Employee News - 9/14/21

Employee News 2 days 5 hours ago

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Kings Glen Elementary School teachers, Carlene James, Samantha Teegarden, Jennifer Fedor, and Vicki Johnston, give four thumbs up for a strong start of the school year!

Superintendent Shares Data That Reflects Our Strong Return


At the September 9 Fairfax County School Board meeting, Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand provided an update on Return to School, COVID, and Health Updates. This included the latest health metrics, and a plan under consideration to support students who are home due to a COVID-related pause, quarantine, or isolation.

100% of FCPS schools opened for 5 days of in-person learning and 100% remain open for in-person learning today. With 99.5% of students back for in-person learning, we are continually working to prioritize health and safety. Watch his full presentation. Some highlights include:

Current Quarantine Rate

Quarantine data provided by the health department indicates that 393 students and staff members were directed to quarantine in relation to closed COVID-19 cases from August 13 through September 8. This represents 0.19% of students and 0.19% of staff. We are developing a database to capture the number of students who are paused and/or quarantined and give a better understanding of how COVID-19 exposures are impacting students. 

Staff Vaccination Requirement 

We are proud that FCPS staff stepped up and vaxxed up to protect students. Of the contract and hourly staff who have responded to the survey 97.3% reported they are fully vaccinated. 

Student-athlete Vaccination Requirement

FCPS requires student-athletes 16 and older to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination by November 8 to participate in winter and spring sports. All students are encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

Lunch, Breakfast, and Snacktime Safety

We know that lunch and snack time remains an area of concern for our families, especially for those with children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine. Schools are making use of outdoor spaces as much as possible. To date, 136 tents have been installed to support additional outdoor learning and eating spaces for students and an additional 57 tent installations are planned. These tents provide year-round outdoor spaces for students to spread out. Schools are also making use of alternative indoor spaces, alternating seats, and staggering schedules. 

Supporting Students in Pause, Quarantine, or Isolation

FCPS is exploring options to provide instructional support to students who are unable to attend school in person due to a COVID-19 infection or possible exposure. We will share more on this shortly.

Wash Up!


Wash Up and Cover Up! Washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and other good hygiene practices are easy, everyday things we can do to stay healthy and stop germs from spreading.

A Big ‘Thank You’ to the 25,000+ FCPS Employees Who Responded!


Over 80% of FCPS employees have responded to the Employee Covid Vaccination Status Form. Thank you to those who responded quickly and for helping to keep our schools and offices safe with this additional mitigation strategy.

Vaccination status updates can be made through the same form link. Please login using your “username” @fcpsschools.net address when prompted. If you have not activated 2 step authentication, you can visit the Google 2-Step Verification page to enroll. If you have further questions about logging into Google or accessing this form, please contact the IT Service Desk at ITservicedesk@fcps.edu. If you have not logged into your Google account since June 7, you may not have set up your account and should look for an email message from the IT Service Desk with the subject “Google Access Using Backup Codes” with instructions on how to proceed.

Non-respondents will be required to undergo regular testing. Further information will be provided once it becomes available. 

For other questions related to employee vaccine guidance, please contact Human Resources online at HR Connection or 571-423-3000.

Employee Exemptions from Vaccine Mandate


Employees may seek a Medical Exemption or Religious Exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The linked forms can be found on the Employee Resources page under COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption Forms.

Employees who are unvaccinated but have an approved exemption qualify for quarantine leave when the employee is directed by a health provider to quarantine.

Unvaccinated employees, regardless of exemption status will still be subject to testing. Information about testing for our unvaccinated staff will be shared very soon.   

Questions? Contact the Office of Equity & Employee Relations, Kathy Krolak, kkkrolak@fcps.edu, or by phone at 571-423-3051.

Employee Response to Close-Contact Identification


When a vaccinated staff member is determined to be a close-contact to a COVID-19 positive case in a school or FCPS office, the staff member should follow the same process outlined for students

The Fairfax County Health Department determines close contacts and contacts individuals directly with appropriate guidance, including when to return to work. As a reminder, the following leave options are available.

Vaccinated Employees 

  • Vaccinated employees who are symptomatic and directed to quarantine are expected to telework as long as the employee is well enough to effectively complete their assigned duties and deemed appropriate by the supervisor. 
  • When a vaccinated employee is directed to quarantine by the Health Department or a treating medical provider and the employee is not well enough to telework, administrative leave will be provided. Up to 10 days of administrative leave will be provided per occurrence up to a maximum of 2 occurrences per fiscal year.  
  • Employees should submit leave requests in MyTime using the leave type “Administrative Leave” (“ADMIN-LV”) and reason code “Quarantine.” The employee’s supervisor is responsible for reviewing and approving the request in MyTime. Additionally, for individuals who are experiencing symptomatic COVID infection and not able to telework because of their illness, employees should report absences in excess of five days to our short-term disability (STD) vendor, Sedgwick. STD claims will be managed following established protocols. 

Unvaccinated Employees

Unvaccinated employees will be required to take their sick leave or leave without pay.  Employees who cannot be vaccinated based on a medical or religious reason should be directed to the Office of Equity and Employee Relations (EER) to discuss an accommodation request.    

Save the Date: Open Enrollment begins on October 11!


It’s never too early to begin thinking about your health plan options for 2022! Each year, FCPS provides a window of opportunity to review your medical and dental elections, update your plan selections, and make decisions about what might be the best option for your unique situation. This year, Open Enrollment will run from October 11 through November 5. Learn more about Open Enrollment

Take Care of Yourself: September is Self-Care Awareness Month

Do you sometimes feel like you’re running on empty by the end of the day? Do you tend to put your own needs last? September is Self-Care Awareness Month: a reminder to refocus on you and your wellbeing. Fill up your cup with on-demand fitness and wellbeing classes to restore energy, elevate your mood, and focus on your own health and happiness. Download the Wellbeats app or go to portal.wellbeats.com to get started. Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu

Forgot your login information? Here is how to access your account:

  •         Visit https://portal.wellbeats.com/
  •         Click Login and enter your FCPS email address
  •         Click “Forgot My Password”
  •         Wellbeats will email you a code to reset your password
Sign Up for Your Flu Shot: Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic on October 2


Flu shots are free for all full-time, part-time, hourly, and substitute employees on contract in SY 21-22. A drive-thru flu clinic open to all FCPS employees will be held at Gatehouse on October 2. Alternatively, most insurance plans (along with Medicare) provide no cost flu shots at your doctor’s office or pharmacy. Check with your insurance plan for details.

Drive-Thru Flu Clinic

Location: Gatehouse Administration Center

Date: Saturday, October 2

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Appointments are required. Make your appointment now. Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu

Starting Soon: Walktober Wellness Challenge


Make physical activity part of your daily routine by joining the month-long fall-themed virtual wellness challenge, Walktober! You will have the chance to earn prizes for yourself and your school by collecting leaves for logging your activity. Get all of the details on the Employee Wellness Website. Fall is the perfect time to get outside and get moving!

Mark your calendar! Registration begins September 20, the challenge starts October 1. Register on fcps2021.walktober.com

Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu  

Stay Safe at Work! Tips from Office of Safety and Security: Slips, Trips, and Falls


Keeping the FCPS workplace safe and free from injuries is not just the Office of Safety and Security’s (OSS) mission, it is every FCPS employee’s responsibility. There are many causes for employee injuries and illnesses, but so far this year, slips, trips, and falls (STFs) are the leading cause of injuries among FCPS employees.  A recently observed common cause for STFs is employees using chairs and other furniture to access overhead areas or items not reachable while standing on the ground. Several FCPS employees have suffered injuries ranging from simple bruises to multiple broken bones (fractures) requiring surgery, hospitalization, and lost time at work, due to falling off chairs while standing on them. Learn more.

Sexual Harassment Prohibited in FCPS


Policy 4950, Sexual Harassment, states that no person in Fairfax County Public Schools shall be subjected to sexual harassment. It is the intent of the School Board to maintain an environment free from sexual harassment of any kind.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature amounting to or constituting harassment are prohibited. Employees should report complaints of sexual harassment to their supervisors or program managers.

If, for any reason, an individual prefers not to address their concerns directly with a principal, supervisor, or program manager, he or she may consult with, or file a complaint with, the Office of Equity and Employee Relations by calling 571-423-3070.

Receive $1,000 for Referring a School Bus Driver!*


It's true–a $1,000 recruiting bonus is available for any FCPS or Fairfax County employee who recruits a school bus driver! Applicants are required to pass hiring and training standards, and drive for a minimum of 90 school days. *Other conditions may apply. Learn more about driving for FCPS or view the job description. Please email driveforfcps@fcps.edu  or contact Connie Lovejoy at 571-423-3023 with any questions.

New Incentive - New drivers will receive a $3,000 signing bonus - $1,500 after consecutive employment of 90 workdays, and $1,500 will be given after the first 180 working days (paid school days) if the driver receives a satisfactory yearly evaluation and is recommended for continued employment with FCPS Office of Transportation Services.

New Hourly Rate for School Bus Drivers - We are also excited to share that the hourly pay for bus drivers has increased to $22.91!

Calendar Reminder-Religious and Cultural Observance Day: Thursday, September 16, Yom Kippur


Religious and cultural observances are designed to allow students the opportunity to miss school for observances not already designated as school holidays. Regulation 2234 specifies these days. The regulation states that teachers shall create ungraded lessons or activities on the observance day that: 

  • reinforce previously acquired material 
  • engage students in meaningful learning
  • are not the sole opportunity to engage in lessons or activities on that day 

When creating school schedules, teachers and school staff shall not schedule the following activities on days specified as religious and cultural observances;

  • New graded assignments or activities
  • Tests, quizzes, or other assignments
  • Field trips, school pictures, guest speakers, or assemblies
  • Sporting events, school-sponsored special events and activities (for example, prom, back-to-school nights)
  •  Auditions or tryouts that cannot be rescheduled

Employees wishing to observe religious/cultural observances on these dates, as schools and offices are still open, should request a religious accommodation as outlined in Regulation 4817 – Religious Accommodation for Employees. Employees will be permitted to make up 16 hours of any time they miss for religious or cultural observances. 

Check Out the Parent Resource Center Materials for Staff


The Parent Resource Center Lending Library contains over 10,000 books, eBooks, DVDs, and CDs on topics related to educating all children including those with learning challenges, mental health concerns, special needs, and disabilities. Browse the library online.  Sample topics include LGBTQ+, Military Families, School Leadership, Classroom Management. Contact the PRC at prc@fcps.edu or 703-204-3941 to have these materials sent via pony to your school or office.

 OurFCPS Faces Profile - Erin Ferguson


Erin Ferguson, advanced academics teacher at Canterbury Woods Elementary School, has taught for fourteen years and is in her fourth year of teaching for FCPS. Her favorite hobbies include photography, reading, walking, following her favorite New York teams, and adding rare items to her various collections. Find out more about Erin and what some of those rare collectables are.

