Employee News – Tuesday, 6/30/20

Employee News 1 day 6 hours ago

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Braddock ES staff members show off colorful face masks that were provided by their PTA board members. (Photo: Braddock ES)

FCPS to Host Town Hall on July 6

Superintendent Brabrand will host another Town Hall on Monday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. You may view the livestream on the FCPS website or watch it on Channel 99. Please send questions before or during the forum by emailing ReturntoSchool@fcps.edu. Or, call 1-800-231-6359 during the forum.

Return to School FAQs for Staff

Please check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Staff for questions about Return to School options. The FAQs cover a variety of topics including face coverings, health screenings, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, transportation, curriculum, and technology access. The page will be updated regularly during the summer. View Return to School FAQs for Staff.

Take FCPS’ 2021-22 School Year Calendar Survey 

Yesterday, all employees received an email from FCPS Survey with a link to the 2021-22 School Year Calendar Survey. Parents have also been invited to take a similar survey. Your participation is essential. The survey results will be used to inform and support FCPS staff and the School Board, as they work to adopt the 2021-22 School Year Calendar. We realize that many of you are understandably focused on Return to School information. If you are able to weigh in on the calendar survey as well, we would greatly appreciate it. All responses are confidential. Please email any questions to FCPSsurvey@fcps.edu.

#OurFCPS Faces: Steve Campbell


It’s all in the family for Steve Campbell, a document services technician. Steve's mother worked for many years at the Sprague Center in the film library, and his brother worked as a PONY/warehouse driver. 

Steve has been with FCPS for 28 years. He started in Forms Management and later moved to the Instructional Services Department print shop when it was in its early days. Now, they print items for nearly every school, office, and department across the school division. 

Steve is a one-man shop. He handles tasks including promotion, logging in jobs, scheduling, printing, binding, and shipping. He prints forms, in-service materials, teaching materials, as well as many other items. 

In 2019, Steve was a nonschool-based finalist for the FCPS Outstanding Operational Employee award. Here's an excerpt from his nomination:

"Employees like Steven Campbell bridge the gap between heartless machines and the hardworking staff of FCPS. Compassion, kindness, heart, and of course service comprise the parts of a man dedicated to serving others with the efficiency of a machine, but a heart big enough for several men. Whether it’s serving local charities, being a single dad to his two kids, or rushing a print shop order through for the students and faculty of FCPS...Steven Campbell shines."

Steve has also received multiple FCPS Cares recognitions. Janice Bonner, his supervisor, says, “No matter how busy he is, Steve Campbell always seems to come through for us! [...] He's amazing, so easy to work with, and always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done for us. Steve truly understands and provides great customer service!”

Once schools closed due to COVID-19, regular printing jobs stopped. But it gave Steve a chance to help with distance learning. He adds, "I helped with the initial planning of getting printing vendors set up and ready to print the massive amounts of packets and send them to the students at home." He printed and mailed learning packets for middle school, special education, and ESOL students.

Steve says his perfect day would include off-roading in his Jeep. Also, every year, he donates time to Valley Bikes for Tikes, "building hundreds of bikes" in just a few days for children in need. 

We are so fortunate to have you as part of the FCPS family, Steve. Please stay for at least another 28 years!

Sleepy Hollow ES Teacher Pays Off Student Lunch Debt

Enjoy this story about Gabe Segal, a physical education teacher at Sleepy Hollow ES, who paid off remaining lunch balances for families. It's a perfect example of our caring culture. Read the article

Free Employee Fitness Classes in July

FCPS Employee Wellness is continuing to host free live fitness classes in July in partnership with Inova Well. There is something for everyone from Pure Stretch to Cardio Kickboxing. Visit the Employee Wellness webpage (on the intranet) for class recordings and descriptions. Sign up for a class now.  

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Email 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, 6/23/20

Employee News 1 week 1 day ago

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Westlawn ES' first grade team is already missing their precious students. (Photo: Westlawn ES)

School Board Considers 2021-22 Calendar with Four Additional Religious Holidays

The Fairfax County School Board is considering a 2021-22 Standard School Year Calendar that was developed with a focus on instruction and learning for students and includes four religious observance holidays. Two options for the 2021-22 school year were presented to the Board at its business meeting on June 18. Read the news release

FCPS Cares–Going the Distance

Since schools and offices physically closed in March, countless FCPS staff members have put in a herculean effort to support students, parents, and their FCPS colleagues during this challenging time. Please join us in applauding employees who have been recognized for going the distance. To recognize an employee with an FCPS Cares, please fill out this form. Staff members who appear on the FCPS CaresGoing the Distance page will be chosen from among FCPS Cares submissions.

Photo of the Week


Dr. Brabrand hosted his second, virtual Return to School Town Hall last Tuesday at Sprague Center. Lorraine Trouton, manager, School Health Services, and Jeff Platenberg, assistant superintendent, Facilities and Transportation Services, joined the superintendent. Between the two Town Halls, several thousand emails with questions and comments were received. Also, seven phone lines were lit for the entire hour during both events.

Resignation Deadline for Contracted, Licensed Employees Extended to June 30

At its June 15 School Board work session, the Board voted to extend the resignation deadline for contracted, licensed employees to June 30. This extension is not applicable to employees who hold positions which require two weeks notice in order to separate (e.g. operational employees and instructional assistants) as these employees are able to resign at any point during the year by providing proper notice. Employees who would like to resign should complete and submit Form HR-2 to their supervisor. Please contact HR Connection with questions about the resignation process.

FCPS Welcomes Three New Principals

We are excited to acknowledge our newest principals:

  • Hoang Nguyen, Kilmer Center.
  • Erica Loesch, Saratoga ES.
  • Jennifer Cunneen, Forestdale ES.

Please join us in congratulating them! Read about Hoang and Erica. See Jennifer's announcement

#OurFCPS Faces: Kathleen Otal

 

Kathleen Otal’s motto is “Work hard, play hard, rest hard.” She’s been putting those words to the test at FCPS as a school counselor for the past 20 years. Kathleen started as the counselor at Brookfield ES. She has been at McLean HS for five years.

Recently, Kathleen was named the 2020 Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) Secondary Counselor of the Year. She was recognized by VSCA for having a positive impact on students, their families, and colleagues; for demonstrating innovation and leadership in counseling; and for providing exceptional service in the community.

In addition to her school counselor role, Kathleen serves as McLean HS' Equity Team co-lead. She also coordinates services for students receiving free and reduced lunch, helps coordinate Parent University sessions, sponsors the Girls Leadership Club, records podcasts on parenting, and leads parenting book clubs.

Kathleen loves working with students and her amazing colleagues. Her favorite part of the job is the feeling that she is helping students. She adds, “My goal has always been to try and level the playing field for all students and work toward helping each child be the best they can be. FCPS is a great place for that work, and there are many people in the county who share this vision. I will fight for each individual child and never give up on anyone.”

