Early Release Mondays, Boundary Policy, Mason Graduations & Highlights

School Board Mason District 3 days 20 hours ago

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.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

اس نیوزلیٹر کو دوسری زبانوں میں پڑھنے کیلئے ، براہ مہربانی ہماری ویب سائیٹ ملاحظہ کیجیئے۔

Note: This newsletter contains links to translated versions of the content for your convenience. These translations are generated by Google Translate and are not intended to be a substitute for professional translation services.

Mason District Community,

The school year has come to an end and students are off to their summer activities. However, I'd like to extend a final congratulations to the class of 2024! I had the opportunity to attend several graduation ceremonies and have been impressed by the speakers and energized by the enthusiasm and excitement our graduates exude. Good luck graduates on your next adventures.

It’s also important to recognize the staff who spent considerable time in service of our students and invested their energy into the growth and successes of our most precious commodities.

While the school year has come to a close, the work of the School Board continues. Until the annual recess in mid-July, the Board continues its engagement in revising the boundary policy among other priorities.  

I value the input I receive from the Mason Community and am happy to address questions or concerns via email or phone. You can reach me by email at [email protected]. If you are interested in scheduling a phone call, please reach out to my assistant, Cristy Coffey, at [email protected] to arrange a time.

Included in this issue:

Mason Moments:

Opportunities:

VMEA Blue Ribbon Award (corrected) •Summer Reading Adventure2024 CappiesNOVA Early Online CollegeFCPS HonorsSummer Meal ProgramHispanic Leadership AllianceUpcoming School Board Meetings    

Mason News:

Goal Reports:

New Justice HS PrincipalGoal 1 ReportGlasgow MasterclassesGoal 2 ReportBelvedere PYPXGoal 3 ReportCollege BoundGoal 4 ReportBoundary Policy WorkGoal 5 ReportEarly Release Mondays   Mason Moments 2024 VMEA Blue Ribbon Award (Corrected*)

The VMEA Blue Ribbon Award is the highest award given to school music programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia and recognizes achieved excellence in Band, Orchestra, and Choral Performance. All top eligible performing groups must receive a final Superior rating at VMEA District Concert Performance Assessment to qualify for this award. Two Mason District schools earned this prestigious award this year! Congratulations to Poe Middle School, Glasgow Middle School and Justice High School on this significant achievement! 

*Poe Middle School was inadvertently left out of the story published earlier this month.

2024 Cappies

The Cappies of the National Capital area held its annual awards gala honoring excellence in high school theater on June 10 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Congratulations are extended to the Justice High School Wolfpack Theatre with a total of eight nominations and two wins!

Sofia Hemmens, Supporting Actor in a Male Role in a Play, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Elijah Kassa, Lead Actor in a Male Role in a Play, The Picture of Dorian Gray

FCPS Honors 

Each year, the FCPS Department of Human Resources sponsors the recognition of outstanding employees who demonstrate the best instructional and support practices.

Congratulations to Columbia Elementary School teacher Ms. Shea Hestmark, recognized as the FCPS Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year!

Congratulations to Principal Raven Jones from Luther Jackson Middle School, for her recognition as the Outstanding New Principal of the Year!

Additional Mason District finalists:

  • Ms. Katie Shaw, Annandale HS - Outstanding Secondary School New Teacher finalist
  • Ms. Ingrid Badia, Annandale Terrace ES - Outstanding New Principal finalist
  • Ms. Ellen Rogers, Belvedere ES - Outstanding School-Based Professional Employee finalist
  • Ms. Christy Hanlon, Justice HS - Outstanding School-Based Leader finalist
  • Ms. Amanda Castellucci, Woodburn ES - Outstanding Elementary School Teacher finalist
  • Ms. Rebecca Forgy, Parklawn ES - Outstanding Principal finalist
  • Mr. Shawn DeRose, Annandale HS - Outstanding Principal finalist

Congratulations to all of the 2024 winners, finalists, and school recipients from each category.

Hispanic Leadership Alliance Scholarships

The Hispanic Leadership Alliance presented scholarships to 33 students on May 29, 2024 in recognition of demonstrated leadership and mentoring in their educational and social activities. Each applicant will be the first in their families to attend a postsecondary institution.

Congratulations to the scholarship recipients from the Mason District:

Annandale High School - Navarrete Amaya

Falls Church High School - Gerson Barrera Najarro, Victoria Machado

Justice High School - Laina Huynh Amaya, Arlet Almaraz Pérez, Jorge Carrasco, Katerin Quispe Coronel, Nayla Bonilla-Mendez, Marilyn Aguilon Gómez, Yoselin Martínez, Michael Barrera, Genesis Rivera, Victor Hirmas

Lake Braddock Secondary - Alexandra Castro-Velez

Mason News Justice High School Principal

Dr. Sean Rolon has been named the new principal of Justice High School, effective June 20, 2024. 

Dr. Rolon has served as a classroom teacher, assessment coach, and most recently as an assistant principal at Falls Church High School.

Welcome to Justice High School, Dr. Rolon!

Glasgow Masterclasses

On Wednesday, June 5th, Glasgow Middle School hosted their annual Spring Trip Masterclass - an event where Band, Orchestra and Chorus students work with a guest clinician to put together a performance before heading on their Spring Trip the following day. The masterclass is a wonderful opportunity for students to work towards a common goal with inspiring clinicians. 

Glasgow Chorus had the honor of having Philip Keirstead lead the 2024 masterclass. Our choirs thrived under his engaging and inclusive teaching style which helped them to successfully perform the song Peace on Earth and Lots of Little Crickets.

The Glasgow Orchestra was led by Gerald Fowkes, Orchestra Director at Fairfax High School whom the students found to be hilarious and inspiring. The Orchestra of 70 students performed Golden Grove by Brian Balmages. 

Lastly, the Glasgow Band was conducted by Abby Izzo, the band director at Parkside MS in Prince William County. The band put great work into preparing their piece and ended that night's concert with a bang!

Enjoy the performances:

Chorus Masterclass

Orchestra Masterclass

Band Masterclass

Belvedere PYPX

I recently attended the Belvedere Elementary School Primary Years Program (PYP) Exhibition which was a culmination of student learning about the world around them throughout the year. Through the PYP, students develop into globally-minded thinkers, inquirers, and problem solvers.

Students presented the ways in which they applied their knowledge to develop plans to make a difference in their community.

These 5th grade students wrestled with big ideas in ways they found actionable. From Title IX to making Columbia Pike safer for pedestrians, the timely and thoughtful topics and presentations were exceptional!

College Bound!

Many of the 2024 Justice High School AVID and IB graduates plan to attend college this fall at the schools identified below. We are very proud of our students for whom despite many challenges did not allow current circumstances to dictate their future. Congratulations and best wishes to our graduates!

Boundary Policy Work

As previously shared, the Board’s Governance Committee has been working on the revisions to the Division’s Boundary Policy and the full Board will discuss the committee’s proposed draft during the Work Session on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

The meeting will be livestreamed and the community is welcomed to attend in person to view the proceedings at Gatehouse Administration Center - 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church. Note that the Boundary Policy session is scheduled from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.

The proposed draft Boundary policy, to be voted on by the Board in the near future, directs the Division Superintendent to review the boundaries of the entire division every five years. The draft changes also include a plan for community engagement and clearly outline the division’s response in cases of emergency. 

Opportunities Early Release Mondays

In an effort to provide elementary teachers with significant blocks of uninterrupted, in-person, and collaborative planning time, FCPS has developed a plan that includes seven 3-hour early release Mondays for elementary students in the 2024-25 school year. 

A steering committee of school leaders, teachers, and families is being created to ensure this work is supported and implemented consistently across all elementary schools. If you are interested in being a part of the steering committee, please complete this form for consideration by Friday, June 28. 

FCPS staff will be hosting two Community Conversations about the elementary early release Mondays at Gatehouse Administration Center on:

Your questions and ideas are welcome.  Please register by clicking on one of the dates above. Language interpretation and childcare will be available as needed. Please visit our website for more information and email questions to [email protected]

Summer Reading Adventure

Join the Fairfax County Library Summer Reading Adventure to earn virtual badges and receive prizes! Youth and adults can participate.

Register Today

NOVA Early Online College Fall 2024

NOVA Early Online College (EOC) allows rising high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take up to two tuition-free college courses. EOC courses for the fall semester take place Monday, September 23, through Tuesday, December 17, 2024. Students should register by Friday, July 26, at 5 p.m.

Courses are asynchronous, online, and for college credit only. Thirteen courses are offered along with courses that fulfill the IT Technical Support Career Studies Certificate. EOC courses meet the requirements for most of NOVA’s associate degrees as well as being highly transferable as general education requirements for most colleges and universities. 

Summer Meal Program

To support access to healthy meals during the summer months, Fairfax County Public Schools will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program to provide meals free of charge to children and teens 18 and under at the sites and times listed below. 

Meal service will not be provided on July 4th and 5th, 2024.   

Several schools in the Mason District will be offering breakfast and/or lunch:

Annandale Elementary, Bailey's Primary, Beech Tree Elementary, Braddock Elementary, Bren Mar Park Elementary, Camelot Elementary, Columbia Elementary, Holmes Middle, Luther Jackson Middle, Mason Crest Elementary, North Springfield Elementary, Parklawn Elementary, Sleepy Hollow Elementary, Timber Lane Elementary, Westlawn Elementary, Woodburn Elementary.

Meals will be provided, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Summer 2024 Cold Breakfast Menu

Summer 2024 Cold Lunch Menu

Please check the full schedule for dates and times meals will be offered at each location.

Goal Reports

Over the past several months, the Division Superintendent presented reports to the School Board in the five areas identified in the Strategic Plan.

The full presentations and the metrics developed for the 2023-2024 school year are shown below. It is hoped that progress to these measures will be provided in the near term to the School Board and community.

Goal 1: Strong Start: Pre-K - 12

(presented 12/12/2023)

Full Report / PowerPoint Presentation

Goal 1 Report Highlights:

  • Students with Pre-K experiences are linked to higher rates of literacy, mathematics and executive functioning skills at Kindergarten;
  • Pre-school attendance is linked to higher rates of high school graduation and higher rates of college attendance.

