FCPS This Week April 26, 2023

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
For Parents
April 26, 2023

A family bikes to Waynewood Elementary School. Wednesday, May 3, is Bike to School Day. You can register as a school, family, or neighborhood.

🙏 Thank You, School Administrative Professionals! 

Wednesday, April 26, is Administrative Professionals Day. Please be sure to thank all of our administrative assistants, office assistants, and other office staff! What would we do without them?

Aubrey Hopkins Midgley, an administrative assistant at Cooper Middle School, is featured in the latest Our Heroes video. Her positive energy and can-do spirit have had a tremendous impact on the lives of Cooper students, staff, and community members.

🥇 Eight Students Awarded 2023 National Merit Corporate-Sponsored Scholarships

Eight Fairfax County Public Schools students have been awarded 2023 corporate-sponsored scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The students are part of a group of more than 840 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships financed by corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations. See the list of awardees. 

🎼 176 Students Named to All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra

One hundred seventy-six students representing all Fairfax County high schools have been named to the 2023 All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. The students will rehearse and perform with other premier musicians from across the state Thursday, April 27, through Saturday, April 29. The performances are free and open to the public. See the list of students and more information

🏆 Two FCPS Projects Win Grand Prize at State Science Fair

The Virginia Science and Engineering Fair was held on April 15 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Sixty-nine students from FCPS participated in the state level fair. Two FCPS student projects received the Grand Prize award. Read about the winners and other FCPS projects that were recognized

🎖️ Thank You for Your Service, Military Children!

Elvis is a student at Longfellow Middle School. His father serves in the U.S. Navy. Elvis and his family share stories and perspectives about being a military-connected student in Fairfax County Public Schools. Thank you, Elvis, for your service!

Learn more about Month of the Military Child and FCPS’ resources for military families

FCPS Increases Background Checks for Employees

Fairfax County Public Schools announced increased background checks for employees in a continuing effort to provide safe schools and workplaces for all students and staff.

All FCPS employees (including temporary employees, hourly staff, and substitutes) will be reviewed through the National Sex Offender Registry. This is the beginning of a process that will expand over the coming school year. New Regulation 4116 details the process. Learn more about employee background checks

Community Conversation: School Safety and Security

FCPS will host a community conversation to discuss our approach to safety and security, and the work we do every day to keep our schools safe. Join us Monday, May 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at South Lakes High School. Look for registration information in next week’s newsletter. 

FCPS staff and experts will review our risk assessment processes, the physical measures we already have in place to protect our students and staff, pilot programs to detect vaping, and how we communicate and collaborate with our partners when there is an incident at our schools. 

Recap: Fentanyl and Other Drugs in FCPS 

Families, students, staff, and community members gathered at Woodson High School on April 24, to learn more about fentanyl and other drugs. An event in March presented the topic in a broad sense, addressing the causes and impacts of substance use. Monday’s event narrowed that focus to our schools. 

Division staff and county partners presented data about drug use and helpful advice for families. Principals shared experiences and offered ways families can support students and each other as we work to address this ongoing issue. All attendees received REVIVE! Narcan training and left with a supply of Narcan.

This important conversation will continue. In the coming weeks, five high schools will host the Silent No More program presented by the Department of Justice. Visit our Opioid Awareness webpage for more information. Visit the Fairfax County Government webpage on opioids for details on how you can take action and get help for yourself or loved ones.

Northern Virginia Opioid Response Survey

Would you like to share your thoughts on the resources needed to address the opioid epidemic in Northern Virginia? The Northern Virginia Opioid Response Network is seeking input on potential uses of opioid settlement funds. Take the survey by Friday, May 12

🎭 Westfield High School's The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition)

The Critics and Awards Program for High School Theatre, otherwise known as the Cappies, is a program through which high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. 

This review of Westfield High School's production of The Play That Goes Wrong (High School Edition) is written by Sean Smith of Edison High School. 

“A Constant Positive Force” 

“Our Heroes” is an ongoing series of portraits of FCPS staff told by colleagues, parents, students, and community members.

Watch this Our Heroes video to learn why sixth grade teacher Joslyn Siddiqi is called “a blessing” to Forest Edge Elementary School. “If you're coming into sixth grade next year and you get Ms. Siddiqi, you're very, very lucky,” a student says.

Interested in Teaching? 

FCPS wants you to be a part of our team! We are searching for educators with strong academic backgrounds and a passion for making a difference. We are hosting two instructional job fairs. The first will be held virtually on Thursday, May 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. The second job fair will be held in person at Lake Braddock Secondary School on Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Register to participate

🚍 FCPS Bus Drivers and Attendants Rounded Up for Road-eo Competition

About 250 school bus drivers, families, and community members turned out for this year’s Bus Road-eo hosted by the Office of Transportation Services. Back for the first time since 2007, this exciting team-building event brings together families and the community through fun and friendly competition. Read more about the Road-eo.

School Bus Driver Job Fairs

Join FCPS’ Transportation Team! It’s a great opportunity to earn income with benefits for stay-at-home parents, retirees, college students, or career switchers. 

Bus driver job fairs will be held Friday, April 28, at Stonecroft Transportation Center, and Wednesday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Lorton Center. Learn more about the job fairs

What Is ParentVUE and How Can You Sign Up?

