FCPS Employee News - Week of Aug. 9

Employee News 3 days 5 hours ago

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Recognizing and Affirming Every Student, Every Strength


Last week’s 2022 Leadership Kickoff reinforced the Affirm, Assess, Advance message that was introduced last year as a guiding tenant for all work at FCPS. Building upon last year’s message, leaders were encouraged to apply this “Triple A” philosophy by recognizing and affirming every student and every one of their strengths. Dr. Michelle Reid welcomed FCPS administrators and leaders back for the 2022-23 school year.

View more resources from Leadership Kickoff

Community Conversations with Dr. Reid

FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid will be hosting Superintendent Community Conversations across the division this fall to get to know our communities. Events will be scheduled at high schools in each pyramid. Dates, times, and more details will be shared in an upcoming Employee News.

Ready to Teach? Job Fair Offers Opportunities for Those Waiting for License


A teacher hiring event will be held on Thursday, August 11, from 4 to 7 p.m. Although the job fair will offer information on all teaching opportunities, it will include a special focus on the new Teacher Resident program. Teacher Residents will fulfill classroom teacher duties while following a fast-tracked educational route to qualifying for and obtaining a VDOE teaching license. They will do so under general supervision from a school-based administrator. 

Applicants should already have earned a bachelor’s degree and have a commitment to meet the minimum qualifications to be eligible for a Virginia Board of Education license within the first year of employment. 

This hiring event will be offered both online, and in person at the FCPS Gatehouse Administration Center. Register for the Teacher Job Fair session online. Registrants can select whether they’ll attend online or in person. 

Jobs in Special Education 

A Special Education hiring event will be held on Wednesday, August 17, from 5 to 6 p.m. Register for the Special Education Job Fair online

View all available jobs with FCPS. For more information, contact HR Connection online, or at 571-423-3000. 

2022 Student Rights & Responsibilities Includes Cell Phone Usage Update


The Student Rights and Responsibilities document (SR&R) explains expectations for student behavior and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable, and supportive school environment. Read the Letter from the Superintendent on the 2022-23 Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Guide for Families.

Key changes to the document for the 2022-23 school year include: 

  • Detailed information about orientation or training stakeholders including school-based administrators and staff, transportation staff, and coaching staff; students; and families.
  • Adding rights to protect citizenship and immigration status from unauthorized sharing.
  • Changes to FCPS’ Acceptable Use Policy Regulation for Technology.
  • A new section on cell phones.
  • A clarification on the response to substance misuse violations.
  • A clarification on the purpose of individualized education program (IEP) meetings when students with disabilities are reassigned for disciplinary reasons following referral to the superintendent.

The new section on cell phones prohibits cell phone use in classrooms. We recognize that this new policy will be a shift for many students and families this year, but research shows that managing phone use during class time will support students’ attention and ability to fully engage in their learning. Schools are partnering with parents to have students understand the importance of putting their phones away to minimize distractions during class.

  • Students in K-8 must keep phones silenced and in backpacks for the duration of the school day unless there is a medical need or emergency, or teachers have allowed the usage of cell phones for instructional activities where they are the most appropriate tool. Cell phones may only be used on campus before and after school. (Except in secondary schools where students in grades 7 and 8 may use phones during passing periods)
  • Students in grades 9-12 must keep phones silenced and put away during all instructional periods unless there is a medical need or emergency, or teachers have allowed the usage of cell phones for instructional activities where they are the most appropriate tool. Cell phones may be used on campus before the first bell, after the last bell, during passing periods, and lunches. 

If a parent or guardian believes their child requires access to a personally owned device(s) as an accommodation, they should contact child’s school team—i.e., 504 Committee, Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team, English Language Committee, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Team—to schedule a meeting to have their request considered. 

Parents should talk to their child(ren) before the start of the school year about these expectations for this upcoming school year. Families may also review the parental controls available for all iPhone and Android users. More information about the SR&R is available online.

The Benefits of Working for FCPS

As a reminder, the 2022 Employee Benefits Handbook is available online. It includes information on health and life insurance, retirement, disability, and health and dependent flexible savings accounts. Be sure to read Employee News regularly for updates on Open Enrollment, which begins in November. 

In addition to these benefits, employees are also encouraged to take advantage of wellness activities through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Wellbeats. The EAP offers up to six therapy visits for employees and their family members. Stay tuned for details on flu shot clinics, usually held in September. 

What do you think is the greatest benefit of working for FCPS? Visit our story on the Employee News Blog to share your thoughts.  

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


Wellbeats, a free program for FCPS benefit-eligible employees, features 800+ on demand wellbeing classes for all ages, ability levels, and interests. 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

New to Wellbeats? Try the August Challenge. Learn the movements that feel good for you and your body and set you on a path to real results with the 4-week “Find Your Fit” program!

Questions? Email [email protected].

Expectant Parent Resources

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

  • Tuesday, August 16, 11 a.m. to noon
  • Thursday, September 15, 4 to 5 p.m.

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

Employee News Anytime, Anywhere!


The Employee News Blog is a great  way to stay up-to-date on the latest news and information employees need to know. Check the blog anytime, you’ll find it linked on the FCPS website's Employee Resources page. We’ll share the latest blogs in each week’s Employee News newsletter.

Be sure to check for opportunities to share feedback on topics. Your voice matters and we want to hear from you. Your feedback will be shared with division leadership and we may share updates and answer questions in future blog posts.

VDOE Wants Your Feedback on History and Social Science Curriculum Review

Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) robust history and social studies programs prepare all students to be positive contributors to their communities. FCPS aligns curriculum to the History and Social Science Standards of Learning provided by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). 

VDOE is conducting a routine review of current History and Social Science Standards of Learning. This process began in 2020 and is expected to be complete by November 2022. Public engagement is an important component of the review process and VDOE will consider all public comments received by September 25, 2022. 

FCPS encourages families, students, staff, and community members to provide feedback to VDOE and participate in district discussions and feedback opportunities. Learn more and offer public comment on the VDOE website. Keep reading Employee News for more information and opportunities to share feedback.

Congratulations to Our May FCPS CARES Winners


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

One of the winners is Efrosini Stavros, gifted education teacher at Willow Springs Elementary School. The parent who nominated her wrote: "My son has been fortunate enough to not only be a student in her classroom this year, but a thriving, valued member of her COMMUNITY. He has repeatedly come home telling various stories about his "community," instead of his ‘class.’ Just a simple change of wording and mindset on the teacher's part has completely overhauled his outlook about what school means. He feels important, heard, and recognized for who he is.”

Other winners in May include:

  • Pedro Forbes, ERFC, Central Office
  • Laura Lee Couch, Great Falls Elementary School
  • Amanda Dey, Aly McCarty, and Sara Kugler, Woodburn Elementary School
  • Samantha Hartwell, Saratoga Elementary School
  • Robyn Ridpath, Fairview Elementary School

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

New Assistant Ombudsman for Special Education

Katherine (Kathy) Murphy, who currently serves as FCPS Section 504 Program Specialist in the Department of Special Services, has been named the new assistant ombudsman for special education, effective August 15. In this role she will support parents, students, and employees who have special education concerns and will provide deeper knowledge and understanding related to the special education process.

Murphy has served in her current position for 8 years where she has been a point of contact for internal, state, and federal officials. Murphy has considerable experience as a system lead/responder to Office for Civil Rights (OCR) cases involving students with disabilities, as well as responding to parent complaints regarding Section 504 concerns. She has partnered with a variety of stakeholders to develop effective ways to ensure equal access to educational programs for children and youth.

Murphy has also served as a senior educational specialist within the Due Process and Eligibility section of the Office of Special Education Procedural Support, where she utilized strong communication skills, negotiation skills, and problem-solving strategies to resolve parent and school staff concerns. Additionally, Ms. Murphy has developed and delivered trainings for key stakeholders within the school division. 

Providing a Safe and Welcoming Space This School Year and Beyond


FCPS is proud of its caring culture and strives to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for all students and families. The Fairfax County School Board recently approved a Trust Policy that solidifies our commitment. It aligns with Fairfax County’s Public Trust and Confidentiality Policy to ensure that FCPS students and families can access FCPS benefits and services without fear that information will be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to federal immigration officials. Please visit our Trust Policy webpage to learn more about the policy and regulation in multiple languages. 

School Leaders, Considering Administration?

The George Mason University Education Leadership Program is currently recruiting for a Fall 2022 Region North (Fairfax region) hybrid cohort. In addition to the cohort, there are fully online and campus hybrid options available. 

To learn more about advancing your career by earning a master’s degree or advanced certificate in Education Leadership, register for a virtual information session on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. or Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Once you register, you will receive a Zoom link to join the information session. By attending an info session, your $75 application fee will be waived.

Mason’s Education Leadership Program is 20th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. If you have any questions, please contact Farnoosh Shahrokhi, director of the Education Leadership & Policy Division at Mason, at [email protected].

Calendar Reminder: First Day of School


As a reminder, the first day of the 2022-23 school year is Monday, Aug. 22. FCPS parents, students, and staff members are invited to share their favorite pictures or videos from the first day of school on social media using the hashtag #FirstDayFairfax. We will share some of the photos on the FCPS Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. View the 2022-23 school year calendar.

Staff Staples

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Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

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FCPS Employee News - Week of Aug. 2 - Welcome Back!

Employee News 1 week 3 days ago

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Welcome back FCPS staff! Hope you are having a great summer. 

We want employees to be engaged this year, and realize that ongoing employee communication is so important. We want you to have the tools to do your job and have the latest information at your fingertips. 

We hope you use Employee News as a reference and guide, but remember most information is available and updated regularly on our staff intranet site, the Employee Hub

We know questions come up throughout the year and if you need more clarification, please reach out to the Human Resources Client Services Team via the HR Connection portal on your desktop, call 571-423-3000, or email [email protected]. The team is also available for in-person assistance Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Gatehouse Administration Center. We hope you have a happy, healthy and productive school year!  