Measurable Progress:

By the end of the 2023-2024 school year, FCPS seeks to: 

  • Increase percentage of all students with Pre-K experience from 75% to 80%. All subgroups* are expected to increase Pre-K at least 5 percentage points, except for Students with Disabilities who are expected to maintain the current percentage of 90% and White students for whom the goal is from 88% to 90% or more; (Measure A of Goal 1 – page 15 of full report)
  • Increase percentage of students meeting grade level expectations for reading, mathematics and executive functioning in the fall from 71% to 76% and by 5 percentage points for 8 of the 9 reported subgroups; (Measure B of Goal 1 – page 17 of full report)
  • Increase percentage of English Learners who meet the state criteria for growth from 45% to 50%. (Measure D of Goal 1 – page 49 of full report)

*Subgroups: 1) Economically Disadvantaged, 2) Multilingual Learners/English Learners, 3) Students With Disabilities, 4) Students With 504 Plan, 5) Asian, 6) Black, 7) Hispanic, 8) Multi-Racial/Two or More, 9) White

Notable Data:

  • 75% of FCPS students entered with Pre-K experiences: 20% of students are served in FCPS programs, 55% are served by programs outside of FCPS (private, County offerings) and 25% do not participate in any Pre-K experience at all;
  • Of the 75% of FCPS students with Pre-K experience, English Learners have the lowest rates of participation at 55%, Hispanic students at 57% and Economically Disadvantaged students at 62%; (page 15 of full report)
  • Of the students entering FCPS without Pre-K experience, the data per pyramid show Mason District schools as follows: AHS pyramid - 37%, FCHS pyramid - 33% and JHS pyramid - 41%; (page 13 of full report)
  • 71% of FCPS Kindergarten students met grade level expectations at the beginning of K for reading, mathematics and executive functioning; (48% of K without Pre-K and 78% with Pre-K experience); (page 18 of full report)
  • 62% of kindergartners met grade level expectations in reading, mathematics and executive functioning in the spring, with 35% of English Learners, 39% of Economically Disadvantaged students, 40% of Hispanic students, and 40% of Students With Disabilities meeting these expectations; (page 19 of full report)
  • 55% of students in 1st through 3rd grade met grade level expectations on the mathematics screener by the spring, with 24% of English Learners, 27% of Economically Disadvantaged students, and 27% of Hispanic students meeting this expectation; (page 21 of full report)
  • 69% of 3rd grade students read on grade level, with 34% of English Learners, 41% of Economically Disadvantaged students, and 41% of Hispanic students reading at grade level; (page 21 of full report)
  • 45% of English Learners made the expected growth as defined by the state. (page 48 of full report)
Goal 2: Safe, Supported, Included, and Empowered

(presented 4/2/2024)

Full Report / PowerPoint Presentation

Goal 2 Report Highlights:

  • Chronic absenteeism is defined as being absent from school for any reason (excused and unexcused) for at least 10% of the school year which is 18 days of the 180-day school calendar. 
  • Nationally and within FCPS, chronic absenteeism increased during and after the pandemic. National data show a 13.5 percentage point increase and FCPS data show 7.8 percentage point increase.
  • Chronic absenteeism is associated with lower test scores and grade performance, decreased likelihood of on-time graduation, increased dropout risk, and lower likelihood of college enrollment.
  • Middle school chronic absenteeism is associated with an increased risk of not graduating from high school.
  • Discipline disproportionately refers to instances when students who belong to specific demographic groups are subjected to disciplinary actions at greater rates than students who belong to other demographic groups.  

Measurable Progress:

By the end of the 2023-2024 school year, FCPS seeks to:

  • Increase student attendance rates from 87% to at least 90% for all students. All subgroups are expected to increase attendance at least 5 percentage points, i.e., For Economically Disadvantaged students from 79% to 84%, Hispanic students from 80% to 85% ML and SWD from 81% to 86; (Measure D of Goal 2 – page 12 of full report)
  • Reduce discipline disproportionality, discipline referral risk from 2.1 to 2.0 for students who are Economically Disadvantaged and from 1.8 to 1.7  for Black students, Multilingual Learners and Students With Disabilities; (Measure F of Goal 2 – page 27 of full report)
  • Reduce discipline disproportionality of suspensions from 3.0 to 2.9 for Students With Disabilities and from 2.9 to 2.8 for students who are Economically Disadvantaged and from 2.3 to 2.2 for Black students;  (Measure F of Goal 2 – page 29 of full report)
  • Increase the percentage of schools with at least 85% of students who are absent for less than 10% of the school from 64% of schools to 69% of schools. (Measure D of Goal 2 – page 14 of full report)

Notable Data: 

  • 87% of all students were absent for less than 10% of the school year to include 79% of Economically Disadvantaged students, 80% of Hispanic students, and 81% of Multilingual Learners and Students With Disabilities were absent less than 10%. (page 12 of full report)
  • 66% of students were absent less than 5% of the school year. (page 13 of full report)
  • 81% of VDOE designated current and former Multilingual Learners were absent less than 10% of the school year to include 70% of ELP level 9 (kindergarten) students, 73% of ELP level 1 students, 77% of ELP level 2 students, 82% of ELP level 3 students, 87% of ELP level 4 students, and 89% of ELP level 6a-6d students were absent less than 10% of the year. (page 16 of full report)
  • Discipline referral risk is 2.1 for students who are Economically Disadvantaged and 1.8 for Black students, Multilingual Learners and Students With Disabilities. (page 27 of full report)
  • Boys were over 2 times more likely to receive discipline referrals and suspensions.  
  • 1% of all students received a suspension consequence. The percentage is 3% for each of the following groups: Economically Disadvantaged students, Multilingual Learners, Students With Disabilities, and Black students. (page 29 of full report)
  • Students With Disabilities discipline involvement rates are highest for Black students at 7% and Economically Disadvantaged and Multilingual Learners at 5%. (page 32 of full report)
Goal 3: Academic Growth and Excellence

(presented 11/14/2023)

Full Report / PowerPoint Presentation / Supplemental Information

Goal 3 Report Highlights:

  • Students with 504 plans, Asian, Two or More Races, and White racial/ethnic groups have fairly high rates of performance with approximately 80 percent of students in these groups reading on grade level by 3rd grade.
  • Economically Disadvantaged, English Learners, Students With Disabilities, Hispanic, and Black student groups have low rates of performance on reading on grade level by 3rd grade. 
  • Gaps exist in kindergarten for the same student groups that have lower rates of passing the 3rd grade reading SOL exam. This means that gaps start early and persist through higher grade levels.
  • FCPS needs to improve its efforts to develop students’ foundational skills and content knowledge aligned to Algebra 1, beginning in early elementary school to ensure students are prepared for Algebra 1 success by 8th grade.

Measurable Progress:

By the end of the 2023-2024 school year, FCPS seeks to:

  • Increase Pass Rates of the Grade 3 SOL/VAAP reading exam from 69% to 74% and by 5 percentage points for each of the 9 reported subgroups; (Measure B of Goal 3 - page 13 of full report) 
  • Increase the percentage of students who receive a verified credit in Algebra 1 by the end of 8th grade from 51% to 56% and by 5 percentage points for each of the 9 reported subgroups; (Measure C of Goal 3 - page 24 of full report)  
  • Increase the percentage of schools that increase the percentage of students successfully completing Algebra 1 by the end of 8th grade from 31% to 36%; (Measure C of Goal 3 - page 25 of full report)
  • Increase the percent of students in the senior cohort who earned a C- or higher in at least one AP/IB/DE or other 1.0 weighted course and/or earned CTE finisher status before graduating from 85% to 90% and by 5 percentage points for 5 of the 9 reported subgroups (Economically Disadvantaged, English Learners, Students With Disabilities, Black students, and Hispanic students), and by 1-2 percentage points for 2 of the 9 reported subgroups (Two or More and White students) and to maintain 90% for 2 of the 9 reported subgroups (504 Plan and Asian students); (Measure D of Goal 3 - page 40 of full report)
  • Increase the percentage of English Learner students who meet the benchmark of reading on grade level by 3rd grade from 34% to 39%; (Measure F of Goal 3 - page 50 of full report)
  • Increase of English Learner students meeting the benchmark of succeeding in Algebra 1 by 8th grade from 7% to 12%; (Measure C of Goal 3 - page 53 of full report)
  • Increase the percentage of English Learners meeting the benchmark of succeeding in Advanced or CTE coursework by the end of high school from 42% to 47%. (Measure D of Goal 3 - page 59 of full report)
Goal 4: Equitable Access and Opportunity

(presented 5/7/2024)

Full Report / PowerPoint Presentation

Goal 4 Report Highlights:

  • The FLES program provides opportunities to explore cultural aspects of the target language so that students grow in their ability to interact with other cultures. The program is designed to provide all students in a FLES elementary school site, grades K through 6th the opportunity to communicate in a target language. FCPS offers FLES programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.

There were no progress measures for the 2023-2024 school year.

Notable Data:

  • 16 of 42 title 1 schools (38%) offer a foreign language in Elementary Schools which includes Bailey's Primary, Belvedere, Beech Tree, Braddock, Parklawn, Sleepy Hollow, and Woodburn. 
  • 16 of 25 middle schools offer 3 or more World Language Offerings which includes Glasgow and Luther Jackson.
Goal 5: Leading for Tomorrow's Innovation

(presented 3/19/2024)

Full Report / PowerPoint Presentation

Goal 5 Report Highlights:

  • Students who recently became English proficient (ELP levels 6a-6d) had a 98% on-time graduation rate and a 2% dropout rate.
  • Students With Disabilities in FCPS had a 95% on-time graduation rate which was similar to the Division average.
  • Students With Disabilities had a 4% dropout rate, which is lower than Virginia standards for accreditation of at or below 6%.
  • 25% of Students With Disabilities who received level 2 services received an Applied Studies Diploma.
  • Students who were Economically Disadvantaged had a 91% on-time graduation rate which was similar to the Division average.
  • Students who were Economically Disadvantaged were almost 2 times more likely to drop out compared to students who were not Economically Disadvantaged.

