FCPS This Week e-newsletter - February 21, 2020

By Communications and Community Relations Staff
For Parents
February 21, 2020

Photos of the Week

In this week’s photos, see students celebrating Black History Month, making dioramas, appreciating custodians, and practicing calming breathing exercises.  


FCPS' Safety Tip Line Helps Keep Schools Safe

A confidential and anonymous tip line is available to students, staff, parents, and other community members as part of FCPS' continuing effort to maintain safe schools. Please report school safety issues, such as threats, unsafe or dangerous situations, illegal drug activity, theft, gang activity, existence of weapons, vandalism, and concerns about student wellness. Call 571-423-2020, text TIP FCPS to 888-777, or submit your tip online. Visit the Safety Tip Line webpage for more information.

Note: If your tip is an emergency and immediate assistance is necessary, please dial 911.


Calendar Reminder: Schools Closed on March 3 for Presidential Primary    

As a reminder, schools will be closed for students on Tuesday, March 3, for the Presidential Primary, which will be a school planning day for staff members. Classes will resume on Wednesday, March 4.  See the complete 2019-20 school calendar.


2020 Census Helps Fund Our Schools: Make Sure You Are Counted!

The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution to take place every 10 years.

The census is short (fewer than 10 questions) and simple, asking for the number of people in a home, along with age, sex, and race. The census drives decisions on the annual allocation of more than $675 billion in federal funds to states and communities. 

By mid-March, most households will receive an invitation by mail to participate in the census. There are three options to respond: online, by phone, or by mail. While people are required by law to participate, the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect answers. All responses are confidential.

Learn more about the 2020 census.


In the Spotlight: West Potomac Teacher Lawrence Cooper Brings Black History Month to Life with Extensive Memorabilia Collection

For an extensive look at the contributions of Black Americans, you only have to travel as far as West Potomac High School. The hallways outside Lawrence Cooper’s classroom at West Potomac are filled with memorabilia of Black historical figures, the result of Cooper’s 22-year collection of everything from vintage postcards to simulations of vinyl records. 

Cooper, a special education teacher, shares his personal collection during February—Black History Month—with students and colleagues at the school. He says the display has sparked numerous conversations about the contributions of Black Americans. “I have received extremely positive and supportive feedback from everyone who has visited,” says Cooper. “Teachers have brought their classes down to study and learn. Individual students spend their time here as well. It has been a great cultural awareness talking piece and has sparked many ideas and future project collaborations between staff and their academic disciplines.” 

Learn more about Lawrence Cooper’s memorabilia collection.


High School Students Invited to Fairfax County 2020 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 and resume building workshops 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.

Volunteer opportunities and resume building workshops will be available for younger students. Free booth spaces are provided to local businesses. The first two job fairs will be held on Saturday, March 7, at Woodson High School from 10 a.m. to noon, and at South County High School from 2 to 4 p.m.

Learn more about the teen job fairs


Important Immunization Requirement: Do You Have a Student Entering Seventh Grade Next Year? 

If yes, he or she may need a booster dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis). Seventh grade students cannot begin school in August without documentation of the Tdap booster. Parents or guardians should ask their private healthcare provider, or the health department, to review their child’s immunization record if they are unsure if their child has received the Tdap booster. 

Students who have received a Tdap booster at age seven or older do not need another dose. Documentation must be provided to the school student information assistant (SIA) or registrar as soon as possible.

Learn more about the Tdap booster.


Arts Alive: Cappies Review of Men on Boats at Oakton High School

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. There are fifteen Cappies chapters across the United States and Canada, and many FCPS high schools participate in the Washington, D.C., chapter. 

Check out this review of Oakton High School’s production of Men on Boats, written by student critic Stacia Datskovska of Langley High School.

Subscribe to the 2019-20 FCPS Theater Calendar

Do you love watching high school theater? If so, check out the Fine and Performing Arts calendar on the FCPS website. Individual listings for many middle and high school theater events are listed through June 2020. Users can subscribe to the calendar to be notified of upcoming performances, and each event can be added to a calendar or shared on social media. See the Fine and Performing Arts calendar


Video: Learning Lifesaving at Longfellow Middle School

In one day, students at Longfellow Middle School were trained in how to provide hands only CPR, as well as proper use of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator.) The effort was a collaboration between a student at Longfellow and a charity organization that was founded after the sudden death of a student in Stafford County. Watch the video.

FCPS YouTube Channel

Want to see other great videos featuring FCPS students and staff members? Check out the FCPS Channel on YouTube.


FCPS to Host Free Sessions on Digital Learning and Citizenship

Fairfax County Public Schools students, families, and community members are invited to attend any of five upcoming digital learning and digital citizenship events. All sessions are being held free of charge. The first session will be held on Tuesday, February 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Crossfield Elementary School, with the theme Supporting Families in a Digital World: Developing a Healthy Relationship with Technology.

See the complete list of sessions and topics.


Tip Sheet for Elementary Parents: Raise a Responsible Student Who Takes School Seriously

One of your child’s biggest responsibilities is being a good student. Doing well in school is a key to a satisfying life! It’s hard to imagine paying bills without knowing math, for example, or voting in an election without understanding history. To be effective students, kids must take the job seriously—and that requires family support. To encourage your child to be a responsible student:

  • Make learning a priority. Explore the world together. Visit the library, try new foods and take nature walks. Play board games that build thinking, math and reading skills. Show your child that learning is fun.
  • Teach perseverance. Kids need encouragement to keep trying when homework and other tasks are tough. When your child is tempted to give up, provide guidance and a positive outlook: “Let’s review the instructions again. I know you can do this!” Compliment effort and progress.
  • Enforce routines. Children need help creating and sticking with routines that lead to success, such as going to bed, waking up, reading and studying at the same times each day.
  • Wonder together. Instead of providing answers, let your child take charge of finding them sometimes. If he or she asks you, “Who was the second president?” show him or her how to look up the answer. Use his or her questions as opportunities to learn about other things, too. “I wonder who the second vice president was. Let’s go online and see if we can find out.”

Copyright 2020, the Parent Institute. Get more tip sheets for parents and other family engagement resources.


Video—Project-Based Learning: Robotics and Rube Goldberg at Thoreau Middle School

Project-based learning is a way for students to show their understanding through creation and collaboration. With support from Capital One and NOVA SySTEMic of Northern Virginia Community College, students at Thoreau Middle School were able to tackle the challenge of coding three different robots through an obstacle course while triggering a Rube Goldberg event. Watch the video.