Principal Ellen Reilly recognizes Kathleen's incredible impact. She notes, “The other day, I was talking about how fortunate we are to have Kathleen at our school…she is a person that is hard to keep up with because she has so much energy. Kathleen is always a person who greets you with a genuine smile and gives you 100 percent of her attention. [...] Kathleen believes in every student. She is just invested in their lives and helps them find their path in their own way and time."

Ellen adds, “In regards to parents, [Kathleen] guides parents authentically, and she shares with them her own experiences with her own teenagers at home. Her daughter just graduated high school so she has been able to sit with parents and have a real conversation about the college application process and what it is like to have a senior at home.”

In her spare time, Kathleen enjoys running, cooking, and reading. But with so much on her plate, we're wondering when she has time to “rest hard!”

Thanks, Kathleen, for your dedication and service to students and families.

#FCPSTeacherTuesday on Instagram!


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

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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, 6/16/20

Employee News 2 weeks 1 day ago

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Fairfax HS ESOL teachers gave a special send-off to their students last week. (Photo: Fairfax HS)

Reopening Schools Plan Presented to School Board

Staff presented preliminary findings and recommendations for the 2020-21 school year to the Fairfax County School Board at its work session yesterday. The plan complies with the guidance set forth by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the safe reopening of schools using health and social distancing protocols. View the reopening scenarios.

FCPS to Host Town Hall Tonight

Thanks to everyone who participated in last Wednesday's Town Hall for staff. Superintendent Brabrand is hosting a second Town Hall for the FCPS community tonight, Tuesday, June 16, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. View the livestream online or watch Channel 99. You may submit questions before or during the forum by emailing ReturntoSchool@fcps.edu or calling 1-800-231-6359 (during the forum). Get more information.

Photo of the Week


Looking at Rocky Run MS' new pond makes us feel calm. We hope it does the same for you. See Principal Amy Goodloe's tweet

May FCPS Cares of the Month Recipients

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

  • Central Office
    Dana Griffith, Stonecroft Transportation; Natalie Baumstark, Sprague Technology Center; and Lisa DeHart, TSRC Fairfax, Instructional Services.
  • Region 1
    Stephanie Howell, Armstrong ES; Jill Moore, Hunters Woods ES; and Claudia Davis, Cunningham Park ES.
  • Region 2
    Ericka Lackey, North Springfield ES; Eun Ji, Justice HS; and Kristen Mattix, Kilmer MS.
  • Region 3
    Lynda Rupp, Washington Mill ES; Arlyncia Pina, Franconia ES; and Annalee Schnebele, Hayfield SS.
  • Region 4
    Anna Cooper, Cardinal Forest ES; Jessica Wheaton, Fairview ES;
    Claudia Dieguez, Emily Gardiner, and Marcia Salgado; Lake Braddock SS
  • Region 5
    Laura Muscar, Deer Park ES; Faiza Alam, Lanier MS; and Hailey Colman, Mantua ES.

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

Take FCPS’ Return to Schools and Worksites Survey

All FCPS staff should have received an email last Saturday regarding an important survey about returning to schools and worksites this fall, as well as experiences with distance learning and teleworking this spring. If you have not taken the survey, please look for a reminder email from ajpappas@fcps.edu on Wednesday, click on the survey link, and complete it by Friday, June 19. Staff feedback will provide valuable insight as we plan for the coming school year. 

#OurFCPS Faces: Demarco Brooks


There is something to be said about having a cheerleader on your side. Demarco “Marc” Brooks is all that and more to students and staff at Woodson HS. A former team mascot and cheerleader himself, Marc brings that enthusiasm and positive spirit with him to work each day.

He began his career at FCPS 19 years ago as a cheerleading coach at Falls Church HS. He later moved to Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology, Herndon HS, and Langley HS. While at Langley, Marc was a special education teacher for five years. He transferred to Woodson HS two years ago as dean of students and is currently an interim assistant principal.

Marc states, "I love the energy of high school students. I love going to their events and seeing how excited they get when they are successful, or being an ear to help them when they suffer a failure. The energy of a high school is infectious and makes it a joy to come to work every day.” Principal Carlyn Floyd adds, “Mr. Brooks is a prominent face in the hallways, greeting students throughout the day. [He] always has a smile and a positive comment for everyone. Mr. Brooks jumps in to any situation and will problem solve with his colleagues for student-centered decisions.”

As dean of students, Marc was responsible for implementing the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) process as it related to students with attendance challenges. As interim assistant principal, he is responsible for Career and Technical Education (CTE), Fine and Performing Arts, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), along with the 10th grade class. 

Marc's “why" are the teachers who "went above and beyond the call of duty" to ensure his success despite the many personal challenges he dealt with as a student. He explains, "These teachers stood behind me and my family, pushed me, and believed in me, and made me believe that I was capable of anything despite all that life had thrown my way at such a young age. I owe all of my success to those teachers, and the only way I felt I could ever pay them back was to pay it forward to other students through education.”

Marc's efforts are continuing in spite of the closure. He says, "We are working very hard to make sure that students continue the connections that they had before school closed and have the support necessary to be successful."

When he’s not cheering on the students at Woodson HS, Marc coaches the cheerleading team at George Mason University and a competitive cheerleading team at a private cheer gym in Chantilly. He adds, “I am a HUGE college sports fan and a diehard University of Illinois Fighting Illini basketball fan!” Marc also enjoys jazz music and plays the trombone.

Marc, we love your passion and commitment to student S-U-C-C-E-S-S!

Participate in a Listening Session

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement is hosting virtual Listening Sessions to share what has been on employees' hearts and minds. The sessions will be safe and brave spaces for staff to listen and learn from one another. Listening Sessions will be held:

  • Thursday, June 18, noon-1 p.m.
  • Monday, June 22, 1-2 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 25, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 30, 10-11 a.m.

Please use this link to join the conversation. Or call in anonymously using the following information:

  • Dial-In: 571-392-7650
  • Pin: 7006315465

If you have questions, please contact Shannon Anderson at sdanderson2@fcps.edu or Lisa Felder at lwfelder@fcps.edu.

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Email 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, 6/9/20

Employee News 3 weeks 1 day ago

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School counselors at Hayfield SS show off their college spirit wear while wishing the Class of 2020 a Happy Decision Day. (Photo: Hayfield Counselors and Career Center)

All-Staff Town Hall on Wednesday, June 10

Join FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Sloan Presidio, and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Helen Nixon for an FCPS All-Staff Town Hall on Wednesday, June 10, from 7-8 p.m. View the livestream on FCPS.edu or on Channel 99. All staff are encouraged to ask questions before or during the forum by emailing ReturntoSchool@fcps.edu or calling 1-800-231-6359 (during the forum). The following topics will be covered: Return to School scenarios, upcoming staff and family surveys, helpful HR resources, and answers to your questions and concerns.