Get to Know the Employee Hub

The Employee Hub, FCPS’ intranet site, offers employees’ the latest news, information, forms, tools, and resources. The Employee Hub is available anywhere and on any device. Watch a tutorial video for shortcuts and helpful advice. The Employee Hub Support page (located in the Hub Footer) has resources and tutorials to help you get started.

Employee Communications

This weekly newsletter, Employee News, is distributed via email on Tuesdays during the school year. Scroll to the bottom for links to FCPS calendars, job opportunities, job transfers, savings for staff, classifieds, and more. You can also check out “What’s New At FCPS” daily on the Employee Hub or Employee News blog


Tech Support

All employees are issued two emails when hired; their main account in Outlook (fcps.edu) and an account for google (fcpsschools.net). Both accounts share the same password. Employees are required to reset their passwords every year for security reasons. If you haven’t already reset your password or set up password recovery options, please visit the Account Management page.

Many FCPS systems now require multi-factor authentication (MFA) at log-in, which helps to verify that it is actually you trying to access your account. If you haven’t already set-up MFA, visit the MFA Hub page to learn how.

Always reach out to your technology support specialist (TSSpec) with any technical questions. You can also contact the IT Service Desk at 703-503-1600 or [email protected], or enter a support request via the “RequestIT” platform through the desktop icon on FCPS computers.

What do you think?

What resources did you find most helpful as a new employee? Visit the latest story on the Employee News blog to share your tips and tricks for new hires.

 

New Director of Employee Labor Relations

Welcome to FCPS’ new Director of Employee Labor Relations Lydia Martinez. Martinez joined the Human Resources team on July 18. She comes to FCPS with a wealth of experience in the area of employee labor relations; having served as chief human resources officer/director of operations, senior human strategy consultant for a full-service talent acquisition company, chief people officer for an energy company in Puerto Rico, and a number of other positions during her career. 

Special Education Licensure Requirement Course Starts August 15

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), in partnership with Radford University, is offering a compressed, seven-week asynchronous online course for 25 individuals. This Legal Aspects of Special Education course is free. 

The course will begin August 15 and course requirements should be completed by September 30. Interested candidates should contact Dr. Darren Minarik, co-director, Virginia Inclusive Practices Center, Radford University, at [email protected], or 540-831-7660, for additional information. A list of qualifications to apply for the course and explanation of the VDOE requirements for licensure this course fulfills is available online. 

Hybrid Hiring Event for Teachers and Counselors


The Office of Human Resources will host an interview day for teachers and school counseling candidates at the Gatehouse Administrative Center and online on Thursday, August 4, from 3 to 7 p.m. Please share this information with anyone you know who may be interested in these positions. 

Interviews will be pre-scheduled, but walk-ins will also be welcome (for both platforms). Registration is available online. When registering, participants can select either the in-person or virtual option. 

Eager to Start: Newly Hired Teachers Share Excitement About Making a Difference for FCPS Students


Read the stories of four new hires joining FCPS this year and learn more about why they’re eager to teach, and teach here in Fairfax County.

Providing a Safe and Welcoming Space This School Year and Beyond


FCPS is proud of its caring culture and strives to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for all students and families. The Fairfax County School Board recently approved a Trust Policy that solidifies our commitment. It aligns with Fairfax County’s Public Trust and Confidentiality Policy to ensure that FCPS students and families can access FCPS benefits and services without fear that information will be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to federal immigration officials. Please visit our Trust Policy webpage to learn more about the policy and regulation in multiple languages.

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 evaluations. Please be sure to check out your MyPDE portal for assigned mandatory training.

Supporting the Mission Application Deadline is August 8

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 2022-23 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 the Supporting the Mission Google site. Both the interest and recommendation forms are due by August 8. Forms will be shared with the FCPS Leadership Team members who will forward nominations for the cohort. Contact Tiffany Lee at [email protected] with questions.

School Leaders, Considering Administration?

The George Mason University Education Leadership Program is currently recruiting for a fall 2022 Region North (Fairfax region) hybrid cohort. In addition to the cohort, there are fully online and campus hybrid options available. 

To learn more about advancing your career by earning a master’s degree or advanced certificate in Education Leadership, register for a virtual information session on Thursday, August 11, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. or Tuesday, August 16, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Once you register, you will receive a Zoom link to join the information session. By attending an info session, your $75 application fee will be waived.

Mason’s Education Leadership Program is 20th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. If you have any questions, please contact Farnoosh Shahrokhi, director of the Education Leadership & Policy Division at Mason, at [email protected].

Calendar Reminder: First Day of School


As a reminder, the first day of the 2022-23 school year is Monday, August 22. FCPS parents, students, and staff members are invited to share their favorite pictures or videos from the first day of school on social media using the hashtag #FirstDayFairfax. We will share some of the photos on the FCPS Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. View the 2022-23 school year calendar.


Support Students With the Collect for Kids School Supply Drive


To ensure that every child in the school district is prepared for school, Fairfax County Public Schools and Educate Fairfax are once again leading the Collect for Kids effort, a consortium of not-for-profit, for-profit, and government entities providing school supplies to benefit FCPS students who otherwise might go without them.   

More than 56,000 (31%) FCPS students qualify for free or reduced-price meals and struggle to afford basic necessities. Your donation will help provide the school supplies these students need to be successful at school. 

Contributions can be made online through Educate Fairfax. Donations will be used to purchase bulk school supply kits at highly discounted pricing. For more information, visit the Educate Fairfax 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 [email protected] with questions. 

Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

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Dr. Michelle Reid Sworn in as Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent

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To read this message in other languages, please view machine translations on our website.

Dr. Michelle Reid Sworn in as Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent

On Thursday, June 30, at Luther Jackson Middle School, Michelle Reid, Ed.D., was sworn in as the superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools. Her term begins Friday, July 1. 

“It’s important for me to remember that learning happens best in community, and this is an amazing community,” said Dr. Reid. “It’s a community that drew me because of the strength of the partnerships, the spirit, the passion, the resources of time and talent, and for the importance that this community places on education.”

Dr. Reid is known regionally and nationally for strong instructional leadership. She was named AASA National Superintendent of the Year in 2021 for exemplary communications, her work in closing achievement gaps, and leading her previous school system in uncharted territory at the start of the pandemic. 

Dr. Reid has served as superintendent for Northshore School District, Washington, since 2016. She previously served as superintendent of South Kitsap School District in Port Orchard, Washington. She also served as deputy superintendent, district athletic director, and high school principal in Port Angeles (Washington) School District. 

Dr. Reid received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington, master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Washington, and her bachelor’s degree in Natural Science/Chemistry from the University of Puget Sound.

View Oath of Office

View Dr. Reid’s Oath of Office Remarks

Watch this short video to get to know Dr. Reid. [video with Spanish captions]

View her interview with student journalists. 

Read Dr. Reid's bio.

Learn more about the superintendent's office.

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FCPS This Week e-newsletter - June 15, 2022

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Have a Great Summer!


On the last day of school, Annandale Terrace Elementary School Principal Lisa Pilson joins teachers to wave goodbye to students. 

Thank you for a great school year!

Celebrate Our Graduation Highlights


We’re celebrating the class of 2022—watch this highlight video to relive this year’s graduation events.

Resources for a Fun, Safe, and Healthy Summer

Looking for ways to help students stay active and learning this summer, or for health and safety resources when school is closed? Visit our Summer Resources page, which will be updated throughout the summer months. 

 

Stay Engaged in Learning Win Prizes With the Summer Reading Adventure


The Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) summer reading program takes place through August 12. Children, teens, and adults can sign up now on Beanstack where they can track their summer reading.

Participants will have the chance to earn prizes when they read and complete activities. There are different challenges for preschoolers, K-5 students, teens, and adults. 

More information about the FCPL summer reading program is available online.

Tutor.com—Online Tutoring Services Summer Access

 

FCPS students will continue to have unlimited access to 24/7, on-demand, online tutoring support services through Tutor.com this summer. Students are able to use Tutor.com to review and/or practice in subject areas of interest or need. Students may also choose to access other tools such as practice quizzes in a variety of subject areas, as well as self-paced study courses for SAT and ACT preparation.

Details about how students can access Tutor.com through archived courses in Schoology are provided in Summer Access at Tutor.com - Online Tutoring Services. Students enrolled in summer Credit Recovery Academy, Online Campus, Online Economics and Personal Finance, and TJHSST summer courses will be able to access Tutor.com via their active summer course in Schoology.

 

Stay Healthy and Active Summer Meal Service

Summer meal kits will be offered on Tuesdays at several sites through August 9. Meal kits contain seven days of breakfast and lunch items packed in bulk. All meals are available at no-cost to FCPS students and children 18 years of age and under. Visit our Meals for Students website for more details on pick up locations and times. 

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications Available Later This Summer

For the past two years, the federal government has provided no-cost meals to all public school students without the need to complete the annual Free and Reduced-Price Meal application. The extension of the no-cost meals benefit to all students is expected to expire at the end of this school year, meaning families must submit an application and be approved to be eligible for free and reduced-price meals for the 2022-23 school year. Learn more about the Free and Reduced-Price Meal program online. 

Make Sure Your Students Are Up-To-Date on Vaccines


All students are required to be immunized against certain communicable diseases to attend school in the state of Virginia. It is important for all students to receive the required immunizations.

Please talk with your family health care provider about whether or not your children are up to date on their vaccines before the new school year begins. Submit updated immunization records to your school as soon as possible. 

More information on immunization requirements and the necessary documentation is available online.

Mental Wellness Consultation


Through August 5, the FCPS Office of Intervention and Prevention Services will offer virtual mental wellness consultations. Parents and students can schedule a 45-minute consultation with a school psychologist or school social worker by phone or videoconference. Consultations will be offered:

  • Directly to parents of students in any grade level. This consultation provides an opportunity for parents to receive guidance on how to support their child’s social, emotional, behavioral, and academic success. Information about community resources will also be provided.
  • Directly to students in middle or high school. This consultation provides an opportunity for middle and high school students to receive guidance and support for concerns related to anxiety, mood, behavior, peer or family interactions, or school transitions and changes. Strategies and tools can also be provided to address academic challenges such as organization and time-management.

