Employee News: Deadline Extended for Calendar Feedback, Have Your Say on Our Future, Upcoming EAP Webinars

Employee News 3 days 18 hours ago

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Winners of the inaugural Award for Communication Excellence were recognized at the recent School Communicators Conference. Winners, who represent excellence in web, social media, and school newsletter communications, include (from left) Cynthia Gavin, Lake Braddock Secondary School; Helly Ahmadyar and Beth Curtis, Key Center; Alanna Dushok, Westlawn Elementary School; Kaylin Daniels, Shrevewood Elementary School; and Brooke Nyland, Woodlawn Elementary School. 

“You Can Really Make a Difference”


Many FCPS employees participate in MentorWorks by connecting with students for at least 30 minutes a week in schools near where they work. Have you considered the impact you could make by mentoring? Read a few reflections on the Employee News Blog for inspiration! 

Trust Policy Required Training in MyPDE


FCPS is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for all students and their families. To help meet that goal, all employees are required to complete Trust Policy Training in MyPDE

The Trust Policy confirms the School Board’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming space for all students and their families. 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 the fear that information will be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to federal immigration officials. Please email the Office of Professional Learning and Equity with questions.

W-2 Forms Have Been Mailed

W-2 tax forms for calendar year 2022 have been mailed to your address on record as of December 30, 2022. If your address has changed, please update it in UConnect now. Any W-2 returned to FCPS will be mailed to the new address. Get more information about receiving and reviewing your W-2.

What Do You Find Fulfilling? 


Melinda Ward is a strings teacher at Rolling Valley Elementary School. She initially worked as a private music teacher. Melinda says, “When the first of my students auditioned for and made it into their area's District Orchestra, I realized I felt more fulfilled by their excitement over their achievement and decided to pursue a teacher licensure program and career switch.”

What makes you fulfilled as an employee with FCPS? Tell us about it on the Employee News Blog. Considering a career switch? Learn more about becoming a teacher for FCPS.

Have Your Say on Our Future!


Remaining Strategic Planning Community Forums will take place:

Click one of the dates above to register for a forum, or check out the full schedule of Community Forums and register for one that's convenient for you. Childcare will be provided at in-person forums. Language interpretation will be provided, as available, at all events. Please register today.

Share Your Thoughts with Us!

What keeps you optimistic about FCPS? What are your concerns? Answer these and two other questions on our Strategic Plan Feedback Form, and help shape our school division’s future. 

Thank You for Your Feedback on the Draft Calendars


Thank you to the approximately 23,000 staff, families, students, and community members who completed the Calendar Feedback Form to let us know which aspects of the four draft calendars—blue, green, orange, and purple—worked or did not work for them. The School Board received the feedback in real time at today's work session, and included it as part of their discussion on the calendar for the 2023-24 school year. The School Board is scheduled to vote on a calendar on Thursday, February 9. 

View a summary of the feedback collected on the four draft calendars. (Select the file "SY Calendar 2023-24 1-31-23.pdf.")

It's Not Too Late–Share Your Feedback Today!

FCPS has extended the deadline for community feedback on the draft calendar options to Monday, February 6. If you haven't already participated, please share your thoughts by filling out this form.

Updates on Equitable Access to Literacy


At last week’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid highlighted the Equitable Access to Literacy plan and major milestones that have been made since 2021. Watch the presentation

Office of the Ombuds: At Your Service!


Do you have questions or concerns about Fairfax County Public Schools? If so, reach out to the Office of the Ombuds, an independent, impartial, informal, and confidential resource for employees, parents/caregivers, students, and the community. Ombuds staff members are eager to listen and assist with navigating the school division. They will also offer options and/or resources to help resolve challenges.

Contact the Office of the Ombuds at 571-423-4014, [email protected], or via the “Submit a Question” button on their webpage. The team looks forward to serving you! 

Family and School Partnerships Training for Educators

Are you looking to improve interactions with families and learn how to encourage families to be more involved? Registration is now open for the following Academy classes offered by Family and School Partnerships:

  • Engaging Families for Student Success: Develop a greater understanding of what family engagement is and how it can be incorporated into an existing classroom or school culture. 
    February 21, 28; March 7, 14, and 21; 4:45-6:45 p.m.
  • Culturally Responsive Family Engagement: Learn about culturally responsive family engagement and how it can be incorporated into an existing classroom or school culture.
    February 21, 28; March 7, 14,  and 21; 4:45-6:45 p.m.
  • Supporting Military-Connected Youth: Learn strategies to better meet the unique needs of military-connected youth. These are synchronous meetings with additional asynchronous work.
    February 23 and March 30, 5-7 p.m. 

Click the links above to register on MyPDE.

Learn more about these and other opportunities on the Employee News Blog.

Upcoming Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Webinars

The Office of Benefit Services’ upcoming webinars are scheduled with employees in mind. Join the live sessions to engage with the speaker or, if you can’t make it, access the recording after the session ends. Session attendees will be entered in a raffle for wellness prizes!

Register by clicking the topics below:

Find session descriptions in the 2023 EAP webinar training catalog. Access additional EAP webinar recordings on the EAP page on the Employee Hub.

In-Person EAP Workshop Requests

If you would like to schedule an in-person EAP workshop at your work location, please contact Helen Canepa at [email protected] Workshops are 45-60 minutes long with audience participation. Please place requests at least 30 days in advance to secure Guidance Resources’ most qualified facilitators. 

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

Find Free COVID-19 Testing in Your Community

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a COVID-19 Testing Locator website, which allows consumers to search for free testing sites near them. Testing is available at pharmacies, commercial laboratory sites, community sites, and retail locations. Results are typically provided within 24-48 hours. 

Calendar Reminder: Black History Month


Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. 

Planning for Black History Month is available for teachers across content areas as part of the FCPS Multiple Perspectives Hub. Teachers and school leaders will find ideas for classroom learning experiences across grade levels as well as content areas. Resources curated specifically for social studies curriculum are also available on a new Black History 180 document.

National Heart Health Month

February is National Heart Health Month. Help raise awareness for heart disease by wearing red on Friday, February 3, at your school or office. Please send pictures of your team wearing red to [email protected]. The school or office with the highest participation will be entered into a raffle prize drawing! 

Last Chance to Register for the Ola Virtual Challenge

From the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to the towering cliffs along Molakai’s rugged north coast, you’ll soak up stunning scenes as you exercise your way around America’s 50th state.

Start logging activity on Monday, January 30. The last day to register is Friday, February 3. This friendly competition will end Sunday, March 12. FCPS' Employee Wellness Program and the Office of Benefit Services are sponsoring the Ola Virtual Challenge. Please email questions to  [email protected].

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: Provide Feedback on Draft School Year Calendars, W-2 Update, and Text-to-Speech on FCPS Website

Employee News 1 week 3 days ago

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Catherine Fahey plays traditional games with students during Powell Elementary School’s Lunar New Year celebration.
View more photos.

Provide Feedback on the Draft 2023-24 School Year Calendar Options


Your feedback is important! FCPS is seeking community feedback on draft calendar options for the 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26 school years. Please share your thoughts with us by filling out this form. The form is in English, however, additional languages will be available soon.

School Board Meeting Thursday, January 26

The draft calendars will be presented as "new business" during the Thursday, January 26, School Board meeting. Learn more about the development of the calendar.

How to Watch School Board Meetings

Meetings can be viewed live on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website. Recordings of School Board meetings and work sessions can be viewed on the FCPS YouTube channel. To watch meetings dubbed in Spanish, you may visit the FCPS en Español YouTube channel.

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

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

FY 2024 Proposed Budget Update


The School Board hosted a public hearing on the FY 2024 Proposed Budget yesterday and discussed the budget during a work session today. View the work session presentation in Boarddocs. Learn about FCPS' budget development process.

Mentoring Mentors: Teachers Help Students Help Each Other


Sisters Emma and Ella (pictured above, center) wanted to inspire other students with their love of music and art. With help from a team of teachers, the sisters formed a mentoring program for students at Dogwood Elementary School.

Read more about the teachers who mentored Emma and Ella on the Employee News Blog and tell us who inspired you!

Text-to-Speech Available on FCPS Websites


FCPS is introducing an innovative way to address the diverse needs of the community. A new text-to-speech feature, available on the FCPS website and each school website, will read the words aloud from webpages.  

The feature will help those with accessibility needs, such as visual impairments, dyslexia, or other difficulty reading large amounts of online text. The text-to-speech feature is available in English, Spanish, and Korean. Learn more and try out the new feature.

Leave of Absence Application Due March 1

Employees who intend to request or extend a Leave of Absence (LOA) for the upcoming 2023-24 school year must indicate their intentions by Wednesday, March 1. Please note that if you are expecting a baby or planning to adopt a child, the March 1 due date does not apply to you. 

An LOA is an approved, unpaid, extended absence from work, which exceeds 30 calendar days. Find more information about leaves of absence and the application process. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Disability and Leaves Team at [email protected] or call 571-423-3200 and select Option 2. 

It’s Almost Tax Time

W-2 tax forms for calendar year 2022 will be mailed by Tuesday, January 31, to your address on record as of Thursday, December 30, 2022.

If your address is not current in UConnect, please update it now. Any W-2 returned to FCPS will be sent to the new address. Learn more about receiving and reviewing your W-2.

Note: Details about the new electronic W-2 retrieval process are coming soon.

Strategic Plan: Register to Attend a Community Forum!


Strategic planning Community Forums kick off on Monday, January 30, at 6:30 p.m., at Stone Middle School. Check out the schedule of Community Forums and register for one that is most convenient for you. There will be one in-person event in each magisterial district and several virtual events. 

Participating in a Community Forum will give employees, parents/caregivers, students, and community members a chance to help shape the school division’s future. At each event, participants will review student achievement, access, and perception data, and identify both strengths and challenges within the data. 

Input from the forums will be analyzed by our consultant, Performance Fact, Inc., and shared with the Core Planning Team for potential inclusion in FCPS’ new Strategic Plan. 

Childcare will be provided at in-person forums. Language interpretation will be provided, as available, at all events. Register to attend. Learn more about FCPS’ strategic planning process.

FCPS Named Executive Member of Certification Nation by EPA


To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of ENERGY STAR, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offered special, one-time recognition to any organization that earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification for five or more buildings in 2022. FCPS earned ENERGY STAR certification for 61 buildings, making it an Executive Member of Certification Nation. 

Since 2014, FCPS, partnering with the ENERGY STAR program, has saved 3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, more than $70 million in energy costs, and achieved more than 230,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.  

Want to learn how to save energy in your workplace or home? Check out these easy tips to Bring Your Green to Work and Live Green at Home. Learn more about FCPS ENERGY STAR and the FCPS Energy Management Program. Follow the FCPS Energy Education Team on Twitter: @FCPSEETEAM.

Administration and Supervision M.Ed. Cohort with UVA

Recruitment for the University of Virginia’s Administration and Supervision summer program is underway. The program is open to educators who desire to join the ranks of the next generation of educational leaders in Virginia. This synchronous online program uses evidence-based leadership practices and improvement science to assist leaders as they guide teaching and learning, manage the complex needs of students and parents, and help orchestrate school reform. To learn more, register for the virtual information session for FCPS employees on Tuesday, February 7, at 4:30 p.m. or email [email protected] The deadline to apply for summer admission is Thursday, March 30.

Great Beginnings Coach Pool

The Office of Professional Learning and Equity is excited to announce the opening of the Great Beginnings Coach Pool in early March. Great Beginnings coaches lead the professional development cohorts for teachers who are new to Fairfax County Public Schools. 

Visit the Great Beginnings website or view their coaching flyer for more in-depth information about commitments, the application process, and professional development opportunities to prepare to apply for the pool. Additional details about the application process will be shared in early March. Please email [email protected] if you have questions. 

Find more information on this opportunity (and others) on the Employee News Blog.

Employee Wellness: Virtual Challenge and Online Classes

Aloha FCPS! Ride the wave to better health with the Ola Wellness Virtual Challenge. Ola means "life." What better way to reach the crest of a more fit, healthier life than a virtual tour of Hawaii’s most awe-inspiring tourist attractions! Registration for the challenge is open through Friday, February 3. The challenge runs Monday, January 30, to Sunday, March 12.