IRS Expands Mid-Year Change Opportunities for FSA Plans

New guidance has been issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to permit mid-year change opportunities for Flexible Spending Account (FSA) participants for the remainder of 2020. As a result, employees may elect to participate, increase, or decrease their 2020 election(s) under the Health Care and Dependent Care FSA without having a qualifying event. These election changes will be applied only to future contributions. Additionally, the IRS is permitting cancellation of FSA enrollment for the 2020 plan year and refunds for prior periods, only if no clams have been filed for 2020. Visit Benefit Service’s Mid-Year Change Opportunities webpage.

Video of the Week


Archer ES is doing a "drive by" sixth grade promotion on Thursday, June 11. In addition to their promotion certificates, sixth graders will receive their Class of 2020 t-shirts as a surprise. Not only are Archer staff members proud of this year’s graduates, but they are also proud to celebrate Archer's Class of 2014, who are now seniors. Check out the video on teacher Rebecca Sobel's Twitter

Important Survey Coming Soon

An important survey about returning to schools and work sites this fall, and your experiences with distance learning and teleworking this spring will be sent to your FCPS email address by the end of the week. Staff feedback will provide valuable insight as we plan for the coming school year. Your voice counts; please share your thoughts with us.

#OurFCPS Faces: James Marotta


James Marotta moved to Northern Virginia and began his career with FCPS at Navy ES in 2013. The Long Island, New York native is an enhanced autism and behavior intervention teacher. He considers himself fortunate to be "part of all of the great things happening at Navy, working with the staff that has become like a second family, and working with the families and students that make the Navy community a blessing to be a part of.”  

James also serves as the local screening chair, which gives him the unique opportunity to work with families, engage in discussions, and truly be part of the process to obtain necessary supports for their children.  

Principal Jon Coch says, “James Marotta is a wonderful asset to the Navy community. He is a staff member that supports the students, staff, and community in a positive manner. He is a great person to work with on a daily basis and serves as a good role model for the Navy students.”

James is guided by his favorite quote from Martin Luther King: “Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.” He explains, “Education is more than learning to read and understanding your multiplication facts. It’s about building character and fostering meaningful relationships. He adds, "My 'why' is because I want to be able to make an impact by instilling a growth mindset in every student with whom I cross paths.”

During distance learning this spring, James and his wife experienced some of the same challenges echoed by many others–juggling working from home while taking care of a child. However, he realizes, "There are people who have it a lot worse. We just try to stay positive, and I continue to do all I can to support the school community, even if it is just to be an ear for someone who needs it. We are all in this together.”

When James is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He adds, “I like working out, watching sports, and trying new restaurants when I can.” As a New Yorker, James considers himself "a glutton for punishment being a Knicks, Mets, and Jets fan." His father always said it helps build character and loyalty. 

Thank you, James, for your incredible impact on student success. 

Academy Course Program: Learners at the Center

The Academy course program is offering a prioritized list of one-credit courses this summer. Courses will begin as early as July 1, and end by August 10. All courses will be delivered virtually with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Courses will address the following topics: 

  • social and emotional learning. 
  • trauma-informed practices. 
  • instructional technology. 
  • building relationships and teaching in the virtual and/or blended environment.
  • mental wellness for staff and students. 

Registration will begin Friday, June 12, at noon. For information on how to access the Academy catalog, please visit the Academy intranet page. Email the Academy Team with questions at Academy@fcps.edu

Interested in Becoming a Special Education Teacher

Current employees, including substitutes, who would like to become special education teachers for the 2020-21 school year will be able to access EDSE 501–Introduction to Special Education tuition free this summer with George Mason University. Preference will be given to classroom support employees (instructional assistants, public health attendants, and public health training assistants) who are interested in filling vacancies; particularly in low-incidence programs such as Category B teacher positions serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Eligible candidates must have a principal or manager recommendation, agree to the terms of the program, and at a minimum, hold a bachelor’s degree. Upon successful completion, candidates will be eligible to apply for current vacancies in special education. EDSE 501–Introduction to Special Education is an online, on-demand master’s level class, where students work through self-directed modules. Once registered, candidates will have until August 17 to complete the course. Get course details. If you would like more information, please complete this form

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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, 6/2/20

Employee News 4 weeks 1 day ago

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Superintendent Brabrand Addresses Racism

Yesterday afternoon, Superintendent Brabrand sent a message to FCPS staff acknowledging the hurt, anger, and pain we are feeling in response to the brutal police killing of George Floyd, on the heels of other acts of hate and violence against Black people in our country. As Dr. Brabrand said, "Racism and hate have no place in FCPS." He also added, "This cannot be ignored. To our Black and African American students and staff, I want you to know that we see you, we believe in you, and we stand with you." If you have not read Dr. Brabrand's message, please check your FCPS email account.

FCPS Chief Equity Officer Responsibilities to Include Academic Oversight

Superintendent Brabrand announced new responsibilities for the chief equity officer to include direct supervision of the Instructional Services Department. All other current responsibilities will remain the same. The new title of chief equity and academic officer will ensure that our strategic plan goal of Student Success will be singularly focused on closing access, opportunity, and achievement gaps for our students. Read the news release.

Superintendent’s Technology Advisory Council Announces Focus Areas and Members

Technology plays a powerful role in FCPS' ongoing focus on excellence in student achievement. In recognition of this priority, a new Superintendent’s Technology Advisory Council has been established. The Council’s mission is to assist FCPS with expertise and guidance to ensure FCPS’ technology applications are at the forefront of innovation; and that teachers and students are equipped with the tools, connectivity, access, and security to be prepared in today’s increasingly interconnected landscape. Read the news release.

Teacher and Instructional Assistant Transfer Deadline

Teachers and instructional assistants interested in voluntarily transferring to another school or work location within FCPS for the 2020-21 school year should apply via the FCPS Instructional Candidate Transfer Gateway. All instructional staff are permitted one voluntary transfer during the FCPS Instructional Employees’ Voluntary Transfer Window, which opened February 3, and ends June 26. Get more information on the intranet.

Teacher Resignation Deadline 

In accordance with the Code of Virginia, any contracted teacher who does not intend to return to teach for the 2020-21 school year must submit the Notification of Resignation or Retirement Form HR-2 on or before June 15, in order to resign without prejudice (in good standing). Please refer to Regulation 4291 Procedures for Resigning From Employment for more information regarding FCPS' resignation process.

New June Fitness Class Schedule

FCPS Employee Wellness is continuing to host virtual live fitness classes this month. Join in for a variety of fun classes from restorative stretching to cardio kickboxing. Instructors will provide modifications to help you make the exercises easier or more challenging.