We encourage all parents and secondary students to take advantage of this service. Request a consultation. You can also leave a message at 703-503-2520.

Multilingual Parent Podcast: Keep Your Child Active Over the Summer


The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement was recently recognized with a Podcast Award of Distinction for Multilingual Family Podcast by the Communicator Awards.

In their most recent episode, hear about FCPS and Fairfax County Summer Programs designed to keep your child engaged in fun social and physical activities. The hosts also talk about summer learning opportunities. Use the links below for more detailed information. This will be the final episode for this school year. Be safe and enjoy your summer vacation.

 Listen and subscribe:

Enjoy our School Grounds


School blacktops, playgrounds, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, and tracks are available for use by individuals (not organized groups) without being scheduled. Visit our availability webpage for more information on the usage of school grounds and facilities.

Visit our Community Use webpage for a full list of items and activities that are prohibited on school grounds and more information on reserving facilities. Groups interested in formally reserving school facilities should send an email to [email protected] or call 571-423-2340. 


End of the Year Checklist

Have you completed the following important tasks before diving into your summer plans? 

FCPS' Family Return to School Survey Deadline Extended

FCPS is interested in hearing from parents/caregivers about how the 2021-22 school year has gone for students. The deadline to provide your feedback on our Family Return to School Survey has been extended to Friday, June 17, at 8 p.m. Please check your email and text messages for the link.

Preview Your Student’s Spring SOL Scores

Want to know how your student did on their spring SOL tests before the official report? Families can see SOL scores in the Test History section of SIS ParentVUE. To access Test History, log into your ParentVUE account using a web browser (not the app). Families will also receive an official SOL score report letter with more details by the end of July. 

Additional information about SOL assessments is available online. You can also learn more about SIS ParentVUE and how to activate your account.

Support the Collect for Kids School Supply Drive


To ensure that every child in the school district is prepared for school, Fairfax County Public Schools and Educate Fairfax are once again leading the Collect for Kids effort, a consortium of not-for-profit, for-profit, and government entities providing school supplies to benefit FCPS students who otherwise might go without them.  

More than 56,000 (31%) FCPS students qualify for free or reduced-price meals and struggle to afford basic necessities. Your donation will help provide the school supplies these students need to be successful at school.

Contributions can be made online through Educate Fairfax. Donations will be used to purchase bulk school supply kits at highly discounted pricing. For more information, visit the Educate Fairfax website.

 

Celebrating Excellence FCPS Honors Recognizes Exceptional Employees


Annually, more than 700 employees in both instructional and operational roles are recognized through the Outstanding Employee Awards Program. Among the finalists this year, there seemed to be a common thread—”adaptability” in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and the return to classrooms and offices. Learn more about the 12 winners, who were honored, along with more than 70 finalists, at an event last week. Watch the event online.

2022 Cappies Award Winners


Congratulations to our high school theater programs that were honored last week at the Cappies awards gala. Twenty-eight awards were won by 11 schools in the county. View a full list of the winners online

OCCR Team Recognized as a Leader in Strategic Communications


The Office of Communications and Community Relations (OCCR) has been awarded a Gold Medallion—the highest award possible—from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) for this year’s VaxUP FCPS communication plan.

While the plan is nationally recognized as best in the nation for communications strategy, the behind-the-scenes story is what makes this recognition especially meaningful for the OCCR team. 

Two other OCCR projects in community relations and crisis communications were selected to receive Golden Achievement Awards. 

Find out more about what these honors mean for OCCR and FCPS as we work on transforming how we serve our community.

Explore A New Career—Instructional Job Fair on June 22


Interested in an instructional job with Fairfax County Public Schools? Instructional positions include teacher, school counselor, librarian, instructional assistant, public health attendant (PHA) and public health training assistants (PHTA), and substitute teacher and assistants.

To learn more, attend the virtual Instructional Job Fair on Wednesday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn more and register online.

School Board Meeting on June 16 at 7 p.m.


The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, June 16, at 7 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda (English only). The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website. Agenda highlights include:

  • Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) update.
  • Deferred Compensation Retirement Savings Program.
  • Awarding of Contracts. 

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on any School Board action items the morning after the School Board meeting.

Find your School Board member and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.

School Board Seeking At-Large FPAC Applicants; Deadline Is June 17 

The Fairfax County School Board invites applications from community members interested in serving on the Facilities Planning Advisory Council (FPAC) as an at-large member. FPAC advises and informs FCPS staff and the School Board in the development of comprehensive, long-term plans for facilities. The current council member appointment will end June 30, 2025.

FCPS encourages individuals with experience in construction, engineering, architecture, land use planning, development, demographics, government operations, and financing to apply. The deadline to submit an application is June 17. Applicants must reside within the boundaries of Fairfax County or Fairfax City. More information and an application are available online (English only)

Calendar Reminders June 20 Is a Holiday for All Employees—Schools and Offices Closed


As a reminder, Monday, June 20 (Juneteenth observed), is a holiday for FCPS employees. Juneteenth celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.  

2022-23 School Year Starts August 22


With summer vacation upon us, be sure to note that the first day of school for the 2022-23 school year will be Monday, August 22. See the complete 2022-23 school year calendar.

This is the last regularly scheduled issue of FCPS This Week for the school year. Have a great summer!

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Employee News - 6/8/22

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Lora Bates, ESOL teacher at Mountain View High School, takes a selfie with Tariq Abdelou on graduation day. Tariq is one of three students selected to speak at the graduation ceremony. A refugee from Palestine, he shared the hardships he experienced as he was forced to navigate multiple cultures and bureaucracies before coming to the United States. 

He spoke of his gratitude to FCPS and, in particular, Mountain View High School, where as an older student, he could at last realize his dream of receiving a high school diploma. He leaves Mountain View determined to help others as he has been helped. His personal experience as a refugee working with other refugees will continue to shape his future plans in college and beyond.

Stay tuned for a full celebration of 2022 graduation activities next week.

Keep Supporting Students This Summer With Collect for Kids School Supply Drive


To ensure that every child in the school district is prepared for school, Fairfax County Public Schools and Educate Fairfax are once again leading the Collect for Kids effort, a consortium of not-for-profit, for-profit, and government entities providing school supplies to benefit FCPS students who otherwise might go without them.   

More than 56,000 (31%) FCPS students qualify for free or reduced-price meals and struggle to afford basic necessities. Your donation will help provide the school supplies these students need to be successful at school. 

Contributions can be made online through Educate Fairfax. Donations will be used to purchase bulk school supply kits at highly discounted pricing. For more information, visit the Educate Fairfax website.

Celebrating Our Education Heroes


Cox Communications and Cox Business selected four FCPS Cox Education Heroes and presented them with $1,000 for a classroom makeover. 

Read their individual stories of student encouragement, engagement, and collaboration. 

The 2022 Cox Education Hero awards honors teachers because, according to Cox, teaching is a work of heart. From early mornings and late nights to parent teacher meetings and testing, it is fitting to call our teachers heroes.

Make a Difference as a Special Education Teacher


Are you or someone you know interested in exploring a career as a special education teacher? Join us for a Special Education Teacher Information Session on Wednesday, June 15, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Milestone Celebration


John Zirkle, a 6th grade teacher, celebrates 50 years of service to FCPS Schools with his team at Stenwood Elementary School. Thank you for your dedication and service! 

How many years have you been with FCPS? Employees with multiples of five years of service are encouraged to share their anniversary milestones on Twitter by mentioning @HR_FCPS. It is a great time to highlight some positive and fun stories, individual contributions, or share how your team values that staff member’s service.

FCPS Video Producer Wins Historic Preservation Award


Jeff Clark
, video producer in the office of Communications and Community Relations and local historian, has been presented with an Excellence in  Historic Preservation Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. The award was given for a passion project on one- and two-room schoolhouses in the county that were operated in the first 50 years of Fairfax County Public Schools. 

Additionally, Jeff has also worked with DAR chapters to transcribe early records of the school system. Copies of this work will be given to the Virginia Room at the Fairfax City Library.

2022-23 Employee Calendar Available Online

The updated 2022-23 Employee Calendar is now available on the  FCPS website. Employees can also subscribe to the calendar and have dates electronically uploaded to their calendar.

To further support professional development, the Fiscal Year 2023 Approved Budget, approved on May 26, includes one additional workday for all less-than-12-month employees, except for transportation employees who will receive two additional days. A summary of the adjustments made to work schedules is provided online. 

August 12 has been added and designated for the completion of asynchronous required professional development (PD) and training for teachers and most less-than-12-month employees. For other less-than-12-month employees, the additional day has been scheduled on days that were already designated as either School Planning (SP) or Staff Development (SD) days which will include PD and training activities.

New Ombudsman for FCPS

The Chief Equity and Superintendent’s Office is pleased to announce that Dawn Clements, current assistant ombudsman for special education, has been named the new ombudsman for Fairfax County Public Schools. Her official start date is July 1.

In her current role in the Office of the Ombudsman she has been able to serve as a resource to and provide support to families, employees, students, and community members in partnership with the ombudsman. She has fostered many relationships, both internal and external, and has been able to build trust with all stakeholders. Clements has been instrumental in tracking and analyzing data disseminated in the quarterly ombudsman reports as well developing and delivering presentations to various stakeholder groups around the outreach work of the Ombudsman’s Office. Clements firmly believes that all stakeholders should be heard and valued and treated with respect. She also makes sure that each inquiry and stakeholder is viewed through the lens of  equity.

Summer is a Great Time to Explore Career Options—Virtual Instructional Job Fair June 22


Interested in an instructional job with Fairfax County Public Schools? Instructional positions include teacher, school counselor, librarian, instructional assistant, public health attendant (PHA) and public health training assistants (PHTA), and substitute teacher and assistants.

To learn more, attend the virtual Instructional Job Fair on Wednesday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn more and register online.

LGBTQIA+ Pride Month


In the month of June, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.

What’s on the Employee News Blog?


Catch up on employee news anytime, anywhere (even over the summer!) on the Employee News Blog. The Employee News weekly email newsletter will include a recap of what's on the blog so you won’t miss anything you need to know.