Ola has both individual and team competitions, an interactive message board, helpful wellness resources, and prizes to be won. The first 100 employees to register will receive a prize! Get the details on the Employee Wellness webpage.

Calendar Reminder: Quarter End

As a reminder, Wednesday, January 25, is the last day of the quarter and a two-hour early release for students. Also, schools are closed for students on Thursday, January 26, for a staff development day (food services and 181-day personnel do not report) and Friday, January 27, for a teacher workday (food services, transportation, and 181-day personnel do not report). See the Employee Calendar.

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: FY 2024 Proposed Budget Highlights, Academic Matters, Draft School Year Calendars

Employee News 2 weeks 3 days ago

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Glen Forest Elementary School's Administrative Team gathered recently for a “squad” photo. Pictured (from left) are Assistant Principal Elizabeth Manning, Principal Dee Dee Herndon-Wilson, Assistant Principal Coretta Brown, and Assistant Principal Jessica Green.

FY 2023-24 Proposed Budget Highlights


At last Thursday's School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid proposed a budget for FY 2024 that focuses on attracting and retaining teachers and staff at a time when public education needs them most. The Proposed Budget also supports initiatives aimed at closing the achievement gap for all students, which widened during the pandemic, and gives our youngest learners a strong start, including investments for special education students impacted during the pandemic.


Proposed Increases in Employee Compensation

The FY 2024 Proposed Budget aims to continue to make FCPS one of the most attractive places to work in the area through a series of financial incentives for staff that keep pace with a recent rise in the cost of living. The budget includes:

  • $80.9 million to provide a market scale adjustment of 3.0% for all employees. 
  • $58.2 million to provide a step increase for all eligible employees.
  • $19.9 million to provide a 1.0% retention bonus for all current employees who remain employed with FCPS into FY 2024.
  • $4.3 million to provide a step extension for all scales.

Special Education Teacher Extended Day contracts currently funded in FY 2023 with ESSER III funds will continue to be funded with ESSER III in FY 2024.

The FY 2024 Proposed Budget totals $3.5 billion—a net increase of $249.6 million or 7.6% over the FY 2023 Approved Budget. The superintendent is requesting an additional $159.6 million, or a 7.0% increase, from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. 

Watch Dr. Reid’s presentation to the Board. Access the presentation slides on Boarddocs.

Our Heroes: Katie Kirdahi, Tutu Queen


Katie Kirdahi, a school-based technology specialist and instructional technology coach at Stratford Landing Elementary School, is beloved by students and staff alike. Katie is known for brightening up the school with her warm smile, caring demeanor, and "Tutu Tuesday'' fashion sense. Watch this FCPS Our Heroes video to see how Katie impacts those around her.

Visit the Employee News Blog to share with us: Who is a hero in your school community? What unique qualities do they share with students and colleagues?

Virginia School Principal Appreciation Week


Thank you to our school principals for all of their hard work every day of the year!


Calendar Reminder: Quarter End

As a reminder, Wednesday, January 25, is the last day of the quarter and a two-hour early release day for students. Also, schools are closed for students on Thursday, January 26, for a staff development day (food services and 181-day personnel do not report) and Friday, January 27, for a teacher workday (food services, transportation, and 181-day personnel do not report).

See the Employee Calendar.

Strategic Planning Updates 
Register Now for a Community Forum!

Check out the schedule of Community Forums and register for the one that is most convenient for you. Community Forums will provide every resident an opportunity to participate in and influence the direction of FCPS’ Strategic Plan, prior to its completion and formal adoption by the School Board. Learn more about our strategic planning process.


Community Forum Table Facilitators Still Needed

As mentioned in last week’s Employee News, we are looking for staff to volunteer as table facilitators for the Community Forums. Table facilitators will receive training to prepare them to lead a diverse group of stakeholders in framing their input toward the development of FCPS’ new Strategic Plan. 

Training will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, January 24, at 4 p.m., and Wednesday, January 25, at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Volunteers should only attend one training session. Table facilitators will support virtual breakout and in-person small group discussions.

If you are interested, please complete the Google form for your preferred event(s) no later than Friday, January 20, at 4 p.m. You will receive a link to the training after submitting the form.


Make Student Voices Count

The strategic planning process incorporates feedback from many different stakeholder groups including students. We hope school staff will encourage their students to participate in this unique opportunity to share their voices.

FCPS is currently seeking secondary students in grades 7-12 who are interested in participating in a Strategic Plan focus group. This focus group will provide an opportunity to share feedback in a small group with other FCPS students and a trained facilitator. There will be four virtual focus groups for secondary students in February and March:

  • February 9, 3:30-5 p.m. or  5:30-7 p.m.
  • March 16, 3:30-5 p.m. or 5:30-7 p.m.

Interested students should check their email for a form to sign up for the focus groups. Students will be asked to provide their student ID, so their parents can be identified and contacted to ask for consent to participate.

If you have any questions about the student focus groups, please contact [email protected].

School Board Reviews Draft School Year Calendar Options


At today’s work session, the School Board discussed draft calendars that were created for the 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26 school years. Draft calendars were developed using the following criteria as a framework:

  • Federal, state, and Virginia Department of Education guidance.
  • Superintendent’s priorities.
  • School Board input.
  • Student absentee data.
  • Staff absentee data.
  • Surrounding jurisdictions’ calendars.
  • Survey results.
  • Calendar Feedback Committee input.

You may view the draft calendars and other related documents in Boarddocs. The calendars will be presented as new business during the School Board meeting on Thursday, January 26. The Board is scheduled to vote on the calendars during their meeting on Thursday, February 9. 

Watch a recording of today’s Work Session. Get information on FCPS' calendar development process.

Teacher Leaders: Apply for the Great Beginnings Coach Pool

It's Mentoring Month, and the Office of Professional Learning and Equity is excited to announce that the Great Beginnings Coach Pool will open in early March! Great Beginnings coaches lead the professional development cohorts for teachers who are new to Fairfax County. Coaches receive professional development, a stipend, and recertification points. Teacher leaders with the following qualifications are encouraged to consider applying:

  • A minimum of five years of highly successful teaching, with at least three years within FCPS.
  • Highly effective communication and human relations skills.
  • A desire to support novice and experienced new-to-FCPS teachers.
  • A passion for collaboration and teamwork.
  • A commitment to cultural responsiveness and equitable outcomes for all students.

Visit the Great Beginnings website or view their coaching flyer for more in-depth information about commitments, the application process, and professional development opportunities to prepare to apply for the pool. Additional details about the application process will be shared in early March. Please email [email protected] if you have questions.


Upcoming Teacher Learning Opportunities
  • The spring Academy Course Program offers more than 35 courses designed to enhance teacher knowledge and skills to impact student outcomes. Details including course syllabus, outcomes, and assignments will be listed in the Academy course catalog in MyPDE. Registration is open!
  • The Virtual Supporting New Teachers Series continues in 2023 for any instructional staff wanting to learn more about effectively supporting teachers who are new to their buildings.
  • Teacher leaders interested in applying for the instructional coaching candidate pool for the 2023-24 school year are invited to attend one of two virtual information nights.
  • The University of Virginia’s Administration & Supervision summer program is a synchronous online program that assists leaders as they guide teaching and learning, manage the complex needs of students and parents, and help orchestrate school reform. 

Find more information on these opportunities, and others, on the Employee News Blog.

Lewis High School Coach Named Washington Commanders Coach of the Year


Congratulations to Coach Larry Choates at Lewis High School, who was named by the Washington Commanders as the team’s nominee for the 2022 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award! The league-wide award honors high school football coaches who display the integrity, achievement, and leadership qualities exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL History, Don Shula. Read more on the Employee News Blog.

Academic Matters: Virginia Growth Assessment Updates


During the Academic Matters section of the School Board meeting last Thursday, Dr. Reid shared updates on the Virginia Growth Assessments (VGA). Legislation passed in 2021 in Virginia requires schools to perform content standards testing in the fall and winter. Dr. Reid reflected that there are opportunities for improvement in the timeliness of the information being shared with schools between the two assessment windows. 

Families will receive fall and winter math and reading results together in the next eight weeks. FCPS’ fall results indicate that the school division is outperforming other Virginia districts in every area and in every grade level.

Employee Wellness: Virtual Challenge and Online Classes

Aloha FCPS! Ride the wave to better health with the Ola Wellness Virtual Challenge

"Ola" means "life." And what better way to reach the crest of a more fit, healthier life than a virtual tour of Hawaii’s most awe-inspiring tourist attractions. Registration for the challenge will be open Monday, January 23, through Friday, February 3

The challenge runs Monday, January 30, to Sunday, March 12.

Ola has individual and team competitions, an interactive message board, and helpful wellness resources. There are also prizes to be won. For example, the first 100 to register will receive a prize. Get all of the details on the Employee Wellness webpage on the Employee Hub.


Wellbeats in Your Classroom

Move, play, and have fun with Wellbeats virtual fitness classes for kids of all ages.

Wellbeats offers expert-led fitness activities, mindful breaks, and movements centered around creativity, learning, and exploration. Choose from one-minute meditation classes that allow you to relax, breathe, and enjoy being still, or take a 20-minute simple hip-hop dance class.


Start a Meeting with Wellbeats

Wellbeats is your on-demand fitness and well-being benefit to inspire you to stay healthy and feel better than ever. It has more than 1,000 mindfulness, fitness, and nutrition classes ranging from one to 60 minutes. Wellbeats is available to all benefit-eligible employees. 

Set the tone in your next meeting by adding a Wellbeats office break to the agenda! This two-minute energy-boosting "Break Time” video is the perfect way to start a meeting. 

Are you looking for something different? The Breaks Channel has an entire library of exercises that can be done in eight minutes or less, focusing on boosting energy, relieving stress, and improving focus. 

Wellbeats members can access virtual fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes wherever they feel comfortable. New, eligible members who subscribe to Wellbeats will be entered into a raffle.

Download the Wellbeats app or go to portal.wellbeats.com to get started. Forgot your login information? Here's how to access your account:

  • Visit portal.wellbeats.com.
  • Click “Login” and enter your FCPS email address.
  • Click “Forgot My Password.”

Wellbeats will email you a code to reset your password. Please email [email protected] for any account issues.

New “Report Phish” Button in Outlook

Email “phishing” is an easy entry point for cybersecurity threats, and you can help prevent them. You may have already used the “Phish Alert Report” button in Outlook to report these emails. That button was updated to the “Report Phish” button (pictured on the right). See the new “How to Report a Phish” training if you need a refresher.

FCPS will periodically send out training videos and simulated phishing emails designed to teach you the techniques cybercriminals use. If you click on a link or attachment in a simulated phishing email from FCPS, you will be presented with a micro-training about how to identify phishing emails. Additional awareness training will be offered to users that click on such links multiple times.

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: 2023-24 Proposed Budget, Benefit Reminders, Tuition Reimbursement

Employee News 3 weeks 3 days ago

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Brookfield Elementary School Teacher Catherine Sayen helps a student with a math problem.

Superintendent to Announce FY 2023-24 Proposed Budget

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid will present the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Proposed Budget at the School Board meeting on Thursday, January 12, at 7 p.m. Dr. Reid’s presentation, as well as other budget documents, will be available after she presents to the School Board. Highlights will be shared with employees next week. 

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.

Recordings of School Board meetings and work sessions can be viewed on the FCPS YouTube channel. To watch School Board meetings dubbed in Spanish, you can visit the FCPS en Español YouTube channel.

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the Board clerk. Find your School Board member and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.

Woodson Graduates Return to Begin Teaching Career


Seth Spero (left) was working in the private sector for a year after college but wanted a more fulfilling career. Alex Clark (second from left) knew from a young age he wanted to work in education. Will Cogan (second from right) had never thought about becoming a teacher. Jackson Miller (right) planned on pursuing a career in marketing.

For these four teachers at Woodson High School, the route to becoming a teacher looks very different. But they now share a common bond: teaching together at the school from which they graduated. Read about their journey to teaching

What brought you to FCPS? Tell us about your journey and the individuals who inspired you on the Employee News blog.

Volunteers Needed for Strategic Planning Community Forums


FCPS will host nine in-person and three virtual Community Forums, where community members will be able to help shape the school division's future. Performance Fact, Inc. will facilitate the events. Volunteers are needed to serve as table facilitators to support virtual breakout and in-person small group discussions. All FCPS staff members are welcome to volunteer. 

