FCPS this Week e-newsletter - October 6, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
October 06, 2021

Record High Graduation Rate for the Class of 2021 

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) reports that 94.6% of Fairfax County Public School students in the class of 2021 graduated on time, up from 93% in 2020. Congratulations to these students and families for their resilience and hard work!  More information on the FCPS graduation rate is available online

FCPS Teacher Is Virginia Region 4 Teacher of the Year

Howard Brewer, a teacher for Interagency Alternative Schools at Bryant High School is the 2022 Virginia Region 4 Teacher of the Year. Brewer is not just an amazing educator—he’s also a life coach who helps students believe in themselves and achieve their goals. 

He is now a finalist for Virginia Teacher of the Year, to be announced October 14.

Find out what makes Brewer an outstanding educator.

Calendar Reminder: Schools Closed on October 11 for Indigenous Peoples’ Day Holiday

As a reminder, schools will be closed for students on Monday, October 11, for the Indigenous Peoples’ (Columbus Day) Day holiday. October 11 is a professional development day for staff members. SACC will be open. Classes will resume on Tuesday, October 12. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.

New Process for Returning to the Classroom After Illness

With the cold and flu season upon us, your child may be sent home if they have COVID-like symptoms. We want them back in the classroom as soon as they are well, so we’ve created new options to help families complete the return to school process. Learn more online.

FCPS Theatre Mask Policy

As a reminder, all individuals aged two and older must wear masks at indoor theatre performances. This includes the cast, crew, and audience, regardless of vaccination status.

Now Accepting Proof of Vaccination for Athletics 

Beginning November 8, Fairfax County Public Schools requires student-athletes be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the winter and spring sports seasons as an additional safety measure. Starting October 4, student athletes can submit their proof of Covid-19 vaccination to their schools. Students will need to either:

  • Show their vaccination cards to authorized school personnel.
  • Submit their medical or religious exemption form to their schools. 

Anyone granted an exemption for medical or religious reasons will be required to submit a negative test result each week. The test will need to be either a rapid test or a PCR test. Please be aware that home testing using over the counter testing products will not be accepted.

For questions about how to submit your child’s vaccination status, please look out for information in your school newsletter. 

More information about the athletics vaccination requirement is available online

Virtual College Week is October 18-21

Virtual College Week is October 18-21. Students and their parents may participate in one or all of several live virtual sessions. Participants will learn about the current college admissions process and how to be better prepared for the next chapter of their educational journey.

Advance registration is required. You will receive a unique access link 24 hours before the event(s) that you register to attend.

School Bond Referendum on November 2 Ballot; Voter Registration Deadline Is October 11

A school bond referendum will be on the general election ballot on Tuesday, November 2. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Residents of Fairfax County may vote if they are 18 years or older on Election Day and have registered to vote 22 days prior to the election (on or before October 11, at 5 p.m.). 

Visit the Fairfax County Office of Elections website for information about registering to vote or updating your voter file and voting options, or call 703-222-0776.

The building and renovation of schools is not financed through the school system’s operating funds, but through bonds. Similar to an individual or a family obtaining a mortgage on a residence to spread the cost of home buying over a number of years, bonds spread the cost of major capital improvements over a number of years. Bond sales must be approved by voters since they are a future obligation for taxpayers. 

Read about Fairfax County’s coveted triple-A bond ratings and why the county's bonded debt is not likely to be a contributing factor to any increase in local taxes.

Lake Braddock Graduate Returns as a Teacher

Saja Abduljabbar is a former student at Lake Braddock Secondary School who graduated in 2014. Saja started her academic career in FCPS in ninth grade without knowing a word of English.

She has returned to the school as an English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) teacher, working alongside some of the same teachers that helped her succeed, and hopes to serve as an inspiration for her students. Get to know Saja Adbduljabbar.

Work for FCPS: Job Openings in Fairfax County Public Schools

Make a difference in a child’s life—find your next job with FCPS! We have openings for bus drivers, substitute teachers, COVID case managers, and school health aides (employed by Fairfax County Government but work in schools). 