Measurable Progress:

By the end of the 2023-2024 school year, FCPS seeks to:

  • Increase on-time graduation rates for English Learners/Multilingual Learners from 73% to 78% and for Hispanic students from 82% to 87% and to maintain the 7 of the 9 reported subgroups; (Measure C of Goal 5 - page 15 of the full report)
  • Reduce dropout rates for English Learners/Multilingual Learners from 25% to 20%, for Hispanic students from 16% to 11% and for Economically Disadvantaged students from 7% to less than 6%. (Measure C of Goal 5 - page 18 of the full report) 
Upcoming School Board Meetings

Regular School Board Meetings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • June 27, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
  • July 11, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
  • July 18, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.

Work Sessions (Gatehouse Administration Center)

  • June 24, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. (Committee Reports)
  • June 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. (Forums and Work Session)

All meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and on the FCPS website. The meetings are recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

Would you like to share your ideas and concerns with the School Board and staff?  Register HERE to speak at a regular meeting or public hearing.

Reuniones de la Junta Escolar de FCPS en Español

Para ver las reuniones de la Junta Escolar grabadas o para ver en vivo durante las reuniones regulares en YouTube, por favor vaya al canal de YouTube de FCPS en Español o escanee el código QR.

@masonfcps

@MasonDistrictSB

@masondistrictsb

The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia

E-mail: Ricardy Anderson |  Phone: 571-423-1083 | Twitter

Cristy Coffey, Executive Admin Assistant, 571-423-1064, [email protected]

Celebrating Mason and Family Life Education Curriculum Feedback Needed

School Board Mason District 3 weeks 4 days ago

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To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

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Để đọc bản tin này bằng ngôn ngữ khác, xin quý vị truy cập vào trang mạng của chúng tôi.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

اس نیوزلیٹر کو دوسری زبانوں میں پڑھنے کیلئے ، براہ مہربانی ہماری ویب سائیٹ ملاحظہ کیجیئے۔

Note: This newsletter contains links to translated versions of the content for your convenience. These translations are generated by Google Translate and are not intended to be a substitute for professional translation services.

Mason District Community,

I hope this communication finds you well as we barrel toward the end of the school year. In this issue, guardians and caregivers are reminded to provide feedback about the revisions to the Family Life Education Curriculum. The feedback survey will close on June 10th. 

Last week, the School Board approved the FY2025 Budget which allocates a 4% raise for all employees.  

I look forward to seeing our seniors and their families and friends next week for graduation ceremonies for Annandale High School, Bryant High School, AIM, Justice High School and Falls Church High School.

Family Life Education Materials Available for Review

On May 21, 2024, staff presented recommended changes to the Family Life Education curriculum during a School Board Work Session. The community review period for the recommended changes opened on May 10 and will continue until Monday, June 10, at 4:30 p.m. Please take the time to provide feedback after reviewing the materials. All comments will be shared with the School Board prior to the vote to approve the recommendations on June 27, 2024.

There are four main recommended changes:

Recommendation #1 (page 4 of report)

Approve new and revised objectives and descriptive statements to support instruction on the topics of consent, setting personal boundaries, and respecting the boundaries of others.

Revisions: 

  • Grade 9 - Lesson 2: Students will identify examples and effects of sexual violence and identity skills to promote safety and situational awareness. Resources for help and reporting sexual violence will be provided.
  • Grade 9 - Lesson 5: Students will identify characteristics of unhealthy relationships and identify strategies to navigate or end unhealthy relationships.

 New objectives will be applicable to students in: 

  • Grade 9: Students will identify characteristics of, and how to develop and maintain healthy relationships in a variety of settings. 
  • Grade 9: Students explain the value of setting personal boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others and will define affirmative consent.
  • Grade 10: Students will examine teen relationships and identify communication of consent, absence of consent, and withdrawal of consent related to intimacy and sexual behavior. Students will discuss the impact peer pressure may have on decision making in teen relationships. (page 6 of full report)
  • Grade 11: Students will identify characteristics of unhealthy relationships that may lead to teen relationship violence, sexual assault, abuse, strangulation, sextortion, and sex trafficking. Strategies for risk reduction, prevention, and available support services will be provided.
  • Grade 12: Students will interpret laws that affect family life.
  • Grade 12: Students will review consent, respecting when consent is not given or is withdrawn, and bystander awareness and intervention strategies.

Recommendation #2 (page 7 of report)

Approve objectives and descriptive statements in kindergarten, fifth, and tenth grades and grades one through six modified curriculum to support recommendations from the 2023 summer curriculum development team.

Revisions:

  • Grades 1-6: Elementary School Emotional and Social Health Safety Unit - lesson 6. The student will demonstrate strategies for responding to inappropriate approaches from family members, neighbors, strangers, or others without being unduly alarmed about nonexistent dangers. (page 9 of full report)

New objectives will be applicable to students in: 

  • Grade K: Students will recognize that everyone is a member of a family and identify members of their individual families. (page 8 of full report)
  • Grade K: Students will identify positive ways in which family members and friends show love, affection, respect, and appreciation for each other.
  • Grade K: Students will define personal space and demonstrate how to say “no” to behaviors from people both inside and outside the family that make the student feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
  • Grade 5: Students will define child abuse and child neglect and identify adults whom they can tell and ask for help.
  • Grade 10: Students will identify how contraceptive methods work and will identify the advantages of abstaining from sexual activity.

Recommendation #3 (page 10 of report)

  • Approve use of the media My Changing Life: The Complete Guide to Puberty in grade four for both the boys’ and the girls’ lessons. 
  • Recommend showing the same video including the male and female reproductive systems and menstruation to boys and girls in gender separate classes.
  • A new video covering puberty and the reproductive systems is being produced by FCPS Information Technology and Instructional Services staff. It is intended to replace the media currently being used in grades four through six. The current timeline is for the video to be reviewed by FLECAC during SY 2024-2025 with implementation in instruction beginning in SY 2025-2026. 

Recommendation #4 (page 11 of report)

Approve revised objectives and descriptive statements to support instruction of the male and female reproductive systems in grades four through eight.

Revisions are applicable to students in:

  • Grade 4: The student will recognize the physical changes that occur during puberty and relate these changes to the increased need for personal hygiene.
  • Grade 5: Students will identify the structures and functions of the male and female reproductive systems. 
  • Grade 6: Students will review the structures and functions of the male and female reproductive systems and how these change during puberty.
  • Grade 7: Students will identify the components of the male and female reproductive systems and describe how their functioning changes during puberty.

More information is available online.

Mason Moments Justice Girls Lacrosse

Congratulations to the Justice High School Girls Lacrosse Team - National District Champions!

2024 VMEA Blue Ribbon Award

The VMEA Blue Ribbon Award is the highest award given to school music programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia and recognizes achieved excellence in Band, Orchestra, and Choral Performance. All top eligible performing groups must receive a final Superior rating at VMEA District Concert Performance Assessment to qualify for this award. Two Mason District schools earned this prestigious award this year! Congratulations to Glasgow Middle School and Justice High School on this significant achievement! 

Region Shot Put Champion

Congratulations to Occoquan Region Shot Put Champion, Fatima Amaya Diaz from Justice High School! In addition, Fatima broke a 34-year-old school record in the discus. She qualified to compete in both events at the Virginia State Meet in Newport News this weekend. Congratulations and good luck!

Grit and Perseverance

Annandale senior Samiullah Luddin stands with Multilingual Department Chair Meredith Hedrick and Multilingual teacher Tricia Kapuscinski, two of many educators who supported him on his path to graduation.

Afghan refugee Samiullah Luddin, a senior at Annandale High School, did not have the easiest path to graduation.

Samiullah — whose family left Afghanistan after his father survived being kidnapped by the Taliban and detained for months — began his American public school experience in 2020. He showed up to school for the first time in the U.S. to pick up a laptop, ready to embark on virtual learning like students across the country during the early days of the pandemic.

After mastering virtual learning on a laptop, he and his siblings were the first students to enter their school building to resume in-person learning in 2021, embracing an early return option for multilingual students. They eagerly signed up for summer school that year as well.

Outside of school, he turned the Dunya Club for refugee students into a place where kids from a variety of countries could play pick-up cricket and bond over the challenges of acclimating to a new culture. He climbed the ranks of the McDonalds’ employment ladder to become a manager, touting his work there as helping improve his English skills.

Fast forward to May of this year, when one obstacle stood between him and graduation: the Reading Standards of Learning (SOL) exam. Samiullah had taken and failed the exam 13 times. While he thought of giving up along the way, he credits his teachers with not letting him do so at any point in his high school journey.

On May 15, Samiullah sat for his 14th attempt. He reports not being able to sleep the night after taking the test as he waited for the results. The next morning, ESOL teacher Ms. Kapuscinski gave him the news - he had passed! 

Learn more about Samiullah’s journey.

Falls Church Guitar Ensemble

The Falls Church Guitar Ensemble delivered a lovely lunchtime performance at Gatehouse recently under the direction of Mr. Walker. The diverse repertoire was beautiful and the techniques impressive as we were taken on a world tour from Africa to Asia. It was an absolute pleasure to witness the passion and dedication of these musicians.

Take a moment to listen to one of the pieces they performed for us.

Global Leaders of Fairfax County

The Global Leaders of Fairfax County program seeks to prepare its fellows to be global citizens and change agents in their community and the world.

The program provides fellows with opportunities during their senior year of high school to take part in a project to address one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the Fairfax County community, engage with national and global leaders, and participate in field trips to enhance their understanding of international affairs and global issues.

Congratulations to the Mason District students included in the Global Leaders Fellows Class of 2024:

Christina Abouzeki, Annandale High School

Oliver Aminoff, Edison High School

Alana Dillon, Edison High School

Sahil Kapadia, Thomas Jefferson High School

Maya Manchester, Edison High School

Alexa Rubio, Edison High School

Edina Tedros, Justice High School

Tsion Teklebirhan, Annandale High School

Rediate Yohanes, Annandale High School

Inspiring Students to Explore Technology and Coding

Congratulations to Kathleen Fugle, STEAM resource teacher at Sleepy Hollow Elementary School. The Virginia Department of Education recognized her as their 2024 Computer Science Educator of the Year! 

Kathleen was recognized for her passion for computer science and her proactive involvement in promoting it within the Sleepy Hollow community. Her efforts are appreciated by both her students and the wider school community. Read about Kathleen and this award. Watch how she inspires her students.

The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia

E-mail: Ricardy Anderson |  Phone: 571-423-1083 | Twitter

Cristy Coffey, Executive Admin Assistant, 571-423-1064, [email protected]

SR&R Recap, FY25 Approved Budget, State Recognitions, Reading Instruction, Summer Arts Program, and More!