Registration is limited and on a first come, first served basis. Class recordings will be posted on the Employee Wellness webpage. Register now or view class descriptions on the intranet.

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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, 5/26/20

Employee News 1 month ago

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Jackson MS staff connected virtually to send a thoughtful message to their Jackson Tigers. (Photo: Vivian Yun, Spanish Language Teacher)

Fairfax County School Board Approves Revised FY 2021 Budget

The Fairfax County School Board has approved the revised Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21) budget. The budget, which was revised due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reduced the previously recommended transfer increase from Fairfax County from $85.5 million to $7.3 million and includes a reduction of $4.8 million from the state. Along with other budget cuts, the total amount of the FY 21 budget was reduced by $67.0 million. Read the news release

Reminder: Summative (Final) Evaluation Deadline Information

All summative evaluations for instructional and operational staff returning for the 2020-21 school year must be completed in MyPDE by June 15. Evaluations must be signed and submitted in MyPDE by the evaluator. Failure to enter summative evaluation ratings into MyPDE means the individual’s evaluation status will not change. This will result in an incomplete evaluation for the 2019-20 school year; the individual will need to repeat the evaluation process in the upcoming year.

MyPDE summative evaluation training is available for evaluators (administrators, program managers, and supervisors) and school-based technology specialists (SBTS) during May and June. Participants will need to register for the training sessions in MyPDE. Quick reference guides and training videos are available in MyPDE, under User Guides. The upcoming training schedule follows:

       Dates

          Time

Wednesday, May 27

 9-10:30 a.m.

Thursday, May 28

 Noon-1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 2

 2-3:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 4

 2-3:30 p.m.


If you have questions, please contact your designated Equity and Employee Relations specialist. Find additional evaluation resources. *Intranet access is needed to open links.

Photo of the Week


Packing up at the end of the school year is completely different this year. Not only will school-based staff pack up their classrooms, many of them are also packing up contents from students' primary lockers and gym lockers. Centreville ES teacher Sarah Wood added a special touch to this effort by leaving a hand-written note on each bag. See Sarah's tweet

FCPS Welcomes Three New Principals

We are excited to acknowledge our newest principals:

  • Melissa Miller, Olde Creek ES
  • Dave Pietzman, Greenbriar East ES
  • Holly Walker, Floris ES

Please join us in congratulating them! Read the announcement

Tuition Reimbursement Portal Opens June 1

The portal to apply for reimbursement of Spring 2020 courses will be open June 1-June 30. Interested and eligible contracted employees may apply for up to $700 in tuition reimbursement for one course that ended between January 1-May 15. Apply for tuition reimbursement by using FCPS’ Tuition Reimbursement intranet page (VPN required if accessing remotely) to access important information and the link to the request portal.

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. 

Learn About JMU School Administration Programs

James Madison University offers a master's degree or certificate in School Administration. If you are interested in learning more, please attend one of the following information sessions on Zoom:

  • Tuesday, June 9, at 3 p.m
    Meeting Link
    Meeting ID: 891 3885 3091; Password: 865237
  • Wednesday, June 10, at 4 p.m.
    Meeting Link
    Meeting ID: 891 3885 3091; Password: 865237

For more information, please contact Dr. Roger Collins at colli5rd@jmu.edu.

#OurFCPS Faces: Faiza Alam


School is home for Faiza Alam (above, right). She explains, “In a manner of speaking, I was raised in a school, as my parents ran an elementary school in our large residential complex in India. It is no surprise therefore that I chose school teaching as a profession for myself.”

In December 2005, Faiza joined FCPS as a special education math teacher at Lanier MS. She remains there today, but as a special education Science 7 teacher and, at times, a Science 8 and Algebra teacher. (Faiza is also National Board Certified.) Faiza established an outdoor living classroom and has led various environmental stewardship projects. These projects have earned Lanier a United States Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award, Permanent Eco Schools USA Green Flag, and a Virginia Naturally School Recognition for the past eight years.

Faiza says, “It gives me immense pleasure to pass on the passion I have for science to my students, see them engaged as environmental stewards, and demonstrate traits of Portrait of a Graduate. To have students of yesteryear return to say thank you, and say how much they enjoyed and benefited from the middle school science projects is especially rewarding.”

Faiza taught in Delhi, India before she and her husband moved to America in 1999. She recalls, “It was a lot of hard work, toil, and sweat but finally things worked out for us. All my struggles were worth it, since working at FCPS is such a satisfying and rewarding experience.”

Principal Tammara Hanna says, “Our courtyard garden is still producing vegetables during COVID closures, in no small part due to [Faiza’s] weekly ongoing maintenance. For our students, she invests many hours in personalized contacts and increases their achievement abilities with her consistent parent communication. She helps students learn to be global citizens by taking them on international trips that usually include some type of volunteer opportunity. [...] Lanier and FCPS are stronger because of Faiza.”

Faiza feels very fortunate to be part of the FCPS family. She treasures her relationships with colleagues, parents, and students. She adds, "FCPS has provided me so many memories to cherish; Lanier is my second home, and I feel very fortunate to say that I enjoy what I do and where I work.”

In her free time, Faiza likes gardening, traveling, reading, sewing, and being with family and friends. Her favorite quote is by Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” She is truly inspiring that change among her students.

2020 ERFC Trustee Election Results

The election for the Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) Board of Trustees to fill one three-year term trustee vacancy was electronically conducted May 12-14. Kathie Pfeffer-Hahn, a teacher at Terraset ES, will serve as an ERFC trustee for three years beginning July 1. Congratulations, Kathie! 

Coronavirus Information

Bookmark the following webpages for the latest information regarding FCPS operations during the pandemic: 

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, 5/19/20

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Herndon ES' pre-K team wants their students to know how much they are missed. (Photo: Maggie Mack, Family and Early Childhood Education Program/Head Start Teacher )

Face Masks Required in FCPS Buildings

In addition to maintaining 6-feet social distancing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Fairfax County Health Department advise the use of cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus. This added level of protection is due to evidence that individuals with novel COVID-19 can transmit the virus to others without developing symptoms themselves.

Effective immediately, all FCPS employees are required to wear cloth face coverings when in spaces where social distancing is difficult to maintain within FCPS buildings. For staff members working in offices, cloth face coverings must be worn at all times outside of the office space. For employees who work in open spaces or cubicles, cloth face coverings must be worn at all times. Also, maintain awareness of your own proximity to others and physically distance yourselves (6 feet), particularly in places like hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens. 

In addition to the above, please remember to practice the following basic preventative measures regarding the spread of a virus:

  • Frequent hand washing.
  • Social distancing.
  • Covering a cough or sneeze.
  • Staying home when ill or symptomatic.

Please contact your program manager with questions.

