FCPS This Week - June 16, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
June 16, 2021

Have a Great Summer!

This is the last issue of FCPS This Week for the 2020-21 school year. We would again like to thank parents, caregivers, staff members, and students for their perseverance, resiliency, and support during the past year. 

FCPS will continue to keep in touch over the summer, and we hope you are able to relax, recharge, spend time with family, and come back ready for a strong return to school with five days of in-person learning on the first day of the 2021-22 school year, Monday, August 23. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar

Video: Congratulations, Class of 2021!

The Class of 2021, more than 14,000 strong, persevered through a pandemic, toggled between virtual and in-person instruction, and missed time with friends and family. Through it all, they found ways to connect, to create, and to celebrate their amazing achievements. Take a look at some graduation highlights.  

End-of-Year Message from Superintendent Brabrand

As we celebrated the final day of the 2020-21 school year on Friday, Superintendent Brabrand had a message to share with FCPS families and staff. Enjoy your summer and we will see you for 5 days of in-person instruction in the fall!

Returning Strong-Five Days in Fall 

The school year has ended but FCPS staff are hard at work preparing for the 2021-22 school year ahead. FCPS is reflective of the impact the pandemic has had on our students, families and staff. We are making every attempt to address potential concerns around these impacts to ensure we meet the needs of our students this fall. 

FCPS staff are reaching out to families who left FCPS during the pandemic with phone calls and in-person visits, and we are ready to see our students back in-person in the fall. In this short video, two of our principals share how home visits keep them connected to virtual students, and give them the opportunity to encourage unenrolled families to come back to FCPS.

Share Your Excitement for the Fall! 

Banners and yard signs are popping up across FCPS, inviting families to come back to a world-class education, amazing instructors, and unparalleled opportunities for our students. Take a photo and post with the hashtag #FCPSReturningStrong.

Health Fast Facts

  • The community transmission rate of COVID-19 for Fairfax county is LOW for the first time since March 2020.
  • FCPS and Fairfax County Health Dept. vaccine collaboration
    • 10 schools held vaccination clinics in May and June
    • Over 4,500 students in grades 7-12 were vaccinated
  • Teen vaccination data is encouraging 
    • Currently, 72% of 18+ year olds have at least one dose of the vaccine 
    • 56% of 12-17 year olds have had at least one dose of the vaccine
  • COVID testing pilot results: 
    • Four schools participated in a four week pilot
    • 195 tests were administered (21 diagnostic and 174 screening)
    • No tests were positive

Questions? Call your school; hours may vary so make sure to check the website for your school’s office hours.

Technology Help Desk Remains Open This Summer

The Parent Technology Help Desk will continue to support parents and students over the summer months. Help Desk agents can be reached at 833 921-3277 (833-921-FCPS) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Outside of those hours, parents can also visit the Parent and Student IT Support Portal to find self-help resources or submit a tech support request ticket.

Updated Mask Guidance for FCPS Summer School—Students and Families

As we close out the 2020-21 school year and quickly approach the start of summer learning, we have updated guidance regarding the use of face masks while on school property beginning June 18 in accordance with Executive Order 79. This guidance impacts our staff and students attending summer enrichment programs, extended learning, as well as camps or other school-based activities. 

Indoors On-School Property

Executive Order 79 requires that all individuals wear a mask while indoors on school property. We are asking that masks or face coverings be worn by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors regardless of vaccination status.

This includes all activities on school property beyond education, including School Board meetings and concerts, graduations, voting, attendees at performances, etc. Social distancing is not required.

Outdoors On-School Property

Executive Order 79 permits individuals outdoors on school property to remove masks in accordance with CDC guidance.

Fully vaccinated students, teachers, staff, and visitors may remove their masks or face coverings. Six feet social distancing is not required.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated may remove masks or face coverings outside if they can maintain at least six feet distance. If the individual cannot maintain six feet social distancing, it is recommended they wear a mask. 

Note: Mask exemptions as outlined in Executive Order 79 continue to be applicable (e.g. while eating or drinking) and are consistent with exemptions implemented during the 2020-21 school year.

Free Meals Available Throughout the Summer, June 28-August 5

FCPS is committed to providing all students access to no-cost meals over the summer months at meal kit sites and on bus routes. Each site and bus route will offer meal kits containing seven days of breakfast and lunch. Please note that locations of the meal distribution sites and all bus routes have changed from the school year plan. 

Summer Meal Kits 

  • Summer meal kits will be offered on Mondays at 10 sites throughout the county beginning June 28 and ending August 2. 
  • Please note that meal kits will be distributed on Tuesday, July 6, due to the Monday, July 5 holiday. 
  • Meal kits contain 7 days of breakfast and lunch items packed in bulk. 
  • The meal kits will be available for pick up from 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. or until supplies are exhausted. 
  • All meals are available at no-cost to all FCPS students and children eighteen (18) years of age and under. 
  • Parents and caregivers may pick up food for children and adults may purchase kits for $28. 

Meal Kit bus routes 

  • Meal kit bus routes will run June 28 through August 5. 
  • Buses will run weekly routes throughout the community distributing meal kits, containing seven days of breakfast and lunch items packed in bulk. 
  • The buses will not distribute meals on a daily basis. The bus stops are weekly and run Monday-Thursday only. 
  • Please note that on Friday, July 2, Monday bus routes will operate to cover the Monday, July 5, holiday. 
  • Meal kits are available at no-cost to FCPS students and children eighteen (18) years of age and under. 
  • Parents and caregivers may pick up food for children. 
  • Adult meals will not be available for purchase on the bus routes.

Important Immunization Requirement: Do You Have a Student Entering Seventh or Twelfth Grade This Fall?