School Board Mason District 1 month 1 week ago

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

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

Để đọc bản tin này bằng ngôn ngữ khác, xin quý vị truy cập vào trang mạng của chúng tôi.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

اس نیوزلیٹر کو دوسری زبانوں میں پڑھنے کیلئے ، براہ مہربانی ہماری ویب سائیٹ ملاحظہ کیجیئے۔

Note: This newsletter contains links to translated versions of the content for your convenience. These translations are generated by Google Translate and are not intended to be a substitute for professional translation services.

Mason District Community,

Congratulations to our 2024 graduates! You and your loved ones should be very proud of this incredible accomplishment. Whether your path winds through military service, full time employment or college, or another venture, we wish you much success in your future endeavors. I look forward to celebrating with you during your commencement ceremonies in the next few weeks.

Mason District Graduation Schedule:

  • Annandale High School, June 3 at 9:30 a.m., Eagle Bank Arena
  • Edison High School, June 5 at 7:30 p.m., Eagle Bank Arena
  • Falls Church High School, June 7 at 2:00 p.m., Eagle Bank Arena
  • Thomas Jefferson HSST, June 8 at 7:30 p.m., Eagle Bank Arena
  • Justice High School, June 6 at 7:30 p.m., Eagle Bank Arena
  • Woodson High School, June 6 at 2:00 p.m., Eagle Bank Arena

I also wish to offer a final reminder about the Community Conversation tonight with Dr. Reid. Please share your thoughts and ask questions! Registration is not required, but is appreciated. 

Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m.
Poe Middle School
Register Here

I value the input I receive from the Mason Community and am happy to address questions or concerns via email or phone. You can reach me by email at [email protected]. If you are interested in scheduling a phone call, please reach out to my assistant, Cristy Coffey, at [email protected] to arrange a time.

Included in this issue:

Mason Moments: FCPS News:FBLA State Leadership ConferenceNew Student School Board RepJustice Rowing - State MedalsNew Human Resource ChiefState Science & Engineering Fair   •Regional Scholastic Writing Awards Opportunities:   •Summer Arts Programs Mason News:Upcoming School Board MeetingsMason District Alumnus in Austria   •Culmore Family Resource Center       School Board Work Updates:   •Student Rights & Responsibilities   •FY 2025 Approved Budget   •Reading / Basal Adoption   Mason Moments FBLA State Leadership Conference

At the recent 2024 Virginia Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference, 200 students from FCPS high schools competed in 55 events ranging from 3-D Animation and Accounting to Cyber Security, Computer Problem Solving, and Public Speaking. 

FBLA is the largest career and technical student organization in the world. Each year, the organization helps over 200,000 members prepare for careers in business.

Congratulations to the seven Mason District students who placed in the state competition, qualifying them to compete in the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Orlando in June.

Glasgow Middle School: Nii Annan, Samuel Mulat, Miriam Stavlund, and Amen Shimeles 

Edison High School: Charles Barrios Lazo

Falls Church High School: Jessica Nguyen-Tran and Hang Tang

A complete list of FCPS winners is available.

Justice Rowing - State Championship Medals!

Justice High School Rowing submitted 6 entries to the Virginia State Championships which resulted in three second-place medals! Terrific showing, Wolves!

Congratulations to second-place medalists:

Women’s Senior Double: Chloé Bernasconi and Ella Stavlund

Women’s Senior Quad: Indigo Brookes-Weis, Sabrina Ehmann-Jones, Brooke Ehmann-Jones, and Anna Lyons 

Men’s Senior Quad: Stephen Blackadar, Sam Schneider, Tucker Trissell, and Charlie Hess

The Women’s Junior Double and Women’s Junior Quad narrowly missed out on medaling, finishing fourth in very competitive races. Congratulations to all!

State Science and Engineering Fair

Seventy-eight students from FCPS participated in the 2024 Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair held at Old Dominion University last month. Mason District students Austin Cui and Benjamin Hall, along with classmate Matthew Lee, all from Woodson High School, earned third place in Engineering Technology and Sustainable Design and an honorable mention for the Leidos Award for Excellence in Applied Science.

These students are eligible to participate in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2024, the world’s largest pre-college STEM competition. Nearly 1,700 high school students from around the world are expected to compete for nearly $9 million in awards this week. Congratulations and good luck!

A complete list of FCPS winners is available.

Regional Scholastic Writing Awards

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) student writers won 31 Gold Key awards in the 2024 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards competition. In all, 259 Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mentions were earned by FCPS students. 

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, is the largest, longest-running recognition program of its kind in the United States. Writing categories include critical essay, dramatic script, flash fiction, humor, journalism, novel writing, personal essay and memoir, poetry, science fiction and fantasy, short story, and writing portfolio. 

Congratulations to the following Mason District students who earned awards this year:

  • Annandale High School - Fatmata Musa
  • Justice High School - Sofia Hemmens, Safinabonu Juraeva, and Yusra Wahedi

See the full list of awardees.

Mason News Mason District Alumnus Headed to Austria

Darien Roby, Justice High School Class of 2020, has earned a spot in an intensive opera-training program in Austria this summer! After graduating from Justice High School, Darien attended James Madison University, majoring in vocal performance. Congratulations, Darien!

Culmore Family Resource Center

On April 26, I was honored to join Delegate Charniele L. Herring and the Junior League of Northern Virginia (JLNV) at the ribbon cutting for the new Period Pantry located at the Culmore Family Resource Center.

The Culmore Period Pantry stocks a variety of feminine hygiene products available for free to anyone in need. This pantry is the latest effort by the JLNV in their Campaign to End Period Poverty. Donations will be accepted during the center's regular hours in order to keep the pantry stocked.

The Culmore Family Resource Center welcomes between 700 and 800 visitors each month and offers a wide range of services and programs through the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, including adult literacy programming, a clubhouse for children with a focus on literacy, Safe Youth Project, homework support, home visits (coordinated with schools), field trips, and of course the newly opened period pantry.

Culmore Family Resource Center
3304B Culmore Court, Falls Church, VA 22041
703-379-5217, TTY 711
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

School Board Work Updates Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R)

The School Board approved the SY 2025 Student Rights and Responsibilities, Regulation 2601, at the May 9 regular meeting

I introduced two amendments which were approved by the School Board. 

  1. To decrease non-instructional cell phone use in the classrooms, revisions to the cell phone policy will add the clause, “with the approval of the principal, or their designee” before the sentence, “teachers may allow usage of cell phones for instructional activities, where they are the most appropriate tool; however, one-to-one FCPS devices should meet most needs" on page 15.
  2. Revisions to the substance abuse section will now allow a student voluntarily seeking support for substance abuse issues (or whose parent/guardian is seeking support for the student) will be provided support without application of SR&R consequences if the student does not have a history of substance abuse or drug distribution related discipline and is not associated in current investigations related to substance abuse or drug distribution. This assistance would not absolve students from consequences if evidence is found indicating the student’s involvement in drug/substance-related violations to the SR&R after the initial request for support (page 37 of the SR&R).

Additional revisions include:

  • Addition of Self-Defense stating that school officials shall consider as a factor when determining disciplinary action for misconduct involving fighting.
  • Revision to Possessing, Using, and Being Under Influence of Controlled Substances to be in alignment with VDOE guidelines on the possessing of marijuana and THC oil. Possessing of marijuana and THC oil was changed to start at Level 3 (from a Level 2).

A full list of revisions can be found in the May 9th presentation.

FUTURE WORK

The Board also approved several motions to direct the Superintendent to: 

  • develop and implement a strategic communications plan to inform stakeholders of the expectations contained in the SR&R with respect to cell phone usage in high schools. Further, to aid consistent implementation of the existing cell phone policies, the Superintendent will develop a plan for consideration by the Board, for a 2024-25 school year pilot program within each region for secure cell phone storage to include the potential use of classroom cell phone lockers, magnetic pouches, or other similar devices. The Superintendent will work directly with principals and school-based staff to reiterate the Board’s expectation that the SR&R cell phone policy be consistently enforced at all times.
  • provide by November 1, 2024, data and analysis, including demographic data, on recidivism/discipline issues and on-time graduation (for students who have graduated) starting with School Year 2021- 22 for current students and those who graduated during this time frame, who as a result of disciplinary action/measures had been 1) removed from their base school; 2) sent to alternative schools/programs; 3) removed from current school due to an IEP team decision; or 4) sent to a different comprehensive school.
  • develop alternatives to existing FCPS practices governing cell phones in public schools. Specifically, the Superintendent shall develop multiple options to establish a consistent policy governing student access to and usage of cell phones in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. The option set shall include, but not be limited to, a prohibition on student usage of cell phones during the school day, with appropriate exceptions for instructional activities and appropriate accommodations for students with IEPs, 504s, or medical conditions. The option set shall incorporate stakeholder input, best practices, and lessons learned from other school divisions. The Superintendent shall solicit public input on the option set in advance of its presentation to the School Board. The Superintendent shall present the option set to the School Board by March 1, 2025. None of the options shall be implemented by the Superintendent unless approved by majority vote of the School Board.
  • prepare for the Board an assessment of student disciplinary practices with an eye towards greater efficacy and fidelity of implementation, including a thoughtful evaluation of and any recommended changes for “shall” and “may” directives. This assessment shall include robust engagement from families, school staff (including classroom educators), students, and relevant stakeholders. It shall also include details about lessons learned from the fidelity training included in this year’s SR&R, and suggestions for moving the next SR&R toward greater clarity, efficacy, and fidelity. Finally, this assessment will be completed and brought back to the Board by November 1, 2024, for thoughtful consideration, potential amendments, and action.
FY 2025 Approved Budget

The Superintendent presented the School Board with the FY 2025 Approved Budget at the May 9th meeting. Changes from the FY 2025 Advertised Budget include a reduction of the proposed salary increase from 6% to 3%. This reduction is primarily due because the County granted the School Board an additional $165M of the $254M being requested, resulting in a $89M shortfall. 

The full presentation can be found on BoardDocs which also includes recommendations from the Superintendent to shift $6.5M to year-end to fund the ERFC Legacy DROP program, $24.2M for special education teacher extended day contracts, and $0.8M for one-time funding for athletic expansion.

