FCPS This Week e-newsletter - April 6, 2018

By Communication and Community Relations Staff
For Parents
April 06, 2018

Photos of the Week

In this week’s photos students are celebrating Pi Day, observing Autism Awareness Month, displaying their artistic talent, and practicing Japanese drumming.  

Parent Feedback Wanted on the FCPS 2019-20 School Year Calendar 

Want to weigh in on the development of the 2019-20 school year calendar? Now’s your chance! Earlier this week, the parent listed as each student’s primary contact should have received an email from FCPS Survey with a link to a calendar survey. Your participation is critical in helping FCPS leadership make the right decision as a division, so please take the survey at your earliest convenience.

Employees have been invited to take a similar survey. Feedback from both groups will be used to propose the 2019-20 calendar to the School Board. All responses are confidential

If you have any questions, send an email to FCPSsurvey@fcps.edu.  

Calendar Reminder: Two-Hour Early Release for Students on April 13; April 16 Is a Teacher Work Day

As a reminder, Friday, April 13 is the last day of the third quarter and a two-hour early release day for students. Also, Monday, April 16, is a teacher work day and a holiday for students. Classes will resume on Tuesday, April 17. See the 2017-18 calendar.  

2018 Annual Special Education Conference to Be Held Saturday, April 21, at Hayfield Secondary School

FCPS will hold the 13th annual Special Education Conference on Saturday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hayfield Secondary School. The conference, designed for parents and educators of students who receive special education services or who have learning challenges or special needs, will feature Dr. Pamela Mims, associate professor of special education and associate dean of research and grants in the College of Education at East Tennessee University, as the keynote speaker. Mims’ keynote topic is Using Evidence to Guide Practice: Justifying Inclusion for All.  

In addition, this year there will be more than 60 breakout sessions to choose from. 

Get more information about the 2018 Special Education Conference and register for workshop sessions.  

Fairfax County Public Schools Earns 2018 Energy Star® Partner of the Year Award

For the second consecutive year, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been named a 2018 Energy Star® Partner of the Year-Energy Management award winner for its efforts to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings and facilities.  The school district’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., on April 20. FCPS earned the EPA’s Energy Star® certification in 2015 and also has the most schools meeting Energy Star® standards of any school division in the country.  

The district has a long-standing partnership with EPA that combines principal engagement, energy-saving practices, and the use of Energy Star® certified equipment to save energy and protect the environment. This year, FCPS was recognized for finding new ways to save energy and promote its successes with the program, and FCPS saved more than $5 million in energy costs in 2017.

Learn more about the Energy Star Partner of the Year award.

Sports Roundup: FCPS Winter 2018 State Sports Champions

FCPS student-athletes had a successful 2017-18 winter sports season. Six teams and 30 individuals won the Virginia High School League (VHSL) state championship in their respective sports. See who won 2018 VHSL winter state championships.  

TJ BioCode Competition Set for April 14 at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

TJ BioCode is a bioinformatics programming competition which will be held on Saturday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST). Open to middle and high school students, the competition will include beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of competition. Competitors can participate individually or as a part of a team of up to four people, and only minimal computer science experience is required to compete. 

The day’s events include breakout sessions and talks by professionals in computer science and bioinformatics. There is no charge to participate, and over $1,500 in prizes will be awarded across all competition levels. The contest is sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund. 

If you have any questions about the event, send an e-mail to tjbioinformaticscontest@gmail.com.

Get more information and register for the competition

2018-19 Kindergarten Registration

Will your child turn five years old by September 30? If so, contact your child’s school to make arrangements for kindergarten enrollment. Most schools begin getting information together now for parents of incoming kindergartners, and many host an orientation or open house. All kindergarten programs are full-day and located in FCPS elementary schools. 

Check your school’s webpage or contact the school directly for specific enrollment information and dates of orientation that typically occur now until the end of June. 

Get more information about kindergarten registration.  

What Should Students Do With Cell Phones and Other Personal Devices During SOL Tests? 

Fairfax County Public Schools has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that encourages students to use their own personal electronic devices (such as laptops, tablets, and cell phones) during the school day to enhance learning. At the same time, FCPS has an obligation to guarantee a secure test environment during Standards of Learning (SOL) testing.

The Virginia Department of Education requires that schools restrict student access to cell phones and other personal electronic devices during SOL tests. These restrictions are designed to maintain test security and to minimize potential distractions while students are taking tests. 

View these tips to help your child avoid SOL testing issues related to personal electronic devices.  

Cool Schools: Fairfax Friends Forever Reflects Inclusive Culture at Westbriar Elementary

At 9:05 a.m. each Friday morning, the sixth grade hallway at Westbriar Elementary School fills with students, all hurrying along. While this flurry of activity may seem chaotic, each student has a purpose and a destination.  By 9:10 a.m., the hall is empty and the students are engaged in a number of activities designed and coordinated by sixth graders. This is Fairfax Friends Forever, a mentoring and inclusion program pairing older students with younger buddies, now in its 12th year at Westbriar.

The goal of the program is to help younger students who could use a little help with confidence, social skills, or building positive self-esteem. Fully 95 percent of the sixth graders volunteer to participate. 

Chantilly, Mount Vernon High Schools to Host Next Fairfax County Teen Job Fairs 

Fairfax County high school students looking for their first part-time job, summer and seasonal job opportunities, or who want more information about potential career pathways are invited to attend one of six upcoming teen job fairs in Fairfax County. Local businesses and agencies will be on hand to offer a range of opportunities including part-time employment, internships, and volunteer work for prospective students. Free booth spaces are provided to local businesses. The next job fairs will be held on Saturday, April 7, at Chantilly High School, and Saturday, April 14, at Mount Vernon High School, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Learn more about the teen job fairs.

Video: Olympian Maame Biney Returns to Terraset Elementary School

Maame Biney is the first African American woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Speedskating team and she's a Terraset Elementary School Tiger! See Maame's triumphant return to her elementary school and how the staff and students welcomed her home. Watch the video.