Staff Staples

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

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

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Employee News - 9/8/21

Employee News 1 week 1 day ago

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Chock full of school supplies! Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School staff
proudly sport the backpacks recently given to students during the resource fair held as part of a Popsicles on the Playground open house event.

Your Questions Answered on the Student-Athlete Vaccination Requirement


Fairfax County Public Schools requires student-athletes be vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus for the winter and spring sports seasons as an additional safety measure to support our layered prevention strategies.

Thanks for your patience while we worked out the operational aspects of this new requirement. Read the FAQs to learn more about the timeline, how vaccination status will be verified, exceptions, safety, and more.

Vax Up and Remember to Complete Your Vaccination Status Form by September 9


All employees should have received the Fall 21 Employee Vaccination Status Form that was sent via outlook on August 26 (use the link if you did not receive it). As the Superintendent announced previously, FCPS is putting an additional mitigation strategy in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in schools. All employees of FCPS are required to provide their Covid-19 vaccination status. Please complete the form by Thursday, September 9

If you have further questions about logging into Google or accessing this form, please contact the IT Service Desk at ITservicedesk@fcps.edu. Other questions related to employee vaccine guidance should be directed to HR using the online portal at HR Connection or 571-423-3000.

Remember to Vax Up! Vaccination is the key to moving out of the pandemic and reducing the need for pauses in in-person learning.

COVID-19 Case Notification Update

Many families are finding it stressful and overwhelming to receive a new COVID notification email every time there is a positive case in their child’s school. We have updated our process to provide families some relief.

Once a week, either on Friday or the last day of school for the week, school leadership will share an update if there were any COVID-19 positive cases confirmed in the school that week. The FCPS COVID-19 Health Metrics webpage will still be updated daily for families who wish to know about cases in real time.

20th Anniversary of 9/11 Commemoration


In recognition of the 20th anniversary of September 11, FCPS will commemorate and acknowledge the loss of life, the heroism of our first responders, and the resilience of our country.

Schools will have a special moment of silence on Friday, September 10, and all students in grades 3-12 should have the opportunity to learn about and recognize the anniversary of 9/11 on September 9 or September 10. 

Take a Breather! New Timeline for the Completion of MyPDE Training 

In order to provide staff time to focus on a successful return to school—and a bit of a breather while we are all getting to grips with the added complexities the Delta variant has brought with it—professional development and training due dates have been updated in MyPDE. Additionally, the system generated notifications, designed to send out reminders and overdue notices, have been paused.  

Please access your assigned training page to review the updated dates so that you can plan the completion of required training accordingly. You can access your assigned training in MyPDE by clicking on the Self icon and clicking on Assigned Training. Refer to this video to learn how to access and complete your required training.

K-12 Teachers: New Teacher Leader Learning Opportunity


The contributions of teacher leaders have impacted cycles of continuous improvement across FCPS. If you are interested in growing your capacity as a teacher leader, the educational specialists in Professional Growth and Career Development invite you to consider registering for an upcoming teacher leadership opportunity. This opportunity is available to all teachers, at any stage in their profession. Visit each link to learn more: 

Each one-credit Academy course consists of a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Registration opened on August 31 in MyPDE.

Check Out a Pack of Ready-to-Use Materials From the Parent Resource Center


The Parent Resource Center (PRC) staff has curated top resources from its library, webinars, and digital resources on some of its most requested topics.  

What’s in a PRC Pack?

  • 2-3 books for educators.
  • 1-2 books for a child (perfect for a read-aloud or independent reading for an older child).
  • 1 resource guide with a list of eBooks, free webinars on YouTube, and other resources.
  • Tote bag for easy return at any FCPS school or office.

Here is a list of current PRC Pack offerings for staff:

Contact the PRC at prc@fcps.edu or 703-204-3941 to have these materials ponied to your school or office.

Get Fit for Free With a Virtual Fitness Class


Registration is live for September fitness classes. Participation is limited, so claim your spot in classes like Zumba, Cardio Sculpt, Pilates, and more. Can’t attend live? Class recordings are made available on the Employee Wellness Website and a library of on-demand classes are available through your Wellbeats benefit. View the full schedule and register for a class.

Earn Your $100 Wellness Incentive


Did you take advantage of your $100 wellness incentive in 2020? Employees participating in an FCPS health plan as the primary cardholder can earn a $100 wellness incentive again in 2021 when they complete their online health assessment (HA) now through December 31.

An HA is an online questionnaire related to your general health and well-being that is easy to complete in about 15-20 minutes. The HA is confidential. Only you and your health plan receive the individual information. Your information is never shared with FCPS in compliance with state and federal privacy laws. Click on your health plan to get started:

Get all of the details by visiting the Employee Wellness website. Please send questions to employeewellness@fcps.edu

Calendar Reminder-Religious and Cultural Observance Day: Thursday, September 16, Yom Kippur

Thursday, September 16, is Yom Kippur (a Religious and Cultural Observance day). 

As a reminder, employees wishing to observe religious/cultural observances on these dates, as schools and offices are still open, should request a religious accommodation as outlined in Regulation 4817 – Religious Accommodation for Employees. Employees will be permitted to make up 16 hours of any time they miss for religious or cultural observances. 

Tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events cannot be scheduled on any religious and cultural observances. Tests and quizzes will be given prior to any of the 15 days, so that students will not be expected to study on these days.

Stay Up to Date With School Board News


The Fairfax County School Board holds regular business meetings at 7 p.m. twice monthly in the auditorium at Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church. In addition, the School Board holds work sessions to examine subjects in greater depth than is possible during business meetings. All-day work sessions are held in the School Board Conference Room, room 1600, at the Gatehouse Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear masks at both meetings. 

School board meetings and work sessions are live streamed on the FCPS YouTube Channel or on Channel 99. View all School Board meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and news. You can also subscribe to receive newsworthy updates from the School Board.

 

OurFCPS Faces Profile: Ronnetta Lyons


Ronnetta Lyons, a systems of support advisor at Fairfax High School, is in her eighth year at FCPS.

What do you love most about your job?

The thing I love most about my job is knowing that I get to share in the life of so many students and possibly have the chance to positively impact their futures.

Do you have a role model? 

I would have to say that my mother has been my biggest role model. She was a hard worker in all that she did but she always did things with a smile on her face and a positive word for those around her.

What did you do on your “summer vacation?”

This summer I had the chance to take my two daughters on a trip to experience the historic and unique culture, food, and music of New Orleans.

What’s something on your bucket list?

I would love to take a road trip across the country and back, stopping in as many small towns in various states as possible.

Do you have a hobby or what do you like to do in your “spare” time?

I love sports so I spend a lot of my spare time watching both live and televised sporting events.

Is there something you’d like us to know about you?

I have been an educator for 23 years, teaching both in North Carolina and Virginia, and I am the proud mother of two FCPS graduates. 

Feedback Wanted on Fairfax County Government Strategic Plan


What issues do you think are most important for Fairfax County over the next 10 years?

Through extensive community engagement prior to the pandemic and throughout 2021, the Countywide Strategic Plan charts a path for the future of Fairfax County focused on the following nine priority areas:

  • Cultural and recreational opportunities.
  • Economic opportunity.
  • Effective and efficient government.
  • Empowerment and support for residents facing vulnerability.
  • Health and environment.
  • Housing and neighborhood livability.
  • Lifelong education and learning.
  • Mobility and transportation.
  • Safety and security.

Please share your input as Fairfax County government continues to develop the Countywide Strategic Plan. The fourth Community Survey is now available in multiple languages. The survey closes on Friday, September 24. 

To learn more, check out this short video or visit the Countywide Strategic Plan website.

 

Staff Staples

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

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

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Employee News - Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Employee News 2 weeks 1 day ago

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West Potomac HS Spanish Language Teacher, Yamalie Rodriguez Figueroa, gives two thumbs up to start off the 2021-22 school year. #FCPSReturningStrong

How Pausing, Quarantining, and Isolating Keeps Our Schools Safe


Since the beginning of August 2021, the majority of COVID-19  cases have been acquired through community spread, OUTSIDE of school buildings. 

FCPS’ layered prevention strategies are working to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Pausing, quarantining, and isolating are tools we use to keep schools safe when a positive COVID-19 case is reported. Understanding the difference between the three scenarios can help families - and staff - be prepared.

Pause

A pause to in-person instruction is a short-term safety measure used by FCPS and the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to allow time to investigate and determine the safest way to address a positive case within our school community. The pause will be initiated by the FCHD for anyone who interacted with an individual who reported a positive COVID-19 case.

  • A pause typically lasts between 24-48 hours while FCHD verifies vaccination status and completes contact tracing.
  • Vaccination status may reduce the time spent in a pause, but must be verified every time an individual is put on a pause. 
  • The FCHD does not accept a negative COVID-19 test to release an individual from the pause. 
  • You will be contacted by the FCHD with a date they can return to school or work.
  •  This flowchart best explains what happens when there is a pause.
Close Contact

A close contact is any person, regardless of vaccination status, who is within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for equal to or greater than 15 minutes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) K-12 Exception indicates that students will not be identified as close contacts if they are at least 3 feet apart and are consistently wearing masks in the classroom setting. Adults are not included in this exception.

Quarantine

When a student is identified as a close contact, there are two things that may occur as a result:

  • Not fully vaccinated students who are identified as a close contact with someone with COVID-19 must remain home for 14 days after their last exposure. FCPS will notify a student of their return date.
  • Fully vaccinated students must remain home until your vaccination status is verified. Upon verification of vaccination status by the FCHD, and if the student/staff is asymptomatic, they may return to in-person learning and activities once notified by FCPS of their return date.
Isolation

Isolation is the response when someone tests positive for COVID-19. Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, may not return until:

  • It has been at least ten (10) days since the student first had symptoms AND
  • The student must be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication AND
  • The student’s symptoms are getting better

FCPS is committed to providing students with opportunities to remain engaged in learning when they are in a pause, quarantine, or isolation period. This chart outlines the ways students receive instruction and materials.

Outbreak

It is important to note that more than one case reported by a student, staff, or visitor to a particular school or building does not always mean there is an outbreak. An outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with onset within a 14-day period who are epidemiology linked (a case in which the person has been exposed to a confirmed case in a way that a known transmission can occur), do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in a setting outside of school during the health department investigation. 

FCPS’ goal is to keep students learning in-person all year. We are doing our part by implementing layered prevention strategies and working with FCHD to address positive cases and potential exposures. Every FCPS student and family can do their part by wearing masks, getting vaccinated when they are eligible, practicing healthy hygiene, and staying home when sick. 

To learn more about COVID-19 case notifications, watch this video and the SEPTA Q&A session.

