfairfax on the First Day of School!

FCPS staff, parents, and students are encouraged to tag their photos and videos from the first day of school (August 26) using the hashtag #firstdayfairfax. We'll share some of the photos and videos from the division's social media accounts. You'll also be able to find them by searching #firstdayfairfax on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

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 RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. 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

42 minutes 22 seconds ago
FCPS Employees - Recent Updates
http://www.fcps.edu/index.shtml Subscribe to Employee News feed