FCPS this Week e-newsletter - May 25, 2022
Condemnation of Gun Violence in Schools
Yesterday, Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, experienced a horrifying act of violence which resulted in the tragic loss of 21 innocent lives; 19 children and two teachers. Many more were injured. We share in the grief and frustration that follows these far too common events. Read our complete statement.
Gun violence and school shootings are complicated topics that affect each of us in different ways. The following resources may be helpful as we all process yesterday’s events:
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Student Safety and Wellness
Resources from the National Association of School Psychologists:
- Helping Children Cope with Unsettling Times
- Talking to Children About Violence (translated in multiple languages)
- Care for Caregivers: Tips for Families and Educators
Because of the potential for both intended and unintended threats to our schools, FCPS has focused a great deal of attention to emergency procedures and is vigilant about protecting the safety of its students and employees. The school division has spent considerable time and effort in planning and practicing day-to-day safety and security measures, as well as addressing the response to a major critical incident. Among these measures are:
- Physical security (Locked doors, intrusion alarms, electronic door access, CCTV).
- Visitor Management System and Procedures (Deployed system-wide).
- Emergency planning coordination with police, fire, and emergency management offices.
- Uniformed school security patrols (24/7).
- SROs at all middle and high schools.
- FCPS security personnel at all middle and high schools.
- Comprehensive division-wide crisis management plan.
- Individual school crisis plans-updated annually.
- Lockdown, Fire, and Tornado Drills.
- Safety training and Table Top exercises at all schools.
- Critical incident terms awareness and training (Lockdown, Secure the Building, Shelter in Place, Stay Put Stay Tuned).
- Employee training in crisis management and communication. (Lockdown, Evacuation, and “Run, Hide, Fight”).
- Mandatory annual safety training for all students and staff.
- Threat assessment process.
- Confidential tip, text, and email programs.
- Systemwide emergency alert systems.
Safety and security is everyone’s job. Staff, students, parents, and the community at large are reminded to incorporate safety and security awareness as routine, and to immediately report any unusual activity to the authorities. Know that we take the safety and security of all students very seriously, and additional information regarding our programs can be found on our Safety and Security website.
Webinar on Opioid Use Trends and Support Set for June 7
Opioid overdoses are on the rise in the Fairfax Health District, which is consistent with national and state trends.
Fairfax County Public Schools is partnering with Fairfax County Government to provide an educational webinar on substance use trends and supports June 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Register for the June 7 webinar.
The webinar will cover topics including:
- Most Commonly Used Substances.
- In Depth Opioid Information.
- Reasons Why Youth Use Substances.
- Ways Parents Can Support their Children.
- Available FCPS and Fairfax County Resources.
- How to connect with support providers.
Language interpretation will be available in Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, and Korean. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting by an ASL/Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Team will also be provided.
Learn more about what you can do to help and prevent overdoses in our Healthy Minds blog.
Cute and Calming: Animals Help Students Unwind
Chickens, alpacas, and mini horses, oh my! Across Fairfax County Public Schools, animals are helping students destress. Some schools are utilizing ESSER III funds to help pay for therapy animal visits, while others rely on teachers going above and beyond to care for and feed the animals. Students of all ages agree, spending time with animals puts a smile on their faces and helps them relax. As a part of Mental Health Acceptance Month, we are highlighting a few FCPS schools connecting students with animals.
Share Your Graduation or Promotion Ceremony Photos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram
Graduation season is here! FCPS parents, students, and staff members are invited to share their favorite pictures from this year's graduation or promotion ceremonies on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram by tagging FCPS and using the hashtag #fcpsgrad22. We will retweet and share some of the photos.
The 2022 FCPS high school graduation schedule, including dates, times, and locations, is available online.
Do Your Part: Vax Up!
FCPS has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases recently as the county has transitioned to the medium community level. Schools continue to apply layered prevention strategies to maintain a healthy work and learning environment. However, each of us has a responsibility to do our part to help keep ourselves, our students, and our community safe.
As we enter the final weeks of the school year, we must stay vigilant so we can all enjoy the events and milestones ahead and be ready for a relaxing and healthy summer.
Easy ways to “Do Your Part” include: staying up to date on vaccinations and boosters, considering when and where to choose to mask up, practicing good hygiene, and monitoring symptoms daily.
A single booster dose is now authorized for children ages 5-11, at least five months after completing a primary series with the Pfizer vaccine. Learn more about scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment or find a walk-in option on the Fairfax County Health Department’s website.
Michele Togbe to Serve as 2022-23 Student School Board Representative
Michele Togbe, a junior at South County High School, has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council (SAC) to serve a one-year term as student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, beginning July 1.
Togbe will participate in School Board meetings as a nonvoting member, filling the position currently held by Pranav Choudhary, a senior at Langley High School. She will be the 52nd student representative to the School Board.
Families Will Receive Reports Throughout the Summer for Spring Assessments
Spring assessments help teachers and schools check on students’ learning and skill development. Families will access results from end-of-year assessments in different ways. For most assessments, FCPS provides custom reports to share scores with families.
Look in SIS ParentVUE for these reports by the end of July:
Watch the mail for these reports by the end of the indicated month:
- Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener (July)
- Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) (July)
- Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) (August)
- WIDA English Language Proficiency annual assessment (September)
Other scores come from the school or testing organization. These include Advanced Placement (AP) scores accessed through students’ College Board accounts.
Go online or contact your student's school for additional information about FCPS assessments. You can also learn how to activate a SIS ParentVUE account to access scores. Schools will mail SIS reports to families without ParentVUE accounts.
FCPS' Family Return to School Survey Is Coming Soon
FCPS is interested in hearing from parents/caregivers about how the 2021-22 school year has gone for students. You will have an opportunity to provide your feedback on our Family Return to School Survey which will open Tuesday, May 31. Parents and caregivers will receive an email with the survey link.
The survey is being administered by the FCPS Office of Research and Strategic Improvement, which provides objective research and data-based information back to the school division’s leadership. The survey is part of the office’s continuing evaluation of the pandemic’s impact on our school division.
We encourage all FCPS parents/caregivers to respond to the survey and share their experiences whether positive or negative. The information you and other families provide will be used, along with other data, to inform FCPS leadership about the return to five days a week of in-person instruction, and support FCPS’ efforts to make improvements that support schools, students, and staff. It will also be included in ESSER III reporting.
Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on May 30 for Memorial Day Holiday; Last Day of School Is June 10
As a reminder, all schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, for the Memorial Day holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, May 31. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.
Looking Ahead: Early Dismissal June 10
As a reminder, the last day of the 2021-22 school year is Friday, June 10, and students will be dismissed early. Check with your child's school for its individual dismissal time.
Reminder: School Board Meeting on May 26 at 7 p.m.
The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda. The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website. Agenda highlights include:
- Adoption of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Approved Budget.
- Approval of Policy 4750 - Deferred Compensation Retirement Savings Program.
- Approval of Governance Committee recommended changes to the Strategic Governance manual.
If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk.
Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on any School Board action items the morning after the School Board meeting.
Find your School Board member and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.