FCPS Requires Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Students Participating in Virginia High School League (VHSL)


Beginning November 8, FCPS will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for any student participating in Virginia High School League (VHSL) winter and spring sports for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year. 

Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination will also be required for participation in any other activity that requires a physical. This includes dance team and step team, as well as out-of-season practices and workouts.

Vaccinating our students is a critical step in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and minimizing any disruption to learning. The majority of pauses to instruction for our high school students come as a result of exposure during athletic activities, which the Virginia Department of Education classifies as a high-risk activity. These pauses impact participation in activities and in-person learning while the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) investigates and determines close contacts and next steps. Read Dr. Brabrand’s letter to the community.

Please note: Exemptions will be permitted on religious and medical grounds.

We know you have lots of questions! Check back next week for more details and answers to frequently asked questions. We are still working through some of the operational aspects of this decision.

I Do My Part: Mask Up!


Mask Up! Masks are not simply a piece of fabric we are told to wear. A mask is a tool each of us uses to keep ourselves and others safe and keep students learning together in classrooms.

All Staff - Remember to Complete Your Vaccination Status Form by September 9!


All employees should have received the Fall 21 Employee Vaccination Status Form that was sent via outlook on August 26 (use the link if you did not receive). As the Superintendent announced previously, FCPS is putting an additional mitigation strategy in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in schools. All employees of FCPS are required to provide their Covid-19 vaccination status. Please complete the form by September 9, 2021. 

Use your network ID@fcpsschools.net and network password when prompted to login. If you have not activated 2-step authentication, you can visit the Google 2-Step Verification page to enroll Google 2-Step Verification page

If you have not logged into your Google Account since June 7, you may not be able to log in because you have not set up your 2-step security verification. Look for the email message from the IT Service Desk with the subject “Google Access Using Backup Codes.” Please find this message in your FCPS Outlook email, and follow the instructions.

If you have further questions about logging into Google or accessing this form, please contact the IT Service Desk at ITservicedesk@fcps.edu. Other questions related to employee vaccine guidance should be directed to HR using the online portal at HR Connection or 571-423-3000.

Provide Input on Boundary Policy Review

The Fairfax County School Board is in the process of reviewing Policy 8130, Facilities Planning, Local School Boundaries, Program Assignments, and School Closings

In July 2019, the Board requested the Superintendent hire an outside consultant to work with the Board to identify best practices in boundary policy and engage the community in the discussion.

MGT Consulting Group (MGT), an education consulting firm, will be sharing information about the boundary policy review at three upcoming community meetings and seeking community input in a survey. 

You are invited to attend a virtual community meeting. Each meeting will provide the same information and use the same format.  No specific boundary changes will be discussed at the meetings. The meeting dates:  

  • Monday, September 13, 7- 8:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, September 14, 7-8:00 p.m.

  • Monday, September 20, 7-8:00 p.m.

Please register to receive the meeting link and indicate if you need an interpreter. 

MGT will send all FCPS parents an email with the survey link to collect input. 

The community meetings will not be discussing any boundary changes for any schools within FCPS. The information shared will focus on what factors should be considered when making boundary changes. For more information, view the Boundary Policy Review.

Calendar Reminder Labor Day Holidays: Friday, September 3 & Monday, September 6; Religious and Cultural Observance Days: Tuesday, September 7, Rosh Hashanah; Thursday, September 16, Yom Kippur

 

  • Friday, September 3, and Monday, September 6, Labor Day (holidays for all FCPS employees and students) 
  • Tuesday, September 7, Rosh Hashanah (religious and cultural observance day) 
  • Thursday, September 16, Yom Kippur (religious and cultural observance day)

As a reminder employees wishing to observe religious/cultural observances on these dates, as schools and offices are still open, should request a religious accommodation as outlined in Regulation 4817 – Religious Accommodation for Employees. Employees will be permitted to make up 16 hours of any time they miss for religious or cultural observances. 

Tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events cannot be scheduled on any religious and cultural observances. Tests and quizzes will be given prior to any of the 15 days, so that students will not be expected to study on these days.

Tuition Reimbursement Request Portal Opens September 1

 

The portal to apply for reimbursement of Summer 2021 courses will be open September 1- September 30. Interested and eligible contracted employees may apply for up to $700 in tuition reimbursement for one course that ended between May 16 - August 31. Apply through the Tuition Reimbursement Portal (VPN Required). Detailed information is available on the Tuition Reimbursement page in the new employee hub. 

Tuition reimbursement is available on a first-come, first-served basis using the current priority list. Remember to have your Tuition Paid Receipt and Grade Report handy to complete the request. Please email Tuitionbenefits@fcps.edu for more information.

New Instructional Coach Learning Cohort Opportunity; Apply Now

Applications are being accepted for the New Fall Instructional Coach cohort (replaces Building the Foundational Skills of an Instructional Coach Academy Course). Teacher leaders interested in becoming an Instructional Coach for the 2022-23 school year should apply. 

The Instructional Coach cohort is designed to prepare a diverse group of candidates for the role of an instructional coach through the course content, experiences leading in their schools, self-directed learning and reflection, and observations, coaching, and feedback. Participants will earn 100 renewal points at the completion of the cohort.  Application deadline is October 1.

Cohort dates

The cohort will meet virtually, using Zoom, on Tuesdays from 4:45-7:45 p.m. on the following dates:  November 9, November 16, November 30, December 7, December 14, January 11, February 8, February 22, March 1, March 15, March 29.

The cohort is contingent upon the number of qualified applicants.  To learn more about the cohort, register for a virtual information session on September 13 from 3:30-4:15 p.m. or 4:45-5:30 p.m.  Additional information and application materials can be found online. Contact: Michelle Lis, Coordinator of Instructional Coaching.

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


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

Stay Up to Date With School Board News


The Fairfax County School Board holds regular business meetings at 7 p.m. twice monthly in the auditorium at Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church. In addition, the School Board holds work sessions to examine subjects in greater depth than is possible during business meetings. All-day work sessions are held in the School Board Conference Room 1600 at the Gatehouse Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear masks at either meeting. 

Both school board meetings and work sessions are live streamed on the FCPS YouTube Channel or on  Channel 99. View all School Board meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and news. You can also subscribe to receive newsworthy updates from the School Board.

OurFCPS Faces Profile - Meredith Norris


Meredith Norris, currently in her 17th year employed by Fairfax County Public Schools, is in her first year serving as principal of Stone Middle School.

Meredith recognizes that as large as this county is, at the core, it really is a family. And family is at the heart of her desire to help others and serve her community; this desire was instilled in her by both of her parents. As a side note, Meredith is one of 14 siblings (she’s #8!). 

She elaborates, “Born and raised in FCPS, I attended Cub Run ES, London Towne ES, Stone MS and Chantilly HS. I feel so fortunate to be able to give back to my hometown community as 25 years later, I am now the principal of Stone MS. I love when I am able to share with ALL my students at Stone, “Guess what, I went here too,” and then to some, “I went to Cub Run and London Towne,” and see their eyes light up because they appreciate the connection.”

Learn more about Meredith’s journey to create a meaningful future for what matters the most

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

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Employee News - Tuesday, August 24, 2021

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Glasgow MS teachers Luis Ramos, Kiersten Campbell, and Tami Snyder, attended a surprise ‘board meeting.’ Summoned by Principal Victor Powell, a team of teachers gathered to assemble skateboards with a group of students. Read the full story.

Welcome Back!


We had a great return to school yesterday, check out highlights from the day and keep sharing your return to school photos. We love seeing students and staff back together.

Our strong return builds on the foundation of success you helped establish. Take a look at Sharing Our Success, stories and highlights from the 2020-21 school year.

Returning Strong- Safety Updates for Staff

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Staff

 

Friday, we shared the news that by late October FCPS will require staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit routine negative COVID-19 tests. Requiring vaccination is an added measure to keep our schools, and everyone within them, safe. FCPS will continue our layered prevention strategies.

Over the next few weeks we will share more information that will answer the questions you have. Keep reading Employee News to stay informed.

Pick up a Mask!


Do you need to add to your mask supply now that school has started? Need a replacement during the workday? FCPS has you covered!

School staff simply need to ask for masks when they need them. Check with your principal or front office staff for details.

The Gatehouse Administration Building Welcome Desk has plenty of disposable masks on hand for staff and visitors.

Departments and offices are ordering masks for their staff as needed. Work with your supervisor if you have questions. 

We continue to Mask Up to protect each other this fall. Research shows proper masking is the most effective mitigation strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools where social distancing may not be possible and vaccination may not be available for all. Masking is adequate to prevent transmission in situations with less than three feet of social distance and on full-capacity buses. 

Quarantine and Leave Options for Staff

As we navigate through a new school year with in-person learning, we realize the necessity to clarify staff work options in the event of a COVID-19 quarantine.

While telework is not generally available as an accommodation for this school year, it will be necessary to do so, on a limited basis, to prevent instructional interruptions for our in-person students due to staff quarantine. 

Vaccinated Employees 

  • Vaccinated employees who are symptomatic and directed to quarantine are expected to telework as long as the employee is well enough to effectively complete their assigned duties and deemed appropriate by the supervisor. 
  • When a vaccinated employee is directed to quarantine by the Health Department or a treating medical provider and the employee is not well enough to telework, administrative leave will be provided. Up to 10 days of administrative leave will be provided per occurrence up to a maximum of 2 occurrences per fiscal year.  
  • Employees should submit leave requests in MyTime using the leave type “Administrative Leave” (“ADMIN-LV”) and reason code “Quarantine.” The employee’s supervisor is responsible for reviewing and approving the request in MyTime. Additionally, for individuals who are experiencing symptomatic COVID infection and not able to telework because of their illness, employees should report absences in excess of five days to our short-term disability (STD) vendor, Sedgwick. STD claims will be managed following established protocols. 

Unvaccinated Employees

  • Unvaccinated employees will be required to take their sick leave or leave without pay.  Employees who cannot be vaccinated based on a medical or religious reason should be directed to the Office of Equity and Employee Relations (EER) to discuss an accommodation request.  

All employees are expected to use their own sick leave to care for family members.

Calendar Reminders: Labor Day-September 3 and 6 are Staff Holidays, September 7 is Rosh Hashanah


The school year has just begun but we wanted to make sure you’re aware of some important upcoming calendar dates. Friday, September 3, and Monday, September 6, are Labor Day holidays for all FCPS employees and students. 

Tuesday, September 7, is a religious and cultural observance day for Rosh Hashanah, the two-day celebration of the Jewish New Year. As a reminder employees wishing to observe religious/cultural observances on these dates should request a religious accommodation as outlined in Regulation 4817 – Religious Accommodation for Employees. Employees will be permitted to make up 16 hours of any time they miss for religious or cultural observances. 

Tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events cannot be scheduled on any religious and cultural observances. Tests and quizzes will be given prior to any of the 15 days, so that students will not be expected to study on these days.

Fall 2021 Academy Course Catalog Available Today


The fall Academy Course Program is returning strong with over 100 virtual offerings!  The course offerings have been selected based on teacher feedback and FCPS priorities for the new school year: Supporting Students' Social Emotional Needs, Addressing Unfinished Learning, Literacy (K-2), Adapting Culturally Responsive Instructional Practices, EL Instruction, Improving Family and Community Engagement, Developing Students' POG skills, and Leadership/Career Development. All courses are designed to enhance teacher knowledge and skills. Some of the new courses are highlighted below.

  • History on the Front Line
  • The FundamentELs of English Language Development
  • Amplifying Academic Language Through Conversation
  • Using Computer Science to Support Deeper Learning
  • Building Mathematical Identity with Fractions
  • Making an Impact: The Individual Teacher in a PLC
  • New Coaching Skills for Leaders

Details including course syllabus, outcomes, and assignments will be listed in the Academy course catalog, which will be available on August 24 in MyPDE. Registration opens at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31. See how to register or email Academy@fcps.edu for questions.

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 recognizes this by awarding $5,000 for the first year of certification and $2,500 each additional year a teacher maintains the certification. Interested teachers are invited to attend an information session about the benefits and process for achieving National Board Certification on Tuesday, August 31, from 5-6 p.m. Register for the information session on MyPDE. There is an asynchronous session as well as additional information on the FCPS National Board Certification website.

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement offers a three-credit Academy course to provide support throughout the candidacy process and tuition reimbursement toward the cost of certification. Please email NBCTInfo@fcps.edu for more information.

Interested in Becoming a Principal? Apply for the Principal Pool by September 5.


In planning for future principal vacancies, Fairfax County Public Schools maintains a pool of eligible candidates who have participated in a series of rigorous competency-based assessments. When a principal vacancy is determined, candidates in the principal pool are provided with an opportunity to express interest. 

For more information on the process, visit the Principal Selection Process. The application window remains open until Sunday, September 5. Please apply at 15458BR: Principal Pool ApplicationContact:Adam McGeehan at HRprincipalpool@fcps.edu

Are You a Middle Manager Looking to Develop Your Leadership Skills?


Consider applying for the Middle Managers RoundTable! The Middle Managers RoundTable (MMRT) is a seven-month collaborative leadership development program for both operational and school leaders conducted by FCPS and the Fairfax County Government. Applications are being accepted through September 22. 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. MMRT applicants’ supervisors will need to complete a recommendation form on their behalf. More information on the program can be found on the MMRT Google Site. Please email Tiffany Lee (ttlee@fcps.edu) with any questions.

2021/2022 FCPS/George Mason University Special Education Cohorts (All Levels)

Are you interested in becoming a special education teacher? Do you have a provisional license and would like information about GMU’s cohort programs to complete your license and earn your degree?  FCPS and GMU will hold an online information session on August 31, 2021, and September 16, 2021, from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm. The information sessions will cover the same information, including the process for applying to EDSE 501 (the prerequisite course to attain a provisional license) and GMU’s Special Education cohort degree programs: Accessing the General Education Curriculum, Adapting the Curriculum, and Early Childhood. Completion of a cohort program leads to a Virginia special education teaching license. If you are interested in joining, please register for the virtual information session. Registration Form Here. (Note, You must be logged into your FCPS Google account to access this link).  The meeting link will be sent before the session. 

For additional information or to apply to the cohort, please visit the FCPS/GMU website (note: you must be logged into your FCPS Google account to access this link). Contact: Lynn Beal.

Get to Know the Employee Hub

Want to get to know the Hub better? The Employee Hub Support page (located in the Hub Footer) has resources and tutorials to help you get started.

OurFCPS Faces Profile - Patricia Smalley, Librarian


Patricia “Patty” Smalley has been a librarian at FCPS for 21 years, all of which have been spent at Olde Creek Elementary School.  She exclaims, “It’s an amazing place to be!”

Learn more about Patty and what new skill she’s learning in her car.

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

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Returning Strong - Celebrating our First Day!

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Celebrating Our First Day!


Today was a great day to be in Fairfax County Public Schools! Almost 180,000 students returned to our buildings this morning, excited and ready to learn.

Enjoy some highlights from #FirstDayFairfax and #FCPSReturningStrong on social media, or visit our website for more photos.


FCPS is Returning Strong this school year with 5 Days of in Person Instruction. 


FCPS students are prepared for day one of in-person learning, including this student from Spring Hill Elementary School.


Outdoor dining is one way FCPS students stay safe while enjoying lunch at Robinson Secondary School. View more of the unique ways schools are setting up lunch.


Schools are making use of outdoor spaces as much as possible this year, like this outdoor classroom at Irving Middle School.


Students participate in a water balloon relay at Kilmer Middle School.


Seniors participated in Senior Sunrise at many schools this morning, including this group at Woodson High School.


McNair Upper Elementary School had two reasons to celebrate today—the first day of school and a ribbon cutting for their new school building.


Superintendent Scott Brabrand spent his morning visiting students and teachers at schools in all five regions across the county to celebrate the first day of school.



McNair Upper Elementary School students grab breakfast to fuel their first morning back in class.


… We also had a lot of fabulous media coverage.

For more first day of school photos, go to the FCPS website to check out a photo gallery, or visit Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and search for #FirstDayFairfax and #FCPSReturningStrong.

Welcome Back, From the School Board Chair


School Board Chair Stella Pekarsky has a welcome back message for the first day of school.

Thank You! 

Thank you, FCPS staff and families, for going above and beyond to prepare for a successful start to the 2021-22 school year. Today is possible because of the dedication of the more than 24,600 educators that make FCPS a great place to learn and work and the patience and resilience of our families.


Have a great 2021-22 school year!

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FCPS Is Returning Strong!

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Welcome Back!


Tomorrow’s the big day—we’re Returning Strong! We are back, ready to experience all the great things that come with learning together, five days a week in person. 

We can’t wait to see our students arrive at school tomorrow morning. Show off that first-day excitement by posting photos to your favorite social media site and tagging them with #FirstDayFairfax and #FCPSReturningStrong.

Superintendent Brabrand has a special welcome back message for every FCPS student and family.

Top Return to School Questions Answered

You asked: How are we keeping kids safe during mealtimes?

Schools are making use of outdoor spaces for meals, classes, and activities to the greatest extent possible. When eating occurs indoors, layered prevention strategies are in place.


You asked: How will the national bus driver shortage affect FCPS students?

FCPS is working hard to address the need for bus drivers and adjust transportation plans for the least impact on students. The top priorities for FCPS transportation are safety and timeliness. 


You asked: How are you keeping schools safe this fall?

FCPS’ layered prevention strategies are designed to work together to create safe learning environments for all students.


Did you know: Vaccination rates* among eligible students are increasing!
  • 62.6% of 12-15 year olds are fully vaccinated and 76.1% have had one dose.
  • 74.9% of 16-17 year olds are fully vaccinated and 88.2% have had one dose.

* Data as of August 20, 2021.

Are you Ready?

We’ve been counting down to the first day of school and featuring helpful tips to prepare. Go over the list one more time so you will be ready tomorrow morning!

#10 Counting Down to a Strong Return #9 Are You Ready to Ride With Us? #8 Check Off The Days to the Start of School! #7 Stay Connected! #6 No-cost Meals All Year For All Students! #5 Learn How We Are Keeping Schools Safe! #4 Stay On Top Of Your School Assignments! #3 Remember Your Mask! #2 Opt-In to Stay Connected! #1 Get the Benefit of a Good Night’s Sleep!


Did you know that children who get a good night’s sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health?

We can’t wait to see you tomorrow for the first day of school! 

Thank You to the Fairfax County School Board and Community Who Joined Our Five-in-Fall Video


The FCPS School Board will be out in force tomorrow, welcoming students and staff back to buildings and celebrating the first day of school with us. Tonight, some Board members, along with some of our principals, are sharing their message with you.

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Employee News - Tuesday, August 17, 2021

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Fairhill ES teachers Victoria Kim, left, and Kirsten Chen, collaborate together during a community builder.

Join Our Countdown to the First Day of School!

We have five days left before we welcome our students back into our buildings for their first day of the 2021-22 school year! Share in the countdown fun with us and make sure you, too, are ready to Return Strong on #firstdayfairfax.

5 Days to Go! Check Health and Safety Updates


The FCPS administration is in the process of partnering with a third-party provider to provide access to screening testing among other health service supports for FCPS students and staff.
We recognize that screening testing of individuals who are not fully vaccinated is important given the recent surge of the Delta variant. We look forward to sharing details regarding this emerging partnership soon. In addition to the emerging partnership for screening testing described above, we continue to partner with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to provide diagnostic testing for symptomatic, in-person students or staff who are unable to access testing independently. The partnership for diagnostic testing for in-person students and staff who need support was established during the 2020-21 school year and will continue as we start the 2021-22 school year. 

Elementary schools will provide seating charts to minimize the number of potential close contacts while masks are removed. This is a NEW prevention strategy for elementary school given elementary students are generally not age-eligible for the vaccine.

FCPS is following CDC guidance on masking and does not require masks to be worn outdoors, including during recess. Parents who have specific requests for their child can contact their school. Schools will make the best possible effort to ensure the parent’s request is followed when possible. Please understand schools cannot guarantee all requests will be able to be met.

Protocols for Potential Temporary COVID-19 Closure: Virginia public schools are required under SB 1303 to provide five days a week of in-person instruction, as directed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. FCPS is committed to continuity of learning during the 2021-22 school year and the school division is using layered prevention strategies to do everything possible to ensure our schools remain safe, healthy and open. 

FCPS has plans in place to ensure continuity of learning in the event health authorities require a temporary closure to protect the health of students, staff, and the community. Find out more.

4 Days to Go! MySchoolBucks isn’t just for students; Set up your MySchoolBucks account for easy payment for meals and snacks.


MySchoolBucks isn’t just for students; we can enjoy the ease of an account as well! This year, having a MySchoolBucks account not only means convenience, it helps our cafeteria staff with a unique problem-coin shortage. 

The U.S. is experiencing a coin shortage and that extends to FCPS cash registers. By using MySchoolBucks, you can help keep change in cash registers for those who may not be able to use their account and help keep lines moving quickly.

Staff can use their MySchoolBucks accounts to pay for meals and a la carte items in the cafeteria. 

Be ready on day one- set up your MySchoolBucks account and memorize your pin. If you have questions about MySchoolBucks, your school’s front office staff can help.

3 Days to Go! Take a Dance Break this Friday!


What?
Fun-filled virtual dance party! A live DJ will get the party going with fun music, dance contests, raffles, and more!