April Cares of the Month Winners

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

  • Central Office: Kate Adams and Shira Brothers, Special Services, Graham Road Community Building and Willow Oaks. 
  • Region 1: Bertha Sanders, Herndon ES
  • Region 2: Kelly Seibold, Lemon Road ES
  • Region 3: Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES
  • Region 4: Lupe Fuentes, Cardinal Forest ES
  • Region 5: Luc Nguyen, Chantilly HS

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

FCPS Cares – Going the Distance Update

Last month, we announced FCPS Cares – Going the Distance, a way to honor staff members who have put in a herculean effort to support students, parents, and their FCPS colleagues since the school closure. The response has been overwhelming! Those individuals will be announced in conjunction with the May Cares of the Month recipients. Please stay tuned!

Photo of the Week


In case you missed it: Check out the incredible way FCPS Transportation Services honored the Class of 2020! This amazing idea was very much appreciated by students, staff, and parents. It received more than 6,400 likes across the school division's social media channels. See it on Twitter. (Photo: Transportation Services)   

FCPS Instructional Employees’ Transfer Window and Virtual Job Fair

Current teachers, librarians, and school counselors interested in transferring to another school for the 2020-21 school year may do so during the FCPS Voluntary Transfer Window, which opened February 3 and ends June 26. Instructional staff interested in transferring to another school or work location should apply via the FCPS Instructional Candidate Transfer Gateway. All instructional staff are permitted one voluntary transfer during the FCPS Voluntary Transfer Window.

Along with applying via our Internal Transfer portal, current teachers, librarians, and school counselors may register to attend the upcoming FCPS Virtual Instructional Job Fair. The elementary job fair is scheduled for May 26 and May 27. The secondary job fair is scheduled for May 28. Visit the FCPS Instructional Employees' Transfer Window webpage on the intranet.

Coates ES Principal Jesse Kraft Named Washington Post Principal of the Year


Congratulations to Jesse Kraft, who was named Washington Post's Principal of the Year! Jesse has served as principal at Coates ES since 2016. He was selected from a group of 19 finalists who lead schools in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. "Jesse has taken strides to make our community feel welcome and to partner with them as much as possible,” says nominator Josie Mani, a gifted education teacher at Coates. Read the news release.

#OurFCPS Faces: Rashida Green


Rashida Green, assistant principal at Willow Springs ES, believes in “making magic happen!” And she’s worked her magic at FCPS for the past 11 years. Rashida started at her alma mater, Mount Vernon HS, as an English teacher. She has also served as an instructional coach at Mount Vernon, Centreville HS, and at the division level with the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement.

Rashida says her “why” is deep rooted in her upbringing. While attending Mount Vernon Woods ES, Whitman MS, and Mount Vernon HS, she noticed the correlation between access and opportunities. She explains, “While my mom was an educator and my father an entrepreneur, I had friends whose parents lacked knowledge around the educational system. There were clear disparities between myself and my friends. Knowledge is power. I had access and was given opportunities. My hope as an educational leader is to be a champion for students who might not have champions outside of school.”

Principal Dylan Taylor says, “Rashida Green has tireless enthusiasm for student and teacher success. Through relationships and strategic thinking, she paves the way for everyone to reach their full potential.” Rashida believes it takes a team to pull that off. She adds, “I’m always a learner. Our staff is brilliant and continues to teach me new things every day.”

While talking about the school closure due to COVID 19, Rashida recalls having to help figure out a way to keep the learning going under very different circumstances. "It has been quite the ride and has required long days," she says. "However, when I look back over my staff and these last few weeks, we are an even tighter family than we were before, and our hearts are open to ensuring that our students are connected to continue their learning. The school closure has caused me to be an even more intentional leader than I was before—focused on relationships and creating plans to ensure that students have access to technology and engaging experiences with their teachers.”

Rashida continues, “I truly believe that magic happens when we’re outside of our comfort zone. This is true for school leaders, teachers, and students. When we’re able to take risks, try new things, and open our minds to new possibilities, then the impossible becomes possible, and we grow and benefit as a result.”

When she's not working, Rashida loves spending time with her daughters, also known as her "#GirlGang:" Sydney (16), Skylar (15), and Sanai (3). She cherishes the opportunity to raise girls who will "transform into powerful, inspiring, and passionate young women.” (That sounds a lot like Rashida to us!) She also enjoys going to the beach with her husband and extended family.

Thank you, Rashida, for making magic happen at FCPS.

Check Out the Latest Issue of Audit Buzz

In the latest issue of Audit Buzz, Office of Auditor General (OAG) summarizes the results of two recently completed performance audits, recaps its breakout session at the January 2020 Finance Technician Conference, and provides a look into current and upcoming tasks. OAG also introduces its newest staff member. Read Audit Buzz now

Coronavirus Information

Bookmark the following webpages for the latest information regarding FCPS operations during the pandemic: 

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, 5/13/20

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Staff and supervisors at Area 2, Office of Transportation Services sent a virtual message to their drivers and attendants. (Photo: Janet Goolsby, Coordinator, Area 2)

Get Help Coping with COVID-19


FCPS Wellness Specialists Camille Bartus and Emilia Otero virtually joined Superintendent Brabrand to talk about mental health and wellness resources offered through the FCPS Employee Assistance Program. Watch the video.

How to Make Self-Care a Priority

In a time such as this, taking care of ourselves is a necessity. If we can make self-care a priority, it will be our best tool to guard against becoming mentally and physically depleted. FCPS' Healthy Minds blog provides a lot of great tips to incorporate self-care in our daily routine. Read the article

Photo of the Week


Pause for a moment to take in the positive messages left by an anonymous author. Thanks to Tracy Badger, an instructional assistant at Cub Run ES, for tweeting the photo.   

Cox Names Heroes of Distance Learning

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (last week), Cox Local VA went on a search to find Virginia teachers who have become Heroes of Distance Learning. Out of the 156 teachers nominated, Cox named 11 of them as Heroes of Distance Learning. Six of the top prize winners are from FCPS! They were awarded $1,000 for a virtual classroom makeover. Six additional teachers, including one from FCPS, were awarded $200. Meet Cox's Heroes of Distance Learning.

Stuff the Bus: Help Fairfax County Families

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, demand for food has increased dramatically. Help fight hunger and feed hope by participating in Stuff the Bus. Fastran buses will be parked at locations throughout Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax to collect food donations on Saturday, May 16, and Tuesday, May 19. Visit Fairfax County's website for locations, times, and tips on how to donate safely.  

FCPS Food Distribution Continues

FCPS continues to provide meals at no cost for students under the age of 18, Monday through Friday, at various school sites and along bus routes. Adults may pay $2 for a meal. Food distribution will take place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Get more information

#OurFCPS Faces: Cory Yeager


As a show of appreciation for Cory Yeager, Fort Hunt ES staff prepared a slide show tribute with this message: “Hats off to Cory for guiding and instructing us through this exceptional time. We appreciate all your support and patience. Go Bills! (Hopefully football will happen in the fall!)” What a wonderful way to celebrate Fort Hunt's school-based technology specialist (SBTS)!