In case you missed it, recent posts to the Employee News Blog include:

Calendar Reminder: Juneteeth Observed on June 20, Holiday for All Employees


As a reminder, the last day of the 2021-22 school year is Friday, June 10, and students will be dismissed early. 

June 20 Is a Holiday for All Employees—Schools and Offices Closed

As a reminder, Monday, June 20 (Juneteenth observed), is a holiday for FCPS employees. Juneteenth celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.  

Tuesday, June 21, is a primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives and local offices. Some schools may serve as voting sites. 

See the complete 2021-22 FCPS School Year Calendar. The first day of school for the 2022-23 school year is Monday, August 22. View the 2022-23 school year 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 [email protected] with questions. 

Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

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Employee News 5-31-2022

Employee News 2 months 1 week ago

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Advanced Academic Resource Teacher Judy Butler, who will retire this year, hugs one of her former students during their senior walk at Marshall Road Elementary School. Seniors from Madison High School walked the halls May 25 while current elementary students cheered them on. 

 

FY 2023 Budget Focused on Staff Compensation, Student Success, and Safety

 

The Fairfax County School Board adopted the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget on May 26, which includes adjustments to support ongoing recruitment and retention efforts for a premier workforce and to ensure market competitive compensation. 

The budget includes a 4% Market Scale Adjustment (MSA) for all employees, along with a step increase for eligible employees, a one-step extension to all scales, and market improvements to our bus driver and family liaison salary scales.

FY23 Salary Scales are available on the FCPS website. The updated FY23 Employee Calendar will be posted next week. 

The 4% MSA takes effect July 1 for all employees. Step increments are based on the employee’s anniversary date. Employees can find their anniversary date in UConnect. Go to the top left Bookmarks drop down menu and select Employee Self-Service - My Job - Next Anniversary Date. 

The budget also includes one additional workday for all less-than-12-month employees, except for transportation employees who will get two additional days. For reference, a summary of the FCPS 2022-23 Work Schedules adjustments is available online. 

Visit Employee News to find out more about the budget and projects it will support. 

 

Religious and Cultural Observance Days Regulation Revised

Regulation 2334.11 (“O” Days) has been revised in response to the School Board request to deliver a plan for more effective use of religious and cultural observance days.  

Revisions were drafted with input from principals who were charged with making recommendations to prioritize instruction while honoring the religious and cultural observances. Changes to the regulation include:

  • New material can be introduced on religious and cultural observance days provided that:
    • Content is made accessible in Schoology
    • Teachers support absent students 
  • Graded assignments or activities may occur provided that there are opportunities for students absent because of a religious and cultural observance to make up the assignment or activity
  • Details are provided for days on which an observance begins at sundown (1/2 O Day)

Updates will be made to the required training module on Religious and Cultural Observances to ensure all staff are aware of the changes. Guidance documents for managers, teachers, and employees will also be updated to reflect the revisions to the regulation.

The full redlined version of Regulation 2334.11 - Revision is available online.

Board of Supervisors Recognizes Dr. Brabrand


The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized FCPS Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand on May 24 for his service to the community. 

Dr. Brabrand was appointed FCPS superintendent in June 2017. Having begun his career as an FCPS social studies teacher in 1994, he leaves behind a legacy of life-changing work in our school system.

Wear Orange Day, Friday, June 3  

The first Friday in June is recognized as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Also known as Wear Orange Day, it was first organized by students to memorialize the 2013 death of their friend and gun violence victim, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. After her death, they asked us to stand up, speak out, and Wear Orange to raise awareness.

At the May 26 meeting, The Fairfax County School Board recognized National Gun Violence Awareness Day and encouraged everyone to wear orange on June 3. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors declared June 3 Gun Violence Awareness day during a May 24 meeting.

Information about gun violence prevention is available on our website.

 

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications Due This Summer

 

For the past two years, the federal government has provided no-cost meals to all public school students without the need to complete the annual Free and Reduced-Price Meal application. The extension of the no-cost meals benefit to all students is expected to expire at the end of this school year, meaning families must submit an application and be approved to be eligible for free and reduced price meals for the 2022-23 school year.

Eligible families are encouraged to submit the Free and Reduced-Price Meal application before the first day of the 2022-23 school year. The online application will be available later this summer and accessible via the FCPS homepage.

Students approved for Free and Reduced-Price Meals may qualify for additional benefits such as waived or reduced fees for instruments, uniforms, field trips, FCPS class fees, and Parktakes classes. 

Summer Meal Service

No-cost summer meals will be served at all FCPS summer school locations this year. Please visit our website for updated information during the summer. 

Employee Assistance Program—Counseling Help Is Available

 

FCPS and their families have access to confidential counseling services in areas such as stress, anxiety, and depression. If end of the year stress and anxiety due to recent events is affecting you, help is available. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are free and can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Enrollment is automatic and no paperwork needs to be filled out. A full list of EAP resources for current staff members can be found on the FCPS Employee Hub. FCPS Employees can direct questions to [email protected].

 

Bullying Education for Parents

 

The FCPS Bullying Prevention and Intervention public website has been updated to include a video to educate parents on what bullying is (according to the Students Rights and Responsibilities document) and what they can expect when a bullying allegation is reported to a school administrator. 

The Student Safety and Wellness Office is available to collaborate with school counselors to provide virtual or in-person parent presentations at the request of schools. 

 

What’s on the Employee News Blog?

 

Catch up on employee news anytime, anywhere on the Employee News Blog. The Employee News weekly email newsletter will include a recap of what's on the blog so you won’t miss anything you need to know.

In case you missed it, the Employee News Blog for the week of May 23 included:

  • Check out the May 2022 Issue of the Audit Buzz.
  • Second Virtual Cybersecurity Fundamentals Training to Be Held on July 29. 
  • Congratulations to the April FCPS CARES of the Month Winners.
  • Summer Professional Development Opportunities.

Professional Learning Opportunities for Staff

Family and School Partnerships is offering three Academy classes for staff members. Interested employees should register in MyPDE using the links below.

Please contact Krystle Trammell at [email protected] for more information.

As a reminder, registration is also open for Summer Academy Courses and the 2022 Summer Equity Symposium. Visit the Employee News blog for more information on these learning opportunities.

 

Do Your Part: Mask Up!

 

FCPS has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases recently as the county has transitioned to the medium community level. Schools continue to apply layered prevention strategies to maintain a healthy work and learning environment. However, each of us has a responsibility to do our part to help keep ourselves, our students, and our colleagues safe.

Easy ways to “Do Your Part” include: staying up to date on vaccinations and boosters, considering when and where to choose to mask up, practicing good hygiene, and monitoring symptoms daily. 

During a medium community level, masks are not required in FCPS buildings. However, you may want to talk with your healthcare provider about wearing masks if you or someone in your household is immunocompromised. More guidance about how to reduce your risk during medium community transmission is available on the CDC website.

 

New Tuition Reimbursement Portal Opens July 1

 

The portal to apply for reimbursement of spring 2022 courses will open July 1. This is a change from the previous June 1 planned opening and was needed to improve processes in the system. 

These changes will allow for faster approvals for Priority 1 and Priority 2 requests. It will also be easier for operational employees to submit reimbursement requests for continuing education credits they need to obtain or maintain certification. The FY23 priority list reflects the division’s support of employee career growth opportunities and the retention of an educated and talented workforce. View the updated priority list online.

Further details will be provided in Employee News in June along with updates on the Hub. For additional information or to contact the Tuition Reimbursement team, visit the Tuition Reimbursement Hub page.

 

Sideburn Center Holding Blood Drive on June 2

 

Sideburn Support Center is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, June 2 from 6 to 10 a.m. Please consider donating as there is a nationwide shortage of blood.    

To donate please follow the links below to schedule your appointment:  

For more information, contact Jackie Roseman at [email protected].

 

Calendar Reminder: Last Day of School Is June 10

 

As a reminder, the last day of the 2021-22 school year is Friday, June 10, and students will be dismissed early. 

June 20 Is a Holiday for All Employees—Schools and Offices Closed

As a reminder, Monday, June 20 (Juneteenth observed), is a holiday for FCPS employees. Juneteenth celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.  

See the complete 2021-22 FCPS School Year 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 [email protected] with questions. 

Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

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Employee News 5/24/22

Employee News 2 months 2 weeks ago

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Condemnation of Gun Violence in Schools

Yesterday, Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, experienced a horrifying act of violence which resulted in the tragic loss of 21 innocent lives; 19 children and two teachers. Many more were injured. We share in the grief and frustration that follows these far too common events. Read our complete statement.

Gun violence and school shootings are complicated topics that affect each of us in different ways. The following resources may be helpful as we all process yesterday’s events:

Because of the potential for both intended and unintended threats to our schools, FCPS has focused a great deal of attention to emergency procedures and is vigilant about protecting the safety of its students and employees. The school division has spent considerable time and effort in planning and practicing day-to-day safety and security measures, as well as addressing the response to a major critical incident. Among these measures are:

Building Safety
  • Physical security (Locked doors, intrusion alarms, electronic door access, CCTV).
  • Visitor Management System and Procedures (Deployed system-wide).
  • Emergency planning coordination with police, fire, and emergency management offices.
  • Uniformed school security patrols (24/7).
  • SROs at all middle and high schools.
  • FCPS security personnel at all middle and high schools.
  • Comprehensive division-wide crisis management plan.
  • Individual school crisis plans-updated annually.
Safety Training
  • Lockdown, Fire, and Tornado Drills.
  • Safety training and Table Top exercises at all schools.
  • Critical incident terms awareness and training (Lockdown, Secure the Building, Shelter in Place, Stay Put Stay Tuned).
  • Employee training in crisis management and communication. (Lockdown, Evacuation, and “Run, Hide, Fight”).
  • Mandatory annual safety training for all students and staff.
Safety Procedures
  • Threat assessment process.
  • Confidential tip, text, and email programs.
  • Systemwide emergency alert systems.