When? Friday, August 20, from 12 – 1 p.m.

Where? Join the party on Zoom. Meeting ID: 881 2839 2116 Passcode: 098470

Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu

2 Days to Go! Check Your MyPDE Portal & Get Up to Date With Required Trainings


As we embark on the school year ahead, we want to remind you that professional development is an important tool that supports growth and learning throughout your career. It also supports FCPS’ ability to provide the best for students. You can play your part by completing all required training by the assigned deadlines. Not only does this ensure you have all the information you need to start the year strong, it also is a part of your professional responsibility and an expectation noted in employee evaluation. Please be sure to check out your MyPDE portal for assigned mandatory training.

To help achieve this goal, the Office of Professional Growth and Career Development has provided a new email notification system to help organize timelines and due dates.

Have a great school year!

1 Day to Go! Share Your First Day of School Photos

FCPS parents, students, and staff members are invited to share their favorite pictures or video from the first day of school on Monday, August 23, on social media using the hashtag #firstdayfairfax and #FCPSReturningStrong. We will share some of the photos on the FCPS Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. 

Be sure your photos show FCPS’ safety measures in action- everyone should be wearing masks when indoors.

Secondary Grading and Homework Updates


FCPS is committed to consistent grading practices where grades are an accurate reflection of student learning. Last school year, temporary changes were made to secondary grading and homework expectations in response to pandemic learning. This past spring, a stakeholder group reviewed the grading changes from last year and recommended that two changes be made permanent. The following changes have been approved by FCPS leadership:  

  • 50 is the lowest grade on a 100-point scale. 
  • Allow late work on major assignments with a maximum penalty of 10 percent if submitted within two weeks after the due date.

Last school year, FCPS set temporary limits for homework to account for the conditions of virtual learning and student wellness during the pandemic. FCPS is resetting homework expectations to account for both student wellness and the existing FCPS regulation on homework.

To ensure that student homework falls within existing FCPS regulations:

  • Middle school teachers should plan for homework not to exceed 25 minutes per class block.
  • High school teachers should plan for homework not to exceed 30 minutes per class block.
  • When long-term projects require additional time, teachers should adjust daily homework assignments accordingly.
  • Reading assignments are considered part of the homework load.
OurFCPS Faces - Vijai 'VJ' Rao


Meet FCPS’ new Cybersecurity Director, Vijai (VJ) Rao.  We welcome VJ who has worked at many organizations over the last 20 years including Unisys, National Democratic Institute, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and Commission of Presidential Debates.

Rest assured that FCPS is in good hands with VJ; however, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility! Learn more about VJ and his plans to keep FCPS safe in the cyber world.

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

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

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Employee News - Tuesday, August 10, 2021

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Ibironke Ayilaran, bus transportation attendant, assists with summer learning students and gives the thumbs up as our staff gets ready to return strong!

Returning Strong and Safe: We’re ALL Masking Up Indoors

 

Everyone Mask Up!

As we bring larger numbers of staff and students back into buildings, out of an abundance of caution, FCPS will now require everyone to wear a mask indoors. In preparation for a strong return to 5 days of in person instruction,  we will also continuously monitor our community health conditions as well as adhere to FHD, VHD and CDC guidance.

We are all committed to a safe start to the 2021-22 school year and universal masking for all supports our effort. ALL staff, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a face mask indoors, unless you are alone in an office or room. Outdoor masking is recommended for anyone who is not vaccinated in crowded settings. 

There are some situations in school when students and staff are permitted to remove their masks, including:

  • When actively eating or drinking (if eating indoors, individuals are required to put their masks back on when not actually eating or drinking)
  • When outside (e.g. outdoor recess, outdoor physical education, outdoor instructional groups; anyone not fully vaccinated is recommended, but not required, to wear a mask in crowded settings)

Schools will use outdoor eating and instructional areas to increase opportunities for physical distancing as permitted by space, weather, and supervision. While FCPS is unable to implement full physical distancing in our schools with the return of 99.5% of our students, we will implement it to the best of our ability when space permits. 

 

Vax Up!

Thank you to everyone who got vaccinated this week! Vaccination rates in Fairfax County are increasing- let’s keep that trend going. FCPS’ goal is for all students and staff to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. To help make that more convenient, we will be hosting dozens of school-based COVID-19 vaccination clinics starting in September. We will share more details over the coming weeks.

Read more about all seven FCPS layered prevention strategies.

Join Superintendent Brabrand at Two Return to School Town Halls


Superintendent Brabrand will be hosting two virtual community Town Halls:

Monday, August 16, from 6-7 p.m. (In English) where he will be joined by Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, director of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Fairfax County Health Department. The Town Hall will focus on returning to five full days of in-person instruction for the new school year and layered prevention strategies that will be implemented to help keep students and staff safe. Watch the Town Hall on FCPS’ website or on Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11). Please send your questions in advance to returntoschool@fcps.edu or ask your question live during the event by calling 1-800-231-6359.

Tuesday, August 17, from 6-7 p.m. (In Spanish) 

The superintendent will answer questions about returning to five full days of in-person learning and measures to help keep everyone safe for a strong return to school. The Town Hall will be streamed live on FCPS Facebook en Español. Please email your questions to ReturntoSchool@fcps.edu. You may also send us a message on our Facebook page or leave it in the “Comment” section during the Town Hall.

FCPS Encourages Leaders to Affirm, Assess and Advance at Leadership Kickoff


Last week’s 2021 Leadership Kickoff launched the Affirm, Assess, Advance message that will be at the center of all our work this school year. Dr. Brabrand welcomed FCPS administrators and leaders back for the 2021-22 school year and presented a shift in FCPS’ approach to education. The kickoff focused on the Affirm, Assess, Advance orientation necessary to forward the centering of equity in all we do. Learn more about the AAA approach.


“Give me an A. Give me an A! Give me one more A!” Tiffany Lee and Jenna Reeder from the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement cheer on FCPS leaders at the annual Leadership Kickoff event in preparation for a strong return to school guided by the Affirm, Assess, Advance framework.

Calendar Note: Work from Alternate Location Day for Teachers

When the School Board adopted the 2021-2022 calendar, Friday, August 13, 2021, the first teacher workday, was designated as an “optional work from alternate location” day for teaching staff. This means that teachers may choose to work from a location other than their assigned school building. Please let your principal know if you plan to work from an alternate location on this day.

Dance Your Way Into the School Year!


Kick off the school year with a fun-filled virtual dance party! Join other schools and sites across Fairfax County Public Schools on Friday, August 20 and dance your way into the weekend together. The party is from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., drop in whenever you can.  A live DJ will get the party going with fun music, dance contests, raffles, and more! Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu 

Join on Zoom: Meeting ID: 881 2839 2116; Passcode: 098470

Treat Yourself to On-Demand Fitness, Mindfulness, Nutrition Classes and More!


Treat yourself to your on-demand fitness and wellbeing benefit before summer ends! Wellbeats has 800+ wellbeing classes for all ages, ability levels, and interests and is available to all benefit-eligible employees. Classes range from 5-minute office stretches to 50-minute dance workouts.

Forgot your login information? Here is how to access your account:

  •         Visit Wellbeats
  •         Click Login and enter your FCPS email address
  •         Click “Forgot My Password”
  •         Wellbeats will email you a code to reset your password

Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu

From Student to Proud Principal: Meet the New Columbia Elementary School Leader Who Once Walked the Halls as a Child


If you look closely at a faded copy of the Columbia Elementary School yearbook which sits on the desk of new principal Michael Astudillo, a little boy with an impish grin stands out.

“That’s me, right there,” Astudillo said, pointing to his first grade photo on page 14 of the 1983-84 year book.

Forty years on and while the hair has changed, the smile remains the same as Astudillo recalls how this school was a second home to him. Now, on his return as leader, he hopes to create that same home away from home atmosphere for the current students. Astudillo joined the school as its principal last month and is using those fond memories as the basis for his leadership strategy at the school.

Learn more about Michael Astudillo and his Columbia Elementary School story.

OurFCPS Faces - Stella Noda


We caught up with Stella Noda, early childhood and family services assistant, a finalist for the 2021 Outstanding Nonschool-based Operational Employee. Her glowing nomination reads “Stella’s genuine connections with families and excellent customer service have allowed her to build lasting relationships with FCPS families. Stella’s enthusiasm and love for her work, her colleagues, and the families she serves is contagious.”

Learn more about Stella’s role model who inspires her in her line of work.

Read the Latest Issues of Audit Buzz

FCPS’ Office of Auditor General (OAG) publishes Audit Buzz to provide a look into OAG’s work. In the July issue of Audit Buzz, OAG’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Audit Plan was approved at the School Board Meeting on July 15.  The issue includes more about the plan, which includes four new audits, as well as other engagements and duties.

Read the June issue of Audit Buzz for the status of current engagements, background information on what audits are in the Knowledge Hive, and recognition for the citizen members of the Audit Committee.

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

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

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Employee News - Tuesday, August 3, 2021

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Welcome to the 2021-22 School Year! Cheer on our students as they return this fall. Tamika Anderson, Instructional Assistant at Silverbrook Elementary School, celebrated her students in the summer learning program.

Latest Updates on Mask Guidance and Vaccination Rates

Masks are an essential tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting those unable to be vaccinated. To ensure a safe start to the school year, masks will be required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, inside FCPS school buildings when students are present. 

As of Monday, August 2, all FCPS staff – both in offices and schools – are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all times indoors:

  • FCPS is encouraging all staff who work in our offices to show solidarity with schools and wear your mask at all times when you are indoors – even if you are fully vaccinated.
  • We serve as role models for our students. This practice will help encourage them to follow the universal masking guidance at all times.
  • According to the CDC, there are instances of breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals. Although vaccinated individuals are not becoming severely ill, they are able to transmit the infection to others. 
  • We are aware that the Delta variant is seeing transmission rates rise in our area, and we are encouraging all staff to do their part. 
  • For more about how FCPS is returning to school safely, visit our Return to School-Safety webpage.

Thank you for doing your part to keep our school community safe and healthy!

Our Community Is Getting Vaccinated!

We are encouraging all students and staff who are eligible to get vaccinated. Vaccination is our best protection against COVID-19. Thank you if you have been vaccinated in the past week. We are seeing our numbers increase. As of August 1, Fairfax County reports:

  • 18 years old and older – 76.4% vaccinated with one dose, 69.7% fully vaccinated.
  • 12-17 years old – 74.23% vaccinated with at least one dose (+4.23 since July 23).

Vaccination rates are updated regularly on the Fairfax County Health Department website.

