FCPS This Week - April 28, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
April 28, 2021

Rededication Ceremony of Lewis High School Honors Civil Rights Icon John R. Lewis

FCPS celebrated the rededication of John R. Lewis High School, the first high school in the nation to be named in honor of the late civil rights icon and congressman, on April 23. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand said, “This is an historic day for our school division and our community. This is a moment when we can reflect on our past and look to our future while we continue our important work around equity and anti-racism.”  

The Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously to remove the former name last July.

View photos from the ceremony or read more about it.

Video: Rededication Ceremony of John R. Lewis High School.

Video: Return to School Update April 20, 2021.

This video, which provides an update on the Return to School, was played at the School Board work session on April 20.

In addition, this slide show was played at the work session.

FCPS is still exploring options around how the school division plans to offer virtual learning in the fall. We will share an update after the School Board work session on Monday, May 3.

Outdoor Learning Becomes Second Nature for FCPS Elementary Students in Centreville

As the weather turns warmer, some FCPS principals are utilizing outdoor space to create an alternative learning environment surrounded by nature, part of a successful pilot program due to be expanded this summer and fall.

Centreville Elementary is one of five schools piloting a project launched in November to test tented classrooms. The purpose is not only to add more floor space and accommodate more students but also because transmission rates of COVID-19 are drastically reduced outdoors, creating a safer learning environment.

All Students to Be Virtual on June 8 Due to Democratic Primary Election

Tuesday, June 8, is the Democratic Primary Election. Because the Fairfax County Electoral Board and City of Fairfax Electoral Board will be using 165 school facilities as polling locations, June 8 will be a virtual synchronous  learning day (no in-person classes) for students.

Get more information about the primary elections.

Some Class Schedules May Be Impacted by Spring Assessments

As schools prepare to give required assessments this spring, there may be cases where they need to make changes to class schedules. Standards of Learning (SOL) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams usually take more than one class period for students to complete. Additionally, these tests must be delivered under specific guidelines from the state and the College Board. To meet all the testing guidelines, schools may:

  1. Invite a student to come to school to take an exam on a day the student is normally learning virtually from home.
  2. Invite an in-person student to stay home on an exam day when the student is not scheduled to test or will be taking an AP exam online.
  3. Shift the learning for one or more class periods from synchronous/ concurrent to asynchronous when other students are taking an exam or the teacher is proctoring a test group.

Schools will communicate any changes directly to families as they finalize testing schedules. Parents are encouraged to talk to their students’ teachers to find out more about ongoing learning during spring assessments. Additional details about AP exams (online and in-person) are available for families.

Student Athletics Face Mask Updates

Face masks for all outside sports will no longer be required for athletes during times of physical exertion. This includes all Virginia High School League (VHSL) spring sports as well as fall sports that practice and play outdoors. Athletes must wear a mask during all other times when not engaged in physical exertion. This includes when on the sideline, going to and from practice, when huddled as a group during stoppage of play, or as stated, any time not actively engaged in physical exertion. Coaches and all others are always to wear a mask. All indoor sports and outdoor sports athletes coming indoors for practice will always be expected to wear a mask.  

VHSL’s specific guidance on masks currently is stated as: “participants should not be required to wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts or competitions, however, athletes, coaches, and officials should wear masks to the greatest extent possible”. 

Please be aware these standards are subject to change based on community and FCPS health conditions and will be reviewed on a regular basis. It is important to continue to take all appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

Thirteen Students Named Winners of 2021 National Merit Corporate-Sponsored Scholarships

Congratulations to the thirteen Fairfax County Public Schools students selected to receive 2021 corporate-sponsored scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The students are part of a group of more than 1,000 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships financed by corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations.

See who received a 2021 National Merit Corporate-Sponsored scholarship.

Students Selected as Semifinalists for Presidential Scholars Program

Four of the 13 Virginia semifinalists in the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program are FCPS students. Congratulations to the students who have been named among the top 625 students in the country through the Department of Education's prestigious program. 

Colleges and Universities Still Accepting Applications

Do you know a high school senior who is still looking for the right college fit for the fall? The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has released their annual list of colleges and universities that are still accepting applications from prospective freshmen or transfer students for the fall of 2021. 