The next steps in FCPS’ budget process include the final Work Session on Tuesday, May 21 and the vote to adopt the final budget on Thursday, May 23.

For more details on our budget, view FCPS budget documents.

On a related note, I will continue my advocacy, which was started last fall, for the Board of Supervisors to consider implementing a meals tax in order to continue to support the increasing needs of our schools. View the November 28, 2023 School Board/Board of Supervisors Joint Budget Meeting (my remarks begin at 4:00).

Reading / Basal Adoption

Reading / Basal Adoption

At the March 7th Regular Business Meeting, the Board received a presentation regarding the K-6 Language Arts Basal Adoption and voted unanimously to approve the purchase of Benchmark Advance as the basal instructional resource for elementary language arts. 

The Board was informed that basal materials are foundational instructional materials that are aligned with the Science of Reading and will be implemented in all K-6 classrooms in the school year 2024-25. Furthermore, staff has indicated that the new basal resource is expected to: 

  • ensure that all students in K-6 are instructed via the Science of Reading approach, which is proven to be the strongest approach to ensure literacy mastery;
  • align literacy instruction across the entire school division, for teaching strategies and thematic content;
  • provide content designed to build knowledge, vocabulary, and perspectives via thematic units across grade bands;
  • meet the requirements of the Virginia Literacy Act; and 
  • allow adjustments to best instruct our students with disabilities and our English language learners.

Ms. Klimenko, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, indicated that reading and language arts teachers will be trained in the use of the new basal starting this summer and training will continue into the next school year. 

Staff and community are enthusiastically supportive of the basal implementation and its anticipated outcomes to develop proficient readers across all demographic subgroups given the research based practices on which it was developed.   

Staff also shared that FCPS will require a daily time allotment of 90-105 minutes for reading/language arts instruction - which is slightly less than the publisher's recommendation of 120 minutes. The challenge presented for sixth grade students who attend our middle schools is that they would only receive 90 minutes of instruction every other day. The current plan would mean that sixth graders at Glasgow, Holmes and Poe would be provided with half of the mandated literacy time allotment due the middle school block scheduling.  

Additionally, the plan as currently devised will require Social Studies teachers, who are not scheduled for training in the basal materials, to teach one of the nine instructional units. Furthermore, two additional units will be eliminated entirely. This will result in the removal of three of the nine basal instructional units for sixth graders in middle schools from their reading/language arts block.

This proposed solution to the challenges of the middle school schedule  - especially given the deep needs of our students as illustrated by multiple data points, is unacceptable. It is imperative that staff develop a plan that equitably provides access for the 1,191 middle school sixth grade students that includes access to the full scope of the units with the recommended daily time allotment.

FCPS News New Student School Board Representative

Megan Sawant, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council (SAC) to serve a one-year term as student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, beginning July 1. Ms. Sawant will participate in School Board meetings as a nonvoting member, filling the position currently held by Rida Karim, a junior at Woodson High School. She will be the 54th student representative to the School Board. Read more about Megan here.

New Chief Human Resources Officer

Superintendent Reid has named William Solomon as chief human resources officer, effective June 3, 2024. Mr. Solomon currently serves as Executive Director of Talent Acquisition in Houston Independent School District (ISD).

Learn more about Mr. Solomon.

Opportunities Summer Arts Programs

Do you have plans for your children yet this summer? Do they love the Arts? Rising 7-12 grade students can learn Photography, Guitar, Cake Decorating, Painting, Stage Combat, Acting, Stone Carving, and much more! Visit Institute for the Arts for more information.

Rising 3-6 grade students can take classes in Art, Music, Theatre and Dance daily. Visit Elementary Institute for the Arts for more information.

Both programs are located at Lake Braddock Secondary School

July 8-26, 2024

Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Transportation is available and tuition assistance is offered for students who qualify. Enroll today while seats are still available!

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Regular School Board Meetings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • May 23, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
  • June 13, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.

Work Sessions (Gatehouse Administration Center)

  • May 21, 2024 at 2:00 p.m.
  • May 28, 2024 at 10:30 a.m.

All meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and on the FCPS website. The meetings are recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

Would you like to share your ideas and concerns with the School Board and staff?  Register HERE to speak at a regular meeting or public hearing.

Reuniones de la Junta Escolar de FCPS en Español

Para ver las reuniones de la Junta Escolar grabadas o para ver en vivo durante las reuniones regulares en YouTube, por favor vaya al canal de YouTube de FCPS en Español o escanee el código QR.

We are cognizant of the significant language needs of the Mason District and I will continue to advocate for their availability and inclusion.

@masonfcps

@MasonDistrictSB

@masondistrictsb

The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia

E-mail: Ricardy Anderson |  Phone: 571-423-1083 | Twitter

Cristy Coffey, Executive Admin Assistant, 571-423-1064, [email protected]

Mason Moments, Mason News, Upcoming Events, Feedback Opportunities, and More!

School Board Mason District 1 month 3 weeks ago

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

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

Để đọc bản tin này bằng ngôn ngữ khác, xin quý vị truy cập vào trang mạng của chúng tôi.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

اس نیوزلیٹر کو دوسری زبانوں میں پڑھنے کیلئے ، براہ مہربانی ہماری ویب سائیٹ ملاحظہ کیجیئے۔

Note: This newsletter contains links to translated versions of the content for your convenience. These translations are generated by Google Translate and are not intended to be a substitute for professional translation services.

Mason District Community,

Currently, the School Board is engaged in some of our most important work. The 2024-2025 Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) regulation is scheduled for a Board vote on May 9, 2024. Please be sure to review the document and share any questions and concerns you may have with me. Additionally, the Board has taken on the crucial work of developing a school boundary policy. You are also invited to review the work to date and provide your feedback.

Please be reminded that the Middle School Start Time Community Forum is scheduled to occur at Glasgow MS this evening, Monday, April 29th, 6-8 p.m. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. I realize the importance of this matter to families in the Mason District for students in our three middle schools spend three years at Glasgow, Poe and Holmes and all other 6th graders in Fairfax County are in elementary schools. 

The Mason District schools have been busy with preparations for their spring musicals and plays, but took time to perform at the School Board’s Regular Business Meeting. The Annandale High School Singers performed the National Anthem at the School Board Meeting on April 11, 2024. Take a moment to listen to the beautiful voices of our students. 

Click on the image to hear the Annandale Singers perform the National Anthem.

Recently, Annandale High School’s principal, Shawn DeRose, shared the document below exposing errors and inconsistent information gathering that outside organizations are using to “rate” our schools. These ratings are often used by individuals looking to relocate to the area which elevates the need to report true and accurate information. We appreciate Mr. DeRose’s leadership in offering the corrections to the families and real estate personnel in our community.

Lastly, in a few weeks, we will begin again with the graduation ceremonies and the schedule is added below for your convenience.

I value the input I receive from the Mason Community and am happy to address questions or concerns via email or phone. You can reach me by email at [email protected]. If you are interested in scheduling a phone call, please reach out to my assistant, Cristy Coffey, at [email protected] to arrange a time.

Included in this issue:

Mason Moments: FCPS News:State Forensics ChampionsFood and NutritionAll-State Band, Orchestra, ChorusMath and Science OlympiadNational Science Teaching AwardAssistance with FAFSA Mason News:Last Day of School DismissalNew Principal at Bailey's UpperSubstance Abuse Prevention ProgramHolmes MS Title I Info SessionNo-Cost Talk TherapyWinko-Matics in Mason District Opportunities:Mason District TheatreMiddle School Start Time Meetings2024 Graduation ScheduleCulmore Community Day School Board Work Updates:Rising 9th Graders in FCHS PyramidBoundary WorkWolfpack Theatre Pyramid DayStudent Rights & ResponsibilitiesEquity Award NominationsERFC Plan ChangesUpcoming School Board MeetingsFY 2025 Budget       Mason Moments State Forensics Champions

Two Justice High School students earned FIRST PLACE awards at the 2024 VHSL State Forensics Meet:

Elias Kassa, Serious Dramatic Interpretation category

Valeria Peterson, Storytelling category

The Justice team earned third place overall in the state competition. Congratulations, Wolves!

2024 All-State Band, Orchestra, and Chorus

One hundred eighty-one FCPS students were selected to perform at the 2024 All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra event. Students from throughout Virginia went through a rigorous audition process to compete for a spot in the band, chorus, or orchestra. 

These groups had the opportunity to rehearse and perform with other premier musicians from across the Commonwealth, under the direction of nationally recognized conductors at the Richmond Convention Center last weekend.

Congratulations to the selected Mason District students!

Falls Church High School: Chorus - Colt Armstrong

Justice High School: Band - Diego Cruz-Coca and Sabrina Ehmann-Jones | Chorus - Sofi Hemmens, Elijah Kassa, Rahel Kassa, Valeria Peterson, and Saron Walelign

TJHSST: Orchestra - Serenna Semonsen

Teacher Receives Award From National Science Teaching Association

Kirsten Salonga, an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) environmental science and biology teacher at Justice High School, has been named one of six winners of the National Science Teaching Association’s 2023 Robert E. Yager Exemplary Teaching Award. Read about Ms. Salonga and this award.

Mason News New Principal at Bailey's Upper

Ms. Holly Dowling has been named the new principal of Bailey’s Upper Elementary, effective May 13, 2024.

Ms. Dowling joins Bailey’s Upper after serving five years as assistant principal at Braddock Elementary School. Prior to joining FCPS, Ms. Dowling held teaching and leadership positions in Alexandria Public Schools and District of Columbia Public Schools.

Welcome to the Mason District, Ms. Dowling!

Title I Info Session at Holmes Middle School Winko-Matics in Mason District

The following school zones in the Mason District currently have Winko-Matic flashing lights installed. The Winko-Matics are just one of several enhanced transportation safety measures FCSP has adopted in partnership with the Fairfax County Police Department. 

Other initiatives include bus arm camera systems on school buses and speed enforcement cameras in school zones. The Winko-Matics for three of these schools have been included in a list for consideration for the next 40 camera installations: Belvedere, Edison, and Weyanoke.

*Braddock Road E/B and Braddock Road W/B cameras are shared **Speed Camera installed

Mason District Theatre

Annandale Theatre Company presents

Mean Girls

May 3-4, 2024

Tickets on sale now!