FCPS Returning Strong: 2021-22 School Year to Start on Monday, August 23


We hope you’re enjoying your summer! In just a few short weeks, we will be welcoming students back into our buildings for five days a week of in-person learning. Planning for the 2021-22 school year began last spring with a focus on safety and academic support for all students. You can prepare to return strong by visiting the Return to School page, checking the Return to School FAQs often, and reading Employee News for the latest information. This is what you need to know this week:

Returning StrongSafety

Our focus is on creating a safe and healthy learning environment for students to learn together in classrooms all year. We will achieve this through layered prevention strategies, including the two most important elements - universal masking in school buildings and widespread vaccination. Mask Up and Vax Up! The Return to School-Safety page is your resource for safety information as we return to school this fall. 

Returning StrongAcademics

Teachers and staff will be prepared to address and support students’ specific needs when the new school year begins on August 23. A full Academic Support Plan, tied to FCPS’ proposed ESSER III spending plan, will be a significant investment of funding and resources that will ensure our students have the support they need to thrive this school year and beyond. The School Board is scheduled to approve the plan for the ESSER III funding on August 26. We will share more details with you after this meeting.

Returning Strong Athletics 

The return to school brings a return to fall sports. As with our entire return to school plan, safety is our top priority as we plan for fall sports to resume. The health and safety protocols in place this fall include universal masking when indoors.

To review all the safety protocols, including water, screening, equipment, and reporting, read more.

Back to School Means Back to Learning For Us All


We hope you are enjoying your summer and look forward to a fresh start to the school year ahead. Professional development is an important tool that supports growth and learning throughout your career. It also supports FCPS’ ability to provide the best for students. You can play your part by completing all required training by the assigned deadlines. Not only does this ensure you have all the information you need to start the year strong, it also is a part of your professional responsibility and an expectation noted in employee evaluation. Please be sure to check out your MyPDE portal for assigned mandatory training.

Examples of training that must be completed by September include those listed below. To help achieve this goal, the Office of Professional Growth and Career Development has provided a new email notification system to help organize timelines and due dates.

Have a great school year!

Help Support the FCPS Mission


Would you like to gain a better understanding of how the offices, departments, and schools within FCPS work together to support the mission of our division? Build your knowledge and skills around core leadership competencies to better lead for equity with the Supporting the Mission Cohort. Apply for the 2021-2022 Cohort of Supporting the Mission!

Eligible Employees: Teacher Leaders and Schedule B & C Staff (formerly US-20 and above)

For more information about the program, please check out our Google Site. Both the interest and recommendation forms are due by August 18. Forms will be shared with the FCPS Leadership Team members who will forward nominations for the cohort. Contact Tiffany Lee (ttlee@fcps.edu) with questions.

FCPS Wins Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for FY 2020

Congratulations to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), which received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. The award was granted by the Government Finance Officers of the US and Canada (GFOA) for demonstrating transparency by clearly communicating the FCPS financial story.

Stringent requirements must be met to receive this honor. A governmental unit must publish a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that exhibits creativity, presentation, understandability, and reader appeal. The award reflects the school district’s commitment to transparency and high-quality financial reporting and affirms that its comprehensive annual financial report serves as a communications tool that helps build trust and engagement with the school community.

Congratulations to Our June FCPS CARES of the Month Winners 
  • Central Office- Mark Hyer – Information Technology – Sprague Center 
  • Region 1 - Eric Fishman and Scott Aldridge, Thoreau MS
  • Region 2 - Kirsten Wiley, Falls Church HS
  • Region 3 - Cynthia Powell-Sparks, Washington Mill ES
  • Region 4 - Mary Ann Barry, Fairview ES, and Katie Cheneler, Oak View ES
  • Region 5 - Erin Ferguson, Canterbury Woods ES

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

OurFCPS Faces Profile - Stan Martin, Mail Services Assistant


If you’ve been to Gatehouse, then you’ve probably seen Stan Martin at some point making his rounds in the hallways. Those of us who work at Gatehouse enjoy his daily visits to deliver mail and packages along with his easy countenance. 

Stan was one of the first OurFCPS Faces profiles when we began the feature over five years ago. Now, we’re giving him a tribute as he retires after 23 years of service with FCPS. We sure will miss you, Stan, but wish you all the best in your retirement! Read more about Stan.

Staff Staples

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

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

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Employee News - Tuesday, 6/15/21

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West Springfield ES teacher, Jennifer Quinn, is feeling the love at the school’s end-of-year celebration.


As we celebrated the final day of the 2020-21 school year on Friday, Superintendent Brabrand had a message to share with FCPS families and staff. 


FCPS Honors Ceremony Recognizes 2021 Outstanding Employees

Watch a brief interview clip of Outstanding Teacher David Worst, Rose Hill Elementary. 

On June 9, FCPS honored its 2021 Outstanding Employees at an event held at Jiffy Lube Live.

The awards, sponsored by the Department of Human Resources, recognized more than 700 employees in both instructional and operational roles. This year, 74 finalists, representing twelve categories, were recognized in the exciting awards ceremony. Learn more about what makes these winners special. View All 74 Nominees.

Congratulations to the winners of this year's awards:

  • Outstanding Elementary School Teacher: David Worst, physical education teacher, Rose Hill Elementary School.
  • Outstanding Secondary School Teacher: Jenny Hay, English Teacher, Irving Middle School.
  • Outstanding New Elementary School Teacher, Amelia Kirsten Carr, kindergarten teacher, Bucknell Elementary School.
  • Outstanding New Secondary School Teacher, Melissa Duluc, Spanish teacher, McLean High School.
  • Outstanding Principal, Lindsay Trout, principal, Terraset Elementary School.
  • Outstanding New Principal, Alfonso Smith, principal, Lewis High School.
  • Outstanding Operational Employee, Wanda Talford, instructional assistant, Burke School.
  • Outstanding Non School-Based Operational Employee, Maria Miller, multilingual registrar, Dunn Loring Center.
  • Outstanding Professional Employee, Margaret Sisler, school-based technology specialist, Westfield High School.
  • Outstanding Non School-Based Professional Employee, Christopher Daniels, transportation operations manager, Lorton Center.
  • Outstanding School-Based Leader, Kathryn Crump Teague, director, Student Services, Lanier Middle School.
  • Outstanding Non School-Based Leaders (Two winners), Tracey Jewell, director, Information Technology Support Services, Sprague Technology Center; and Maria Perrone, director III, Food and Nutrition Services, Energy Zone Food Services Center, Financial Services.

Updated Mask Guidance for Non-School-Based Offices

The Governor is updating health guidance for the Commonwealth of Virginia as of July. As such, we are revisiting our policies in FCPS non-school-based offices.

Starting Monday, June 14, 2021

  • Neither masks, face coverings nor social distancing will be required for vaccinated employees in non-school based offices.
  • Unvaccinated staff must follow established safety protocols including wearing a face covering or mask, and maintaining social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

Starting Thursday, July 1, 2021

All employees will be expected to return to pre-COVID conditions including:

  • Employees should resume their pre-COVID work schedules.
  • The revised telework regulation remains in effect and any teleworking options should be discussed with your program manager. (Regulation 4417)
  • Buildings will be open to visitors without an appointment. 
  • All employees should continue to use proper hand-washing hygiene and stay at home if experiencing sickness or a cough. 
Updated Mask Guidance for Schools

Updated mask guidance on school property begins June 18, in accordance with Executive Order 79:

Indoors on School Property

  • All individuals must wear a mask while indoors on school property. Masks or face coverings must be worn by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
  • Social distancing is not required.
  • When school is not in session (or anytime students are not attending programs in the school building), individuals should follow masking recommendations in accordance with CDC Guidance, which allows for fully vaccinated individuals to participate in most activities without masking or distancing. 
  • Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated should continue to mask and distance in order to protect themselves and the people around them.

Outdoors on School Property

  • Individuals outdoors on school property may remove masks.
  • Fully vaccinated students, teachers, staff, and visitors may remove their masks or face coverings and six feet social distancing is no longer required. 
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated may remove masks or face coverings outside if they can maintain at least six feet distance. If they cannot maintain social distancing, it is recommended that they wear a mask. 

Offices and Non-School Property

In office buildings such as Gatehouse, masks and social distancing are no longer required for vaccinated employees.

Deadline for Teacher Resignation Notification Is Today (June 15); Voluntary Transfer Window Runs Through Friday, June 25

Teacher Resignation Deadline: In accordance with the Code of Virginia, any contracted teacher who does not intend to return to teach for the 2021-2022 school year must submit the Notification of Resignation or Retirement Form HR-2 (VPN required) on or before June 15, 2021 in order to resign in good standing ("without prejudice"). Please refer to Regulation 4291 Procedures for Resigning From Employment for more information regarding the FCPS resignation process.

FCPS Transfer Deadline: Teachers and instructional assistants interested in voluntarily transferring to another school or work location for the 2021-2022 school year should apply to the FCPS Instructional Candidate Transfer Gateway to express interest in interviewing for instructional vacancies at other FCPS schools.  All instructional staff are permitted one voluntary transfer during  the FCPS  instructional employees’ Voluntary Transfer Window which runs through June 25, 2021. More information is available on the FCPS Instructional Employees' Voluntary Transfer Window page, or by searching “employee transfer window” when connected to the Employee Hub at https://hub.fcps.edu.

FCPS Foundation Announces Grant Award Winners

Seventy three educators were selected to receive grant funding for their innovative, creative proposals for the next school year. The Foundation’s Grant program launched in spring 2018 to support work-based learning and career exploration for all students in K-12. This year’s grants focused on a strong “Return to School” following the pandemic. Funded projects will enhance learning around literacy or math skill recovery, continuity of curriculum, or social-emotional learning for all students. Grant awards range from $400 to $1,500, and the amount distributed totals over $96,000. Projects will be implemented throughout the 2021-22 school year.  Find out more about the grant awards on the Foundation's website


Secretary Cardona Engages Teachers

Watch Kathryn Desmond, first grade teacher from Silverbrook Elementary, who met for a conversation with Secretary of Education Miquel Cardona last week. 


Video: Congratulations, Class of 2021!

The Class of 2021, more than 14,000 strong, persevered through a pandemic, toggled between virtual and in-person instruction, and missed time with friends and family. Through it all, they found ways to connect, to create, and to celebrate their amazing achievements. Congratulations to all our seniors!

Getting Ready for Summer


3,200 Summer School Supply Kits. Packed and Shipped.  

FCPS warehouse workers from the Johnny Forte Center have been busy packing school supply kits for this year’s summer learning programs.

Employee Hub: Using Tools and Favorites

Account Sign On Applications are Tools. Find your FCPS applications and online services in the Tools section of the Employee Hub. Speed up your access by making Quick Links or create your own personalized Account Sign On by using the Favorites feature.

Try our short tutorials:

Your feedback and questions have already helped improve the Employee Hub (e.g. Forms Table)! We truly appreciate all the insights and questions we have received so far.  We want more! Send us your feedback: hub@fcps.edu. 