Table facilitators will receive advance training to prepare them to lead a diverse group of stakeholders in framing their input toward the development of FCPS’ new Strategic Plan. 

Table facilitator training will be held on Tuesday, January 24, at 4 p.m., and Wednesday, January 25, at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Volunteers should only attend one of the training sessions, which will be held on Zoom. 

If you are interested in being a table facilitator, please complete the Google form for your preferred event(s) no later than Friday, January 20, at 4 p.m. You will receive a link to the training after submitting the form.

Thank you in advance for your support. Visit our website to learn more about FCPS’ Strategic Planning process.

COVID-19 Compensatory Education Plan Informational Meetings 

Fairfax County Public Schools is committed to implementing a plan for COVID-19 compensatory education as part of its obligation to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. Please join us at an informational meeting for parents/guardians and other stakeholders:

Visit our website to see what language interpretation services will be available at each meeting and to learn more about the COVID-19 Compensatory Education Plan.

Benefits Reminders for the New Year

Please take a few minutes to review these important reminders about benefits:

  • Benefit elections for 2023 are now effective. Please check your pay advice to ensure your 2023 benefit deductions (health, dental, FSA, and life insurance) are correct.
  • The Cigna Open Access plan is now in effect. Employees enrolled in the Cigna plan received new ID cards via U.S. mail in late December. Plan participants should provide their new ID cards to all treating providers to ensure their claims are billed correctly.
  • Plan year limits reset on January 1. Deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket limits are based on a calendar year. These amounts have been reset for 2023.
  • VRS Hybrid members employed on or before August 1, 2022, who are contributing less than the maximum of 4% will see an increase in their Hybrid 457 contributions with their January pay, unless they opted out of the “auto escalation” increase.  

Questions? Please contact the Office of Benefit Services by email at [email protected] or by phone at 571-423-3200 (choose Option 3, then Option 2).

Only at FCPS: Two PensionsVRS and ERFC

Are you dreaming of what retirement will look like? If you’re a full-time educational, administrative, or support employee, you have TWO pensions—Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and ERFC.

ERFC is a supplemental pension to your primary VRS pension. Stay with FCPS for five years (or more!), and you’ll become a vested ERFC member. Being vested means that after retiring, you can collect an ERFC pension for life. Your hire date determines which plan you’re in. Log in to your ERFCDirect account to verify your plan.

When you are eligible for retirement, turn in your HR-2 to [email protected] at least six months before your last day, so you can receive assistance with the necessary paperwork. Watch How to Fill Out Your HR-2 Form for a quick tutorial.

What about VRS? Log in to your myVRS account today for additional resources. For more information, contact ERFC at 703-426-3900 or [email protected].

Upcoming Teacher Leader Learning Opportunities


The contributions of teacher leaders have impacted cycles of continuous improvement across FCPS. If you are interested in growing your capacity as a teacher leader, the educational specialists in Professional Growth and Career Development invite you to consider registering for an upcoming teacher leadership opportunity. Click on the links below to learn more: 

  • PLC After-School Specials: Monthly, virtual two-hour sessions with skills and strategies leaders can employ when working with novice teachers in Professional Learning Communities (PLC).
  • Teacher Leadership Cohorts: Current and aspiring teacher leaders who are interested in building their skills in leading others are invited to enroll in either Emerging Teacher Leadership or Developing Teacher Leadership Academy Courses. Registration opens on Tuesday, January 17, at 5 p.m.

The spring Academy Course Program offers over 35 offerings that address the following topics:

  • Supporting Students' Diverse Needs
  • Engaging Families and Communities
  • Adopting Culturally Responsive Instructional Practices
  • Developing Students' Portrait of a Graduate (POG) Skills
  • Implementing Effective Instructional Practices
  • Pursuing Career Development and/or FCPS Endorsement

All courses are designed to enhance teacher knowledge and skills. Details including course syllabus, outcomes, and assignments will be listed in the Academy course catalog in MyPDE. Registration begins on Tuesday, January 17, at 5 p.m. Visit the Employee Hub to learn how to register or email [email protected] for questions.

Other professional development opportunities are also currently available including: 

  • Virtual Supporting New Teachers Series  
  • Virtual Instructional Coaching Program Information Nights
  • Administration and Supervision M.Ed. Cohort with UVA.

Learn more on the Employee News Blog.

Tuition Reimbursement Window Is Open

The portal to apply for reimbursement of Fall 2022 courses is open through Tuesday, January 31. Interested and eligible contracted employees may apply for up to $700 in reimbursement for one course that ended between September 1 and December 31, 2022. Detailed information is available on the Tuition Reimbursement page on the Employee Hub. 

Tuition reimbursement is available on a first-come, first-served basis using the current priority list. Apply through the Tuition Reimbursement Portal (VPN Required). Remember to have your Tuition Paid Receipt and Grade Report handy to complete the request. Please email [email protected] for more information.

Employee Wellness


Get ready for some more friendly competition! The virtual OLA Wellness Challenge is the most fun you can have (short of visiting the islands) while improving fitness and overall health to feel your best. OLA has both individual and team competitions, an interactive message board, helpful wellness resources, and prizes to be won! Get the details on the Employee Wellness webpage.

Kaiser will sponsor a webinar on Wednesday, January 11, at noon, for Wellbeing Wednesday: Ready, Set, Goal. In this webinar, you can learn how to strengthen motivation to create habits that stick. 

Calendar Reminder: Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday


Schools and offices will be closed on Monday, January 16, for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. 


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service Opportunities

FCPS students continue to find incredible ways to serve their community while building Portrait of a Graduate skills such as becoming an ethical and global citizen. FCPS is excited to collaborate again with Volunteer Fairfax for the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service, Saturday, January 14, to Monday, January 16. This service opportunity helps empower individuals and strengthens communities while honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Volunteer Fairfax will host several ways for the community to get involved including volunteer activities for students and adults of all ages. To learn more about the MLK Jr. Weekend of Service and specific service activities, visit Volunteer Fairfax’s website.


Calendar Reminder: Quarter End

Wednesday, January 25, is the last day of the quarter and a two-hour early release for students. Also, schools will be closed for students on Thursday, January 26, for a staff development day (food services and 181-day personnel do not report) and Friday, January 27, for a teacher workday (food services, transportation, and 181-day personnel do not report). See the 2022-23 School Year Calendar or the Employee Calendar.


Calendar Update: Eid Al-Fitr

Eid Al-Fitr has historically been one of the days with the highest impact from absences. This year, Friday, April 21, will be a holiday for both students and employees (except 12-month employees). View the updated 2022-23 Employee Calendar

To make up this day, the work schedules for less-than-12-month employees have been adjusted. Be sure to review the “last workday” list in June to see when your work schedule for the year will officially end. Additionally, Tuesday, June 20, and Wednesday, June 21, have been designated as “optional work from alternate location” days for teacher-scale personnel.

Regulation 4817 - Religious Accommodation for Employees remains in effect and provides options for employees scheduled to work to use leave or make up time taken off to celebrate a religious or cultural observance.

The 2023-24 School Year Calendar is under development. Visit the Calendar Development webpage for information on the process.

See Something, Say Something: Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline

FCPS provides a way for employees and the general public to report any suspected wrongdoing related to FCPS’ assets and resources. Reporting will help ensure taxpayers’ money is spent in the proper way–on our students’ education. It can also help improve employees’ work environment. Reports can be made in person, by phone, by email, or online. All reports are taken seriously, and every effort will be made to investigate the reports according to the applicable laws, codes, policies, or regulations. Employees can assist investigations by providing as much information as possible. Please visit the Office of Auditor General webpage to learn more. 

How to Access VPN Remotely

Some FCPS applications (UConnect, the Online Travel portal, RequestLine, etc.) require employees to be connected through a secure server before connecting. To access the VPN (Virtual Private Network) on an FCPS laptop, simply click the Secure Pulse VPN icon (shown on the right). From other devices, you can connect to the VPN using Pulse Secure VPN. Email [email protected] with questions.

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: Tuition Reimbursement, COVID Testing, New Health Plan ID Cards

Employee News 1 month ago

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Irving Middle School leaders are ready for the new year! Pictured (from left to right) are Carl Klein, Marguerite Gollinger, Cindy Conley, and Emily Cincinnati.

New Year, New Blog!


Have you visited the Employee News Blog lately? Please do and let us know what you think! Are you enjoying learning more about your colleagues? Celebrating each other’s accomplishments? Having a place to share feedback? What do you like most? Leave a comment on the blog.

Building/Renovation Plan Focuses on High Quality Facilities

FCPS outlined plans to build three new elementary schools and to acquire land that will be used for a new high school during the School Board meeting on December 15. 

Other projects include three new and/or repurposed school facilities, the renovation of 25 schools, and the relocation of modular buildings. Timelines for capital projects will be posted on Capital Improvement Program (CIP) webpages, where individuals can follow the progress of each approved project. 

The proposed CIP will be discussed at the January 10 School Board work session. A public hearing is scheduled for January 12. The School Board is scheduled to take action on February 9. Read more in the CIP news release.


School Improvements Supported by County Bonds

Capital projects reflect a $205 million investment approved by Fairfax County voters in the November 2021 bond referendum. 

Funding allocations to FCPS from bond sales have increased in recent years due to positive collaboration and partnerships of the Joint CIP Committee of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the School Board. FCPS appreciates the continued support from Fairfax County leadership.

Voters will have the opportunity to approve additional bond funding for school projects included in the CIP in November 2023, which will support the division’s ability to continue to work through construction and renovation needs.

Forestdale Instructional Assistant: Love Personified


Colleagues and students describe Melissa Richardson, instructional assistant at Forestdale Elementary School in Springfield, as "love personified." Her selfless devotion to Forestdale students over the last 14 years has left an indelible impact on their hearts. Watch Melissa in action in our FCPS Hero video series.

Visit the Employee News Blog to tell us about your FCPS Hero.

New Health Plan ID Cards on the Way

Employees participating in FCPS health or dental plans should keep an eye out for their new identification (ID) cards. Any employee and eligible dependent(s) who changed health or dental coverage, including those who will be enrolled in the Cigna plan, should have received their new ID cards in the mail. 

Please be sure to provide your new ID cards to your treating providers, so they are aware of your insurance change. If you have any questions, please email the Office of Benefit Services at [email protected] or call 571-423-3200, Option 3.

Academic Matters: COVID Relief Spending

At the December 15 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid presented on how ESSER III funds are being used to support students and address learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, approximately $102.8 million of ESSER III funding has been allocated for student academic and wellness support. In the summer of 2021, FCPS served 34,000 students with robust, tuition-free summer programming. In 2022, we served 32,000 students. 

The rate of FCPS academic recovery is outpacing Virginia as a whole. Reading performance is almost back to pre-pandemic levels after just one year. Math performance is progressing toward the pre-pandemic baseline. Watch the full presentation on YouTube. 

ESSER III plans for each individual school can be found on each school’s website. For more information on FCPS ESSER III funding allocations, visit the ESSER III webpage.

COVID Diagnostic Testing in January


COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS employees and students at five locations across the county January 3-5 from 5 to 8 p.m. This testing is for those who are either experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID. Appointments are not required, but registration must be completed before testing. Visit the COVID Testing webpage for more information.


Remember to Update Your COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form

All FCPS employees are required to complete the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form. It is your responsibility to update the form as your status changes.

This form helps monitor the health and safety needs across the division, and assists principals and program managers with approving administrative leave for eligible employees for COVID-19 quarantine/isolation. For more information, visit the Employee COVID-19 Resources page on the Employee Hub.


Health Department Has Updated Vaccines for Children

The Fairfax County Health Department has updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines available now for children as young as 6 months. This follows recommendations from the CDC and authorization from the FDA. Fairfax County District Offices will be open for vaccine appointments for children aged 6 months to 5 years by calling the Health Department's Call Center at 703-324-7404. Visit their website for more information on vaccines for children.

Professional Development: Supporting New Teachers Series 

The Virtual Supporting New Teachers Series continues in 2023 for any instructional staff wanting to learn more about effectively supporting teachers who are new to their buildings. View the New Teacher Series flyer for session descriptions and links to register in MyPDE. Please email questions to [email protected].