Woodson High School Drama presents

1776: America’s Award Winning Musical

May 3-4, 2024

Tickets on sale now!

Edison Theatre Company presents

The Addams Family

May 1-3 & 4, 2024

Tickets on sale now!

FCHS Spotlight Theatre Company presents

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

May 2, 4, & 5, 2024

Tickets on sale now!

The Wolfpack Theatre at Justice High School presents

The Internet is Distract - OH LOOK A KITTEN!

May 2-4, 2024

Tickets on sale now!

Luther Jackson Middle School Drama presents

Matilda Jr.

May 16 - 18, 2024

Tickets on sale now!

2024 Graduation Schedule School Date/Time Location

Annandale HS

June 3, 9:30 a.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Edison HS

June 5, 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Falls Church HS

June 7, 2:00 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Thomas Jefferson HSST

June 8, 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Justice HS

June 6, 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Woodson HS

June 6, 2:00 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

 

School Board Work Updates Boundary Work

The Board discussed the larger boundary/capacity issues facing FCPS in a Forum on February 13th. The Governance Committee has been working to update Policy 8130.  A copy of the draft policy can be found here. I invite you to review this information and share your feedback with me to inform my decisions as your representative.

Student Rights & Responsibilities (SR&R)

The Board discussed Regulation 2601, Student Rights & Responsibilities (SR&R), at work sessions on March 19 and April 2. Please review the proposed updated SR&R and share your feedback with me to inform my decisions as your representative.

Notable changes in the proposed SY25 SR&R include the following:

  • Language on neurodiversity
  • VDOE guidelines around self defense
  • VDOE guidelines around possessing, using, and being under the influence of controlled substances
  • Definitions of digital citizenship, generative artificial intelligence, neurodiversity, scholastic dishonesty and self defense 

The Board is scheduled to take action on the proposed updated SR&R on May 9, 2024.

ERFC Plan Changes

On March 21, 2024, the Board approved the following changes to the ERFC Plan:  

  1. DROP for Legacy: Changes to the Legacy ERFC plan design to address the disconnect between ERFC and VRS service and age requirements for a full, unreduced pension from both. This plan, available to Legacy employees eligible for full retirement: 55+ years with 25+ years of service, will provide employees with the option to work up to 5 years past ERFC Legacy retirement age. The cost to implement this program is $6.5 million. A follow-on motion was approved by the Board to prioritize funding the DROP program at year end if funds do not remain in the budget.
  2. Sick Leave Credit: The Legacy ERFC program allows unused sick leave balances to be credited as retirement service. The ERFC 2001 Plan (Tier I & Tier 2) does not. A comparable provision is proposed for ERFC 2001 (Tier I & Tier 2) service credit. Providing Sick Leave Credit to ERFC 2001 (Tier I & Tier 2) members aims to incentivize employees to preserve sick leave, thereby enhancing their retirement benefits. This change also will potentially reduce the number of sick leave days employees use, which will reduce the number of substitute teachers needed.
  3. Working after Retirement: The plan design changes proposed will align ERFC with VRS’ work after retirement plan allowing eligible retirees to continue to receive their ERFC retirement benefits. Implementing the Work after Retirement (WAR) plan will support teacher retirement and retention efforts with an emphasis on critical shortage positions. After the required 6-month break, employees could be rehired into one-year-only positions, which must be renewed annually. 

More details about each of these approved changes can be found in the March 21 meeting information on BoardDocs

FY 2025 Budget

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to adopt their budget, tax rates, and transfer amount to FCPS on May 7th. The School Board is scheduled to adopt the FY 2025 Budget at the May 23rd meeting. Prior to that vote, community members have the opportunity to share their comments regarding the budget during the public hearing scheduled for May 14th. Register to speak.

Learn more about the FCPS FY 2025 Advertised Budget and see the full Budget Development Calendar.

FCPS News Food and Nutrition

What did your child eat for lunch today? FCPS Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has been rolling out improvements to their menu this year to better reflect the diversity of FCPS and focus on fresh, healthy food. The division aims to illustrate farm-to-table eating in schools and bring scratch-cooking to all schools.

A total of 25 new menu offerings have been introduced this school year:

BREAKFAST

•Turkey Ham & American Cheese Breakfast Sandwich (English Muffin) •Egg & Cheddar Cheese Breakfast Sandwich (English Muffin) •Turkey Sausage & Mozzarella Cheese Breakfast Sandwich (MS/HS) (English Muffin) •Egg & Cheddar Cheese Croissant Breakfast Sandwich •Egg & Turkey Sausage Croissant •Turkey Sausage & Mozzarella Croissant •Assorted Parfaits (Berry, Pineapple, Mandarin Orange, Peach)

 

LUNCH

•Black Bean Burger •Fresh Garden Vegetable Flatbread •Chicken Parmesan Sandwich •BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich •Chicken Fajitas •Turkey Ham & Cheese Croissant •Scratch-Made Grilled Cheese •Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Wings •Black Bean Taco •Chicken Dumplings •Cheese Quesadilla •Korean BBQ Chicken Wings •Chicken Quesadilla •BBQ Chicken Bowl •Vegijita Wrapadilla •BBQ Chicken Flatbread •Meatball Marinara Sub •Build Your Own Burrito Math and Science Olympiad

FCPS has set aside central Title I funding for the 2024-2025 school year to ensure that every Title I elementary school will have registered Science and Math Olympiad teams. Be sure to watch for information from your child’s school early in the year to learn how your child can participate.

Assistance with FAFSA

According to recent news reports, as many as 30% fewer graduating seniors have completed and submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Many schools rely upon this form to grant students financial aid award letters.

Families who have questions or persistent issues filling out the FAFSA might consider scheduling a free appointment with our partners at College Access Fairfax. Email [email protected]. All FAFSA help provided by our school or College Access Fairfax is free. 

Dismissal Schedule for the Last Day of School

The last day of school is Wednesday, June 12, 2024.  All Secondary and High Schools will have a 2-hour day with dismissal at 10:00 a.m./10:10 a.m. on the last day of school. All other levels will be dismissed 2 hours early on this day. Watch for specific details from your student’s school.

Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) Program

Any FCPS student who violates the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) regulation of the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) is required to participate in the SAP Program. 

Once referred to the program, students meet with a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS) during the school day who assesses a student’s level of substance use and provides an appropriate level of intervention, which can include: substance abuse prevention education, individual or group intervention, or referral to a community behavioral health provider.

Students are exposed to various tools and strategies including refusal skills and cessation techniques. Staff members and parents can refer a student to the SAP program. Students can also refer themselves and may participate in the SAP program regardless of whether there has been a violation of the ATOD regulation.

For more information regarding the SAP program, visit the Substance Abuse Prevention Program website.

No-Cost Talk Therapy for High School Students

Is your high school student experiencing anxiety, behavior changes, or challenges with peer and family relationships? If so, parents/caregivers can refer their children for weekly therapy with a licensed therapist through Hazel Health. Virtual mental health services are available at no cost through an FCPS partnership with therapists who are licensed and trained in teen-specific challenges. Forty percent of Hazel providers are bilingual, speaking more than 15 languages.

Students may be referred by a guardian or designated staff member and participate in weekly video therapy sessions. Therapists will work with students until they achieve their therapy goals, or they can help connect them with longer-term mental health services in the community. Visit the Teletherapy webpage for information on how to opt your child into this service. 

Opportunities Middle School Start Times - Virtual Meeting Added!

FCPS is exploring options for adjusting middle school start times and invites the public to be part of the process. All forums will deliver the same presentation and provide the same feedback opportunities. Register for an in-person forum by clicking on one of the following dates: 

A virtual forum will be held on Monday, May 13, 6:30-8 p.m. Register for the virtual forum.

While registration is not required, it does help with planning. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. Learn more about the project exploring middle school start times.  

Culmore Community Day Attention! Rising 9th Graders in FCHS Pyramid

Falls Church High School, in partnership with Luther Jackson Middle School, invites families of 8th graders to attend “Getting to Know Falls Church High School.”

Learn more about the difference between middle school and high school: academics, schedules, clubs, sports, staff, and support.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at 6:30 p.m.

Luther Jackson Middle School Cafeteria

Spanish language interpretation and snacks available. Contact Carolina Dotel with any questions: [email protected] or 703-207-4074.

Wolfpack Theatre Pyramid Day Nominations Open for the Bussey Memorial Equity Award

The Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC) sponsors the Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award to honor Dr. Bussey’s legacy as a founding member of the MSAOC and longtime advocate for students and families. 

This award recognizes staff or community members who have demonstrated significant and impactful efforts to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students from groups who are marginalized or underserved.

Any FCPS employee, student, or community member can nominate an individual or group for the award. All nomination materials must be submitted by Wednesday, May 1. The winner will be recognized at the FCPS Equity Symposium on Tuesday, June 18.

Full details and the nomination information form are available on the Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award webpage.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Regular School Board Meetings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • May 9, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
  • May 23, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.

Work Sessions (Gatehouse Administration Center)

  • May 7, 2024 at 10:30 a.m.
  • May 21, 2024 at 4:30 p.m.

Public Hearings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • May 14, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. (Budget)
  • May 15, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. (Budget, if necessary)

All meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and on the FCPS website. The meetings are recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

Would you like to share your ideas and concerns with the School Board and staff?  Register HERE to speak at a regular meeting or public hearing.

Reuniones de la Junta Escolar de FCPS en Español

Para ver las reuniones de la Junta Escolar grabadas o para ver en vivo durante las reuniones regulares en YouTube, por favor vaya al canal de YouTube de FCPS en Español o escanee el código QR.

We are cognizant of the significant language needs of the Mason District and I will continue to advocate for their availability and inclusion.

@masonfcps

@MasonDistrictSB

@masondistrictsb

The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia

E-mail: Ricardy Anderson |  Phone: 571-423-1083 | Twitter

Cristy Coffey, Executive Admin Assistant, 571-423-1064, [email protected]

Important Update - Glasgow MS Boundary Scoping Study

School Board Mason District 3 months ago

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

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

Để đọc bản tin này bằng ngôn ngữ khác, xin quý vị truy cập vào trang mạng của chúng tôi.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

اس نیوزلیٹر کو دوسری زبانوں میں پڑھنے کیلئے ، براہ مہربانی ہماری ویب سائیٹ ملاحظہ کیجیئے۔

Note: This newsletter contains links to translated versions of the content for your convenience. These translations are generated by Google Translate and are not intended to be a substitute for professional translation services.

