FCPS This Week – December 1, 2017

By Communication and Community Relations Staff
For Parents
December 01, 2017

Photos of the Week

In this week’s photos, see students learning about careers, making a Thanksgiving “dinner” out of physical education tools, launching rockets, and performing in a tunes for tots concert. 

Final Community Conversations Meeting with Dr. Brabrand to Be Held December 11 at Jackson Middle School

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand is hosting five Community Conversations this fall to hear what students, parents, employees, and members of the community are thinking about and what issues are important to them. Brabrand welcomes citizens to attend and take part in any of the upcoming sessions that are convenient for them.

The meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a meet and greet, followed by discussion and questions from the audience from 7 to 8 p.m. The final meeting will be held on Monday, December 11, in the cafeteria at Jackson Middle School.

See the complete list of Community Conversations.

Belvedere Elementary Named 2017 National Title I Distinguished School

Belvedere Elementary School has been named a National Title 1 Distinguished School for 2017 by the National Title 1 Association. Belvedere Elementary was one of two schools nominated for the honor by the Virginia Board of Education.

National Title 1 Distinguished Schools are recognized for exceptional student achievement; only 100 schools nationwide are selected for the honor.

Learn more about Belvedere Elementary being named a National Title 1 Distinguished School.

Fairfax County School Board to Consider 2018-19 Calendar with August 28, 2018, Start Date

The Fairfax County School Board plans to introduce Calendar Option D for the 2018-19 school year as a new business item at the December 7 regular meeting. Further discussion will take place at the School Board work session on Monday, December 11, with a final vote scheduled at the Thursday, December 14, regular meeting.

Calendar Option D sets Tuesday, August 28, 2018, as the first day of school for students and Friday, August 17, 2018, as the first day for instructional personnel. Winter break for students is scheduled from December 24, 2018, through January 4, 2019, and spring break is scheduled for the week of April 15-19.

Additionally, the Board plans to schedule approval of the 2019-20 calendar in the spring of 2018. The School Board may consider and make further changes to this calendar option prior to the final vote.

Get more information on Calendar Option D.

Inclement Weather and Emergency Closing Plans; Make Arrangements Now in Case of an Unforeseen Schedule Change

Cold and wintry weather is on its way! Due to inclement weather or other emergency situations, it may be necessary to close schools for the entire day, to open schools late, or to close early.

Parents are urged to make arrangements now for the care of their children when schedule changes are made (and to provide for the rare situation when it is necessary to close an individual school because of a power failure or other circumstances). Children should know where to go if a parent will not be home.

FCPS has several schedules set up to deal with inclement weather; these are put into effect when conditions threaten the safety of students and staff members:

  • Keep schools closed.
  • Open two hours late.
  • Close two hours early.

When Fairfax County Public Schools has a schedule change (closing or delay) due to inclement weather or other emergencies, the information is communicated in several ways as soon as the decision is made

Note: The official @FCPSnews Twitter account (with blue checkmark) is generally the first and fastest mode of communication during emergency weather closings. Other communication channels will be updated as quickly as possible including email, text, website, other social media, and news stations. Please be aware, due to the large volume of emails sent, there will likely be a lag between the time an FCPS Twitter alert is posted and receipt of an email in your inbox.

FCPS Named 2017 Certified Green School Division by VSBA

Fairfax County Public Schools has been recognized as a Certified Green School Division by the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) for 2017. The district also earned platinum certification for accumulating green points for environmental policies and practices.

VSBA’s Green Schools Challenge encourages school districts to implement specific environmental policies and practical actions to reduce carbon emissions generated by the districts themselves as well as their surrounding communities.

FCPS was one of 14 districts earning platinum certification, the highest designation awarded by the VSBA program.

More information is available online.

Video: Cardboard Creativity at Woodlawn Elementary School

Students of all grade levels at Woodlawn Elementary recently participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge. Using cardboard, tape, and a lot of imagination, students designed and built hundreds of original games, which they shared with others at the school. Because they were having fun, many students didn’t realize they were exercising high level skills in art, engineering, and collaboration.

Watch the video.

Fairfax County School Board, Board of Supervisors Adopt Joint One Fairfax Policy

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County School Board have adopted a joint social and racial equity policy called One Fairfax. The School Board adopted the One Fairfax policy at its meeting on November 20. The Board of Supervisors adopted One Fairfax at its meeting on November 21.

This joint policy commits both boards to consider equity in decision-making and in the development and delivery of future policies, programs and services. One Fairfax offers a framework—or “lens”— for the county and schools to look intentionally, comprehensively and systemically at barriers that may be creating gaps in opportunity.

Learn more about One Fairfax.

Wondering Where to Find Emergency Closing Messages on the FCPS Website?

In the case of emergency for a weather-related closing, delay, or early dismissal, the FCPS website will automatically include an alert at the top of each page with the relevant information.

This information will remain posted until normal operations have resumed, or you click "Close This Alert" to remove it. If you have closed the alert, a red exclamation mark will remain to indicate that the alert is still active.

School websites that have converted to the new integrated and mobile responsive web platform will also automatically display the emergency announcement.

Fairfax County Public Schools, Foundation for FCPS Recognize Business and Community Partners at Superintendent’s Luncheon

Navy Federal Credit Union, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and Food for Others were recognized by Fairfax County Public Schools and the Foundation for FCPS for their work as partners with the schools at the annual Superintendent’s Luncheon on November 20. The awards recognize the valuable contributions being made by business and community partners throughout FCPS and increase awareness of the importance of business and civic involvement in the school system.

In addition, Virginia’s First Lady, Dorothy McAuliffe, was awarded the FCPS Champion Award for her work to combat childhood hunger by advocating to increase funding for breakfast programs in 35 of the neediest schools in FCPS.

Learn more about this year’s award winners.

Your Donation to the Foundation Will Help Students Thrive

As 2017 comes to a close, please consider a year-end gift to the Foundation for FCPS, the independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization associated with the school system. The Foundation works alongside teachers, principals, administrators, and leadership to keep our diverse school system robust and innovative.

During its annual appeal, the Foundation is raising funds for its three focus areas: Workforce Development, Kids in Need, and Employee Recognition. More information about these programs can be found on the Foundation website.

Your tax-deductible contribution can be made online through a secure donation portal and may be designated to an existing initiative or to the school or center of your choice.

Healthy Minds Fairfax Initiative Supports Emotional Wellness in Youth and Families

Fairfax County has expanded services to help children, youth, and families access mental health and substance abuse services through a coordinated network of county agencies, schools, and private providers. This initiative, called Healthy Minds Fairfax, is working to identify high quality resources, supports, and opportunities for families to help further social, emotional, and healthy growth for all youth and young adults across Fairfax County.

Healthy Minds Fairfax’s website identifies services for people experiencing mental health and substance abuse issues; offers prevention resources to enhance awareness and help reduce the stigma that can discourage people from seeking help for mental health conditions; and provides information on intervention services and supports.

Learn more about Healthy Minds Fairfax.

#OurFCPS: Together It’s Possible

So many great things happen in FCPS every single day. Share the awesome examples of innovation, creativity, collaboration, and pride in your school and community by using the #OurFCPS hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.