Virtual Instructional Coaching Program Information Nights

Teacher leaders interested in applying for the instructional coaching candidate pool for the 2023-24 school year are invited to attend one of two virtual information nights. During these events, teachers will learn more about the roles of an instructional coach, the FCPS instructional coaching model, and the qualifications and application process.  

Registration is open in My PDE for sessions on January 31 from 4:45 to 6:45 p.m. and February 9 from 4:45 to 6:45 p.m. For more information, contact Michelle Lis at [email protected].


Administration and Supervision M.Ed. Cohort with UVA

The University of Virginia’s Administration & Supervision summer program is a synchronous online program that assists leaders as they guide teaching and learning, manage the complex needs of students and parents, and help orchestrate school reform. This program is designed for committed, talented educators who have strong academic credentials, demonstrated leadership potential, interest in reflection and inquiry, and a desire to improve educational programs for students. To learn more, register for the virtual information session for FCPS employees on Wednesday, January 18, at 4:30 p.m. The deadline to apply for summer admission is Wednesday, March 15.

Find more information on these opportunities (and others) on the Employee News Blog.

Tuition Reimbursement Window Is Open


The portal to apply for reimbursement of Fall 2022 courses is open through Tuesday, January 31. Interested and eligible contracted employees may apply for up to $700 in reimbursement for one course that ended between September 1 and December 31, 2022. Detailed information is available on the Tuition Reimbursement page on the Employee Hub. 

Tuition reimbursement is available on a first-come, first-served basis using the current priority list. Apply through the Tuition Reimbursement Portal (VPN Required). Remember to have your Tuition Paid Receipt and Grade Report handy to complete the request. Please email [email protected] for more information.

January Is Mentor Month: Become a Mentor


Research has shown that young people with at least one trusted mentor are less likely to skip school, less likely to use illegal drugs or drink alcohol, and more prepared to enter college or the workforce. Yet, one in three children lacks a mentor. All it takes is one person to serve as a trusted adult to help change a young person’s path in life. Mentoring is not tutoring. Mentors provide attention, support, and enrichment, and help connect their mentees to resources that may help them on their journey in life. 

Learn more about how to become a mentor for an FCPS student. The mission of the MentorWorks program is to eliminate gaps in opportunity, access, and achievement through mentoring and to ensure that every FCPS student can name an adult they can talk to. Mentors are matched with students in schools near where they live or work. They meet for at least 30 minutes a week. For more information on how to mentor students in FCPS or to learn more about mentoring partnerships with FCPS, please contact Martha Macdonald, mentoring specialist, [email protected].  

Who have you looked to as a mentor while working for FCPS? What kinds of support and encouragement have they provided? Email us at [email protected], and you may be featured in a blog this month!

Calendar Reminder: Three Kings Day/Epiphany (“O”Day)


Three Kings Day (Friday, January 6), also known as the Epiphany, is a Christian celebration that commemorates the Biblical story of the three kings who followed the star of Bethlehem to bring gifts to the Christ child. This marks the official 12th day of Christmas. Learn more at National Geographic Kids

FCPS has designated Three Kings Day/Epiphany as a religious and cultural observance day (O day). There is school on these days, however, the School Board has directed that specific events that cannot be made up will not be held on these observance days.

See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

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Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: Speed Cameras, COVID Testing, New on the Blog, and More.

Employee News 1 month 3 weeks ago

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Kathleen Bunch, a gifted education teacher at Colvin Run Elementary, works
with students on literacy and language arts.

Decades of Making a Difference


Dominic Prakash and David Plum, auto technology teachers at Lake Braddock Secondary School, aren’t just colleagues. Their friendship goes back nearly 40 years to when they met in an auto class at South Lakes High School. Now they teach, inspire, and mentor a new generation of students. Watch this FCPS Heroes video to see how David and Dominic are impacting students. Read more on our website

Visit the Employee News Blog to share with us: Who is a hero in your school community? What unique qualities do they share with students and colleagues?

Make Sure You Receive Your W-2

W-2s for 2022 will be mailed to your address on record as of December 30. Make sure your W-2 is sent to the correct address by checking your address in UConnect. If your address is not up to date, please update it now. W-2s will be mailed by January 31, 2023.

Speed Cameras Target School Zone Safety


On December 6, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to launch a pilot program that will have 10 speed monitoring devices (speed cameras) installed throughout the county. These cameras will be in nine school zones and one construction zone. 

Studies show that speed camera enforcement is effective in improving safety by reducing speeding, accidents, and injuries. Thanks to our county partners for helping to improve the safety of our students and staff. Read more about the school zone speed camera pilot program.

New on the Blog This Week


We’re loving the feedback we’re receiving on stories in the Employee News Blog! Visit the blog this week to share your favorite traditions when it comes to winter holidays and more! Be sure to revisit the blogs below to see feedback from your colleagues:

Also, visit the Winter Professional Development page for updated offerings.

Strategic Planning Community Forums Scheduled


Beginning January 30, FCPS will host a series of community forums as part of our Strategic Plan development process. The completed schedule and locations for the sessions are posted on FCPS' Strategic Planning webpage.

Tuition Reimbursement Opens January 1

The portal to apply for reimbursement of Fall 2022 courses will be open January 1-January 31, 2023. Interested and eligible contracted employees may apply for up to $700 in reimbursement for one course that ended between September 1 and December 31, 2022. Please review the priority list for the annual maximum allowed in each priority group. Select “How are requests prioritized?” on the FAQ page. Detailed information is available on the Tuition Reimbursement page in the Employee Hub. 

Tuition reimbursement is available on a first-come, first-served basis using the current priority list. Apply through the Tuition Reimbursement Portal (VPN Required). Remember to have your Tuition Paid Receipt and Grade Report handy to complete the request. Please email [email protected] for more information.

Tutor.com Testimonials


Are you curious about the experience our families have had with Tutor.com? FCPS parents have provided some feedback:

  • “As a parent, I logged in for the first time to see what my student could expect here. The tutor I chatted with was very helpful with my questions and gave me some great tips to try with my child. Next time, I will log in with my child and hopefully match with a tutor that will help him realize learning can be done in different ways.” —Elementary School Parent
  • “My child used tutor.com last night and said her math tutor was EXCELLENT. She was happy and so now I'm happy, too, as she's been grinding it out solo in the hardest math.” —High School Parent

Unless they have been opted out, students can access Tutor.com through Schoology. Every session is personalized to meet students’ needs from remedial to advanced levels. Sessions focus on conceptual learning and critical thinking—not quick answers. 

Learn more on FCPS’ Tutor.com webpage.

10K a Day Wellness Challenge Winners

Thanks to everyone who participated in the 10K a Day wellness challenge and motivated teams at your site. You did a great job inspiring others through pictures and messages on the Walking Wall.

Congratulations to the elementary, middle, and high schools with the highest active participation (logging every day) based on the total headcount for their school! They received a $500 Amazon gift card for the use of approved wellness programs and activities.

The winning schools are: Clermont Elementary School, South County Middle School, and Bryant High School

We look forward to joining you for Employee Wellness’ next virtual challenge and hope you maintain healthy habits during the holidays.

Please visit the Employee Wellness Programs page on the Employee Hub for more information.


Employee Wellness Virtual Fitness Classes

The Employee Wellness team invites you to get into the holiday spirit while staying fit. Join us for fun virtual fitness classes ranging from Yoga, Stretch, Zumba, and Cardio. Virtual classes are appropriate for all fitness levels, and no equipment is needed. Attendees will be entered into a raffle to receive wellness prizes. For links to the virtual classes, please visit Employee Wellness Programs or email [email protected].

Calendar Reminder: Winter Break


As a reminder, winter break will be held December 19, 2022, to January 2, 2023. Twelve-month employees continue to work during winter break, except for December 23 and 26, and January 2, when all offices will be closed. 

To help make sure school-based staff and students have a restful break, we have asked that no homework be assigned during this time. Teachers may assign long-range assignments in the weeks ahead of the break, allowing students to practice time management skills, but no assignments should be due immediately following the break. We look forward to welcoming students and teachers back in the new year. Classes resume on Tuesday, January 3, 2023

See the Employee Calendar and the 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

The next issue of Employee News will be sent on Tuesday, January 3. Enjoy the break!

COVID Diagnostic Testing in January


Mark your calendars! COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS teachers, staff, and students at five locations across the county January 3-5 from 5 to 8 p.m. This testing is for those who are either experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID. Appointments are not required, but registration must be completed before testing. Visit the COVID Testing webpage for more information

Remember to Update your COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form

All FCPS employees are required to complete the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form. It is your responsibility to update the form as your status changes.

This form helps monitor health and safety needs across the division, and assists principals and program managers with approving administrative leave for eligible employees for COVID-19 quarantine/isolation. For more information, visit the Employee COVID-19 Resources page on the Employee Hub.

FCPS Online Classifieds Free for Employees


The FCPS Online Classifieds system—which is for employees only and can be found on the Hub—is a free way for employees to post ads for personally owned items that they are seeking to buy, sell, or give away. It's also a great tool to help an employee look for someone to share a ride to work, find a roommate, or rent real estate. The FCPS Online Classifieds system is completely self-service, and allows users to post new ads or update or renew existing ads at any time. View a complete list of rules and frequently asked questions.  

For more information, contact Andy Grunig.

School Board Meeting on December 15 at 7 p.m.


The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, December 15, 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:

  • Public Testimony on Collective Bargaining (during the public hearing).
  • Presentation on Capital Improvements.
  • FY23 Mid-Year Budget Review.
  • Proposed New Policy 3290, Parental Notification Regarding Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content.

Recordings of School Board meetings and work sessions can be viewed on the FCPS YouTube channel. To watch School Board meetings dubbed in Spanish, you can visit the FCPS en Español YouTube channel.

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

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

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Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: New Employee Blog, Winter Break Reminder, Winter Fitness and PD Classes

Employee News 1 month 4 weeks ago

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Sleepy Hollow Elementary School staff, (from left) Ana Maria Menendez, Karla Lobo, Nannie Espinoza, and Clemencia Coto, gather in front of the school’s mural.

Justice High School Honored by Black School Educators


Justice High School and Principal Tiffany Narcisse were honored at the recent National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) 50th annual conference. Justice was selected to serve as a National Demonstration School—an exemplary model of a school that serves a diverse student population. A team from Justice shared best practices to maximize teaching and learning opportunities. Read more in the Employee News Blog.

What Brought You to FCPS?


Last month, we reported on Bunni Cooper, or “Ms. Bunni,” as she’s known to students. After 23 years at the World Bank, Ms. Bunni retired. She wanted to find a way to “pay it forward” and became a regular substitute at Bull Run Elementary School. Ms. Bunni has been subbing at Bull Run for nine years. 

“I’m 76—but you don’t act it when you’re around kids all day,” she says. “They taught me a few years back how to do the 'dab’—I’ve learned all sorts of different dance moves in this job. I just have fun with them.”

What brought you to FCPS? Stop by the Employee News Blog and let us know!

New Employee Blog Celebrates and Engages with FCPS Employees

Visit the relaunched Employee News Blog for regular updates on employee-related news, celebrations, recognitions, and more! Blogs are posted regularly (multiple times a week, so check back often!) and many will include comment forms or other ways for employees to share their thoughts. 

New blogs this week include:

Bookmark this page and let us know if there’s anything you’d love to see on the blog. Please email us at [email protected] with feedback.

ESSER Community Conversation on Tuesday, December 13


A Community Conversation on ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding will be hosted on Tuesday, December 13, at 6:30 p.m. The event will be offered on Zoom as well as in person at the Gatehouse Administration Center in the café. All are welcome. Please register to attend. 

Watch the video above to see how Poe Middle School used funds to support positive behavior interventions, and how fun and games support values of respect, accountability, and positivity. Learn more about the ESSER III grant.

Get Ready for Winter Weather


In case you missed it last week, here’s a reminder of FCPS’ inclement weather procedures. The first five inclement weather days will be traditional “snow days” with no school activities

After those five days, we will hold virtual learning days, whenever possible, to maintain continuity of learning. Virtual learning on these days will be synchronous (live) instruction following the inclement weather virtual learning day schedule which includes a two-hour delay.

Visit FCPS' Weather Cancellation Procedures page to stay informed in case of winter weather or other emergency situations. 

Academic Matters

During the Academic Matters segment of last week’s School Board meeting, Dr. Rich Pollio, director of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Services, shared data around our English Learner students versus students who speak English and another language. Forty-eight percent of FCPS students speak English and at least one other language. Twenty percent of our students are receiving English language development services. Rich also discussed the value of community in supporting our English Learners in their journey.

First Community Conversations Wrap up

Last week, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid wrapped up her series of Community Conversations, which began in August. Twenty-eight in-person events were held, including one for each school pyramid. Thanks to all who attended! 

On a related note, in the November 29 issue of Employee News, we shared that virtual Community Conversations had been scheduled for December 12 and January 12. Please note that these events will not be held at this time.

Save-the-Date: Strategic Planning Community Forums


Beginning in late January 2023, FCPS will host a series of community forums as part of our Strategic Plan development process. View the schedule on FCPS' Strategic Planning webpage. We will add more details as they become available.

Tools to Handle Stress

The Office of Benefit Services is holding a Tools to Handle Stress webinar on Wednesday, December 7, at 4 p.m. This virtual stress management course focuses on specific, practical activities to reduce stress. Attendees will also be entered into a raffle to receive wellness prizes. Additional Employee Assistance Program (EAP) webinar recordings can be accessed on the Hub EAP page.

For more information, visit our EAP Guidance Resources and use Web ID: FCPS, or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements.

Virtual Holiday Fitness Classes


The Employee Wellness Program invites you to stay active during the holidays with virtual fitness classes:

  • December 14, from 5 to 6 p.m., Jingle Bell Rock Zumba: Get into the holiday spirit with this dance-focused cardio fitness class.
  • December 20, 11 a.m. to noon, Sweating & Sleighing HIIT Workout: Strap on your sleigh bells and crush this high-intensity interval training session.
  • December 21, 7 to 8 a.m., Yoga: This ancient practice creates a strong and flexible body through a focused and calm mind.
  • December 22, 11 a.m. to noon, Run, Run, Rudolph Cardio Express Workout: Get in shape for the new year and improve your endurance with this cardio workout!

Winter Professional Development Opportunities


In order to support teacher residents on their journey toward certification, the Office of Professional Learning and Equity will offer 10 learning opportunities around the Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects (5001) Exam, and Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA exams). Initial Praxis sessions are open and applicable to both elementary and secondary teachers, and will provide attendees with test taking resources and strategies. Subject-specific sessions will review important content and help participants to feel prepared for their subject-area test. Interested teacher residents should sign up directly through MyPDE. Visit the Employee Blog for a list of sessions. 

The Accelerated Certification Cohort (ACC) is a partnership with the University of Virginia for FCPS instructional employees to obtain the Virginia PreK-12 endorsement in Administration and Supervision in a one-year cohort setting. There will be two virtual information sessions for the 2023-24 ACC: Tuesday, December 13, 5 to 6 p.m., and Thursday, January 19, 5 to 6 p.m.

The new Aspiring Principal Academy is scheduled to kick off on Saturday, January 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Also, North TIER has a wonderful line-up of online professional development courses this winter.

Visit the Employee Blog for more information.

Calendar Reminders
Inclusive Schools Week

Inclusive Schools Week (December 5-9) celebrates the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population. This includes students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors. The week also provides an important opportunity for educators, students, and parents/caregivers to discuss what else needs to be done in order for schools to continue to improve their ability to successfully educate all children. This year, the Inclusive Schools Week’s theme is “Unity Within Our Community.”


Bodhi Day


Bodhi Day, Thursday, December 8, is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as “bodhi” in Sanskrit and Pali. Learn more about Bodhi Day in this video from the Miami Children’s Museum. 

The school calendar recognizes many religious and cultural observances (O days) during the school year. Schools are open on these days, however, the School Board has directed that certain events that cannot be made up at another time will not be held on these observance days.


Winter Break

As a reminder, winter break for students and teachers will be held December 19, 2022, to January 2, 2023. Twelve-month employees will continue to work during winter break, except for December 23 and 26, and January 2, when all offices will be closed. 

To help make sure school-based staff and students have a restful break, we have asked that no homework be assigned during this time. Teachers may assign long-range assignments in the weeks ahead of the break, allowing students to practice time management skills, but no assignments should be due immediately following the break. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. 

See the Employee Calendar and the 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

COVID Diagnostic Testing in January


Mark your calendars! COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS teachers, staff, and students at five locations across the county January 3-5 from 5 to 8 p.m. This testing is for those who are either experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID. Appointments are not required, but registration must be completed before testing. Visit the COVID Testing webpage for more information.


Remember to Update your COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form

All FCPS employees are required to complete the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form. It is your responsibility to update the form as your status changes.

This form helps monitor the health and safety needs across the division, and assists principals and program managers with approving administrative leave for eligible employees for COVID-19 quarantine/isolation. For more information, visit Employee COVID-19 Resources on the Employee Hub.

Save on Holiday Shopping


If you still have to finish holiday shopping or just love a good deal, consider signing up for PerkSpot. Or, visit our Savings for Staff page to see offers and discounts from hundreds of merchants including food, clothing, electronics, and travel.

Provide Feedback on Secondary World Languages Basal Resources

Public review for new Secondary (Grades 6-12) World Languages Basal Resources for the 2023-24 school year will end Thursday, December 8. Basal resources are the primary instructional resources used to teach a given subject. A review committee made up of community members, administrators, and teachers will meet to evaluate the materials under consideration as well as feedback from the community. Find more information.

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: Salary Bonus, Calendar Survey Deadline, COVID Testing

Employee News 2 months ago

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Carson Middle School staff members (from left to right) Veronica Delaney, Monique Berkeley, and Mavis Botchway greet Tucker, a reading/therapy dog. Tucker is a very good boy who provides support in reading classrooms as well as to any student who might be having a difficult day or is feeling stressed.

It’s Bonus Time!

Look for a bonus in this week’s paycheck! All active, eligible employees as of November 1 will receive a bonus. Full-time and part-time contracted employees will receive $1,000. Temporary hourly employees who worked 10 hours or more from October 1, 2021, to October 21, 2022, will receive $500, and those who worked less than 10 hours during that time frame will receive $250. 

Monthly employees will see the payment on November 30. Biweekly employees, including temporary hourly employees, will receive the bonus on December 2. Visit our website for more information on the employee bonus.

Get Ready for Winter Weather


Winter weather will be here before you know it! Watch this video to see how weather closing decisions are made

FCPS’ inclement weather procedures will remain the same as last year. The first five inclement weather days will be traditional “snow days” with no school activities. After those five days, we will use the flexibility provided by the General Assembly to have unscheduled virtual learning days, whenever possible, to maintain the continuity of learning. Virtual learning on these days will be synchronous instruction, following the inclement weather virtual learning day schedule (includes a two-hour delay).

FCPS’ website is generally the first mode of communication during emergency weather closings. Other communication channels will be used as quickly as possible including email, text, social media, and news stations. Learn more about how schedule changes are communicated

Plan ahead, and make sure your contact information is up-to-date in UConnect, so you will receive text messages from FCPS. Bookmark the FCPS website, plan for childcare if needed, and know what items you may want to take home with you before a weather event.

Calendar Survey Deadline, Attend a Calendar Webinar


Watch our new video to learn about FCPS’ calendar development process. The video is also available in additional languages on our website.


Calendar Survey Closes Soon

FCPS employees were emailed an invitation(s) to take the 2023-24 School Year Calendar Survey. If you haven’t participated yet, please do so by Thursday, December 1. Thank you for lending your voice to the calendar development process.


Attend a Calendar Development Webinar

Join us on Thursday, December 1, at noon or 6 p.m.,for a webinar about how FCPS creates the school year calendar. The webinars will be held on Zoom. Please register today.

Employees Unite to Support Students


In honor of Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday, we are featuring FCPS CARES nominees who have provided a great example of the spirit of giving. 

Jenny Murphy, a learning disabilities teacher at Kilmer Middle School, nominated Gina North, curriculum resource teacher in Special Services; Heather Murphy, athletic trainer, and Caroline Taylor, physical education teacher, both from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology; and Kent Hulnick, an athletic trainer from South Lakes High School. The four employees have provided much needed support to Kilmer’s food and clothes pantries. Visit the Employee Blog to find out what they did. 

Are you and/or your coworkers giving back this holiday season? Tell us about it! Also, check out the Employee Blog for several opportunities to help students and others in the community.

An Elementary Perspective on Strategic Planning


The success of our strategic planning process depends on our entire community being engaged. Watch as some of our amazing elementary students share their hopes and ideas for the future of schools. Also, stay tuned for information on upcoming opportunities to participate in the development of FCPS’ Strategic Plan.

COVID Diagnostic Testing Available Now


COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS teachers, staff, and students at five locations across the county November 29 and 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. This testing is for those who are either experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID. Appointments are not required, but registration must be completed before testing. Visit the COVID Testing webpage for more information.


Remember to Update your COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form

All FCPS employees are required to complete the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form. It is your responsibility to update the form as your status changes.

This form helps monitor the health and safety needs across the division, and assists principals and program managers with approving administrative leave for eligible employees for COVID-19 quarantine/isolation. For more information, visit the Employee COVID-19 Resources on the Employee Hub.

Employee Engagement Survey Update

The Employee Engagement Survey closed on Wednesday, November 16. Here's a quick preview of the initial results:

  • 73% of contracted employees and 15% of hourly employees/substitutes participated in the survey.
  • 78% of contracted employees who responded and 85% of hourly employees/substitutes who responded are considered to be engaged or highly engaged.

Full reports will be available in early 2023. Visit the Employee Engagement Survey page for more information.

ESSER III Community Conversation on December 13

Thanks to everyone who provided input on ESSER III funding–which was allocated to FCPS to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and student learning–via an online feedback form in October. Community feedback indicated that there is a general unawareness of the impact of ESSER funding and a perceived lack of communication around how the funds are being used. 

To help address this, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid and Sloan Presidio, chief academic officer, will host a Community Conversation on ESSER on Tuesday, December 13, at 6:30 p.m., at the Gatehouse Administration Building. Please stay tuned for more details. 

Visit BoardDocs for a complete update on ESSER.

Proposed Process for Special Education Enhancement Plan

FCPS will be developing a Special Education Enhancement Plan to help inform our work to increase outcomes for students with disabilities. On November 15, FCPS staff shared their proposed process for developing the plan at a School Board work session. This process includes many opportunities for community feedback and collaboration from a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders such as FCPS employees, parents/caregivers, students, and content experts. View the presentation on YouTubeGet more information on BoardDocs.


Special Education Enhancement Plan Steering Committee: Nominate a Professional or Paraprofessional

FCPS is seeking nominations for professional and paraprofessional staff, in general education and special education, who are interested in contributing to the Special Education Enhancement Plan as part of the Steering Committee. Please use this form to nominate yourself or someone else. Nominations are due by Friday, December 2.

Winter Professional Development Opportunities

Are you planning to take the next step in your career to become a principal? The new Aspiring Principal Academy will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead with confidence and build your network as you prepare for principalship. Applicants should plan to participate in the spring 2023/fall 2023 FCPS principal pool application process. This new cohort-style professional learning opportunity is scheduled to kick off on Saturday, January 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

The George Mason Education Leadership Program has a Region North (Fairfax region) hybrid cohort that will be accepting new students for the spring 2023 semester. In addition to the cohort, there are fully online and campus hybrid options available. If you are interested in advancing your career by earning a master’s degree or an advanced Certificate in Education Leadership, attend a virtual information session on Tuesday, December 6, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm

North TIER has a wonderful line-up of online professional development courses during the winter months. The cost is only $55 for a 30-hour course. Seats fill quickly, so register early.

Visit the Employee Blog for more information.

Calendar Reminders
National Special Education Day


National Special Education Day is recognized each year on December 2. It commemorates President Gerald Ford’s signing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975. We celebrate our teachers and staff who serve and support our students with special needs! 

Learn more about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.


Bodhi Day


Bodhi Day, Thursday, December 8, is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as “bodhi” in Sanskrit and Pali. Learn more about Bodhi Day in this video from the Miami Children’s Museum. 