Ten Ways to Take Care of Yourself this Summer

Make this summer the best ever by sprinkling your days with self-care activities. Take advantage of the increased sunlight, switch up your routine a bit, and enjoy what the season has to offer. 

Try these 10 ideas for increasing your summer wellness: 

  1. Go Off the GridTake a break from social media for 24 hours. It’s the latest type of cleanse. 
  2. Eat a New FoodBuy a fruit or vegetable that you have never cooked with before (bonus points if you discover your edible adventure at a farmers market). Find a recipe and prepare a dish that includes your new food. 
  3. Go for a StrollFor example, walk through a forest; close your eyes and listen. Use the Wellbeats app to find a new workout.
  4. Create a Summer PlaylistBring on the feel-good summer tunes! Keep in mind that your playlist can never have too many songs.
  5. Reflect on the Past YearWrite down what living through the pandemic taught you about yourself and the world. What do you hope to carry into the future? 
  6. Reconnect with SomeoneFor example, send an email to a former colleague and tell them how they had an impact on you.
  7. Read a BookYou may be thinking “beach read” here. But let’s go bigger. Give your brain something new to chew on by selecting from a new genre, such as historical fiction or mystery. 
  8. Have a PicnicEnjoying a meal outside is a great way to get into fresh air and out of your daily routine. 
  9. Practice MindfulnessOr add meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, or an afternoon nap to your day. 
  10. Eat Watermelon. It’s the quintessential fruit of summer. Enough said.

 

OurFCPS Profiles--Melissa Green

Melissa Green, a 3rd grade teacher at Woodburn ES, has worked for FCPS for ten years. 

What’s the favorite part of your job? Being a part of the growth and development of students and staff.  In so many words, we are all lifelong learners.  We are always looking at ways to be greater than what we are.  As a facilitator of change, I am always looking at ways to offer strategies for both students and teachers.  In addition, the other favorite aspect of my job is supporting my school community in instilling an environment that is inclusionary and culturally proficient and respectful.   

What is something you’re proud of? The National Endowment for the Humanities offers tuition-free opportunities for K-12 educators and higher education faculty to study a variety of humanities topics.  I am excited because I was recently selected for the following seminar this summer: FROM IMMIGRANTS TO CITIZENS.  The workshop shows how Asian and Pacific Islander Americans play and have played significant roles in the transformation of regions, cities, and communities. These immigrants, refugees and citizens are greatly ignored in the discourse on which peoples helped build America, whether the railroads, in mining, salmon or other fisheries, aquaculture, aviation, civil rights and social change. The week-long Landmarks programs focus on the themes of Immigration and Exclusion.  There will also be a focus on the hidden histories of the earliest Native Hawaiians in addition to the Chinese, South Asian, Filipino, Korean and Japanese immigrant laborers.  

Do you have a favorite memory? One of my fondest memories actually took place last summer.  A colleague and I supplied a student with a variety of books to read over the summer months.  This took place during a time where we were greatly in quarantine (due to COVID-19) and could not socialize with others a lot.  A combination of chapter books and graphic novels.  It helped a lot and supported this student through a very challenging time.   

What’s the top item on your bucket list? Visiting all my family and friends while supporting them as best I can. 

Do you have a hobby? Write books for children.


Employee Assistance Program Pandemic Pet Contest Winners

In the last edition of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Wellness Newsletter, EAP posted an article asking employees to send pictures of their furry friend who helped them through the roller coaster of emotions during the pandemic. EAP was overwhelmed with the response of  many submissions and is happy to announce the winners. Thanks for sharing your pictures to brighten our day!

The top prize winner is Duffey and his owner-mommy Liz Huse (Area 3 Transportation-Stonecroft: featured far right)! 

 The runner-ups are:

  • Molly Payne’s (McLean HS) dogs - Boshi and Buster
  • Breanne Melikan’s (Leis Center) dog - Chica
  • Anna Mikelinich’s (Riverside ES) dog – Lucy
  • Erin Rinker’s (Lorton Station ES) feline friend – Tanker (named after her grandfather, a WWII tanker)

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

FCPS Employee Assistance Program Offers Five Summertime Wellness Tips

Do something for yourself this summer by taking advantage of your wellness benefits

Wellbeats is your newest wellness benefit featuring over 800 classes including, fitness classes, healthy recipes, challenges, and more

Live virtual fitness classes will continue through the summer, make sure to sign up soon as space is limited

Primary cardholders participating in an FCPS health plan can earn a $100 wellness incentive for completing their health assessment

Take the pledge to wear SPF daily and protect your skin from harmful UV rays to receive a sun safe goodie

Stay up-to-date on your wellness benefits by favoriting the Employee Wellness Program page on the Hub

Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu


View the Virtual 2021 Cappies National Capital Area Gala 

The 2021 Cappies National Capital Area held a virtual watch party at Langley High School on Sunday, June 13, to celebrate the 22nd annual Cappies season where theatre students and audiences from all over the DMV area. View the Virtual Cappies.


FCPS Music Teacher is Grammy Finalist

Mx. Ær Queen (they/them), general music teacher at Braddock ES, has been named a quarterfinalist for the 2022 Grammy Music Educator Award. The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. A joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY® Week 2022. Semifinalists will be named in September. We wish them all the best.


Cherry Run ES staff gathered to celebrate Pride Month all decked out in rainbow colors and posters.


Have a Great Summer!

This is the last issue of Employee News for the 2020-21 school year. We would again like to thank staff members for their perseverance, resiliency, and support during the past year. See you in August!

FCPS will continue to keep in touch over the summer, and we hope you are able to relax, recharge, spend time with family, and come back ready for a strong return to school with five days of in-person learning on the first day of the 2021-22 school year, Monday, August 23. See the complete 2021-22 employee calendar.

Staff Staples

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

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

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Employee News - Tuesday, 6/8/21

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Graduation excitement times two! Dr. Brabrand beams as he celebrates his sons’, William and Bennett, graduating from Fairfax HS.
View the photo tribute to Class of ‘21.


2021 FCPS Graduation Highlights

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! 

  • As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been 29 different graduation ceremonies.
  • There are still nine more graduations to go before June 11.
  • Thirteen graduations were held at Jiffy Lube Live to allow for extra outdoor space.
  • All graduations have been live streamed for those who wanted to watch at home.

We want to wish all our graduates the best of luck as they move on to the next great adventure! Enjoy a selection of images from our graduations.  

Share Your Graduation or Promotion Ceremony Photos on FCPS Social Accounts

We are inviting you to share your favorite pictures from this year's graduation or promotion ceremonies on Twitter and Facebook or Instagram by using the hashtag #fcpsgrad21


Required Training MyPDE Notification: Be Sure to Complete All Assigned Training

As all remaining required training for SY 2020-21 were due on June 1, many employees received an auto-generated notification from MyPDE regarding the impending deadline. This notification was sent periodically before the deadline and will continue until the employee completes the required training.

Some of the required training is only offered synchronously, with no additional training dates scheduled for the remainder of the year. If no offerings are available, contact the course sponsor listed on the training for further instructions.  

If you believe you have been assigned a training in error, please check with the course sponsor listed on the training or your supervisor.

If a course shows as Assigned, but if you believe you have already completed it, try the following:

  • Start a fresh session of MyPDE using Chrome and relaunch the course.
  • Confirm you answered every question and met the Pass threshold. (Some courses require 100%; others 80%.)
  • Click on the last slide to Exit and Complete.
  • Close the player window and confirm the status change to Attended.

For technical assistance, please submit a ticket to RequestIT or call (703) 503-1600.

Calendar Reminder: June 18 Is a Holiday for All Employees—Schools and Offices Closed

As a reminder, Friday, June 18 (Juneteenth), is a holiday for FCPS and employees. Juneteenth celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.  See the complete 2020-21 FCPS School Year Calendar.


Enjoy the Inspirational Journey of Annandale HS’s Commencement Speaker

As students wrap up an unprecedented school year, Annandale High School had a commencement speaker unlike any other - a man whose inspirational journey truly resonated with students—especially those who don’t speak English. His story was featured on ABC7. View his story.

Earn Your $100 Wellness Incentive Before Summer Break

Did you take advantage of your $100 wellness incentive in 2020? Employees participating in an FCPS health plan as the primary cardholder can earn a $100 wellness incentive again in 2021 when they complete their online health assessment (HA) now through December 31.

An HA is an online questionnaire related to your general health and well-being that is easy to complete in about 15-20 minutes. The HA is confidential. Only you and your health plan receive the individual information. Your information is never shared with FCPS in compliance with state and federal privacy laws. Get all of the details by visiting the Employee Wellness Website. Please send questions to employeewellness@fcps.edu.

Click on your health plan to get started:


Student Nomination of Inspirational Black Virginian Leads to New Historical Marker

Just as the success story of Kings Glen Elementary School’s History Hunters and History Makers Club unfolds, another roadside marker for Ona Judge, nominated last year by a Laurel Ridge Elementary School student, was erected earlier this week in Mount Vernon. The marker is a result of the Black History Historical Market contest which Governor Ralph Northam created to encourage students and teachers to help tell a more accurate, comprehensive, and inclusive Virginia story that recognizes Black Virginians and the important ways they have shaped our shared history.

The official unveiling of the marker will be held on Saturday, June 19 at 10 a.m. The unveiling is hosted by Supervisor Dan Storck and special guests include Secretary of Education Atif Qarni and author and historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar, the author of Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge.

In both instances, students researched and wrote submissions for the contest, led by technology teacher Maura Keaney. Over the past two years of the Governor’s contest, four out of ten of the statewide winners came from Maura’s students. Way to go, Maura! View Governor Northam’s shout out to Maura. Read our story in the Washington Post KidsPost here.

Photo of the Week


Senior cellists Misha Somogyi and Keon Parastaran present “A Tribute to Doc,” a self-composed piece dedicated to Langley Orchestra director Dr. McCormick (right). Langley HS had been practicing almost entirely virtually before the performance, meaning that for many students, this was their first time playing the pieces side by side with other Langley Orchestra members. Read the full story. Photo by Rania Razek: Connection Newspaper.


Employee Hub: Keys to Updating Your Quick Links

Have you tried to update your Quick Links? Here’s a 2 minute tutorial on Quick Links to help you get started. Additional support materials are available on the Employee Hub Support page

Thank you to everyone who has sent us feedback about the Employee Hub! Keep it coming: hub@fcps.edu.

 


Access Your Wellbeats Benefit

Log on to your new on-demand fitness and wellbeing benefit before summer break. Wellbeats has 800+ wellbeing classes for all ages, ability levels, and interests and is available to all benefit-eligible employees. Classes range from 5-minute office stretches to 50-minute dance workouts. Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu.