Mason District Community,

It is with deep disappointment that I share that the School Board did not approve the Glasgow Middle School Boundary Scoping Study at the School Board Meeting last night, March 21, 2024.

Mr. McElveen and Mr. Moon joined me to support the motion, but the majority (7) of the Board elected to deny the motion until a division-wide boundary adjustment can be implemented in the outyears. My position remains that the work to right-size Glasgow Middle School could have been accomplished in conjunction with the pending holistic boundary work to address the long-standing needs of the school. 

At this time, the Board’s Governance Committee is working on revising the boundary policy, Policy 8130, with the goal of completing this work by July 2024. The Governance Committee meetings are open to the public and their meeting schedule is listed below for your reference. Please also find links to the documents the committee has reviewed to-date related to this work.

While this outcome is regrettable given the unpredictability of the division-wide, holistic boundary work, I will continue to advocate for our community.

Governance Committee Meetings
  • April 15, 2024, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • April 16, 2024, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
  • May 15, 2024, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
  • May 20, 2024, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • June 18, 2024, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • July 1, 2024, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Governance Meetings are held at the Gatehouse Administration Center (8115 Gatehouse Rd., Falls Church) in Room 1600.

Dates/times are subject to change. Any changes will be reflected on the School Board Annual Calendar on BoardDocs.

Governance Committee Meeting Documents

February 22, 2024 Governance Committee Meeting:

March 12, 2024 Governance Committee Meeting:

(note that the five documents from the February meeting were also included in the materials for the March meeting)

The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia

E-mail: Ricardy Anderson |  Phone: 571-423-1083 | Twitter

Cristy Coffey, Executive Admin Assistant, 571-423-1064, [email protected]

Mason Moments, FCPS Updates, Engagement Opportunities, and More!

School Board Mason District 3 months ago

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

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

Để đọc bản tin này bằng ngôn ngữ khác, xin quý vị truy cập vào trang mạng của chúng tôi.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

اس نیوزلیٹر کو دوسری زبانوں میں پڑھنے کیلئے ، براہ مہربانی ہماری ویب سائیٹ ملاحظہ کیجیئے۔

Note: This newsletter contains links to translated versions of the content for your convenience. These translations are generated by Google Translate and are not intended to be a substitute for professional translation services.

Mason District Community,

Daylight Saving has provided us with a little more light as we welcome springtime and wrap up the third quarter of the school year. We hope our students and families are able to take advantage of the upcoming Spring Break to reflect on progress of the school year to date and review plans for the final quarter. As we head toward the end of the school year, the high school graduation schedule is included below for your planning purposes. 

In celebration of Black History Month, Lift Every Voice and Sing was performed by the Justice High School Chamber Choir at the February 22nd School Board meeting. I invite you to listen to their beautiful rendition of this song, often referred to as “The Black National Anthem.”

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Global STEM Fair at Edison High School. I was very impressed by the knowledge and presentations by the 11th grade students. Presentations focused on generating clean electric power for regions around the world with low access to electricity.

I was also happy to judge the science fair at Justice High School and engage with more creative and inventive students.

Finally, I had the opportunity to join in the festivities at Justice High School's International Night. Such a wonderful celebration of culture and diversity!

I value the input I receive from the Mason Community and am happy to address questions or concerns via email or phone. You can reach me by email at [email protected]. If you are interested in scheduling a phone call, please reach out to my assistant, Cristy Coffey, at [email protected] to arrange a time.

Included in this issue:

Mason Moments:

Opportunities:

Justice ForensicsExploring Middle School Start TimesRegional Scholastic Art WinnersSuperintendent Community ConversationSchool Communications AwardFCRHA Scholarship OpportunityWinning Graphic DesignNOVA Vision 2024Mason District AthletesFamily Engagement SurveyGRAMMY Winner at Annandale HSFirst Class Award for InclusionRead-On Young ReadersMagnet School Registration

School Board Work Updates:

Join FCPS - Job FairsCIP UpdateVirginia Stingrays Rec SoftballBudget UpdateVIP Summer Camp

FCPS News:

Summer Camps/Learning ProgramsRegulation-Meditation/Reflection SpaceUpcoming School Board MeetingsTeacher-Referred Tutoring   •AP/IB Assessment Fees   •2024 Graduation Dates   •Calendar Reminders  

 

Mason Moments Justice Forensics - Super Regional Runners Up!

Congratulations to the Justice High School Forensics team! They finished the VHSL Super Regional tournament as Runners Up for the 5th consecutive year.

Gold Medalists moving on to the State Meet: Emy Fase, Elias Kassa, Laura Stoker and Valeria Peterson.

Regional Scholastic Art Winners

The 2024 Regional Scholastic Art Awards program has awarded Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students in grades 7-12 a total of 714 awards for outstanding artwork.

Artworks were submitted and judged in categories including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture, digital art, design, architecture, jewelry, fashion, film and animation, mixed media, and art portfolios. 

Congratulations to the following Mason District students!

Holmes Middle School

  • Ruby Connelly, Honorable Mention
  • Adam Osman, Honorable Mention
  • Elliott Rekstad, Honorable Mention

Falls Church High School

  • Maya Benke, Honorable Mention
  • Chengna Lin, Silver Key
  • Christopher So, Honorable Mention (2)

Justice High School

  • Jenna Kassem,  Honorable Mention, Gold Key
  • Piper Koury, Silver Key
  • Tra My Nguyen, Honorable Mention
  • Faiza Warsame, Silver Key
  • Paisley Wilkins, Honorable Mention
  • Fey Zurita-Sejas, Gold Key

Lake Braddock Secondary School

  • Sachiko Convery, Honorable Mention, Silver Key, Gold Key

Learn more and view the complete list of FCPS awardees

FCPS School Communications Award

Fairfax County Public Schools presented awards for outstanding school communications at the School Communicators Conference held January 26, 2024.  The 2023 Awards of Communication Excellence celebrate the creation of exceptional website, newsletter, and social media content.

Congratulations to Annandale High School, recognized for its newsletter, the Annandale Insider

Learn more about the awards and the 2023 winners.

Winning Student Designs

In May, the FCPS Office of Communications called for entries for new graphics to acknowledge the religious and cultural observances identified on the 2023-2024 School Year Calendar. Middle and high school students were invited to create visuals that positively represented the observances celebrated in the FCPS community. 

The submitted entries were judged by a panel of FCPS cultural liaisons and graphic designers. The eleven winning designs will be featured on FCPS and school social media platforms, and in various newsletters leading up to the holidays.

Winners of the challenge included two Mason District students:

Najenji D. from Justice High School (Christmas design featured in December)

Dayanara M. from Falls Church High School - Easter design below

Mason District Athletes

Congratulations to State Swim Champions from Justice High School:

  • Emma Redman in both the 100 YD Breaststroke and the 200 YD Individual Medley
  • The Girls 200 YD Freestyle Relay Team - Claire Coughlin, Annika Wentland, Reagan Kampschror, and Emma Redman

Congratulations to the National District Champions for Girls Indoor Track - the Justice High School Girls Indoor Track Team!

Congratulations to George Lynch, a wrestler from Falls Church High School who was crowned the National District Champion in his weight class.

Senior Simone Pendleton became the Falls Church Girls Basketball all-time leading scorer during the game on February 8, 2024. Simone was also named to the 2nd Team All-State, 1st Team All-Region, National District Player of the year, and Defensive Player of the Year! Congratulations, Simone!

GRAMMY Winner at Annandale HS

Annie Ray, orchestra teacher at Annandale High School, is the winner of the 2024 GRAMMY Music Educator Award, which honors teachers for their impact as music educators and commitment to music education in schools. I am thrilled that her impact and commitment to music education were recognized on this scale.

Ms. Ray is the founder and co-director of the FCPS Parent Orchestra which began in 2018 with 25 parents and has grown to over 200 parents/guardians and staff. The ensembles provide a unique opportunity for caregivers to connect with their child. Ms. Ray also founded Crescendo Orchestra, serving students with severe developmental or intellectual disabilities. 

Learn more about Annie Ray. 

Read-On Young Readers

I recently had the opportunity to read to some enthusiastic students at Braddock Elementary School through the Read-On Young Readers (ROYR) program.

ROYR was founded to mitigate the potential reading & English language loss to students due to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has expanded to include in-person readings in addition to the virtual program. 

Students are paired with volunteers who have a wide range of backgrounds and experience, including several retired teachers and administrators. The program has partnered with three FCPS schools, including two serving Mason District students: Mason Crest Elementary and Braddock Elementary.

The goal of the program is to instill the love of reading and to be another dependable adult in the student’s life. ROYR also provides each student three new books every month to help grow their personal libraries. 

If you are interested in volunteering with ROYR, please visit their website to complete the volunteer form and to learn more about their program.  

School Board Work Updates CIP Update

The School Board approved the FY 2025-2029 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) on February 8, 2024. The approval included an amendment which I presented to add Parklawn Elementary School to the proposed CIP to allow staff to address the number of temporary classrooms and projected capacity deficit at the school. 

Parklawn has enrolled almost 200 international students seeking refuge since the 2021-22 school year. This is not a trend in birth rates or construction which could have been predicted by Facilities staff. This rapid increase in unexpected student enrollment has created an urgent need. Parklawn currently maintains 29 trailers and has a projected capacity ranging from 103% to 112% in the next five years. Without the modular units, the projections range from 144% to 156% for the same span of time. 

Budget Update

The School Board adopted the FY 2025 Advertised Budget on February 22, 2024. 

This advertised budget largely focuses on compensation and does not contain new initiatives. With a proposed salary increase of 6%, this budget seeks to support teacher recruitment and retention efforts.   

It is imperative for FCPS to be competitive in the local job market. FCPS is the largest school division in Virginia, but ranks near the bottom in teacher compensation, especially for teachers with a master’s degree. 

