FCPS This Week e-newsletter - August 29, 2019

By Communications and Community Relations Staff
For Parents
August 29, 2019

Scenes from the First Day of School and Back to School Events 

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! Thank you to everyone who shared the excitement of the first day of school and back to school activities by posting photos and videos. Want to see them for yourself? Go to the FCPS website to check out a photo gallery, or visit Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and search for #firstdayfairfax. Have an awesome school year! 

Calendar Reminder: School Closed August 30-September 2 for Labor Day Break

New Virginia legislation requires that schools opening prior to Labor Day must be closed the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day. As a result, Friday, August 30, is a holiday for students, in addition to the Labor Day holiday. See the complete 2019-20 school year calendar.

Telephone Parent Information Line Available in Eight Languages

Parents who speak Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, or Vietnamese can call a telephone information line for general information about FCPS and to receive support if they are having difficulty communicating with their children's schools due to a language barrier.

Video: Meet Kimberly Boateng, the 2019-20 Student Representative to the School Board

The 2019-20 student representative to the School Board is Kimberly Boateng, a junior at Lee High School. Her platform for the year includes a greater focus on problem-based and project-based learning. Get to know Kimberly Boateng.

Save the Date: Mental Health and Wellness Conference to Be Held October 5 at Fairfax High School 

The sixth annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference will be held on Saturday, October 5, at Fairfax High School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, sponsored by Inova. The morning session will focus on social and emotional learning, with a keynote address given by Dr. Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

A special session for high school students, the Our Minds Matter Teen Summit, will take place in the morning as well. Attendees are encouraged to stay for Inova’s Act on Addiction Summit, which will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. 

More information is available at the Mental Health and Wellness Conference webpage.   

2019-20 Back to School Night Schedule

The schedule for this year's Back to School Nights is available online. The schedules are posted by the region your child’s school is in.

Don’t know your school’s region? Do a search for your school in the Schools and Centers Directory, then click on the school name.

Every Day Counts! Absences Add Up

FCPS is looking forward to a great school year! Regular attendance is essential for students to form positive peer and adult relationships and to learn. In fact, when students miss significant amounts of instructional time, they tend to lose momentum academically.

We do monitor each child’s attendance daily and will contact a parent if a child does not arrive at school or class as expected. Of course, there are times that students may have health or other concerns that may prevent them from being present. Please contact your child’s school by using its attendance telephone line, email, or online form if your child will be absent. This information can be found on each school’s web page.

More information about FCPS’ attendance expectations is available online.

Your Donation to the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools Will Help Students Thrive

Since it began in 2011 as an independent 501c(3)  non-profit organization, the Foundation for FCPS has been the vehicle to match community resources to needs at schools and programs around the county. The Foundation works alongside teachers, principals, administrators, and leadership to keep the school system robust and innovative through its three focus areas: Teacher Grants, Employee Recognition, and Kids in Need.

In the 2019-20 school year, the Foundation is providing 45 teachers with grants totaling $90,000 to enhance activities in the classroom that help students make connections to future careers. The Foundation's financial support underwrites the FCPS Honors event in June which recognizes excellence among teachers, support staff, and administrators. And the Foundation maintains a fund to help students in need, specifically by providing them with school supply kits prior to the start of school.

As the school year begins, please consider how your tax-deductible contribution can help students find their path to success. Your donation can be made online and designated to an existing program—including teacher grants—or to the school or center of your choice. If you prefer, you may call the Foundation office for more information, or contribute over the phone at 571-423-1031.

More information can be found on the Foundation website.

In the Spotlight: FCPS Spring 2019 Virginia High School League Sports Champions

FCPS student-athletes had a highly successful spring 2019 sports season. Eight FCPS teams and eleven individuals won the Virginia High School League (VHSL) championships in their respective sports. 

See who won spring 2019 VHSL sports championships

Bus Delay Notification System

Stay up-to-date on school bus arrivals with FCPS' bus delay notification system. This system provides parents with timely notification of late bus route information. Access it directly online. Morning bus route information will be available until noon. The afternoon bus route information will be available from 1 to 7 p.m.  
E-Notify email messages will also be sent to announce bus delays.

Need assistance or have questions? Visit the FCPS Transportation page for more information. 

2019-20 Update from MySchoolBucks

Fairfax County Public Schools has a contract with Global Payment Solutions to provide online payment services as a convenience to our parents and guardians for school lunch, student fees and other school store items through their online website and mobile apps commonly referred to as MySchoolBucks. As with a lot of mobile applications or online portals, users are required to accept “Terms and Conditions” when they register to use the application.

Typically, as updates are made to the portals and applications, users are required to read and accept the updated terms and conditions. Recently, MySchoolBucks updated their application and added the following Terms and Conditions as of July 31, 2019.

•    Requiring the user to agree to mandatory arbitration.
•    Waive any right to be part of a class action suit.

The provisions are ordinary and customary and are commonly used by e-commerce vendors. The MySchoolBucks Terms and Conditions specifically state that this is not the only way to make payments to a school. 

The options are to 1) agree to the terms; or 2) provide payments using cash or a check. Additional payment information is available online.