Cory joined FCPS 16 years ago as a third and fifth grade teacher at Hybla Valley ES. He spent time at Woodley Hills ES, Columbia ES, Sleepy Hollow ES, and Fort Belvoir Upper ES, before landing at Fort Hunt, where he's been for the past two years.

Cory originally came to this area to gain teaching experience that he could take back to upstate New York. He says, “I stayed because I realized I had found what I consider to be a gem in the education world. I appreciate the tremendous leaders that I have been privileged enough to work for and the vast amount of professional development opportunities that are available to me. I owe so much to the leaders and educators in this county.”

With the school closure, schools are relying on their SBTS more than ever. Cory says, “The closure provided me an opportunity to support teachers in a way I have never been able to achieve in this role. I was excited by the new challenges, and I was very motivated to help our staff in any way I could. We have a very dedicated staff who have been wonderful to work with. They have been very patient with me and have shown a lot of appreciation. I consider myself very lucky to be in this role with THIS staff.”

Colleague Veronica Lindeman states, “Cory is polite, kind, and caring. Definitely a good example of a gentleman and a professional. He is always there when you need him the most. [...] He is a great part of our school team."

Principal Tim Slayter adds, “Cory is a talented SBTS with a humble heart. He loves helping and supporting other teachers but prefers not to take any credit. Their success is his success, and that’s why he is so appreciated by his Fort Hunt teacher colleagues.”

Outside of work, Cory enjoys time with his wife, Amy, and his dog, Opie. He likes golfing, snowboarding, wake boarding, and water skiing–anything outdoors where he can be active. His favorite quote [attributed to several authors] is: "Whatever you are, be a good one." You, Cory, are a great one!

ERFC Election: Meet the Candidates

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

The Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) Board is the governing body of ERFC and supports ERFC’s mission to enhance the financial security of members through prudent financial stewardship. The 2020 ERFC election is happening now through Thursday, May 14. All eligible FCPS employees should have received an email yesterday from FCPSSurvey@fcps.edu with a link to vote. Get information about the candidates on ERFC's website.   

Coronavirus Information

Bookmark the following webpages for the latest information regarding FCPS operations during the pandemic: 

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, 5/5/20

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Second grade teachers at Island Creek ES share a special message for their students. (Photo: Island Creek ES)

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!


Every day, FCPS teachers and staff demonstrate passion, purpose, and an unstoppable commitment to serving our students. We have witnessed this 10-fold during the last seven weeks. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, FCPS leadership wants everyone to know how grateful they are for our outstanding educators and staff members. Please watch the video and be sure to #thankateacher today and every day! 

Confidential Counseling and Other Resources

The rich resources available through FCPS' Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Guidance Resources, can help keep you informed about COVID-19, and offer guidance on how to remain healthy and manage the emotional impact. Guidance Resources provides confidential counseling, access to legal and financial advice, and work/life specialists. Employees and their household members can call 1-855-355-9097, 24 hours a day/seven days a week for support. Please consider taking advantage of this free employee benefit.

FCPS’ Managing Worry and Anxiety Webinar

Worries are thoughts about the future that generate fear. They arrive in the form of “What if?” and generate dire warnings about terrible consequences that await. These warnings are generally overblown and focused on hypothetical problems that probably won’t happen.

Chronic worry that impacts your quality of life becomes anxiety. If you're looking for strategies to help put you at ease, please join Employee Wellness’ Managing Worry and Anxiety Webinar. The event will be held May 18, at 8:15 a.m. Register now. Email questions to eapquestions@fcps.edu.

Photo of the Week


Interested in finding a cool learning space in your home? Try the refrigerator! April Medina, a teacher at Mount Eagle ES, shows us how it's done. The magical hat is a bonus! (Photo: Mount Eagle ES)  

Wellness Goes Virtual

Every Wednesday, employees will have the opportunity to tune into an online wellness seminar and learn more about topics such as making healthy meals and getting restful sleep. On Fridays, live fitness classes will be available, including Mat Pilates, Bootcamp, and Yoga. All classes will be held at 7 a.m., 11 a.m., and 4 p.m. Registration is limited and on a first come, first served basis. Class recordings as well as other on-demand wellness resources are available on the Employee Wellness website on the intranet. See class descriptionsRegister now

Access Wellbeats for On-Demand Fitness Classes and More 

Register for the online wellness platform Wellbeats to access on-demand fitness classes, join goal-based challenges, view cooking demos, and other activities. More than 500 classes are available online, ranging from one to 60 minutes. Receive class recommendations based on your preferences and goals. Wellbeats is available to all FCPS staff through May 31. Register on Wellbeats and use code: b6500a3c.

Follow Employee Wellness on Social Media

Did you know that Employee Wellness has a presence on Twitter and Instagram? Start following them today!  

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and remind those with mental illness that they should never feel alone. As we navigate the stress and uncertainty surrounding the current health crisis, taking care of our emotional health has never been more important. Choose from a wide variety of helpful resources on Guidance Resources, our Employee Assistance Program website. If it's your first time logging in, use Web ID: FCPS.

#OurFCPS Faces: Mario MartinezDiaz


Nearly everyone who has worked at FCPS for the past 12 years has encountered Mario MartinezDiaz. Mario is the calm and friendly client services manager, who oversees the Welcome Center at Gatehouse Administration Center. As he puts it, “We’re the 'Human' in Human Resources.”

Mario has worked for the Department of Human Resources (HR) since joining FCPS. His primary responsibility is to ensure every new hire receives a thorough background check at the state and federal level. He explains, "I work very closely with Virginia State Police and the Department of Social Services in Richmond, to confirm that every candidate gets processed in a timely manner. This is to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and community. I am also responsible for ensuring that FCPS is in compliance with federal guidelines as they relate to U.S. immigration laws–more specifically, employment authorization and identity of new employees.”

Craig Maniglia, manager of HR communications, says, “Mario is a very effective supervisor in our Welcome Center. He greets everyone who visits [before the closure] with a smile and a willingness to do whatever is needed to make their time here pleasant and efficient. He looks for the positive in change and makes the best out of each situation.”

Mario's work has been greatly impacted by the closure, since much of his office's activities require face-to-face interaction. While working from home, he meets virtually with his team to provide necessary supports for staff and the community. He and his wife have created a schedule to help them navigate teleworking while taking care of their one-year-old. 

As for his “why,” Mario explains, “I feel that the contribution I provide to FCPS makes a difference every day. Although most of our work is done in the back-end and at times is unnoticeable, I’m ok knowing that in my role, I’m able to provide a safe environment for everyone in FCPS.”