FY24 Master’s Lane Beginning Teacher Salary

FCPS per-pupil spending ranks in the middle of all divisions in the Washington area, with Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria, and Loudoun all spending more per pupil. Meeting our budget needs is a challenge given the historic underfunding by the Commonwealth of Virginia, using outdated staffing formulas that no longer meet the rising needs of our students. Currently, Virginia provides less funding per student than many of our neighboring states, including Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

 

An increasingly diverse FCPS student population with higher needs requires more resources and staffing. The majority of the FCPS budget comes from a Fairfax County transfer. This budget is requesting an increase of $254 million, or 10.5% from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. 

The 10.5% is lower than the requests of  Loudoun County Public Schools and Prince William County Public Schools, asking 11.3% and 10.6%, respectively. A 2.3% overall enrollment increase over FY 2023 is expected, as well as enrollment increases of 19.4% in FRM, 12.9% in ESOL, and 10.7% in Special Education.

The chronic underfunding by the Commonwealth exacerbates the challenges of funding specialized instruction and tools to address evolving needs effectively.

Historically, the average budget transfer from Fairfax County has been 52.6% of county disbursements. For the past two years, the budget transfer from Fairfax County has been less than the historical average.

The County’s FY 2025 Advertised Budget includes an FCPS transfer of 51.4%, or $178.6 million. If our County partners match the historical average budget transfer amount of 52.6% for FY 2025, the total transfer would increase by approximately $63 million to help bridge the gap between the FCPS request of $254 million and the $178.6 million in the County’s Advertised Budget.

The School Board will conduct another Budget Work Session on May 7th, followed by a Public Hearing on May 14th. The FY 2025 Approved Budget is scheduled to be adopted by the Board at the May 23rd School Board Meeting.

FCPS News New Regulation on Meditation and Reflection Spaces

FCPS has created a regulation to ensure all students and staff have reasonable accommodation and access to meditation and silent reflection spaces within the school division. Regulation 1502: Expectations for Meditation and Silent Reflection Space Accommodations provides guidance for schools on how to manage requests for silent reflection during instructional and non-instructional time and for students to leave school for religious activities.

These spaces are designated areas within a school or on school premises for individuals to engage in prayer, meditation, or silent reflection, inclusive of their religious or non-religious beliefs. Parents/caregivers must provide written permission for students requesting to miss instructional time on a regular basis. View Regulation 1502 for more information.

New! Teacher-Referred Tutoring in Schoology

A new Teacher-Referred Tutoring program feature provides targeted support and extends student learning. Teachers can now refer students for tutoring with their specific needs already identified. Students can get extra support — on their own schedule — and reinforce their in-class learning. Encourage your child to click the Tutor.com icon in Schoology for homework help, concept review, writing support, and test prep. Look for session referrals from students’ teachers on the Tutor.com portal homepage.

AP/IB Assessment Fees

FCPS covers the fees for every student’s first six AP/IB exams. Fees for additional exams are waived for students who qualify for the free and reduced-price meals program and have submitted a consent to share information for benefits for other programs. This information is automatically applied when the student registers for a test beyond the 6th exam.

The Free and Reduced-Price Meals webpage includes both the online application and links to the Consent to Share Information for Benefits for Other Programs form, both of which are available in multiple languages.

2024 Graduation Dates School Date/Time Location

Annandale HS

June 3, 2024, 9:30 a.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Edison HS

June 5, 2024, 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Falls Church HS

June 7, 2024, 2:00 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Thomas Jefferson HSST

June 8, 2024, 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Justice HS

June 6, 2024, 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Woodson HS

June 6, 2024, 2:00 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Calendar Reminders

Friday, March 22, is the end of the third quarter.

Monday, March 25, to Friday, March 29 is spring break. Schools and school offices will be closed.

Monday, April 1, and Tuesday, April 2, are school planning and teacher workdays, respectively. There will be no school for students on these days. See the school year calendar

Opportunities Exploring Middle School Start Times

In September 2023, Prismatic was awarded a contract to explore adjusting start times for middle schools to 8 a.m. or later, beginning in the fall of 2025.

At the February 22, 2024 School Board meeting, Prismatic Services Inc. presented an analysis of middle school start times including background information and community engagement plans. View the presentation slides

Community forums will take place in April and May. Prismatic Services, Inc. will lead the forums. All forums will deliver the same presentation and provide the same feedback opportunities. Please attend the event that works best for your schedule: 

Registration is not required, but it does help with planning. Click the location of the event to register. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. Learn more about exploring middle school start times.

Superintendent Community Conversations

Superintendent Reid will host a series of Community Conversations this spring. The events are opportunities for you to share your thoughts and ask questions.

While all events are intended to be inclusive for all families, there is a conversation scheduled in the Mason District on May 16, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. at Poe Middle School. Registration is open now for this event. Please see the registration form for additional information about transportation, childcare, and language interpretation.

Find a complete list of the Superintendent’s scheduled Community Conversations.

Scholarship Opportunity

Scholarship applications now open! Applicant must be a Fairfax County resident living in affordable housing supported by the FCRHA.

Find out more.

NOVA Vision 2024 April 17, 2023, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Annandale Campus 

FCPS and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), are offering an opportunity for students with disabilities interested in attending NOVA to learn about available options. The orientation will include presentations from Accommodations and Accessibility Services and Counseling Services, a mock NOVA classroom experience for students, and a NOVA student panel with Q&A session. Click here to register.  

Participate in the Family Engagement Survey

The FCPS Family Engagement Survey is available until Friday, March 22. Families are encouraged to complete the survey as it provides the opportunity to share family perspectives and offer feedback on their family’s engagement experience within FCPS. The survey results will help the school division better recognize, understand, respect, and address family strengths and needs in our school community.

Parents/caregivers should have received an email invitation with a unique survey link from K12 Insight on March 3. The subject line was: FCPS Family Engagement Survey.  Families may also access the survey through the FCPS website.  

Nominations Open for First Class Award for Inclusion 

The Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) is seeking nominations for the First Class Awards. The awards are presented annually to educators, administrators, and students who support, design, and/or implement programs or activities that include students with disabilities that result in positive outcomes for all students. The ACSD will recognize award winners at the Family Summit on Saturday, April 20

Nominate an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to inclusive practices in Fairfax County Public Schools by Friday, March 22. Email [email protected] with questions.

Magnet School Registration

Three FCPS elementary magnet schools — Hunters Woods, Bailey’s Primary, and Bailey’s Upper — provide enhanced learning programs in science, technology, and performing arts. 

Registration for the 2024-25 elementary magnet lottery will be open through Friday, April 12. Learn more about the schools, their programs, and locations.

Join FCPS 🥗 Food and Nutrition Hiring

Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) will be hosting job fairs

No registration is needed. For more information or general questions, contact FNS at 703-813-4800 or [email protected].

🚍 Transportation Services Hiring

The Office of Transportation Services will be hosting bus driver job fairs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates: 

This is a great opportunity for stay-at-home parents to earn income with benefits (and bring your preschooler to work with you!), as well as for retirees, college students, or career switchers.

No registration is needed to attend. Apply today! Contact 571-423-3000 or [email protected] with questions.

Virginia Stingrays Recreational Softball Applications Now Open for VIP Camp 

Find out more and complete an application online.

FCPS Summer Camps and Learning Programs

Registration is now open for several summer camps and learning opportunities offered by Fairfax County Public Schools for all students.

Career and Technical Education camps and Institute for the Arts camps will be held in July at Lake Braddock Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bus transportation will be available from select FCPS middle and high schools.

Career and Technical Education

Tech Adventure Camp (TAC) is a week-long exploratory camp designed to allow current K-5 students to explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), culinary, health, trades, and business and marketing areas. Visit the TAC webpage to register. 

CTE Summer Academy (CSA) is a week-long enrichment program that allows students in grades 6-11 to dive deeper into CTE program areas, develop skills, and begin career exploration. Visit the CSA webpage to register.

Institute for the Arts Camps

IFTA is a two- or three-week summer enrichment program for students currently in grades 6-11. Students select from nearly 90 classes in art, dance, health and physical education 9 (graduation requirement), music, and theater. Visit the IFTA webpage to register. 

E-IFTA is a weekly arts camp for students in grades 2-5 who love to sing, dance, act, perform, make, and create. Students take part in four daily classes related to dance, music, theater, and visual art. They work with FCPS fine arts teachers who create fun and engaging classes. Visit the E-IFTA webpage to register.

Self-Directed Economics and Personal Finance

Summer is a great time for high school students to fulfill the Economics and Personal Finance course requirement. During the self-directed course, students work independently to complete the requirements. The course is available between Friday, June 14, and Friday, July 26. Students must register by Friday, May 24. For more information, see the Summer Learning information page.

Summer Online Campus

Take advantage of the opportunity to earn a high school course credit via this summer’s online campus program. Registration ends Friday, June 7. Mathematics, health and physical education, career and technical education, English, science, social studies, and world language courses are available to eligible students.

Credit Recovery Academy

The Credit Recovery Academy provides an opportunity for students to recover one high school course credit. Students may not take these courses for new course credit. Students will attend class in person in July. Transportation information will be communicated to families prior to the start of the program. Registration begins on Monday, April 22. Register on the Summer Learning webpage

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

This free online class provides FCPS middle and high school English Learners the opportunity to continue developing their academic, reading, and writing skills in online discussions with an ESOL teacher. This class is pass/fail only and fulfills the online requirement toward graduation. 

The class takes place from Monday, June 24, to Friday, July 12. Registration is open through Friday, June 7. Learn more on the Summer Learning webpage

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Regular School Board Meetings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • March 21, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.
  • April 11, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.

Work Sessions (Gatehouse Administration Center)

  • April 2, 2024 at 10:30 a.m.
  • April 16, 2024 at 11:30 a.m. 

All meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and on the FCPS website. The meetings are recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

Would you like to share your ideas and concerns with the School Board and staff?  Register HERE to speak at a regular meeting or public hearing.

Reuniones de la Junta Escolar de FCPS en Español

Para ver las reuniones de la Junta Escolar grabadas o para ver en vivo durante las reuniones regulares en YouTube, por favor vaya al canal de YouTube de FCPS en Español o escanee el código QR.

@masonfcps

 

@MasonDistrictSB

@masondistrictsb

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E-mail: Ricardy Anderson |  Phone: 571-423-1083 | Twitter

Cristy Coffey, Executive Admin Assistant, 571-423-1064, [email protected]

35 minutes 27 seconds ago
Mason District Member - Ricardy Anderson - Recent Updates
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