Students and families are encouraged to use this tool to search colleges that still have space available. Users may narrow down the list of schools by state and also view whether a school still has financial aid, as well as unfilled housing. 

Additionally, NACAC has created an enrollment deposit fee waiver request form for students experiencing significant financial hardship. Families can learn more about the enrollment deposit fee waiver and the eligibility criteria on the NACAC website. Students should check with the colleges and universities they are considering to see if the enrollment deposit fee waiver will be considered by the institution. It is recommended that students and families contact their school counselor and college and career specialist with any questions.

FCPS Students Selected for 2021 All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra

One hundred eighty-five students from Fairfax County Public Schools high schools have been named to the 2021 All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. Students engaged in virtual sessions with composers and conductors April 23 and 24. A combined virtual performance will premiere in late May.

Subscribe to the FCPS Religious and Cultural Observances Calendar 

The Fairfax County School Board approved the 2021-22 school year calendar that is designed to recognize, respect, and honor the plurality of religious and cultural observances in Fairfax County. 

The school year calendar includes 15 religious and cultural observance dates that are recognized by FCPS.

Parents and community members can subscribe to have the dates sync with their Google, Outlook, or other online calendar applications. To do so, go to the Subscribe to Calendars web page and select Religious and Cultural Observances.

Multilingual Family Podcasts: What Should Families Know About ESOL Services?

Listen to the latest Spanish, Arabic, and Korean podcasts on why FCPS families should know about English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) services. Nearly 49% percent, or 87,571 students, in Fairfax County Public Schools speak a second language. This week's podcasts include a discussion about FCPS English Language Services. Rich Pollio, director of FCPS ESOL Services, talks about why ESOL services are important, how families are notified about ESOL services, how families can help at home, new school to home communication tools, and adult English Language Classes.

Listen and Subscribe:

Bike to School or Bike in Your Neighborhood on May 5

Bike Month has been celebrated since 1956 to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to give biking a try. Fairfax County has an extensive network of both paved and natural surface bike trails. You can access a map to all the trails in Fairfax county here

Wednesday, May 5 is the official Bike to School Day. You can register as a school, family, or neighborhood. Plan your ride whether you ride to school, to a park, or just within your neighborhood. Register for Bike to School Day.

FCPS Seeks Input on Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Curriculum Policy

Fairfax County Public Schools is committed to educational equity in which every student thrives academically, socially, and emotionally. FCPS wants to empower students as the next generation of change leaders for a more just world. To achieve educational equity, FCPS will be analyzing and addressing the beliefs and policies that inform what is taught in schools. The school division will begin this process by revising the existing Controversial Issues Policy and developing a new Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Education Curriculum Policy.   

Families and staff will be asked to participate in a survey seeking input on what should be included in the Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Education Curriculum Policy. The survey will be sent to all families and staff in early May. In addition, FCPS will conduct a series of focus groups to gather perspectives and input of all stakeholders. 

FCPS is working with a consultant The Leadership Academy to support stakeholder engagement on the revision and development of these two curriculum policies. An update on the draft policy will be presented to the Fairfax County School Board in the summer. 

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week Is a Great Time to Recognize FCPS Employees Through FCPS CARES

FCPS Cares is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, held May 3-7, is a great time to acknowledge someone who has worked with your child or family during this unpredictable year. Learn how you can acknowledge an FCPS employee for their great work

FCPS Cares of the Month Winners for the Month of March

All FCPS Cares submissions were reviewed, and six winners were selected for the month of March—one for each region and the central office—to receive extra recognition for their work. They are:

  • Central Office: Michael Ross, Gatehouse Administration Center.
  • Region 1: Julia Bargo, Madison High School.
  • Region 2: Jonathan Baker, Haycock Elementary School.
  • Region 3: Sofie Khalid-Schieber, Woodley Hills Elementary School.
  • Region 4: Jessica Csomay, Robinson Secondary School.
  • Region 5: Marcy Fisher, Eagle View Elementary School.

Get more information about the winners.

Photos of the Week

Check out this week’s photo gallery to see a salute to military students, students getting back in the swing of in-person school and participating in class, a teacher learning a new skill, and dedicated staff members keeping things safe for students returning to school.

FCPS in the News: