FCPS This Week - April 21, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
April 21, 2021

Planning for “5 in Fall” Underway

FCPS is planning for in-person instruction to be the primary mode of learning for all students during the 2021-22 school year. Plans were presented to FCPS’ School Board at a Work Session on Tuesday, April 20. The presentation covered health and safety updates, fourth quarter review, a summer learning preview, planning for fall 2021, and community outreach. View the presentation here. Look for a letter from the superintendent later today. More information will be posted as it becomes available on the fall 2021 planning webpage 

Superintendent Brabrand to Host Spanish Language Virtual Town Hall on April 21

Join Superintendent Brabrand and two school officials for a virtual Spanish Language Town Hall tonight, April 21, from 5-6 p.m. Participants will provide information on opportunities for four days of in-person instruction, summer learning plans, and vaccine updates. Questions are welcome. The Town Hall will be streamed live on FCPS Facebook en Español. Please email your questions in advance to ReturntoSchool@fcps.edu. Message us on Facebook or leave your feedback in the “Comment” section during the Town Hall. 

Calendar Reminder: School Board Meeting on April 22 at 7 p.m.

The next regular (hybrid) meeting of the School Board will be held on April 22, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be televised on FCPS Cable TV channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11) and will be livestreamed on the FCPS website

Student Ambassadors Help Military-Connected Students Transition to FCPS

Meet Endia. A student ambassador at Edison High School, Endia shares how she and other student ambassadors help military-connected and all new students get involved, integrate and find social connections throughout FCPS.

Register Now for E-IFTA and IFTA Summer Enrichment Programs

Registration is now open for the Elementary Institute for the Arts (E-IFTA) and Institute for the Arts (IFTA) Summer enrichment programs. All students are eligible for these opportunities. Elementary Institute for the Arts (for rising 3rd through 6th graders) and Institute for the Arts (for rising 7th through 12th graders) will be held July 6-30 at Robinson Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Classes are offered every day related to dance, music, theater, and visual art. Both programs have fees, waivers are available for students eligible for free and reduced meals.  

For more information or to register, visit the Summer Learning webpage.

Fairfax County Park Authority Reopens Amusements and Facilities

Welcome the warm weather by taking a spin on a carousel, going for a train or wagon ride, launching a boat, playing a round of mini golf or practicing your swing at the batting cages. Please check the Park Authority website for site-specific hours and details; hours will continue to expand as we approach summer.

FCPS explores ways to expand learning spaces

Outdoor classroom spaces are popping up to offer students access to extra learning areas that adhere to COVID restrictions. When we visited Centerville Elementary School, students were working on math in their outdoor classroom.

April Is Arab American Heritage Month  

FCPS is proud to celebrate National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM) in April. This special month provides an opportunity to recognize the remarkable history and valuable contributions of Arab Americans. To support teachers and school divisions to that end, FCPS Social Studies, in collaboration with a group of community stakeholders and educators across subject areas, developed a new Google site: Planning for Arab American Heritage Month.

Teachers and school leaders will find ideas for classroom learning experiences across content areas and grade levels, as well as details on upcoming virtual events.  

Class of 2021 Graduation Calendar

FCPS is pleased to announce that planning is underway for in-person graduations for the Class of 2021 between May 27 and June 12. Ceremonies will take place at various outdoor locations (school stadiums or Jiffy Lube Live) or at indoor FCPS venues for smaller groups. 

All graduation ceremonies will comply with the governor’s guidance which allow for the lesser of 30 percent or 5,000 outside and the lesser of 30 percent or 500 inside. Social distancing rules will still apply. Graduations will look slightly different than in previous years (pre-COVID), and more information will be released as details are finalized. The complete graduation schedule, including dates, times, and locations, is now available online

Celebrate the Planet with Earth Day 2021 Events in Fairfax County this Week

Earth Day 2021 events between April 20-22, share this year’s theme “Together, We can Restore Our Earth.”

The Fairfax County Park Authority highlights this year’s awareness and offers events to combat climate change and environmental destruction through a series of activities in April. Learn more about FCPS events by following the Park Authority social media accounts for #earthdayfairfax facts, tips and programs. Posts will continue through Arbor Day on April 30. More information about Earth Day events in Fairfax County is available online. 

Vaccination Appointments Open for All County Residents

As of April 18, all adults in Virginia are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Visit the U.S. Health and Human Services website for more information or go to the Health Department’s site for specifics on how to make an appointment to get vaccinated.

FCPS Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Fairfax County Public Schools has been named a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM (National Association for Music Merchants) Foundation. FCPS was recognized for its outstanding commitment to and support of music education, and for its efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

Supports for Families With Religious or Cultural Observances During Scheduled Spring Assessments

Standards of Learning (SOL) exams are scheduled throughout April, May, and June, and Advanced Placement (AP) exams are scheduled in May. Even though schools try to avoid scheduling conflicts, staff control over testing dates is often limited.

In some cases, a student’s exams may fall during a religious or cultural observance. FCPS welcomes and encourages the parents and guardians of students affected by this type of scheduling conflict to engage with school staff. School staff will work with parents and guardians to make schedule adjustments or determine how best to address students’ needs.

If you have a student whose spring SOL or AP exams conflict with a religious or cultural observance for your family, notify the school to take advantage of possible scheduling options. View more about FCPS’ approach to supporting student assessments during religious and cultural observances.

Healthy Minds Podcast: ‘Speak Up; Be Safe’ During Child Abuse Awareness Month

In this week’s Healthy Minds podcast, join Francesca Watson, the Fairfax County Department of Family Services’ Body Safety Program coordinator, and Lori Harkin Huse, school social worker at London Towne Elementary School, as they discuss how adults can engage in important conversations with children about body safety.

Hear about boundaries, choices, big feelings, mandatory reporting, the impacts of trauma, and adverse childhood experiences during this powerful podcast. More information and resources about the Body Safety Program are available online

Healthy Minds Resources:

The Special Education Process: How It Works

The FCPS Special Education Handbook for Parents includes details on how the special education process works. This process occurs sequentially, over a period of time, with each step building upon the previous step(s). It is important for parents to understand how the special education process works so they can effectively participate and collaborate with school staff members to make appropriate decisions regarding their child’s educational needs. Parents are an integral part of the decision-making team.

More information on the special education process is available online

Arlington and Fairfax Counties Team Up to Host First-Ever Virtual Career Exploration Fair

Fairfax County Public Schools high school students are invited to participate in the 2021 Virtual Career Exploration Fair, taking place now through Friday, April 30. This completely virtual event will include synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) sessions and workshops.

Developed in conjunction with Arlington Public Schools, the event will offer a connection to more than 100 local industry professionals from in-demand career fields. Students will also be able to attend college- and career-ready workshops and information sessions. Registration is available online.

Video: Student Voice—Bria—Sometimes, It's the Little Things

FCPS student Bria wants parents to know that sometimes it’s the little things, such as letting your child know you are there for them, that make all the difference in dealing with pandemic challenges. Watch the video.