Thank you, Mario, for serving as an outstanding example of caring culture within FCPS.

Additional Coronavirus Information

Bookmark the following webpages for the latest information regarding FCPS operations during the pandemic: 

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, 4/29/20

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Fairfax Academy staff celebrated their record enrollment for the fall–1,140 students. (Photo: Fairfax Academy)

February Cares of the Month Winners

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

  • Central Office: Kim Kelly, Area 3 Transportation.
  • Region 1: Lesley Aschenbach, Aldrin ES.
  • Region 2: Holley Remer, Chesterbrook ES.
  • Region 3: Lonnie Bickel, Pulley Career Center.
  • Region 4: Sarah Pike, Lindsay Warren, Athena Privett, Madi McKenna, Becky Brandt, and Anita Williams; West Springfield HS.
  • Region 5: Michelle McCarten, Daniels Run ES.

See what makes the winners special. 

FCPS Cares–Going the Distance!

Since schools and offices physically closed in March, countless FCPS staff have put in a herculean effort to support students, parents, and their FCPS colleagues during this challenging time. You can honor these outstanding individuals with an FCPS Cares–Going the Distance recognition. Send your submission today!

Deadline Extended for Teacher Grant Applications

The deadline to submit applications for the Foundation for FCPS' teacher grant program for the 2020-21 school year has been extended to Friday, May 15. Grants are intended to support work-based learning opportunities for students at all levels. Teachers and principals can view brief descriptions of previous grants and access the application on the Foundation’s website. 

Any current year grantees should have been notified of the final report deadline and information about carry-over to next year. Please contact the Foundation for more information at foundation@fcps.edu.

Video of the Week

 

Kate Becker, assistant principal at Clearview ES, recently debuted her new children's book, The Day School Closed. The story features a young girl who experiences different emotions about schools being closed. It's beautifully written and illustrated. Watch Kate read the book aloud.  

FCPS Foundation and Central Office Staff Provide School Supply Kits for Students

We are excited to share that 30,678 students in Title I schools, and students living in homeless shelters, received school supply kits to support their learning at home. This collaborative effort included funding from the the Foundation for FCPS and Title I, as well as direct support from the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement, Title I, Office of Communication and Community Relations, Department of Special Services, and Instructional Services Department. Thanks to these groups, many students are prepared to learn!

Graduate Educational Leadership University Programs

James Madison University (JMU)

JMU offers a master's degree or certificate in School Administration. If you are interested in learning about these programs, please attend an information session on Tuesday, May 5, at 4 p.m. You will need to join the following Zoom Meeting, Meeting ID: 977 1596 0481. Please contact Dr. Roger Collins at colli5rd@jmu.edu with questions.

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech has two Principal Preparation programs that lead to certification as a school principal. Informational sessions about the face-to-face and online programs will be held Tuesday, May 5, and Thursday, May 7, at 6 p.m., at this Zoom link. Learn more about the Principal Preparation programs.

George Mason University (GMU)

GMU is planning an Education Leadership Cohort which offers a master's degree program with administrative licensure in preK-12, as well as a program for licensure only. The EDLE program will hold virtual information sessions on April 27, May 4, and May 18, at 4:30 pm. Register to attend. Please email edleprog@gmu.edu with questions.

All Things Equity: Considering Multiple Perspectives 

The Equity and Cultural Responsiveness (ECR) team is happy to announce a weekly professional learning series, All Things Equity. Each week ECR will share tools, resources, and strategies to consider, as we navigate equity and access for distance learning and remote engagement.  

Leader of the Lens Questions. Consider varying perspectives as we see things differently and support students, families, and staff in a way that is respectful and responsive in light of continued distance learning and remote engagement.

Virtual Communication: Presenting with Empathy Webinar. In this webinar, Duarte Executive Speaker Coaches Doug and Nicole share tips they’ve used to help professionals focus on empathy when communicating virtually. 

If you have questions about resources and support please email ecr@fcps.edu.

Note: Sources are varied and well established. Ideas included in this message are for consideration. The FCPS ECR Team does not endorse any particular groups, individuals, or companies.

ERFC Trustee Election to Be Held May 12-14

The Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) Board is the governing body of ERFC and supports ERFC’s mission to enhance the financial security of members through prudent financial stewardship. The ERFC Board provides strategic direction and oversight. All eligible members will receive an email from FCPSSurvey@fcps.edu containing a link to vote in the 2020 ERFC election on May 12. If you have questions, please call the Office of Equity and Employee Relations at 571-423-3252.

Coronavirus Information

Bookmark the following webpages for the latest information regarding FCPS operations during the pandemic: 

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 – Thursday, 4/16/20

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This collage of Robinson SS staff members reveals the beginning of an inspirational message to students. Read the full message. (Photo: Robinson SS Student Government Association)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act 

This new legislation is one of several federal laws that focuses on addressing  citizens' needs surrounding health and employment. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) introduces two new pay/leave benefits for employees with paid sick leave or expanded family medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. There are two main components of the Act: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion (E-FMLE). These programs will add to other employee leave benefits such as FCPS sick accruals or the classic Family Medical Leave Act. Get more information about FFCRA

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act 

If you have elected to participate in the FCPS-sponsored 403(b) and 457(b) Defined Contribution (DC) program, and you have been directly impacted by COVID-19, you may have increased access to your DC account funds under the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). This act enhances plan participant distributions and loan provisions when the employee (or spouse) has been directly affected by COVID-19. Please contact your account representative at EMPOWER, VALIC, or TIAA CREF, to obtain more information on CARES. Note: These provisions apply only to defined contribution plans–not defined benefit retirement plans such as ERFC, VRS, and FCERS.   

Income Replacement Pay for Temporary Hourly Employees

Temporary hourly employees will receive income replacement for the third and fourth weeks of the closure (March 28-April 10). Find out if you're eligible, how the payment is calculated, and other details on the Office of Payroll Management's intranet page.

Coronavirus Information

Bookmark the following webpages for the latest information regarding FCPS operations during the pandemic: 

Virtual Fitness Classes for Staff

Join a live yoga, Zumba, or Sculpt and Stretch class this month, as part of FCPS Employee Wellness’ Wellness Wednesday initiative. Offerings will be updated regularly on the Employee Wellness webpage on the intranet. You'll also be able to find on-demand wellness resources. View virtual fitness class options. If you have questions, please email HRWellness@fcps.edu.

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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 – Wednesday, 4/8/20

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Thanks to our bus drivers who are delivering grab and go meals along bus routes to families in need. 

Coronavirus Information

We sincerely hope you and your loved ones are doing well, and finding creative ways to thrive. Coronavirus information that impacts or is related to FCPS is updated on a regular basis. Please consider bookmarking the following websites to stay informed:

Superintendent Brabrand will also continue to provide updates to staff. If you missed his Facebook Live Q&A on April 3, you can watch it now or read the transcript.