Safety and security is everyone’s job. Staff, students, parents, and the community at large are reminded to incorporate safety and security awareness as routine, and to immediately report any unusual activity to the authorities. Know that we take the safety and security of all students very seriously, and additional information regarding our programs can be found on our Safety and Security website

 

The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement (OPLFE) donated the book, The Day You Begin, each with the name of a different OPFLE staff member listed on the book plate, as a gift to all elementary schools for Staff Appreciation Week.

Webinar on Opioid Use Trends and Support Set for June 7

Opioid overdoses are on the rise in the Fairfax Health District, which is consistent with national and state trends. 

Fairfax County Public Schools is partnering with Fairfax County Government to provide an educational webinar on substance use trends and supports June 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Register for the June 7 webinar

The webinar will cover topics including:

  • Most Commonly Used Substances.
  • In Depth Opioid Information.
  • Reasons Why Youth Use Substances.
  • Ways Parents Can Support their Children.
  • Available FCPS and Fairfax County Resources.
  • How to connect with Support Providers.

Language interpretation will be available in Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, and Korean. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting by an ASL/Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Team will also be provided.

Learn more about what you can do to help and prevent overdoses in our Healthy Minds blog.

 

Do Your Part: Vax Up!

 

FCPS has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases recently as the county has transitioned to the medium community level. Schools continue to apply layered prevention strategies to maintain a healthy work and learning environment. However, each of us has a responsibility to do our part to help keep ourselves, our students, and our colleagues safe.

Easy ways to “Do Your Part” include: staying up to date on vaccinations and boosters, considering when and where to choose to mask up, practicing good hygiene, and monitoring symptoms daily. 

A single booster dose is now authorized for children ages 5-11, at least five months after completing a primary series with the Pfizer vaccine. Learn more about scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment or find a walk-in option on the Fairfax County Health Department’s website

 

What’s on the Employee News Blog?

 

Catch up on employee news anytime, anywhere on the Employee News Blog. The Employee News weekly email newsletter will include a recap of what's on the blog so you won’t miss anything you need to know.

In case you missed it, the Employee News Blog for the week of May 16 included:

  • Virtual Cybersecurity Fundamentals Training to Be Held on July 15.
  • Thank you Retirees!
  • Do Your Part: Stay Home When Sick
  • FCPS Online Classifieds Free for Employees.
New Tuition Reimbursement Portal Opens July 1


The portal to apply for reimbursement of spring 2022 courses will open July 1. This is a change from the previous June 1 planned opening and was needed to improve processes in the system. 

These changes will allow for faster approvals for Priority 1 and Priority 2 requests. It will also be easier for operational employees to submit reimbursement requests for continuing education credits they need to obtain or maintain certification. The FY23 priority list reflects the division’s support of employee career growth opportunities and the retention of an educated and talented workforce. View the updated priority list online.

Further details will be provided in Employee News in June along with updates on the Hub. For additional information or to contact the Tuition Reimbursement team, visit the Tuition Reimbursement Hub page.

Interested in Becoming a Special Education Teacher?


Virtual Information Meeting to Be Held on May 25 

FCPS is excited to announce a new tuition sharing benefit as a part of a Grow Your Own (GYO) initiative to recruit, hire, and retain special education teachers. The GYO program includes 50-50 tuition sharing through a partnership with James Madison University (JMU). This program is designed for those wishing to achieve a bachelor’s degree and is targeted to paraprofessional candidates with either an associate’s degree or with 60+ college credits, and leads to dual licensure in Accessing the General Curriculum and Accessing the Adapted Curriculum.

JMU representatives will hold a virtual meeting on May 25  from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. to share program information along with much more on eligibility and application details. Interested employees should submit this Google Form to  register for the information session (FCPS Google log-in required).

JMU will also review transcripts before the information session for any interested candidates. Candidates are encouraged to submit this Google form if you would like to request a transcript review (FCPS Google log-in required).

Summer Professional Development Opportunities Registration Open for Summer Academy Courses

FCPS is committed to continuous, sustained professional development through the summer Academy Course Program. Courses include a variety of virtual offerings based on teacher feedback and FCPS priorities, such as: 

  • Supporting Students' Social Emotional Needs.
  • Addressing Unfinished Learning.
  • Literacy (K-2).
  • Adopting Culturally Responsive Instructional Practices.
  • English Learner Instruction.
  • Engaging Families and Communities.
  • Developing Students' Portrait of a Graduate (POG) Skills.
  • Leadership/Career Development. 

All courses are designed to enhance teacher knowledge and skills. 

To promote equitable access and to minimize potential summer program conflicts, most of the Academy courses will be offered from late June until early August and will start at 3:30 p.m. or later. 

Details including course syllabus, outcomes, and assignments are available in MyPDE

Visit the Academy Hub page for more information or email [email protected] for questions.

 

Register for the 2022 Summer Equity Symposium

 

The 2022 Summer Equity Symposium, Equity Reimagined: Pursuing Transformative Change, will take place on Tuesday, July 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Lewis High School. 

The event will promote growth, reflection, and continuous improvement as we seek a culture of inclusivity, equity, diversity, and belonging. This professional learning experience will include speakers and deeper learning sessions to increase participants' awareness and understanding of equitable and culturally responsive practices.

Registration is open in MyPDE through July 1.

 

Sideburn Center Holding Blood Drive on June 2

 

Sideburn Support Center is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, June 2 from 6 to 10 a.m. Please consider donating as there is a nationwide shortage of blood.    

For all who donate or attempt to donate, there will be breakfast provided.    

There will also be a 50/50 raffle, which will be drawn on Thursday, June 2, after the blood drive. 

To donate please follow the links below to schedule your appointment:  

For more information, contact Jackie Roseman at [email protected]

 

Congratulations to the April FCPS CARES of the Month Winners

 

The following employees were recognized as April FCPS CARES of the Month winners. Read about why these employees are being honored and recognize a colleague who goes above and beyond.

  • Central Office: Candace Davis, Lorton Center, Department of Facilities and Transportation. “Upon arriving at school, it was noticed that a student with a device to support hearing did not have it on. Thankfully the device was found on the bus after a thorough search and Ms. Davis made sure to communicate this and get it to the family. This was a stressful situation that Ms. Davis handled calmly, proactively, and effectively.” 
  • Region 1: Jay O’Rourke, Langley High School. “Mr. O’Rourke has changed the math for my daughter. His amazing sense of humor and open and inviting demeanor draws her in each day. We hear story after story of how he uses math jokes, puns, or even Tik Tok trends to engage his students with the incredibly challenging curriculum he presents.”  
  • Region 2: Ariel Miller, Justice High School. “Ariel Miller has gone out of her way throughout the months of February and March, coming to school on Saturdays, so students can work through their chemical internal assessments (IA). Due to her work, the first students at Justice High School got a 7 on their chemical IA, so it's clear she brings value to the school and passion to her work."
  • Region 3: Stephanie Seadeek, Fort Hunt Elementary School. “Stephanie Seadeek is an incredible force for awesomeness at Fort Hunt Elementary School. There is NOTHING at our school that hasn’t benefited from her personal touch: community outreach and engagement, summer reading program, after-school enrichment programs, reading buddies, staff social committee, PTA fundraisers, Care and Share, and on and on and on.”
  • Region 4: Jenna McCabe, Lake Braddock Secondary School. “Jenna is truly the most genuine and caring teacher I have witnessed when interacting with students. She is tough on them because she has high expectations and goals for them, but is also incredibly understanding and able to make true connections with them.” 
  • Region 5: Kevin Deans, Katherine Johnson Middle School. “We’ve had 3 kids attend FCPS and have never experienced a teacher as dedicated to student success as Mr. Kevin Deans. We were first introduced to him over the summer of 2021 when he personally called me to push for my daughter to enter his higher-level math class. … I am thrilled to say that she has not only excelled in his classroom but has become a much more positive person.”
Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on May 30 for Memorial Day Holiday

 

As a reminder, all schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, for the Memorial Day holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, May 31. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.

 

Reminder: School Board Meeting on May 26 at 7 p.m.

 

The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda. The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website. Agenda highlights include:

  • Adoption of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Approved Budget. 
  • Approval of Policy 4750 - Deferred Compensation Retirement Savings Program.

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on any School Board action items the morning after the School Board meeting.

Find your School Board member and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.

 

Staff Staples

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

Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

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Employee News - 5/18/22

Employee News 2 months 3 weeks ago

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Silverbrook Elementary School Principal Pamela Simpkins honors some of her favorite retirees at the FCPS retirement ceremony. From left to right, Alice Adalian (administrative assistant), Jeanne Taylor (reading specialist), Pamela Simpkins, and Kristi Wilkerson (second grade general education teacher). 

Thank you Retirees!

More than 150 FCPS retirees with more than 3,500 years of service celebrated with family, colleagues, and friends at the annual Retirement Ceremony on May 11 at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The night’s program, photos, and video are available online.  

Thank you all for your years of dedication and service to our students and community!


On Tuesday, May 17, incoming superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed.D. was joined by families, employees, and community members for a multilingual virtual town hall. Dr. Reid answered questions submitted by audience members on many topics including equity, student success, student and employee social/emotional health, and more.

Watch the highlights of the May 17 virtual town hall in this short video. The complete town hall meeting video is also available online.

Missed this event? Dr. Reid will be hosting additional engagement sessions throughout the county after her official start date on July 1. Stay informed about community engagement opportunities by visiting our website

Do Your Part: Stay Home When Sick


FCPS has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases recently as the county has transitioned to the medium community level. Schools continue to apply layered prevention strategies to maintain a healthy work and learning environment. However, each of us has a responsibility to do our part to help keep ourselves, our students, and our colleagues safe. As we enter the final weeks of the school year, we must stay vigilant so we can all enjoy the events and milestones ahead and be ready for a relaxing and healthy summer.

Easy ways to “Do Your Part” include: staying up to date on vaccinations and boosters, considering when and where to choose to mask up, practicing good hygiene, and monitoring symptoms daily. 

It is increasingly important to stay home if you feel unwell and testing is a critical strategy to slow transmission. Visit the Fairfax County Health Department website for information about COVID testing and testing sites. At-home testing is also a good option. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order a third round of free at-home COVID tests; visit COVID.gov for details. 