Add this to your summer to-do list. While the COVID-19 vaccination is NOT required by schools for the 2021-22 school year, many other vaccinations are mandatory.

Seventh-grade students need:

  • One dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) given at age 7 or older.
  • One dose of Meningococcal Vaccine (MenACWY, Menactra, or Menveo) given at age 10 or older.

Twelfth-grade students need:

  • One dose of Meningococcal Vaccine (MenACWY, Menactra, or Menveo) given at age 16 or older.

More information on new immunization requirements is available online.

Woodson Students Farm Vegetables on School Grounds for Fairfax Families in Need

Tucked between Woodson High School tennis courts and the school’s science lab wing, a garden bed of mixed greens is tended to by junior Victoria Caswell, who will harvest the greens that will eventually wind up on the dinner plates of a local family.  

Caswell is one of dozens of Fairfax County Public Schools students who jumped into action when local food pantries reported a 400 percent increase in demand at the start of the pandemic.

Students in the Woodson Environmental Club and their faculty advisers saw a chance to use school garden plots for the first time to help struggling local families eager to serve fresh vegetables at meals.

FCPS Teacher Takes Part in a Conversation About School Reopening With Education Secretary Cardona

Watch Kathryn Desmond, first grade teacher from Silverbrook Elementary, who met for a conversation with Secretary of Education Miquel Cardona last week. See President Biden’s tweet.

FCPS Honors Ceremony Recognizes 2021 Outstanding Employees

On June 9, FCPS honored its 2021 Outstanding Employees at an event held at Jiffy Lube Live.

The awards, sponsored by the Department of Human Resources, recognized more than 700 employees in both instructional and operational roles. This year, 74 finalists, representing twelve categories, were recognized in the exciting awards ceremony. Learn more about what makes these winners specialView All 74 Nominees.

Every year, more than 700 employees in both instructional and operational roles are recognized through the Outstanding Employee Awards Program. This year, 74 finalists representing twelve categories were recognized in the special award ceremony.

FCPS Student Achievement Recognized

FCPS Students Awarded Amazon Future Engineer Scholarships

Abia Zahir, a senior at Annandale High School, and Tanisha Tarin, a senior at Westfield High School, have been named two of 100 Amazon Future Engineer scholarship recipients. All recipients receive $40,000 to continue their post-secondary education and will be offered a paid internship with Amazon following their freshman year.

Eight Early Identification Program Students Win Scholarships to George Mason University

Eight students from Fairfax County Public Schools who were enrolled in the district’s College Success Programs, Early Identification Program have been named winners of scholarships totaling $277K to George Mason University. They have earned full tuition scholarships, the University’s Scholar scholarship, and several partial tuition scholarships.

Six Edison Academy HVAC-R Program Students Pass Rigorous EPA Certified Technician Exam

The high school Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) Program at Edison Academy prepares students for successful employment in the workforce and offers them the opportunity to sit for the rigorous Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Certified Technician exam. This exam provides students with a very important credential to offer employers who are seeking to hire and train HVAC Technicians for their workforce. Read more about the six students who passed and the HVAC program.

Cappies Review of Chantilly High School’s Production of Wake-Up Call

The Cappies is a program for high school theatre and journalism students who attend shows at other schools, receive training as critics to write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. There are fifteen Cappies chapters across the United States and Canada. 

The Cappies continued this year with virtual performances. Students learning through the theatre arts is as important as ever. Most performances this year are written by students and are available to watch on the Cappies website. Some performances do require a fee to view online.   

This review of Chantilly High School's production of Wake-Up Call is written by Leydi Cris Cobo Cordon of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

View the Virtual Cappies Gala.

Teaching Teens to Stand Up to Peer Pressure this Summer

Did you know there are changes in law that take place on July 1? Among the many changes passed by the General Assembly is one that legalizes marijuana possession for people over aged 21. More information on this update can be found here. What does this change in law mean to your child? 

While you might have talked to your kids at length about the dangers of drug use, this change in law could provide another reason to dialogue with your child. FCPS’ Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) staff post videos and resources online that can help parents navigate discussions and learn more about these issues. Continue to check this page for more information on marijuana legalization updates, parent tips and other evolving substance-related information. 

Having a genuine relationship with your teen is a key component of any drug prevention strategy. Here are a few other ways you can help your child withstand the peer pressure to use drugs.

Free Mount Vernon District Environment Expo on Saturday, June 26

The 3rd annual Mount Vernon District Environment Expo: Get Outdoors! Learn and Do! will be held on Saturday, June 26, from 8 a.m. to noon at Fort Hunt Park, 8999 Fort Hunt Road. This event will educate and inform residents on environmental challenges that we face daily.

This free family friendly event will include: exhibitors, workshops, live music, live reptile and owl programs, electric vehicles, nature walks, Junior Ranger program, touch-a-truck, recycling how to’s, history tours, a purple glass monster (bring your glass recycling for drop off), and food trucks.

More information about the Expo is available online.

Foundation for FCPS Announces Teacher Grant Winners

The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools announced the 2021 grant award recipients this week. The Foundation’s Grant program launched in spring 2018 to support work-based learning and career exploration for all students in K-12. For next school year, grants were awarded that focused on a strong Return to School following the global pandemic. Find out more about the grant awards. Find out more about the grant awards on the Foundation's website

FCPS in the News 

Calendar Reminder: School Board Meeting on June 17 at 7 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the School Board will be held on June 17, at 7 p.m. 

Action items include:

  • SR&R Regulation
  • Proposed boundary adjustment for elementary schools in the Justice HS pyramid 
  • Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee

The meeting will be televised on FCPS Cable TV channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11) and will be livestreamed on the FCPS website.