The school calendar recognizes many religious and cultural observances (O days) during the school year. Schools are open on these days, however, the School Board has directed that certain events that cannot be made up at another time will not be held on these observance days. See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar.


Native American Heritage Month


Rufus “Rick” Kelly knows he could do information technology work anywhere. However, the Fairfax County Public Schools’ senior technology specialist says his Native American roots and cultural upbringing led him to a 30-year career in public education. Read about Rick's path to FCPS

Visit our Employee News Blog to share how you celebrate or incorporate your culture into your work at FCPS.

Superintendent Continues Community Conversations


FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid continues to get to know families and their needs across the division through her Community Conversations. Two virtual events are being planned for this winter. The first will take place on Monday, December 12, at 7 p.m., followed by a Spanish-language event on Friday, January 12, at 11 a.m. Click the dates of the conversations to register for either event.

Recommended Changes to Family Life Education

Your opportunity to share feedback about the recommended changes to the Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum will continue through Thursday, December 1. You may review the recommended changes on our website and provide input on the brief feedback form. Public feedback will be shared with the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee and the School Board. FCPS staff and the School Board will consider all feedback but will not be able to reply to individuals. 

Provide Feedback on Secondary World Languages Basal Resources

FCPS will adopt new Secondary (Grades 6-12) World Languages Basal Resources for the 2023-24 school year. Basal resources are the primary instructional resources used to teach a given subject. The process for selecting new resources includes an opportunity for the public to review the instructional materials being considered. Public review will run through Thursday, December 8. A review committee made up of community members, administrators, and teachers will meet in November and December to evaluate the materials under consideration as well as feedback from the community. Find more information.

School Board Meeting on December 1 at 7 p.m.


The School Board will hold its regular business meeting on Thursday, December 1, 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:

  • Midyear Budget Review.
  • Issuance of School Bonds.
  • Proposed New Policy 3290, Parental Notification Regarding Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content.

View recordings of School Board meetings and work sessions on the FCPS YouTube channel. To watch School Board meetings dubbed in Spanish, visit the FCPS en Español YouTube channel.

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the Board clerk. Find your School Board member and their contact information on the School Board Members webpage.

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: Take the Calendar Survey, COVID Testing, Teacher Grant Recipients

Employee News 2 months 2 weeks ago

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Meet Herndon Middle School's Student Services Team–(from the left) Miranda Carlson, school psychologist; Sara Broady, counselor; Danielle Mascoll, counselor; Colene Luczak, counselor; Ashley Van Gelder, school social worker; Kelley Wells, school psychologist; and Pamela Cortez, school social worker.

FCPS Thanks Our Veterans


In this video, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid expresses how grateful FCPS is to all veterans and to all the families of veterans.

Calendar Survey: Make Your Voice Heard!


FCPS employees, parents/caregivers, and students in grades 7-12 were emailed an invitation to take the 2023-24 School Year Calendar Survey. This survey is part of an annual process to gather input from the community to help develop the school year calendar for the following year. Please complete the survey by Thursday, December 1, and make your voice heard! For more information or help filling out the survey, please visit our website.

Open Enrollment: Final Week


Remember, open enrollment ends this Friday, November 18, at 4:30 p.m. This is your annual opportunity to enroll and/or make changes to your medical, dental, and/or flexible spending account (FSA) elections for the upcoming year. 

Do you have questions about your 2023 benefits? The final open house will be held Wednesday, November 16, in the Chantilly High School cafeteria, from 4 to 7 p.m. 

Find additional details on the Open Enrollment webpage.

Employee Engagement Survey Closes Tomorrow!

Last chance for employees to take the Employee Engagement Survey! The survey closes tomorrow, Wednesday, November 16. If you can’t find your survey link, type “[email protected]in your fcps.edu email search bar to find your invitation.

The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and your responses will provide valuable insight on what FCPS is doing well and areas for improvement. All responses are strictly confidential.

Strategic Planning: Key Communicators Needed


The strategic planning process is a community-wide effort. During the next few months, there will be regular updates and many opportunities to share feedback or be involved in a community meeting. Here is something else to consider: If you are a member of a community organization or group, sign up to be a key communicator during the strategic planning process!

FCPS key communicators are active members of the community who people turn to for information, and have an interest in sharing information about the school division and encouraging involvement. If this describes you or someone you know, please get the details and complete this form by Monday, November 28.

Congratulations to Our 2022 Teacher Grant Recipients!


Educate Fairfax and FCPS are proud to announce that 52 grants totaling more than $82,000 were awarded in grades K-12 across the county.

These grants will fund innovative classroom initiatives that focus on developing career-connected experiences for students. Funded projects should enable students to reinforce and deepen their classroom learning, explore future career fields, and demonstrate their acquired Portrait of a Graduate (POG) skills

Now in its fourth year, our partnership with Educate Fairfax and the Teacher Grant Program has funded nearly 200 grants to educators and impacted more than 60,000 FCPS students. Learn more about teacher grants.

Post-Thanksgiving COVID Diagnostic Testing


COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS teachers, staff, and students at five locations across the county November 28-30 from 5 to 8 p.m. Testing is for those who are either experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID. Appointments are not required, but registration must be completed before testing. Visit the COVID Testing webpage for more information.

November Is National Family Engagement Month


Family engagement is a shared responsibility in which schools, community agencies, and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage families in meaningful ways, and families are actively supporting their children’s learning and development. The following tips can help you build strong partnerships with families:

  • Cultivate trust by showing respect and developing mutual understanding. Ask families about their children—their strengths, interests, and challenges—then use this information to differentiate instruction. 
  • Communicate with families frequently and consistently. Provide your contact information and connect through multiple communication methods. Survey parents to see what method works best for them. Provide the family liaison's contact information to families who speak languages other than English. 
  • Use simple, easy-to-understand language and formats to foster feedback and two-way communication. Engage interpreters and translate messages whenever possible through FCPS tools like Talking Points.
  • Design lessons that include family participation and incorporate culturally responsive content. Provide tools and interactive examples for families to support learning at home. 

Please visit the Employee Hub to learn more about Family and School Partnerships and their programs for teachers, staff, and families.

Calendar Reminders American Education Week

For American Education Week, November 14-18, we celebrate ALL who work in our school communities: Bus drivers, cafeteria workers, counselors, support staff, teachers, leadership, and others! Learn more from the National Education Association.

Want to recognize someone from your school who goes above and beyond? Submit a nomination to FCPS Cares.

Thanksgiving Holiday


As a reminder, schools and offices will be closed November 23-25. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Classes will resume on Monday, November 28. See the complete 2022-23 school year calendar.


Employee News will return on Tuesday, November 29.

MyPDE Feedback Tool


We want to hear from you about your MyPDE user experience. The MyPDE Feedback Tool is now available. Feedback collected will help inform future changes.

Free Virtual Holiday Fitness and Ergonomics Classes

The Employee Wellness program is offering the following classes to support your overall well-being:

  • Mini Master Classes: Take a 15-minute break to attend these virtual health and wellness classes: Ergonomics - How to Set Up a Workplace, and Lower Back Pain and the Core. Visit Employee Wellness' webpage for details.
  • Holiday Fitness Classes, November 23: Get into a peaceful mindset with a virtual full-body Pilates workout from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and a calorie-burning holiday Zumba dance party from 9 to 10 a.m.

For more information, email [email protected].

Making the Most of Family Occasions


Guidance Resources, FCPS’ Employee Assistance Program (EAP), has resources to help you make the most of your time with loved ones this holiday season. Family occasions are a very special time for children. Today, parents may have to overcome certain obstacles in creating their own special experiences such as finances, distance from family members, and circumstances created by divorce, step-parenting, and blended families. 

Join the Making the Most of Family Occasions webinar on Tuesday, November 29, at 4 p.m. for tips on creating a less stressful, more pleasant,  and meaningful family event. Attendees will be entered into a raffle to receive wellness prizes. 

Other webinar recordings can be accessed on the EAP’s Hub webpage. For additional information, visit Guidance Resources and use Web ID: FCPS or call 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter for monthly updates and announcements.

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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: Employee Bonus, Veterans Day, and FCPS CARES Recipients

Employee News 2 months 3 weeks ago

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A Marine salutes during a ceremony at Marshall High School, where students planted flags in a Field of Honor to commemorate Veterans Day.

FCPS Thanks Employees for Their Dedication


We appreciate our FCPS employees’ service, dedication, and contributions made over the past year. As a way of recognizing your efforts, all active eligible employees as of November 1, 2022, will be paid a bonus!

Temporary hourly employees who worked 10 hours or more from October 1, 2021 to October 21, 2022, will receive $500. Those who worked less than 10 hours will receive $250.   

Both full-time and part-time contracted employees, including bus drivers and food service employees, will receive $1,000. 

Monthly-paid employees will receive the bonus in their November 30 paycheck. Biweekly employees, including temporary hourly employees, will receive payment on December 2. Get more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Open Enrollment: Benefits Open Houses

Do you have questions about your 2023 benefits? A benefits open house will be held Wednesday, November 16, at the Chantilly High School cafeteria from 4 to 7 p.m. 

Virtual open houses will be held on Thursday, November 10, from 4 to 7 p.m., and Monday, November 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. Click the hyperlinks to register.  

Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to enroll and/or make changes to your medical, dental, and/or flexible spending account (FSA) benefits for the upcoming year. Find additional details on the Open Enrollment website.

Take the Employee Engagement Survey!

All employees have until Wednesday, November 16, to complete the Employee Engagement Survey. Your feedback will help ensure that FCPS is a great place for all employees to work and grow professionally. 

The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete. All responses are strictly confidential. No one at FCPS will know whether you participated or how you responded. Check your FCPS email account for the survey invitation from K12 Insight, our survey administrator. Please note that K12 will no longer send reminder emails once you complete your survey.

Our FCPS Heroes

Watch this video to see why Kristen Luck, a physical education teacher at McNair Upper Elementary School, is one of our FCPS Heroes.  

Our Heroes is a new series of videos being produced by the Office of Communication and Community Relations to highlight teachers and staff who inspire their communities. Do you want to recommend someone? If so, please email [email protected], with “Hero” in the subject line, and tell us why they inspire you.

FCPS Strategic Planning That Reaches All


Did you know that we are preparing to begin Our Voices, Our Future, FCPS' strategic planning process? It's a journey that will guide our school division for the next five years. We need your help to engage diverse voices and perspectives, as we work through what our shared future may look like. 

Please be a part of this journey! Also, consider sharing our Strategic Planning webpage with your community and any individuals or organizations involved with FCPS, who may want to participate in this important process. Together, anything is possible!

Instructional Focus Team Nominations Due Friday, 11/11

In case you missed it last week, FCPS is currently seeking nominations for instructional staff who are interested in contributing to the strategic planning process as part of the Instructional Focus Team (IFT). School-based instructional staff, including teachers, instructional assistants, instructional coaches, resource teachers, librarians, school counselors, school-based technology specialists (SBTS), administrators, etc., can self-nominate or nominate a colleague using this form. Nominations are due by Friday, November 11.

Are Your Students Using Tutor.com?


Do your students need homework help or feedback on their writing? How about a practice quiz to get ready for a test? Recommend Tutor.com to students and parents! It is open to FCPS students in all grades, on-demand, 24/7, at no cost to families. Tutors are available in multiple languages. Learn more.

September FCPS CARES Recipients


FCPS CARES is an opportunity for parents/caregivers, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others, and showing they care. 

"Not only is she such a tremendous part of why our building sparkles, but she is also a major reason why we all smile,” said the individual who nominated Sam Ibrahim, from Dranesville Elementary School (pictured above, surrounded by students). “Sam takes the time to get to know about us, our lives and our students. Her hard work is seen and appreciated by both staff and students!"

Other winners for July and August include:

  • Central Office: Jay Bagley, Information Technology, Sprague Technology Center
  • Region 1: Ebtesam (Sam) Ibrahim, Dranesville Elementary School
  • Region 2: Katherine Zacur, Haycock Elementary School
  • Region 3: Annette Garrett and Kathryn DeVille, Woodley Hills Elementary School
  • Region 4: Stephanie Broyles, Robinson Secondary School
  • Region 5: Jason Sachlis, Westfield High School

Get information about all of the winners and learn how you can acknowledge an FCPS employee.

