FCPS This Week e-newsletter - May 11, 2018

By Communication and Community Relations Staff
For Parents
May 11, 2018

Photos of the Week

This week’s photos feature students participating in a ceremony at Fort McHenry, taste testing smoothies, representing FCPS at a robotics tournament, and learning how to handle baby chicks. 

Recap: Bike to School Day 2018

Bike to School Day (Wednesday, May 9) featured students from more than 60 Fairfax County public schools who took to their bikes (and helmets), scooters, skates, or pulled on their walking shoes to get to school while reducing pollution around schools and getting some exercise on a beautiful spring morning. See photos and video

Forty-Four Students Named 2018 National Merit Scholarship Winners

Forty-four students from 11 Fairfax County high schools have been named winners of $2,500 scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Scholarship winners are part of a group of approximately 2,500 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships primarily financed by the NMSC.

Each scholarship winner was evaluated on his or her academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; a personal essay; and a recommendation from a high school official.

See who received a NMSC scholarship.

2018 Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Staff and Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers and staff members throughout the district are being celebrated for the hard work they do every day teaching and caring for our students. Many schools are holding their own celebrations to say thank you; find out what you can do to let the teachers and staff at your child’s school know that you appreciate everything they do. And remember, every day is a great day to thank a teacher! 

Check out a Facebook photo gallery to see how some FCPS teachers were thanked for their hard work. 

Is Your Senior Searching for the Right College for Next Fall? Check out This List of Colleges and Universities Still Accepting Applications

Do you know a high school senior who is still looking for the right college fit for the fall? The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has released their annual list of colleges and universities that are still accepting applications from prospective freshmen or transfer students for the fall of 2018. 

Students and families are encouraged to use this tool to search colleges from across the United States that still have space available. Users may narrow down the list of schools by state and also view whether a school still has financial aid, to include scholarships, as well as unfilled housing. It is recommended that students and families contact their school counselor and career center specialist with any questions.  

Video: Vaping Juices Often Contain Poison and Illegal Drugs

In our continuing video series about vaping and juuling, we explore a common belief that vaping devices are safer than cigarettes, but the truth is that there are chemicals within the vaping juices that are known carcinogens. Watch the video.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Many students struggle with emotional and behavioral issues that can affect their learning and overall wellness. Adults play a critical role in fostering assets that lead to positive mental health in children. See what you can do to help promote resiliency in youth.

See more mental health and wellness tips for students.

CrisisText Is Available for Students 24/7

Parents: Any student who is feeling extremely overwhelmed or is in crisis can connect with CrisisText. Students just need to text “NEEDHELP” to 85511 or call 1-800-273-TALK. Please feel free to share this information as appropriate.

Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on May 28 for Memorial Day Holiday

All FCPS schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 28 for the Memorial Day holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, May 29. See the complete 2017-18 school year calendar.  

Recommended Family Life Education Instructional Materials Available for Community Review

Fairfax County Public Schools recommended Family Life Education (FLE) materials (media and lesson objectives) to support instruction are available for community review through the close of business on Friday, June 8.  Recommended materials under review will affect students in grades 4 and 7-12.

Get more information about the recommended materials.

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.

TJ Techstravaganza Set for May 19 

Tomorrow’s Women in Science and Technology (TWIST), a student group at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), will present TJ Techstravaganza, a hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fair, on Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is free, and there will be events for students of all ages, including extracting banana DNA, launching rockets, making ice cream, creating flubber bubbles, making lava lamps, programming an app, and seeing robot demonstrations. More than a dozen companies will have exhibits, including Samsung and NASA, who help make the event possible. Online registration is available.

For more information, send an email to twistcoordinators@gmail.com.    

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.

Video: Meet Matthew Johnson, FCPS Graduate and Assistant Principal of Whitman Middle School 

Matthew Johnson grew up in Mount Vernon, now he’s the assistant principal of Whitman Middle School. As a graduate of FCPS schools, he has a unique perspective and understanding of the community where the students live, and it’s helping him to build trust and make connections. Watch the video

Twelve Students Earn Gold Awards at FCCLA State Leadership Conference

Twelve Fairfax County Public Schools students won Gold awards in STAR events at the 2018 Virginia Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) state leadership recognition conference held recently in Virginia Beach. STAR events are a series of competitive events that enable students to demonstrate proficiency and achievement in leadership and job-related skills. FCPS students also won numerous Silver and Bronze awards, and received other special recognition.

See who won an award.

Tips for Elementary School Parents: Have Your Child Play Simon Says, but Do the Opposite

Children love to play Simon Says, and it teaches them to follow directions. Try this twist on the classic game to build your child's vocabulary and thinking skills. Have your child do the opposite of what Simon says. When Simon says, “Whisper your mother's name,” your child would shout the name.

Comfort with the concept of opposites helps children understand antonyms—words that have opposite meanings.

Copyright 2018, the Parent Institute. Get more tips for parents and other parent engagement resources.