Employees who are enrolled in the FCPS Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program can purchase at-home COVID tests through the Optum Store using FSA funds.

Mental Health Acceptance Month and Day of Action


May is Mental Health Acceptance Month. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on the mental health of children in Virginia as young people continue to face physical isolation, ongoing uncertainty, fear, and grief,” says the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (VA-AAP). “Even before the pandemic, mental health challenges facing children were of great concern, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated them.” 

Between March and October 2020, the percentage of emergency department visits for children with mental health emergencies rose by 24% for children ages 5-11 and 31% for children ages 12-17. There was also a more than 50% increase in suspected suicide attempt emergency department visits among girls ages 12-17 in early 2021 as compared to the same period in 2019. Read more in this news release from the VA-AAP. 

Mental wellness is key to student success and the pandemic has added to mental health challenges facing children of all ages. We are joining the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and pediatricians across the Commonwealth in calling attention to this issue by participating in “Wear Green Day of Action” for mental health on Friday, May 20. Join us in “Wear Green Day of Action” this Friday to call attention to this important issue. For resources to support the students in your life, visit our website.

Employee Assistance Program Webinar–Understanding Depression


Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Guidance Resources, will host a timely webinar for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month.


Understanding Depression

Many people still believe that the emotional symptoms caused by depression are “not real,” and that a person should be able to shake off the symptoms. Because of these inaccurate beliefs, people with depression either may not recognize that they have a treatable disorder, or may be discouraged from seeking or staying on treatment due to feelings of shame and stigma. As a result, many people with a depressive illness never seek help. But the vast majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better. This workshop will identify the symptoms associated with depression, possible causes, and treatments.

Please click the date and time for the session you would like to register for.

Additional EAP webinar recordings on a variety of topics, from mindfulness and resiliency to communication and healthy eating, can be accessed on the Hub EAP page.

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

What’s on the Employee News Blog?


Catch up on employee news anytime, anywhere on the Employee News blog. The Employee News weekly email newsletter will include a recap of what's on the blog so you won’t miss anything you need to know.

In case you missed it, the Employee News blog for the week of May 9 included:

  • Virtual Cybersecurity Fundamentals Training to Be Held on July 15.
  • Help Keep Schools Healthy for All.
  • FCPS Online Classifieds Free for Employees.

Thirty Students Named National Merit Scholarship Winners


Thirty students from six Fairfax County high schools have been named winners of $2,500 scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Scholarship winners are part of a group of approximately 2,500 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships in 2022 primarily financed by the NMSC. 

See who received National Merit scholarships

FCPS Earns 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence Award


Fairfax County Public Schools has received the 2022 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy.  

Each year, the ENERGY STAR program honors businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy achievements. ENERGY STAR award winners lead their industries in the production, sale, and adoption of energy-efficient products, homes, buildings, services, and strategies. These efforts are essential to fighting the climate crisis and protecting public health.

More information is available online.

Interested in Becoming a Special Education Teacher?
Virtual Information Meeting to Be Held on May 25 

FCPS is excited to announce a new tuition sharing benefit as a part of a Grow Your Own (GYO) initiative to recruit, hire, and retain special education teachers. The GYO program includes 50-50 tuition sharing through a partnership with James Madison University (JMU). This program is designed for those wishing to achieve a bachelor’s degree and is targeted to paraprofessional candidates with either an associate’s degree or with 60+ college credits, and leads to dual licensure in Accessing the General Curriculum and Accessing the Adapted Curriculum.

JMU representatives will hold a virtual meeting on May 25  from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. to share program information along with much more on eligibility and application details. Interested employees should submit this Google Form to register for the information session (FCPS Google log-in required).

JMU will also review transcripts before the information session for any interested candidates. Candidates are encouraged to submit this Google form if you would like to request a transcript review (FCPS Google log-in required).

Summer 2022 Academy Course Catalog Now Available

FCPS is committed to continuous, sustained professional development through the summer Academy Course Program. Courses include a variety of virtual offerings based on teacher feedback and FCPS priorities, such as: 

  • Supporting Students' Social Emotional Needs.
  • Addressing Unfinished Learning.
  • Literacy (K-2).
  • Adopting Culturally Responsive Instructional Practices.
  • English Learner Instruction.
  • Engaging Families and Communities.
  • Developing Students' Portrait of a Graduate (POG) Skills.
  • Leadership/Career Development. 

All courses are designed to enhance teacher knowledge and skills. 

To promote equitable access and to minimize potential summer program conflicts, most of the Academy courses will be offered from late June until early August and will start at 3:30 p.m. or later. 

Details including course syllabus, outcomes, and assignments are available today in MyPDE. Registration opens at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24.

Visit the Academy Hub page for more information or email [email protected] for questions.

Celebrating Efforts to Make Websites Accessible


Thursday, May 19, marks the 11th Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which has us thinking about digital access and inclusion. Our families and students rely on our websites to engage with the division and learning. These are essential tools for a public school system.

Equity is at the core of our mission and ensuring everyone can access the information they need is a critical component. Our students, staff, families, and community are diverse in many ways. We can provide a website experience that meets their needs. 

Individuals with visual impairments, such as blindness, low vision, or difficulty seeing colors can be assisted by screen readers. Someone with arthritis, cerebral palsy, or other motor impairments uses the keyboard to navigate rather than a trackpad or mouse. Someone with little to no hearing can be helped with captions on videos. There are even ways to make a website more accessible and safe for a person with cognitive disabilities.

Providing an accessible website experience for all users strengthens our caring culture and reaffirms our commitment to equity. Within the last few months we have:

  • Conducted routine accessibility checks of our web pages.
  • Added accessibility checks for web pages and web-based applications as part of standard workflows.
  • Updated requirements for FCPS’ online web accessibility training.

Ensuring an equitable and accessible online experience for everyone requires a daily commitment. As we honor Global Accessibility Awareness Day this week, we would like to say thank you to everyone who works with our websites for their dedication to maintaining high standards for website accessibility.

If you would like to know how to make sure your online materials are accessible, please take the time to go through the accessibility training in MyPDE

Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on May 30 for Memorial Day Holiday


As a reminder, all schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, for the Memorial Day holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, May 31. See the complete 2021-22 school year 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 [email protected] with questions. 

Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

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Employee News - 5/10/22

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Jenna Grazzini Pietrandrea, a music therapy teacher at Woodlawn Elementary School, shows students the finer points of playing the ukulele. 

Join Dr. Reid for a Multilingual Virtual Town Hall on May 17


On Tuesday, May 17, Incoming superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed.D. will join staff, families, and students for a multilingual virtual town hall, from 7 to 8 p.m. Register online.

Dr. Reid will be hosting additional engagement sessions throughout the county after her official start date on July 1. Stay informed about community engagement opportunities by visiting our website

Dr. Reid spoke candidly to a group gathered in the auditorium at Annandale High School on May 3, answering questions for 90 minutes on topics including pandemic learning loss, supporting diversity, and career pathways. Six student representatives from across FCPS shared the stage with Dr. Reid, asking their own questions on matters such as school lunch, supporting the arts, and helping immigrant families feel safe. 

May 3 Town Hall Highlights


If you missed the May 3 town hall meeting with Dr. Reid, you can watch the highlights in this short video

Help Keep Schools Healthy for All


FCPS has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks as our county has transitioned to the medium community level. 

Our layered prevention strategies have served us well throughout this school year, and are fully supported by the U.S. Department of Education and Northern Virginia Health Departments. However, there are many things each of us can choose to do to help keep ourselves, our students, and our colleagues safe and healthy. 

Get Vaccinated or Boosted

Vaccination is the best protection we have against severe illness. Everyone is encouraged to stay up to date with vaccinations and boosters. If you need more information about COVID-19 vaccinations or where to get the dose you need, visit the Fairfax County Health Department website.

Consider a Mask

Mask use is optional for everyone in FCPS schools. However, health experts agree that wearing a mask is an excellent practice for avoiding COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. If you are immunocompromised or at high risk of severe illness, or live or have social contact with someone in this situation, speak with your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask or take additional precautions.

Stay Home When Sick and Get Tested

This time of year sniffles and fatigue may be allergies, or they may be COVID-19. That is why it is always best practice to stay home if you are sick or having symptoms and get tested as soon as possible. Staying home when you are sick or having symptoms is the best thing you can do to help stop the spread of any virus, especially COVID-19.

What’s on the Employee News Blog?


Catch up on employee news anytime, anywhere on the Employee News Blog. The Employee News weekly email newsletter will include a recap of what's on the blog so you won’t miss anything you need to know.

In case you missed it, the Employee News Blog for the week of May 2 included:

  • George Mason University Holding Education Leadership Program Information Sessions.
  • Fairfax County Employee Retirement System Election Petitions Due by May 18.
Educate Fairfax Inducts Inaugural Class to FCPS Hall of Fame


On Wednesday, May 4, Educate Fairfax (formerly the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools) inducted the inaugural class of eight members of the FCPS Hall of Fame, established to honor distinguished alumni of Fairfax County Public Schools.

The inductees for the FCPS Hall of Fame’s 2022 class include:

  • Elizabeth Moore Aubin (Langley High School), U.S. ambassador to Algeria.
  • Christian Burbach (Langley High School), decorated military veteran and business leader.
  • David Guernsey (Falls Church High School), business owner and non-profit leader.
  • Shea Megale (Westfield High School), an author, film director, and advocate.
  • Paul Misener (Annandale High School), business leader, engineer, and inventor.
  • Jeffrey Platenberg (West Springfield High School), assistant superintendent, FCPS Department of Facilities and Transportation.
  • Lynn Symansky (James Madison High School), an international equestrian, trainer, and Olympian.
  • Les Williams, Jr. (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology), an entrepreneur, engineer, and nonprofit leader.