National School Psychology Week

This week, we’re celebrating the important work school psychologists do to help all students thrive. Visit the National Association of School Psychologists
website.

Calendar Reminder: Veterans Day


As a reminder, Friday, November 11, is a student holiday/school planning day for the Veterans Day holiday. Veterans Day is a time to pause, reflect, and recognize the extraordinary sacrifices our veterans and their families have made on our behalf. We thank them for their service. Learn about the history of Veterans Day.

Thanksgiving Holiday

Schools and offices will be closed November 23-25. Classes will resume on Monday, November 28. 

See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

November Is National Family Engagement Month


Families are children's first and most important teachers, advocates, and nurturers. More than 35 years of research shows that the most effective way to increase student achievement is for families to be actively involved in the education of their child. Strong parental and family support is vital to the well-being and success of students. FCPS has many resources for families designed to increase engagement and partnerships with families while fostering academic success and social-emotional growth.

The updated National Standards for Family-School Partnerships provide essential guidance for building strong partnerships between families, educators and schools to support student success. These standards include impactful edits to goals and indicators for the six key tenets: Welcome All Families, Communicate Effectively, Support Student Success, Speak Up for Every Child, Share Power, and Collaborate with Community. 

FCPS' Family and School Partnerships Office created a Family Engagement Month toolkit with ideas for schools and families to celebrate this month together. Please visit the Employee Hub to learn more about Family and School Partnerships and their programs for teachers, staff, and families.

School Board Approves Rooftop Solar Power Purchase Program


Since June, FCPS has worked with IpSun Solar to develop a proposal as part of a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Fairfax County, FCPS, Housing & Community Development, and the Park Authority. Last week, the School Board approved the implementation of the solar power purchase program

Annandale High School will serve as the pilot project for FCPS to develop a working knowledge of these installations. The installation at Annandale will begin in late 2023 or early 2024.  

Professional Development for Mentors and Teacher Leaders

Join the Great Beginnings team in a professional development opportunity for mentors, lead mentors, school-based induction team members, and other teacher leaders. Each two-hour session will provide learning and application of skills relevant to supporting new teachers and other colleagues. Five topics will be offered on multiple dates, and participants are invited to sign up for one, some, or all five! Session topics include:

  • Growth-Producing Feedback
  • Leveraging Your Active Listening Toolbox in Every Conversation
  • Navigating Conflict and Resistance
  • Navigating and Understanding Emotion
  • Supporting Active Reflection

Sessions will be held on Zoom. Visit the Great Beginnings webpage to learn more and register.

Community Review Begins for Secondary World Languages Basal Resources

FCPS will adopt new Secondary (Grades 6-12) World Languages Basal Resources for the 2023-24 school year. Basal resources are the primary instructional resources used to teach a given subject. The process for selecting new resources includes an opportunity for the public to review the instructional materials being considered. Public review will run through Thursday, December 8. A review committee made up of community members, administrators, and teachers will meet in November and December to evaluate the materials under consideration as well as feedback from the community. Find more information on FCPS’ website.

School Board to Discuss Framework for Special Education Enhancement Plan

At the request of the School Board, the FCPS Office of Auditor General engaged American Institutes for Research® (AIR) to conduct an independent, third-party review of FCPS’ special education program in October 2020. AIR presented their final report during the School Board’s October 4 work session. View their key findings. Next steps include working with a diverse stakeholder group to develop a comprehensive Special Education Enhancement Plan to address areas of need.

The School Board will discuss a framework for the plan at their work session on Tuesday, November 15, at 1:30 p.m. Watch it live on FCPS’ YouTube Channel or Channel 99. For more information on the Special Education Review, visit FCPS’ Office of Auditor General webpage.

School Board Meeting on November 14, at 7 p.m.


The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Monday, November 14, at 7 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda (English only). Watch the meeting on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, or on FCPS' website. Agenda highlights include Superintendent Reid's update on the Strategic Plan.

Recordings of School Board meetings and work sessions can be viewed on the FCPS YouTube channel. To watch School Board meetings dubbed in Spanish, you can visit the FCPS en Español YouTube channel.

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

Find your School Board member and their contact information on the School Board Members webpage.

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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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11/2/22 - Open Enrollment, Strategic Planning: Instructional Focus Team Nominations, STEAM Grant, and More

Employee News 3 months ago

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Shrevewood Elementary School Assistant Principal Katie Vandawalker gives students high fives as they arrive at school.

Lewis Leadership Program Reception


Last week, Principal Alfonso Smith hosted a reception at Lewis High School that was attended by family members of the late Congressman John R. Lewis, the school’s namesake, as well as several School Board members. The event was hosted for community partners, staff, and students who have been influential in the creation of the Lewis Leadership Program.

The program adopts the principles of Congressman John Lewis’ life through a curriculum that focuses on government, public policy, leadership, and human rights. Interested students may become more involved through field experiences, guest speakers, service learning, specialized coursework, internships, and university partnerships.

Open Enrollment Is Underway Through November 18


Open Enrollment has begun and will continue through Friday, November 18. This is your annual opportunity to enroll and/or make changes to your medical, dental, and/or flexible spending account (FSA) benefits for the upcoming year. For step-by-step instructions, use the UConnect Quick Start Guide.

Open houses provide an opportunity to chat with benefits vendors and Benefit Services staff. An open house will be held Thursday, November 3, from 4 to 7 p.m., in the Hayfield Secondary School cafeteria. See the Open Enrollment webpage for more upcoming in-person and virtual open houses.

Look for your Employee Benefits Briefing to arrive in your mailbox soon!

Strategic Planning: Instructional Focus Team Nominations

Developing FCPS' new Strategic Plan will involve assembling multiple work teams that represent the perspectives of school staff, families, students, and community partners and organizations. FCPS is currently seeking nominations for instructional staff who are interested in contributing to the strategic planning process as part of the Instructional Focus Team (IFT). School-based instructional staff, including teachers, instructional assistants, instructional coaches, resource teachers, librarians, school counselors, SBTS, administrators, etc., can self-nominate or nominate a colleague using this form. Nominations are due by Friday, November 11! Get more information.

Strategic Plan Student Survey Is Open


From Wednesday, November 2, through Friday, November 18, students in grades 3-12 will have an opportunity to share their thoughts about school by taking the Strategic Plan Student Survey. (Students who have been opted out by their parents/caregivers will not participate in the survey.) Survey responses will help inform the development of FCPS’ new Strategic Plan. 

Schools will be showing an informational video to help familiarize students with the concept of a Strategic Plan prior to administering the survey. Students in grades 3-6 will watch this video, and those in grades 7-12 will be shown this version. Visit the Strategic Plan Student Survey webpage for more information.

Purple Star Schools Support Military-Connected Families


Forty Fairfax County public schools have been recognized by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children as 2022 Purple Star Schools. The Purple Star designation is awarded to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated their commitment to meeting the needs of military-connected students and their families. 

See the full list of schools.

FCPS Receives $2 Million Grant to Fund STEAM


FCPS has been awarded a $2 million Department of Defense Education Activity Military-Connected Local Educational Agencies for Academic and Support Programs grant that will support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) and computer science integration to advance math learning goals. This grant project, Code UP!, is a five-year grant program that officially began last month. 

Visit our website to learn more about Code UP! and see which schools will implement the program.

How FCPS Develops Its School Year Calendar


In an annual planning process, FCPS uses input from the community to help develop the school year calendar for the following year. Our framework for creating the calendar is available online to ensure transparency, as we work to build a calendar that is inclusive and equitable. Stay tuned for information about our upcoming Calendar Survey, which will be shared with employees, parents/caregivers, and students in grades 7-12.

Employee Engagement Survey: Let Your Voice Be Heard

FCPS’ Employee Engagement Survey is still open for ALL employees, including substitutes, hourly workers, and coaches! Employees should check their FCPS email account for the invitation and survey link from our partner, K12 Insight. All employees have the opportunity to provide feedback about their jobs, work environment, and FCPS overall through the Employee Engagement Survey. Survey participation provides valuable insight on what FCPS is doing well and areas for improvement.

All responses are confidential. The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Visit the Employee Hub for more information and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Staying Healthy This Cold/Flu Season


Although the community level of COVID-19 in Fairfax County is currently low, cases of RSV, the flu, and other viruses are on the rise.

It is still important to wash your hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, monitor your health daily, and stay home if you are sick. For more tips, visit our 2022-23 Health and Safety Guidance webpage.

Interview and Resumé Writing Workshop

Join Region 2 Executive Principal Megan Vroman, Groveton Elementary Assistant Principal Chris Latham, and Education Specialist for Integrated Professional Learning Sara Royer in this workshop about moving your FCPS career to the next level. Participants will learn about the do's and don'ts of a great resumé, and receive advice and practice on how to put their best foot forward in a professional interview. 

This session is for operational and instructional employees at all levels. It will be held November 10, at 5 p.m., at Leis Center in Falls Church. Register on MyPDE.

School Improvement and Innovation/ESSER III Plans


Wondering how ESSER funds are being spent at your school? The Fall 2022 School Improvement and Innovation (SIIP)/Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) plans are available. Strategies will be updated periodically as schools have opportunities to adjust their plans and budgets.

November Is Native American Heritage Month


Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories, and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native Americans. It is also a time to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges they have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions recognized by FCPS.

Calendar Reminders: Daylight Saving Time Ends

Daylight saving time will end this Sunday, November 6, at 2 a.m. Don’t forget to move your clocks back one hour!

Remember to Vote!


Don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 8! The day will be observed as a holiday for students and teachers (only 12-month personnel report). For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Veterans Day

As a reminder, Friday, November 11, is a student holiday/school planning day for the Veterans Day holiday (Only 188-day employees do not report). Veterans Day is a time to pause, reflect, and recognize the extraordinary sacrifices our Veterans and their families have made on our behalf. We thank them for their service. Learn about the history of Veterans Day.

See the Employee Calendar and the 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

Community Conversations Wrapping Up


Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid has been hosting Community Conversations across the division since August as a way to get to know our school communities. There aren’t many sessions remaining, so mark your calendar! 

We invite you to register to attend your school pyramid event or, if you have been unable to attend a previous event in your pyramid, register for a location and date that is convenient for you. See the schedule and register for an event. Language interpretation, childcare, and light refreshments will be provided.

School Board Meeting on November 3, at 7 p.m.


The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, November 3, 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:

  • Strategic Plan Update by the Superintendent.
  • Awarding of Contracts.

Recordings of School Board meetings and work sessions can be viewed on the FCPS YouTube channel. To watch School Board meetings dubbed in Spanish, you can visit the FCPS en Español YouTube channel.

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

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

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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 - October 26: Employee Engagement Survey, Calendar Reminders, ESSER Funding

Employee News 3 months 1 week ago

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Virginia Run Elementary School leadership—(from left) Nicolas Rousos, assistant principal; Elizabeth Bumbrey, principal; and Kelli Lundregan, assistant principal—show their school spirit in front of a newly painted Viking mural.

Take the Employee Engagement Survey Today!


FCPS’ Employee Engagement Survey opened today, Wednesday, October 26! Contracted employees should check their FCPS email account for an invitation and survey link sent from our independent research partner, K12 Insight

Your feedback will help ensure that FCPS is a great place for all employees to work and grow professionally. All responses are strictly confidential. Watch this short video to learn more or visit this page on the Hub.

Calendar Reminders: Quarter End


As a reminder, Friday, October 28, is the last day of the first quarter, and a two-hour early release for students. Also, schools are closed for students on Monday, October 31, for a teacher workday (186- and 188-day personnel do not report).

All Saints Day/Dia de Los Muertos


Dia de los Muertos is an opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of departed loved ones. Tuesday, November 1, and Wednesday, November 2, are “O” Days, religious and cultural observances noted in the school calendar. To learn more about Dia de los Muertos, watch this video.

While Dia de los Muertos is largely celebrated in Mexico and Latin America, it also coincides with All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2). These days are celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, and some Protestants worldwide to honor those who have died and gone to heaven (All Saints Day) and those who may still be in purgatory (All Souls Day).

The school calendar recognizes many O days during the school year. Classes are held on these days, however, the School Board has directed that tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events not be held on these observance days. Read Regulation 2234.12 for details.