More information and applications are available online:

If you want to earn money while making a difference in your community, say yes to FCPS!

Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid

Beginning on October 13, FCPS will be asking all families to fill out a Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid.

Returning this form is important because information from this survey results in an additional $3 million in grants each year from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are used to support all Fairfax County public schools and centers.

For each school-aged child in your household, please complete, sign, date, and return the survey to your child's school. If sections 1 and 2 of the survey do not apply to you, just check the boxes in Section 3. All forms must be signed, dated, and returned by November 5. All results are confidential.

More information is available online.

FCPS Receives School Division of Innovation Award

Fairfax County Public Schools recently received the School Division of Innovation Award from the Virginia Board of Education. This five-year designation serves to recognize FCPS’ work to lead transformative innovation in the Commonwealth. FCPS is among five school divisions in Virginia that are recognized for designing and implementing alternatives to traditional instructional practices and school structures to improve student learning and promote college and career readiness and good citizenship. 

FCPS is implementing the Fairfax County Portrait of a Graduate to provide equity in access, opportunity, and outcomes for all students. Performance will be measured through end-of-year presentations requiring students to curate evidence of learning and academic growth over time in a portfolio, and share their learning experiences and goals with authentic audiences, including teachers, families, peers and community members.

Designing an Outdoor Classroom: FCPS Student Uses his Skills as a Boy Scout to Create Exciting and Versatile Learning Space

As part of his Eagle Scout service project, Lake Braddock Secondary School sophomore Logan Pembleton answered the call to help build an outdoor classroom at his former elementary school, Ravensworth Elementary. Pembleton led groups of 14 volunteers over two days to complete the classroom, which has colorful tree stumps for chairs, wooden lounge chairs, and a whiteboard that is waterproof and mobile, just in time for the start of school in August.   

Fourth-Grade Time Magazine for Kids Student Journalist Winner Grills FCPS Nutrition Director On Pandemic Meals

Ethan Zang, a student at Churchill Road Elementary School, was recently chosen as one of 10 winners across the country in Time Magazine for Kids’ student journalist competition. Zang was chosen for his interview with Maria Perrone, FCPS’ director of Nutrition Services, about her work providing meals to students and their families during the pandemic. Ethan calls Maria his hometown hero.

Oakton High School Students Give Research Presentations at Global Health Leaders Conference

This past summer, five Oakton High School students—Lucy Kim, Sejal Singh, Emily Yu, Rana Ali, and Sarah Cortez-De La Cruz—presented their research at the highly selective 2021 Global Health Leaders Conference at Johns Hopkins University. The virtual international conference brought emerging health leaders in grades 9-12 together to learn from one another and world leaders in global health, public health, and medicine.

In addition to presenting their own research, the students learned from Nobel Prize winners, CDC directors, and leaders from Doctors Without Borders. 

The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools Has a New Name: Educate Fairfax

For over a decade, the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools has been investing in programs to help every FCPS student find a path to success. The global pandemic provided an opportunity for it to re-evaluate its mission and improve the organization’s reach in the community. The result is a new name that clearly expresses its purpose and goals to FCPS employees, students, donors, and the community.   

The Foundation for FCPS is now Educate Fairfax.

Educate Fairfax remains dedicated to supporting Fairfax County Public Schools by engaging the community to invest in educational and supplemental programs for all students. With its continued emphasis on three focus areas–teacher grants, employee recognition programs, and Kids in Need–Educate Fairfax believes that strong schools are the bedrock of a vibrant community and that every FCPS student has a path to success.

More information is available at www.educatefairfax.org.  

Fight Hunger in Our Neighborhoods by Helping Stuff the Bus on October 9

On Saturday, October 9, Stuff the Bus will be collecting non-perishable food donations at 21 locations throughout Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. Help fight hunger and feed hope in our community by donating. For updates, including donation locations, most requested food items and more, visit http://bit.ly/FfxStufftheBus.