Important Updates to FCPS Health Benefits

As noted in an all-staff email from the Office of Benefits Services last Friday, FCPS benefit plans offer a variety of resources to help covered employees and their families who may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. New information will be added to Benefits Services' Health Plan Supports for COVID-19 webpage as it becomes available. Please check periodically for updates.

Also, Kaiser Permanente (KP) is temporarily consolidating their services to select centers. This change will allow KP to focus on their most vulnerable members and conserve critical resources. KP members may learn more about these temporary changes and visit KP's COVID-19 website for additional information.

Wellness Webinars Regarding COVID-19 Concerns

Guidance Resources, the FCPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP), has prepared webinars addressing common concerns surrounding COVID-19, such as emotional eating, managing worry and anxiety, and tools to cope with stress. Access webinars from the EAP COVID-19 page on the intranet.

Story of the Week


Building closures and social distancing haven't stopped our teachers from connecting with their students. WUSA9 highlights an amazing example of this in their feature on Michelle Yang, a third grade teacher at Centreville ES. View the story on WUSA9's website.

Deadline Extended for Teacher Grant Applications

The deadline to submit applications for the Foundation for FCPS' teacher grant program for the 2020-21 school year has been extended to Friday, May 15. Grants are intended to support work-based learning opportunities for students at all levels. Teachers and principals can view brief descriptions of previous grants and access the application on the Foundation’s website. 

Any current year grantees should have been notified of the final report deadline and information about carry-over to next year. Please contact the Foundation office for more information at foundation@fcps.edu.

Savings for Staff Is Ready to Serve You

If you’re looking for discounts on groceries, items that can help provide fun and learning for children, or other products that might be useful during the pandemic, check out our Savings for Staff employee discount program

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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 – Wednesday, 3/25/20

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With schools closed, Bren Mar Park ES tweeted this photo of staff holding their normal Friday spirit day virtually. They explained, "Staying at home doesn’t keep our community apart!" 

Coronavirus Updates

As many of you watched on Monday, Governor Ralph Northam announced that all Virginia K-12 schools are closed for the remainder of the school year, in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Superintendent Brabrand sent a message to FCPS staff and families later that day, in response to the governor's decision. Today, Dr. Brabrand sent a message to all staff regarding work expectations, compensation, and benefits. View it on the intranet.


For coronavirus information and related resources, visit our Coronavirus Updates page. Also, FCPS is now publishing a daily digest for the FCPS community, highlighting things you need to know such as major county and state announcements, updates on instruction, and news articles. The digest includes positive examples of school outreach and a short Q&A, too.  

Popular COVID-19 Questions and Answers

The coronavirus outbreak is leaving many of us with a lot of questions. Some of the most popular ones, along with their answers, follow:

1. I need information on Benefits and/or Leave. Who do I contact?

Email hrconnection@fcps.edu.

2. I  have a question regarding payroll. Who do I contact?

Email hrconnection@fcps.edu.

3. Who will get paid for the two-week closure?

All contracted employees (those who accrue leave) with defined contract days and daily scheduled hours will continue to receive pay for their regular scheduled work hours for the remainder of their 2019-20 school year (190-day, 194-day, 218-day, etc.). Hourly and substitute employees will receive income replacement for the first two weeks of the closure (3/16-3/27). This information is included in an email that was sent to all staff today.   

4. How do I keep up with food distribution sites?

View the food distribution site list

5. Can I volunteer at an FCPS food distribution site?

Due to state training requirements for food distribution, it would be best to contact one of our community partners

Managing Your Anxiety Around COVID-19

Guidance Resources, the FCPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP), is a free resource that can help keep employees and their household members informed about the coronavirus, as well as offer guidance on how to remain physically and emotionally healthy. Guidance Resources is available 24/7 to assist with support and resources on topics including work/life balance, confidential counseling, or legal and financial questions. Reach Guidance Resources by calling 1-855-355-9097; TDD:1-800-697-0353 or visit their website. (If you are logging in for the first time, use "FCPS" as the USER ID.) Email questions to EAPquestions@fcps.edu.


Things You Can Do to Support Yourself

The following tips are adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. This includes social media. 
  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy and well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others virtually.

Find mental health resources.

Practice Healthy Habits at Home with Well Traveled

COVID-19 has imposed travel restrictions, but you can still visit great U.S. sites and stay healthy by participating in Well Traveled, a six-week virtual wellness challenge, sponsored by Employee Wellness. As you log your daily health habits for physical activity, sleep, and produce servings, you will earn points and virtually travel across the U.S., stopping at amazing places along the way. Participants will receive resources, tips, and healthy recipes daily. Team up with four to eight colleagues for added support and fun. Register now.

Although, Well Traveled started Monday, you have until Friday, March 27, to register. Visit the Employee Wellness website on the intranet. Please send questions to fitnesschallenge@fcps.edu.

Accessing IT Tech Support During FCPS Closure

The IT Service Desk will be teleworking and supporting FCPS staff remotely, in an effort to maintain their commitment to customer service. If you need technical assistance, please connect to the FCPS network via Virtual Private Network (VPN). Launch the RequestIT icon on your desktop and enter a RequestIT ticket. Please include your contact information in the ticket.

IT will process tickets in the order of receipt. Support personnel will contact you as soon as possible, if needed. Please do not call the IT Service Desk or your technology support specialist (TSSpec); they are all are working remotely. 

If you do not have VPN on your laptop, Pulse Secure VPN software is accessible for download in the Software Center. To install VPN software on your laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the lower left of your screen.
  2. Scroll down in the alphabetical list of programs to Microsoft System Center and click on it.
  3. Software Center will appear. Click to launch it.
  4. Click the Pulse Secure VPN icon to install it.

If you are unable to connect to VPN, please email ITServiceDesk@fcps.edu

Protect Your G Suite Account with 2-Step Verification

Minimize the chance of your G Suite for Education account being compromised by adding a 2-Step verification process for extra protection. All FCPS employees have a G Suite account. (It ends with “fcpsschools.net,” as in jmdoe@fcpsschools.net.)

How does this help make your account more secure?

Your password is the first layer of security. 2-Step verification adds a second layer of security. If someone is able to hack through your password layer, he or she will still need your phone and security key to access your account.

How does it work?

  • Enter your password as usual. You will be asked to enter a security code. 
  • The code will be sent to your phone or mobile app, depending on how you set it up.

How do you set up 2-Step verification?

Visit Google's 2-Step Verification site for more details on how to add an extra layer of protection to your G Suite for Education account. If you have questions, please enter a RequestIT Ticket and include your contact information.

Staff Staples

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

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

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