Election Day

Don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 8! The day will be observed as a holiday for students and teachers (only 12-month personnel report). 

For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Elections website.

See the Employee Calendar and the 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

Open Enrollment Starts Tuesday, November 1


Open Enrollment begins next week! Remember to check the Open Enrollment webpage for frequently asked questions about the new Cigna plan, as well as resources available to understand your options for 2023. Also refer to the Employee Benefits Briefing for more information, and dates, times, and locations of benefits open houses.

Students to Participate in Strategic Plan Student Survey


We will soon begin the process of developing FCPS’ new Strategic Plan! Community engagement will be a critical part of this work. This includes a Strategic Plan Student Survey. Schools will administer the survey to students in grades 3-12, whose parents/caregivers have not opted them out, between November 2-18. Survey responses will give us valuable insight into what is important to students and help inform the planning of the school division’s future. 

Principals will share additional information with their staff about survey administration in the coming weeks. Learn more on the Strategic Plan Student Survey webpage.

ESSER Funding Information and Feedback


Several federally funded programs were authorized to support schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of these programs was to address the impact the pandemic had, and continues to have, on students and their schools.

Since 2020, there have been stimulus funding opportunities for school divisions to apply for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds in the state of Virginia. Fairfax County Public Schools has pursued stimulus funding grant opportunities that assist our students and families.

FCPS was allocated $84 million for ESSER II and $188.8 million for ESSER III, and has been using this funding to support various divisionwide programs. The $177 million that was recently reported as “available funding” is the remaining balance for both the ESSER II and ESSER III grants combined. As of the end of September, FCPS has spent more than 75% of its ESSER II funding allocation with remaining funds being used for longer term projects (like HVAC and air quality improvements) that have been committed to, but have not been completed. We have until September 2023 to spend that funding.

FCPS has spent 40% of its ESSER III funding, and we have until September 30, 2024 to use the funds. Funding was allocated to 29 programs using an intentional multi-year approach. Detailed information describing how these funds will be used is available online. As a recipient of ESSER III funding, we are required to ask for public feedback on how we used the funds. We would like to hear from you. This feedback form will remain open through October 31. The ESSER III plan will be reviewed at an update to the School Board on November 1.

Feedback Welcome on Family Life Education Changes

The Fairfax County School Board is reviewing recommended changes to the Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum and invites public feedback as part of the review process. In May 2022, the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee (FLECAC) presented recommended curriculum changes, to go into effect for the 2023-24 school year. Those changes include adopting gender-combined instruction and exploring instruction of gender identity, as well as recommended media and other instructional changes. 

The recommendations reflect leading education and child development research and expert advice. According to research cited in the recommendations, these changes will create a more inclusive learning environment, result in higher academic achievement for students, and improve school climate.

Public feedback will be shared with FLECAC and the School Board. FCPS staff and the School Board will consider all feedback but are unable to reply to individuals. 

Learn more about the recommended changes. The public feedback form will be open on our website from October 31 through December 1.

Parent Resource Center—Educator Office Hours

The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) provides resources, materials and educational opportunities for families, schools, and our community. As a way to broaden their support for schools, PRC staff have established monthly office hours. They will be available to answer questions around family engagement, share resources from their library (special education, parenting, mental health, behavior, etc.), and to discuss support for families both within FCPS and the community.  

Office hours will be the first Tuesday of every month from 10 to 11 a.m. beginning November 1Please join with this Zoom link.

Healthy Holiday Wellbeats Program

Join Wellbeats’ 14-day Healthy Holiday Program for help coping with holiday stress and feeling your best during the holidays. This program includes a self directed daily schedule of classes, such as healthy holiday-approved recipes, mindful eating and hydration tips, gratitude meditations, and quick workouts.

The program starts on November 1. You will receive an email from Wellbeats to enroll. Complete the entire 14-day program by December 31, to be entered in a drawing for a Wellbeats Fit Kit with fitness and wellness accessories, including a resistance band set and stability ball.

Sign in to your Wellbeats account, select “Programs”, and click on “Healthy Holiday Program” to enroll. Download the Wellbeats app or go to portal.wellbeats.com to get started.

Forgot your login information or new to Wellbeats?

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

Please email [email protected] for any account issues!

Register for Second Quarter Compass Courses

Compass Courses are courses offered by FCPS to leaders and aspiring leaders. They are run by staff from across FCPS to promote leadership skills and development. Compass Courses are for both operational and instructional leaders unless specified in the course title.

Upcoming courses for the second quarter include: Overcoming Hurdles to Promote High Performing Teams, Everyday Equity, Preparing for your Next Step: Interviewing and Resume Workshop, and Effective Decision Making. 

Compass Quarterly showcases course offerings each quarter. Sign up to get it sent to your inbox to help you plan your personal professional development calendar. Contact [email protected], if you have questions.

Audit Buzz Newsletter


FCPS’ Office of Auditor General (OAG) publishes Audit Buzz to provide a look into OAG’s work. In this issue of Audit Buzz, OAG summarizes the status of current engagements, provides a case scenario on conflicts of interest in the Knowledge Hive, and offers a training opportunity for FCPS employees. Stay up to date with OAG's current and future work by subscribing to Audit Buzz.

Staff Staples

Note: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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 - October 19: Excellence Awards, Open Enrollment Update, National Award For Principal

Employee News 3 months 2 weeks ago

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Excellence Awards Recipients Celebrated at Fairfax High School


Shira Brothers, coordinator of Career and Transition Services in the Office of Special Education Instruction (left); Becky Rock, learning disabilities teacher at Key Middle School (center); and Jenn Scott, Systems of Support advisor with Interagency Alternative Schools Programs (right).

Last week, more than 120 FCPS employees received Excellence Awards at a recognition event at Fairfax High School. Excellence Awards celebrate the efforts and achievements of employees whose job performance produces exceptional results that support the mission and vision of FCPS. Learn more about the recipients and celebration.

 

Open Enrollment: November 1-18


Open Enrollment begins in two weeks! The Office of Benefit Services (OBS) will be hosting both in-person and virtual open houses to discuss 2023 benefits. Chat with benefit vendors, including Cigna and Kaiser Permanente representatives, and OBS staff to get answers to your questions. Find links to the Employee Benefits Briefing, additional details about changes for 2023, and the benefits open house schedule on the Open Enrollment webpage.

Principal Recognized For Outstanding School Leadership


Mosaic Elementary School Principal Mahri Aste is one of only nine school leaders recognized nationally by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a recipient of the 2022 Terrell H. Bell Awards for Outstanding School Leadership. The award is part of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Mosaic was named a National Blue Ribbon School earlier this fall. 

Principal Aste and her staff work to ensure students at Mosaic—who come from 40 countries speaking 28 different languages—feel emotionally, mentally, and physically safe. The staff is diverse in terms of gender, race, age, experience, religion, and ethnic backgrounds, so that students can see role models and learn from people that look like and represent them. Principal Aste focuses explicitly on how to communicate across cultures and develop school-wide strategies that are culturally responsive. 

Learn more about Principal Aste on the award website. 

Calendar Reminders: Diwali and Quarter End


Happy Diwali to all those who celebrate this day and the victory of light over darkness. Monday, October 24, is a holiday for teachers and students (only 12-month employees report). Learn more about Diwali. 

As a reminder, Friday, October 28, is the last day of the first quarter, and a two-hour early release for students. Also, schools are closed for students on Monday, October 31, for a teacher workday.

See the Employee Calendar and the 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

Proposed Changes to the Capital Project Engagement Process–We Want Your Feedback!


The Capital Project engagement process represents our commitment to ensuring all school facilities support current educational programs and provide safe spaces for students to learn. The plan includes dollars for renovations, modular classrooms, additions to existing schools, and construction of new schools. 

FCPS engages in this work on a regular cycle, as projects are in various stages of design and construction, and impact a variety of stakeholders. Over the summer and into fall, FCPS staff conducted a review of the capital project communication process and developed a strategy for increasingly robust outreach, accessibility, transparency, and accountability.

Capital projects represent an opportunity for families and community members to be involved in the district. Therefore, we want to hear from you. Take a moment to review the Capital Project engagement process outlined on our website and share your feedback. The feedback form will close October 24, and public input will be shared with the Fairfax County School Board.

It’s Not Too Late! Provide Your Feedback on ESSER Funding


FCPS received Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Funding in fall 2021, to support the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on students. 

ESSER III focus areas have included resources for prevention and mitigation of COVID, academic services, multilingual engagement, support for students’ social emotional needs, and professional development.

We invite you to participate and provide your feedback via our Online Feedback Form, which is also available on the ESSER III webpage through Monday, October 24, at 10 p.m. Your input will inform the School Board and FCPS staff on the community’s view of our work. Your voice matters! 

Employee Engagement–Let Your Voice Be Heard


Starting October 26, contracted employees will have the opportunity to provide feedback about their jobs, work environment, and FCPS overall through the Employee Engagement Survey. Survey participation provides valuable insight on what FCPS is doing well and areas where improvements might be needed.

All responses are confidential. The survey link will be sent via email from our partner, independent research firm K12 Insight, and is compatible with any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Visit the Employee Hub for more information and answers to frequently asked questions about the Employee Engagement Survey.  

Schools to Administer Strategic Plan Student Survey


As mentioned in previous newsletters, FCPS is developing a Strategic Plan that will serve as our roadmap for the future. We encourage every employee, student, parent/caregiver, and community member to participate in this important work. 

Our first engagement opportunity will be an optional survey, which will be open to students in grades 3-12. Knowing what is important to them will be very helpful to Dr. Reid, as she leads the planning of FCPS’ future. Schools will administer the survey—and determine the appropriate time during the school day to do so—between November 2-18. If parents/caregivers would prefer their child not participate, they may opt their child out of taking the survey.

Principals will share more information with their staff in the coming weeks. Learn more about the survey on our website.

Community Conversations Continue


Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid has been hosting Community Conversations across the division since August to get to know our school communities. The events continue through November. We invite you to register to attend your school pyramid event or, if you have been unable to attend a previous event in your pyramid, register at a location and date that is convenient for you. See the schedule and register for an event.

All events are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Language interpretation, child care, and light refreshments will be provided. 

Watch your email, the FCPS website, and our weekly newsletter for information on future events, which may include virtual and/or multilingual events. Keep up with Dr. Reid’s work and visits around the county by reading her Weekly Reflections and following her Instagram page.

Community Review of Secondary World Languages Basal Resources

FCPS will adopt new Secondary (6-12) World Languages Basal Resources for the 2023-24 school year. The process for selecting new resources includes an opportunity for the public to review the instructional materials being considered. Public review will begin Monday, November 7, and end Thursday, December 8. Find more information on FCPS’ website.

Webinar on Home Ownership


Due to the recent upheaval in the housing market, many new realities of home ownership have appeared. Potential buyers need to recognize the importance of having their finances in order prior to applying for a home loan.

Join the New Realities in Home Ownership webinar on October 24, at 4 p.m., for strategies to help you make an informed decision. Attendees will be entered into a raffle to receive wellness prizes. 

View other Employee Assistance Program (EAP) webinar recordings on the Hub. For more information, visit Guidance Resources, our EAP, website and use Web ID: FCPS or call 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for our EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements.

Are you a School Leader? Considering Administration?

The George Mason Education Leadership Program has a Region North (Fairfax region) hybrid cohort that will be accepting new students for the Spring 2023 semester. 

If you are interested in advancing your career by earning a master’s degree or advanced Certificate in Education Leadership, register to attend a virtual information session:

By attending the information session, you may be eligible for an application fee waiver (available to the first 30 applicants following the session). If you have questions, please contact the Education Leadership Program office at [email protected] or 703-993-3633.

School Board Meeting on October 20, at 7 p.m.


The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, October 20, 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:

  • Solar Power Purchase Agreement for Annandale High School
  • Secondary Course Offerings
  • Acquisition to confirm the School Board’s title and ownership of Peace Valley Lane near Justice High School. 

Recordings of School Board meetings and work sessions can be viewed on the FCPS YouTube channel. To watch School Board meetings dubbed in Spanish, you can visit the FCPS en Español YouTube channel

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: Some links in this email require a VPN connection. You can connect to VPN using 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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9 hours 37 minutes ago
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