If you do not already have a SIS ParentVUE account, sign up now to monitor and support your child’s academic success! Through ParentVUE, you are able to view your student’s attendance, grades, and assignments at any time. You can also access special reports for your student like progress reports and assessment score reports. 

Once you have activated a ParentVUE account for an FCPS student, you will keep the same account until the student graduates. Information about students in the same family can be accessed through the same ParentVUE account. Access SIS ParentVUE by using an app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android devices. 

Need help creating a SIS ParentVue account? This video walks through the steps. Find out more about SIS ParentVUE

Update Your Contact Information in WeCare@School

Within SIS ParentVUE, FCPS provides weCare@school (weCare), an emergency care information system. weCare helps manage contact and emergency medical information by allowing parents/caregivers to enter and update their children’s data online. 

That contact information automatically enrolls parents/caregivers to receive critical updates from the district and their child’s school through the eNotify system. FCPS uses eNotify to communicate emergency, transportation, attendance, weather closing and delay, and essential outreach messages. Messages are sent by email, text, and occasionally by phone. Learn more about updating your emergency care information.

Parent Resource Center Is Now the Family Resource Center

FCPS’ Parent Resource Center has changed its name to the Family Resource Center (FRC) as a way to acknowledge and support the broad diversity of families in our community. The FRC continues to offer a wide range of essential resources and education for caregivers and students including:

Families can find printable resource guides and details about the center’s free lending library on FRC’s homepage. They may also sign up to receive the FRC newsletter for updates on webinars, resources, and other information. If you have questions, please contact the FRC via email at [email protected] or call 703-204-3941

Upcoming FRC Webinars

The Family Resource Center is hosting the following webinars. Events are virtual unless stated otherwise:

Click on the titles above for more information or to register for a webinar. 

Five Strategies to Activate Empathy in Children

Feeling understood and cared about is a human need and a way we relate to others. That’s why empathy is considered essential for building strong communities. Empathy is the ability to understand another person's perspective and share in what that person is feeling, thinking, or experiencing. In other words, it is having an understanding of what it must be like to walk in another person's shoes while demonstrating compassion for that individual. 

Find strategies on helping raise empathetic children on the Healthy Minds blog. 

2023 FCPS Hall of Fame

Educate Fairfax was proud to introduce the 2023 class of inductees to the FCPS Hall of Fame last Wednesday. This distinguished group of 12 individuals spans four decades and represents high schools from across Fairfax County. Visit the Educate Fairfax website to learn about them, see photos from the event, or to nominate an alumnus for the 2024 FCPS Hall of Fame.

Register for the Special Education Conference Today!

The annual FCPS Special Education Conference will take place on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Registration is now open for this virtual event. Speakers will address topics including:

  • Five Ways to De-escalate Dysregulated or Defiant Children.
  • Unstuck and on Target: Improving Executive Function, On-Task and Flexible Behavior in Students from Pre-K Through High School.
  • Worry and Anxiety: Using Evidence-Based Strategies to Help Kids, Adults, and Caregivers Cope.
  • Fostering Resilience and Healthy Self-Esteem in Children with Big Emotions. 

Watch the video for information about guest speakers and other important details. 

We’re Getting Closer to Having a New Strategic Plan!

Yesterday, the School Board held a retreat to review the Strategic Plan feedback that has been gathered so far. Later this week, parents/caregivers, staff, students, and community members will have a final opportunity to provide feedback on the latest version of the draft goals, measures, and pillars. Please stay tuned for the survey link. 

As Dr. Reid said in her Weekly Reflections, “We are moving closer to having clear and specific goals that will drive our work from now until 2030.” Thank you for being a part of this important work! Learn more about the Strategic Planning process.

📚 School Library Month

In FCPS libraries, students develop knowledge and skills, experience a sense of belonging, find inspiration and support, and have the ability to freely pursue their personal interests and academic growth. Watch this video to learn how FCPS librarians make a difference.

Workforce Readiness Month

The Virginia School Boards Association has designated April as Workforce Readiness Month to promote workforce development opportunities that help students succeed in the new economy. FCPS offers many experiences for students through the Career and Technical Education programs and courses. 

☑️ FCPS Feedback Opportunities

Spring 2023 Return to School Survey

Student and family feedback is critical to our understanding of the successes and challenges of teaching and learning this year. Please check your email for a message from Fairfax County Public Schools regarding our Spring 2023 Return to School Survey. The survey asks questions about satisfaction with teaching and learning, perceptions of support for learning, and how things are going this school year. These data collection efforts are part of FCPS’ ongoing study of what is working and what needs improvement following the pandemic. Information gathered will be used along with other data to make improvements that support schools, students, and staff. The survey will close on Monday, May 1


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

FCPS is seeking feedback on how well the school division is responding to the ESSER III focus areas including:

  • Ensuring continuity of learning services and addressing students’ academic needs.
  • Maintaining the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff.
  • Addressing student wellness including their social, emotional, mental health, and other needs.

Please provide your input by Friday, May 5. Your response will inform the School Board and FCPS staff on the community’s view of our work. Visit our website to see how FCPS is using ESSER funds to impact student success.

School Board Meeting on April 27 at 7 p.m.

The School Board will hold its regular business meeting on Thursday, April 27, at 7 p.m. Agenda highlights include:

  • Safety and Security Presentation.
  • Local Special Education Annual Plan and Report 2023-24.
  • Awarding of Contracts.

See the complete agenda. Find out how to watch and participate in School Board meetings.