Forgot your login information? Here is how to access your account:

  •         Visit https://portal.wellbeats.com/
  •         Click Login and enter your FCPS email address
  •         Click “Forgot My Password”
  •         Wellbeats will email you a code to reset your password

 

Free Virtual Fitness Classes: Claim Your Spot

Live fitness classes will continue through the summer! Participation is limited, so claim your spot in classes like Zumba, Ballet Body Sculpt, Mat Pilates, and more! Can’t attend live? Class recordings are made available on the Employee Wellness Website. View the full schedule and register for a class.


OurFCPS Faces Profile—Rahul Nooniwal

Rahul Nooniwal, food services operation specialist, has worked for FCPS for nearly 20 years.

What’s the favorite part of your job? There are so many wonderful things about working for the FCPS. My favorite is probably serving the students and community. As a parent I feel each FCPS student deserves the best as I wish for my own child. I also enjoy working with my wonderful food services team members.

What are a few of your job responsibilities? Currently as an operations specialist I am responsible for supervising 23 schools’ food services and Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) vending operations.

Is there something you’d like us to know about you? I love being able to blend creative tasks with some of the more technical projects.

Do you have a favorite memory? Yes, meeting a kindergartener from Sleepy Hollow ES who was graduating from high school and still remembers [me] from his cafeteria team and favorite foods.

What’s the top item on your bucket list? Travel through India with my kids. 

Do you have a hobby? I love music and watching football. Go Washington Team!

May Issue of the Audit Buzz Now Available; Sign Up for Auditing Standards Training

FCPS’ Office of Auditor General (OAG) publishes Audit Buzz to provide a look into OAG’s work. In this issue of Audit Buzz, OAG summarizes the status of current engagements, highlights May as International Internal Audit Awareness Month, and also provides information on the next Audit Committee meeting.  

In addition, OAG is offering a class to FCPS employees, “Auditing Standards and the New Yellow Book: Maintaining Independence, Exercising Professional Judgement and Performing Quality Audits for FCPS” on July 23 (Friday) from 9-11am.  Register for this training.  Stay up to date with OAG’s current and planned work by reading 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 ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu with questions. 

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

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Employee News - Tuesday, 6/1/21

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FCPS is doing our part! Over 74% of Fairfax county residents 18 and over have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose! Alexandria Grant-Presser, applied behavior analysis resource teacher, was a volunteer at the vaccine clinic held at Annandale High School. WJLA-TV covered our clinic at Langley High School.

Calendar Reminder: All Students to Be Virtual on June 8 Due to Democratic Primary Election

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

Get more information about the primary elections.

June 18 Is a Holiday for All Employees—Schools and Offices Closed

As a reminder, Friday, June 18 (Juneteenth), is a holiday for FCPS and employees. Juneteenth celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.  

See the complete 2020-21 FCPS School Year Calendar.


New Summer Hiring Incentives for Special Education Staff

Are you looking for a meaningful experience this summer? FCPS is recruiting special education staff to support important summer programs and is offering additional financial incentives to attract teachers, therapists, and instructional assistants. Summer staff will receive a hiring incentive of $1,000 (licensed) or $500 (support) and one and a half times the regular hourly rate.

The following positions are eligible for this unique opportunity:

  • Teachers/Therapists (i.e. currently contracted Community A, Community B, Foundations, Preschool, Preschool Resource, Counselor, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Visual Impairment, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, Recovery Lead Teacher)
  • Paraprofessionals (i.e. Instructional Assistants, Public Health Training Assistants)

There is a critical need for staff to help support our students who receive our special educational services. 

Apply to work Extended School Year or Recovery Services as a teacher.

Additional information about ESY:  

Additional information about Recovery Services:  

Apply to work Extended School Year or Recovery Services as a paraprofessional.


How to Find the Hub...Easily

Here are two easy ways to get to our new employee intranet, also known as the Hub site:

  1. Type in hub.fcps.edu in a browser.
  2. Find the link for the Hub in the FCPS Bookmarks in Chrome and FCPS Favorites in Edge.

Remember, the FCPSnet is going away on June 30. Why not explore the Hub today?

Have suggestions for change or improvements? Send feedback to hub@fcps.edu.

(Not kidding - we really want to hear from you and value your input.)

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Change 

Good news! The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) raised the contribution limit for dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for calendar year 2021. 

The new dependent care FSA limit for calendar year 2021 is $10,500. If you are participating in the dependent care FSA and would like to increase your election for 2021, please complete an HR-135a form and return it to the Office of Benefit Services. Increases will be effective the first of the month following receipt of your form and the increased amount will only apply to future expenses.   

Refer to the Flexible Spending Account 2021 Updates webpage for more information.


FCPS Social Studies Summer Institute Is June 21-22

The FCPS Social Studies team is hosting a two-day professional learning event June 21-22, to share updates to the History and Social Science Standards of Learning Curriculum Frameworks to reflect recommendations from the African American History Education Commission (AAHEC).

The edits represent a more inclusive and historically accurate approach to United States history and directly impact the following courses: Kindergarten, Grade One, Grade Two, Virginia Studies, United States History to 1865, United States History: 1865 to the Present, and Virginia and United States History. These important changes directly align with FCPS priorities of equity and cultural responsiveness and social studies teachers are expected to implement the changes in the 2021-22 school year.

This professional learning experience will include keynote speakers and breakout sessions for participants to engage in courageous conversations and deeper learning on themes such as:

  • Beyond heroes and holidays: African American experiences and contributions.
  • U.S. history is global history: Teaching about Africa and the African diaspora.
  • The history and legacy of slavery.
  • Reconstruction history for relevance and student empowerment.
  • Teaching about racial terror and violence.

This professional learning experience will be available for all FCPS staff, with additional opportunities for social studies teachers. We recommend social studies chairs/leads and school-based administrators attend. Registration details and more information will be coming soon. 

For more information, contact Alicia Hunter at ashunter@fcps.edu.  

Photo of the Week


Kat Clifford and Ken Larson from Floris ES are ready to rock! Clifford and Larson were featured in the Fairfax Times this week.

Don’t Miss Out: Subscribe to the FCPS Religious and Cultural Observances Calendar 

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

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

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

 

Provide Feedback on FCPS’ COVID Relief Funds 

Fairfax County Public Schools wants to hear how you want to spend anticipated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds.

The ESSER III grant will be used in support of students, staff, and school operations. Learn more about the ESSER III grant.

Sign up to speak at a Fairfax County School Board Public Hearing about the ESSER III grant on June 7 at 6 p.m. or submit your input using the FCPS Online Feedback Form.

 


April FCPS CARES of the Month

Congratulations to the April FCPS Cares of the Month recipients:

  • Central Office: Rahul Nooniwal – Energy Zone Food Services Center.
  • Region 1: Brian Hollingsworth – Herndon MS.
  • Region 2, Bernie DeLeo – Marshall HS.

  • Region 3, Izza McDonald – Fort Hunt ES.

  • Region 4, Tina Perez – Mountain View HS.

  • Region 5, Patty Smalley – Olde Creek ES. 

Find out what makes them specialNominate a deserving employee.


New Instructional Coach Cohort Opportunities; Apply Now

Applications are being accepted for the New Instructional Coach cohort (replaces Building the Foundational Skills of an Instructional Coach Academy Course). Teacher leaders interested in becoming an Instructional Coach for the 2022-23 school year should apply. 

The Instructional Coach cohort is designed to prepare a diverse group of candidates for the role of an instructional coach through the course content, experiences leading in their schools, self-directed learning and reflection, and observations, coaching, and feedback. Participants will earn 100 renewal points at the completion of the cohort.   

Cohort dates

  • August 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. virtually.
  • Once a month September-February from 4:45-7:45 p.m. with exact dates to be determined. Meeting face to face might be an option, based on CDC and Division guidelines, and will be decided at a later date.

Applicants must:

  • Meet the qualifications for instructional coaching.
  • Commit to attending all professional development and complete asynchronous course materials.
  • Complete at least two leadership experiences within their schools during the 2022-23 school year. This professional development will also include observations, coaching, and feedback 
  • Apply for the Instructional Coach candidate pool in the spring of 2022 upon successful completion of the cohort.

Read more about the cohort and to access the application materials.


Congratulations to Our 2021 Cox Education Heroes!

Lizette Bennett, Title I resource teacher at Centre Ridge ES (left), and Tara Purdham, learning disabilities teacher at Key MS (right), have been selected as 2021 Cox Education Heroes. They were nominated by the community and Cox employees selected them for going above and beyond this year to support their students. Purdham and Bennett were awarded with $1,000 classroom makeovers. Congratulations, Tara and Lizette!


Summer Is Just ‘round the Corner: Pledge to Be Sun Safe

As the weather warms up and we spend more time outside, it is very important to protect your skin. Join Employee Wellness in practicing sun safety this June by taking a pledge to wear SPF daily and protect your skin from harmful UV rays. 

Inspire others to be sun safe by snapping a #SunSafeSelfie and posting it to Instagram or Twitter and tagging @FCPSWellness, or email your picture to employeewellness@fcps.edu

Find more sun safety tips and resources.

Questions? Email employeewellness@fcps.edu.

Health and Wellness Are Always in Season

Learn more about new and upcoming wellness programming available to FCPS employees in the Employee Wellness newsletter: Wellness News! Read June’s newsletter to find out more about your on-demand wellness platform, free live fitness classes, and more. Make your summer a healthy one.

 


OurFCPS Faces Profile—Holly Eelman

Holly Eelman is a school-based technology specialist (SBTS) at Crossfield ES and has worked in FCPS for 21 years.

What’s the favorite part of your job? I love encouraging both teachers and students to try new ideas. There is nothing better than seeing those around you take risks, use their creative and critical thinking skills, strengthen their resiliency, and grow. Celebrating that learning and growth is incredibly rewarding. 

What are a few of your job responsibilities? Throughout FCPS, the SBTS job looks different at each unique school. Some of the responsibilities that all SBTS have is designing and facilitating professional learning for staff and coaching teachers as they strive to create meaningful learning experiences for students. We are change agents that are committed to building relationships, listening, and partnering with our adult learners. At Crossfield ES, one of my favorite responsibilities is greeting our families and students each morning at Kiss ‘n Ride. I love starting each school day this way.

Is there something you’d like us to know about you? I grew up playing sports on teams and loved the camaraderie and collaboration. I am lucky to have a job that allows me to work in collaboration with so many innovative and caring people: from my fellow SBTS, to my instructional colleagues across FCPS and at Crossfield, to our students. I truly feel a sense of belonging and community in my career. 

What’s the top item on your bucket list? I am so excited to travel again. My top bucket list item is to go to Yoga on the Rocks at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I love spending time with my daughters, playing with our new puppy, reading, walking with friends, and enjoying a really good cup of coffee.

Staff Staples

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

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