FCPS This Week e-newsletter - January 19, 2022

By Communication and Community Relations
January 19, 2022

Be Prepared for Possible Snow Later This Week

We are monitoring the possibility of inclement weather this week, including the potential for snow Thursday morning. Please ensure students take home their devices Wednesday afternoon and prepare for the possibility of virtual learning the next day. Decisions on school operations and schedules will be communicated through our usual channels.

For more information visit the following webpages:

Universal Mask Wearing Remains a Critical Layered Prevention Strategy

FCPS continues to require universal mask wearing in alignment with CDC guidance. Our layered prevention strategies have proven effective in keeping transmission rates low in our schools. We know our students are best served by in-person instruction. Adhering to our layered prevention strategies, especially universal masking, keeps our schools open and safe places for students to learn. Read more on our website.

Get Boosted to Be Up to Date With COVID-19 Vaccination

To be considered up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, individuals over age 18 should be boosted according to new guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Individuals over the age of 18 are considered up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination if they have:

  • Booster (3rd dose) with a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, OR
  • 2nd Dose of the initial series of Pfizer is within the last 5 months, OR
  • 2nd Dose of the initial series of Moderna is within the last 5 months, OR
  • 1st Dose Johnson & Johnson is within the last 2 months

View our list of community resources for information on vaccination opportunities. Or, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) website which includes available locations throughout Virginia, call center (assistance available in more than 100 languages) for questions and appointments, and information on how to retrieve a copy of your vaccination record. 

5-11 Year-olds, VaxUP to Finish the School Year Strong

Students who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are better able to avoid missing out on important in-person learning. A high rate of vaccination among students and staff makes our schools safer for everyone.

Nearly 90% of 12-15-year-olds and nearly 95% of 16-17-year-olds have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Children 5-11 became eligible for the vaccine this fall and currently, 45% of Fairfax County children in this age group have received at least one dose. 

There are many opportunities to get COVID-19 vaccine in Fairfax County, including:

  • Pediatric and Family Medicine Providers: call your child’s doctor to make an appointment.
  • Pharmacies, grocery stores, and urgent care facilities: visit vaccines.gov (www.vacunas.gov) to search for a vaccine appointment.
  • Health Department Vaccination Centers: visit the website to make an appointment, or call 703-324-7404 if you need assistance.
    • Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, 22035
    • Mount Vernon District Office (Gerry Hyland Government Center), 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, 22309
  • Tysons Community Vaccination Center, 7950 Tysons Corner Center, TysonsVisit here or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 711). Appointment assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages.
  • Inova Children Vaccination Clinic: visit here to make an appointment for their weekend clinics at the Inova Center for Personalized Health, 8100 Innovation Park Drive, Fairfax.
  • School-located Vaccine Clinics: The Fairfax Health District and Fairfax County Public Schools are hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics at several county schools. Visit this webpage for details.

When looking for an appointment, be sure to search for Pfizer pediatric vaccine since it is the only vaccine currently available for use in children 5-11 years old. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or another adult at all community vaccination sites.

Free Home COVID-19 Tests Available

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests, completely free. Visit covidtests.gov to order your free at-home tests and find free testing locations in your area.

Keep Your Child Warm During Outdoor Activities

Your school’s principal will monitor the weather for low temperatures, wind chill advisories and warnings, and weather advisories which may prevent children from being outside. However, make sure your child is dressed appropriately with a warm coat and other cold weather clothing so they can comfortably enjoy their time outdoors. 

The National Weather Service offers some tips on staying safe during cold weather.

Superintendent Proposes Good News Budget That Delivers on Expectations of Excellence for Public Education in Fairfax

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand has proposed a budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 inspired by the division’s tradition of academic excellence through public education. After two years of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, FCPS is committed to moving forward into a bright future that places an emphasis on student achievement and recognition of world-class educators and operational support staff

Drawing on a history of academic success that has seen Fairfax County students from all backgrounds succeed at the highest levels, this budget maintains an investment in teacher pay increases, broadening opportunity and access for all students, and shoring up critical education gaps that widened during the pandemic. In total, 86% of the $3.3 billion Proposed School Operating Budget for FY23 is allocated to instruction. 

More information on the FY23 Proposed Budget is available online.

Superintendent Search

FCPS is conducting a nationwide search for a new superintendent to lead the school district when Superintendent Brabrand's contract expires at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Thank you to those of you who participated in a  town hall last week. Your input is an important part of the search process.

If you want to watch one of the Superintendent Search Town Hall meetings, they are available online under Community Engagement Opportunities and Information. 

Visit FCPS’ Superintendent Search webpage for more information.

Multilingual Family Podcast: FCPS Parent Resource Center Offers Resources and Supports

Happy New Year! Listen and subscribe to an FCPS multilingual family podcast to hear timely, important information related to school news. In this episode, hear how the Parent Resource Center (PRC) provides resources and support for all families and school staff in FCPS and the surrounding communities. Meet Mary Beth Harrison-Cunningham and Amal Elsayed. The Parent Resource Center provides free library resources, confidential consultations, and informational webinars.

Reach the Parent Resource Center by calling 703-204-3941, by emailing at [email protected] or visiting the PRC website

Listen and subscribe:

Cooper Middle School Band Wins John Philip Sousa Foundation Award

The Cooper Middle School Band program is the winner of the 2021 Sudler Cup, an international recognition of outstanding musical excellence. The prize is awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. 

The Sudler Cup is widely known as the most prestigious award a middle school band program can receive. Only 60 schools have received this award since its inception in 1985.

Learn more about Cooper Middle School’s band program award.

Congratulations to FCPS' Fall 2021 Sports Champions

Congratulations to all the FCPS student-athletes who participated in this year's fall sports season. This year, two FCPS teams and two individuals won the Virginia High School League (VHSL) championship in their respective sports, and five teams and three individuals were the state runners-up. 

See which teams and individuals won VHSL sports championships

Watch FCPS High School Sports Online While Attendance Is Limited

In-person attendance at FCPS high school sporting events is currently limited to coaches, athletes, and the parents of both the home and visiting teams until January 21 (subject to change). However, you can watch FCPS high school sporting events online. Here’s how:

  1. Go to www.NFHSnetwork.com.
  2. Search for (school name) and go to its page.
  3. Subscribe and follow.

This service is free for the rest of this school year. You do not need to purchase anything if you are watching FCPS hosted events.

Become a Substitute Teacher and Save the Day!

Want to make a difference in the life of a child? Fairfax County Public Schools is looking for enthusiastic, engaged, and dedicated substitute teachers. Starting pay is $17.79 per hour for short-term subs; $23.91 per hour for long-term subs. 

Substitutes help our students thrive when their teacher must be out of the classroom and are essential members of every school’s team. More information about the application process and requirements is available online.

Calendar Reminder: Early Dismissal on January 20 and Student Holidays on January 21 and 24

As a reminder, students will be dismissed two hours early on Thursday, January 20, the last day of the second quarter, and Friday, January 21 (teacher work day), and Monday, January 24 (professional development day), are holidays for students. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 25. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.