Educate Fairfax is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works to make a positive difference in the lives of FCPS students and teachers. For more information, visit the Educate Fairfax website

Excellence Award Nominations Close Monday, May 16


The Excellence Awards, celebrated each fall, honor both teams and individuals exceeding expectations in supporting FCPS strategic initiatives. Award categories include Growth, Impact on Others, Innovation and Student Achievement. Winners receive a cash award for their achievement.   

If you know an FCPS employee or team that should be recognized for their efforts over the past year, visit the Excellence Awards Hub page, and submit a nomination by Monday, May 16.

Summer 2022 Academy Course Catalog Available on May 17

FCPS is committed to continuous, sustained professional development through the summer Academy Course Program. Courses include a variety of virtual offerings based on teacher feedback and FCPS priorities, such as: Supporting Students' Social Emotional Needs, Addressing Unfinished Learning, Literacy (K-2), Adopting Culturally Responsive Instructional Practices, English Learner Instruction, Engaging Families and Communities, Developing Students' POG Skills, and Leadership/Career Development. All courses are designed to enhance teacher knowledge and skills. 

To promote equitable access and to minimize potential summer program conflicts, most of the Academy courses will be offered from late June until early August and will start at 3:30 p.m. or later. 

Details including course syllabus, outcomes, and assignments will be listed in the Academy S catalog, which will be available on May 17 in MyPDE. Registration opens at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. 

Visit the Academy Hub page for more information or email [email protected] for questions.

Savings for Staff Program Provides Discounts to FCPS Employees—Now Available as an App


Savings for Staff is a way for merchants to reach new customers with discounts to FCPS employees through our partner, PerkSpot. Discounts are available from local and national vendors for travel, entertainment, dining, technology, apparel, health and wellness, flowers and gifts, cell phones, and more. The site is easy for FCPS employees to access, and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. 

New App Makes Saving Easier

The Savings for Staff discount program just became easier for FCPS employees to shop and save on the go with the launch of a new mobile app powered by PerkSpot. The app is downloadable on the Apple or Google Play stores.

Instructional Resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


In May, people all over the United States celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Students deserve meaningful, sustained opportunities to learn about the diverse perspectives, experiences, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders year-round, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is one opportunity to honor these important stories.

FCPS Social Studies, in collaboration with a group of educators and students, developed an internal site for instructional resources: Planning for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Teachers and school leaders will find ideas for classroom learning experiences across content areas and grade levels.

For more information, contact Deborah March at [email protected] or 571-423-4638.

Instructional Resources for Jewish American Heritage Month


In May, people all over the United States celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. Students deserve meaningful, sustained opportunities to learn about the diverse perspectives, experiences, and contributions of Jewish Americans year-round, and Jewish Heritage Month is one opportunity to honor these important stories.

FCPS Social Studies, in collaboration with a group of students and educators, developed an internal site for instructional resources: Planning for Jewish American Heritage Month. Teachers and school leaders will find ideas for classroom learning experiences across content areas and grade levels.

For more information, contact Deborah March at [email protected]du or 571-423-4638.

Correction: Sherry Wilson Will Start with FCPS on June 1

Last week, Employee News incorrectly stated that incoming assistant superintendent of Human Resources Sherry Wilson would begin with FCPS on July 1. She will begin on June 1. Learn more about Sherry Wilson.

FY 2023 Budget Update


The School Board is collaborating with the Fairfax County Government to adjust the Fiscal Year 2023 budget to ensure opportunities for affordable housing that will benefit teachers, school staff, and county employees. Learn more about this latest update in the budget process by watching the recording of the May 10 school board work session on the FCPS YouTube channel.

Reminder: School Board Meeting on May 12 


The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda. The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website. Agenda highlights include:

  • Approval of the Tax Deferred savings program regulation.
  • Introduction of recommended changes from the Public Engagement Committee to the Strategic Governance Manual regarding community participation. 
  • Awarding of contracts.

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on any School Board votes the morning after the School Board meeting.

Find your School Board member and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.

Staff Staples

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

Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

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Employee News - 5/4/22

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Dogwood Elementary School hosted Dr. Bernadine Futrell, the director of the Office of Head Start in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on Friday, April 29. Dr. Futrell visited with students along with teacher Katrina Garrett and Douglas Tyson, assistant superintendent for Region 1.


May 2-6 is Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. We are so thankful for all the hard work our teachers and staff members do every day to make our schools a great place to learn and work! 

Some of our students took the time to share video messages of appreciation to teachers. Join us in celebrating FCPS' amazing, creative, and caring educators who inspire our students each day.

Video: Damien Ettere, Armstrong Elementary School Math Teacher: “Math Is All Around Us”


As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we could share countless stories of FCPS teachers who are dedicated to student success. This week, we’re excited to tell you about Damien Ettere, a math teacher at Armstrong Elementary School, who is one of three finalists from Virginia for the Presidential Math and Science Teaching Awards. 

The award, regarded as the nation's top honor for math and science teachers, recognizes educators who develop and implement high-quality instructional programs that improve student learning in mathematics and science.

Watch this video to see how Ettere builds community and context in his classroom.

Meet the Incoming Superintendent: Dr. Michelle Reid Answers Staff, Student, and Community Questions at Live Event


Students, families, and staff gathered for an opportunity to get to know Dr. Michelle Reid, incoming superintendent, on Tuesday, May, 4 at Annandale High School. Dr. Reid answered audience questions on a variety of topics including equity, technology, learning loss, social/emotional health, and students with disabilities. Earlier that day, Dr. Reid met with roughly 200 FCPS students during a forum held at Thoreau Middle School.

These were the first of many opportunities for the FCPS community and Dr. Reid to engage with each other over the coming weeks. Watch a recording of Tuesday’s community event to hear what Dr. Reid had to say.

Save the Date: Dr. Reid Virtual Town Hall on May 17


On Tuesday, May 17, Dr. Reid will join staff, families, and students for a multilingual virtual town hall, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Dr. Reid will be hosting additional engagement sessions throughout the county after her official start date on July 1.

What’s on the Employee News Blog?


Catch up on employee news anytime, anywhere on the Employee News Blog. The Employee News weekly email newsletter will include a recap of what's on the blog so you won’t miss anything you need to know.

In case you missed it, the Employee News Blog for the week of April 25 included:

  • Draft 2022-23 Employee Calendar Now Available.
  • Lead by Example—Be a Champion of Recognition!

Virtual Community Forum on Proposed Updates to SR&R Regulation

The Department of Special Services will be hosting a virtual meeting for FCPS families, employees, and community members regarding proposed updates to the Student Rights and Responsibilities Regulation (SR&R, R2601). Please join us via the Zoom platform virtually on Thursday, May 5, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Register now.

Language interpretation will be available in Spanish. American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting will be available by an ASL/Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Team. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about suggested updates to the SR&R and ask questions via Zoom Chat. An online feedback form will be posted to the FCPS website later this week. We look forward to your participation—your voice matters!

More information on the virtual forum is available online.

School Board Approves FCPS Trust Policy

On Thursday, April 28, the Fairfax County School Board approved the Trust Policy. The policy confirms the School Board’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming space for all students and their families by aligning Fairfax County Public Schools with Fairfax County’s Public Trust and Confidentiality Policy. This will ensure that FCPS students and families can access FCPS benefits and services without fear that information will be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to federal immigration officials. 

The Trust Policy directs the superintendent to conduct all necessary preparations so that it is fully in effect for the start of the 2022-23 school year, and as much as possible for the 2022 summer school session. See the complete policy.

Video: School Board Welcomes Sherry Wilson to FCPS


Sherry Wilson, incoming assistant superintendent of Human Resources, was introduced to the FCPS community at the School Board meeting on April 28. Wilson is currently the director of Human Resources in Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools and will begin working with FCPS on July 1. 

In her remarks to the School Board, Wilson stated, “I love the fact that FCPS embraces creative thinking, a culture of caring, equity, inclusion, innovation and a diverse workforce. Each of these factors combine to create and support the premier workforce for which Fairfax County Public Schools is known. Having worked alongside members of the Human Resources team at recruiting events, I have seen the zeal and commitment to recruiting the best and brightest to join the FCPS workforce and I am thrilled to now join such dedicated staff.” Watch her complete remarks.

You’ve Got Mail: How One FCPS Elementary School is Reviving Letter Writing to Help Improve Literacy Rates

 

When reading specialist Jill Norris joined the staff of Stratford Landing Elementary School last August, she brought with her a love of letter writing developed from her childhood days exchanging mail with her grandmother. So when she sat down to consider ways to engage students in reading and writing, she drew inspiration from those memories.

She now has a mailbox outside her office for children to drop off hand-written letters each day, sharing everything from what they did over the weekend to their struggles with school. Learn how the letter writing activity has increased literacy rates at Stratford Landing

Monitor COVID-19 Symptoms and Stay Home When Sick


Fairfax County Public Schools continues to monitor cases and report COVID-19 outbreaks, as outlined by the Virginia Department of Health. Currently,  Fairfax County's Community Level remains low as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our layered prevention strategies are being implemented based on our COVID-19 Community Level, as recommended by the CDC.

However, FCPS has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks and parents/legal guardians are reminded of the daily health screening requirement to check their students for mild, cold-like symptoms each day, such as fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath. Parents and guardians are advised to keep their students home if sick and get them tested to stop further spread from occurring. 


VaxUp

We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated or boosted as soon as they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccination keeps children safely in school and childcare settings, and also while participating in sports, playdates, extracurricular activities, and other group activities. Strong community vaccination rates help keep our schools safe for in-person learning. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine or find a vaccine provider, visit the Fairfax County Health Department website.


Masking

As a reminder, students may return to school after five days of isolation if they are fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and symptoms are improving. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) individuals should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of the 5-day isolation period. If individuals are unable to wear a mask when around others, they should continue to isolate for a full 10 days at home. 

While not required, wearing a mask while indoors is still considered an important way to protect yourself and others. Families are encouraged to discuss mask wearing as an additional layered prevention strategy.

Additional recommendations to prevent COVID-19 are available online.

Ducchi Quan Named ERFC Trustee


Notice 4771 states that voting for the election of a trustee for the Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) is waived when there is only one candidate.

Ducchi Quan, mathematics teacher for Annandale High School, was the unopposed candidate and will serve as an ERFC trustee for three years beginning July 1, 2022. 

As a reminder, only full-time, monthly-paid instructional, administrative, and educational support employees are automatically enrolled in ERFC. Learn more about ERFC.

Fairfax County Employee Retirement System Election Petitions Due by May 18 

More than 6,000 FCPS employees receive their retirement benefits from the Fairfax County Employee Retirement System (FCERS). This includes transportation, food service, trades and maintenance, custodial, and part-time teaching staff. An electronic special election of one (FCERS) trustee will be held May 24-26. FCPS employees who are FCERS members are eligible to be nominated and to vote for the vacant trustee position. The term for the newly elected FCPS trustee is July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

The FCERS petition outlines the election process and requires:

  • Electronic nomination petitions.
  • A candidate statement of contribution.  

Electronic petitions and candidate statements must be received by the Office of Equity and Employee Relations, via email to [email protected] by May 18. If you have questions, please contact Sherri Burris at 571-423-3252 or [email protected]

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 [email protected] with questions. 

Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!  

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Employee News - 4/26/22

Employee News 3 months 2 weeks ago

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Kaitlin Wilson-Vogel, a learning disabilities teacher at Fairfax Villa Elementary School, celebrates with her students during a small group language arts lesson.

Save The Date: Meet the Incoming Superintendent


Dr. Reid, our incoming superintendent, is visiting FCPS next week to learn more about our schools and community. During her visit, there will be a special, in-person event for staff, families, and students on Tuesday, May 3, starting at 7 p.m. More details, including how to register and submit questions, will be shared with you directly via email in the coming days. 

On Tuesday, May 17, Dr. Reid will join staff, families, and students for a multilingual virtual town hall, starting at 7 p.m. We will share details about this event in next week’s Employee News and directly via email.

Learn more about Dr. Reid.

Draft 2022-23 Employee Calendar Now Available


The 2022-23 draft employee calendar is now available on the FCPS website.  

This calendar reflects the same work schedule lengths included in prior year employee calendars. The FY 2023 Advertised Budget includes work schedule adjustments for additional workdays of professional development for less-than-12-month employees. 

The final FY 2023 Approved Budget will be adopted by the School Board on May 26, 2022. Details of the final adjustments included in the Approved Budget may result in changes to this draft calendar. 

Changes could include earlier start dates and/or different scheduled workdays for less-than-12-month personnel work schedules and may also affect the dates of the Great Beginnings Summer Institute.

2023 Eid al Fitr Date Determination

When religious observances, such as Eid, begin at sunset, FCPS designates that evening and the following day as religious and cultural observance time. 

When the school year calendar for 2022-23 was developed, Eid was projected to begin on the evening of Friday, April 21, 2023, alleviating the need for a student holiday (the first full day would be on a Saturday). After the calendar was approved by the School Board, the Adams Center adjusted Eid to begin at sunset on Thursday, April 20, 2023. This requires Friday, April 21, 2023, to be a student holiday under our new calendar structure

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and the start of each month coincides with the birth of a new moon. These dates are regionally decided, which can lead to unexpected date changes.  


2022-23 School Calendar
 

In an effort to avoid drastically changing student and employee calendars, Friday, April 21, 2023, will be designated a student holiday. This will reduce the student calendar from 180 days to 179 days. April 21, 2023, will be a professional work day for all less than 12-month employees (including bus drivers, food service workers, school-based office support staff, and instructional assistants) and a regular work day for 12-month employees. Regulation 2234 will be in effect for professional development guidelines; Regulation 4817 will be in effect for employees requesting religious leave. 

The School Board has already committed to recognizing Eid as a student holiday so this administerial calendar change will not require a vote. 

A 179-day student calendar with five scheduled early release days, 15-minute required recess at the middle school, and no changes to the elementary bell schedule provides up to 12 built-in snow days for the year; therefore, this change will still meet VDOE requirements based on instructional hours instead of days. 


Future Eid Observances

If the date of Eid changes before the school year begins, the school year calendar will be revised as follows:

  • A student holiday will be observed
  • Less-than-12-month employees will report for a professional work day
  • 12-month employees will report for a regular work day

If the day for Eid changes after the school year begins, Eid will be designed as a Religious and Cultural Observance Day (“O” day) for students and all staff.

What’s on the Employee News Blog?


Catch up on employee news anytime, anywhere on the Employee News Blog. The Employee News weekly email newsletter will include a recap of what's on the blog so you won’t miss anything you need to know.

In case you missed it, the Employee News Blog for the week of April 18 included:

  • Check out the April Issue of the Audit Buzz
  • Updates to FCPS Health Plan ID Cards.
  • FCPS Online Classifieds Free for Employees.

Lead by Example—Be a Champion of Recognition! 


Throughout the division, teams and individuals are achieving outstanding results that impact others through innovative and collaborative initiatives that support FCPS’ values and goals. Chances are you know a team or colleague that deserves to be recognized and rewarded this year. We encourage you to visit the Excellence Awards webpage and submit a nomination by Monday, May 16.

Participating in the nomination process is a great way to support FCPS’ caring culture and celebrate our premier workforce.

Celebrating FCPS’ Commitment to Environmental Stewardship


Fairfax County Public Schools commitment to environmental stewardship has earned praise from national leaders. Superintendent Scott Brabrand was invited to attend a special event with Vice President Kamala Harris on April 4 to highlight investments in clean and efficient school infrastructure and transportation. In addition to Dr. Brabrand attending Vice President Harris’ event, EPA Administrator Michael Regan visited Flint Hill Elementary to discuss the investment in clean school buses nationwide. 

Both events are a reflection of FCPS’ commitment to providing carbon-neutral student transportation by 2035. FCPS officially launched its first fleet of electric school buses in October 2021. The fleet is one of the largest in the U.S., transporting more than 141,000 students on more than 1,600 buses each day. 

Learn more about FCPS’ commitment to environmental stewardship.

Message of Hope: Freedom Hill Elementary School Principal Travels to Europe with Students’ Handwritten Cards for Refugees


Freedom Hill Elementary School Principal Nicholas Zapdka traveled to Germany for spring break to volunteer with the Red Cross assisting Ukrainian refugees. His school community was eager to help as well with students making cards written in Ukrainian, staff members making contributions, and one teacher’s mother knitting hats.

Beyond Books: South County High Library Serves as Hub for Community Outreach


Students at South County High School use the library as more than a place to check out books. They also use it as a meeting spot to knit winter hats for the homeless, make pet blankets for animal shelters, and turn to librarians as sponsors of the Elder Outreach Club, a group formed during the pandemic to send letters to senior citizens to combat loneliness.

Celebrating the Month of the Military Child


Elvis, a seventh-grader at Longfellow Middle School, shares his family’s story and perspective about being a military-connected student. His father serves in the U.S. Navy and is currently deployed.

During Month of the Military Child, we are celebrating our more than 14,000 military-connected students and honoring the important role they play in our school community. All month, we’ve shared the stories of some of our military-connected students and their families. Watch the full series on our website.

Congratulations to the March FCPS CARES of the Month Winners


The following employees were recognized as March FCPS CARES of the Month winners. Read about why these employees are being honored and recognize a colleague who goes above and beyond.

  • Central Office: Carrie Sarsour, Department of Human Resources. “It is difficult to pinpoint one specific experience that stands out with Carrie because every time we have asked for help from her, we have received excellent customer service and above/beyond attention to detail. Carrie has placed temporary subs to help us out when our regular shift was depleted.”
  • Region 1: Elizabeth Schires, Carson Middle School. “The formation of the Helping Minds Club, which has become a very popular after-school program, would not have been possible without the incredible support and assistance of Ms. Schires. When I first discussed the idea, Ms. Schires was very open to my idea and suggestions, and she has been amazingly hands-on in helping me contact feeder elementary schools as well as helping me set up a strong foundation so that we can expand our club.” 
  • Region 2: Courtney Wolfson, McLean High School. “Courtney Wolfson is an unquestionable asset to the McLean Category B Special Education program. She is always responsive to requests for assistance in creating positive behavior programs for the students. She always bases intervention strategies on the strengths of the students and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience of applied behavior analysis. She doesn't just give suggestions to staff, she rolls up her sleeves and demonstrates how the interactions/interventions should be implemented.” 
  • Region 3: Peter Beczkiewicz, Hayfield Secondary School. “During a busy middle school tech ed. class, Mr. B. was walking around assisting students when he noticed one student get weak in the legs and start slumping over. The student lost consciousness while he was standing up at a machine. Mr. B. quickly sprang into action, caught the student, carefully brought him to the floor, all at the same time keeping his 29 other students calm. He was able to direct a student to get help.”
  • Region 4: Amy Heiman, Nia Manoleras, Elizabeth Smith and Jaclyn Otchy, Centreville Elementary School. “It has only been 7 months since we immigrated to America and my child didn't know anything about school. He lost confidence in adapting to the United States, but he is growing and learning so fast because (these teachers) helped him in so many ways. My child has gained enough confidence to even raise his hand in class now and he has many close friends he can have fun with.”  
  • Region 5: Young Sun Huh, Woodson High School. “The Woodson Library would like to recognize the outstanding effort and support our custodian Young Sun Huh has brought to our Library service learning, HATS FOR SOME.org. Though teachers and staff will knit or crochet a hat from time to time, Ms. Young Sun Huh has crochet a hat and donated it to our program on a daily basis. To put it in numbers Ms. Young Sun Hu has made around 80 hats.”

Reminder: School Board Meeting on April 28 at 7 p.m.


The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda. The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website. Agenda highlights include:

  • Introduction of Dr. Sherry Wilson, assistant superintendent of Human Resources.
  • Approval of the Trust Policy.
  • Approval of 2022-23 Local Special Education Annual Plan and Report.
  • Approval of Elementary School Language Arts Basal Instructional Materials. 

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on any School Board votes the morning after the School Board meeting.

Find your School Board member and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.

Staff Staples

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

Please email [email protected] with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!
 

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