FCPS This Week - March 1

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
For Parents
March 01, 2023

South County High School students in Sean Miller’s African American History class held a Black Joy Family Reunion–a culminating, student-led African American history project.

School Board Adopts FY 2024 Advertised Budget

At their February 23 meeting, the Fairfax County School Board adopted the FY 2024 Advertised Budget, which prioritizes student achievement, and recruiting and retaining outstanding educators.

The FY 2024 Advertised Budget totals $3.5 billion—a net increase of $249.6 million or 7.6% over the FY 2023 Approved Budget. To support the investments included in this budget, the superintendent is requesting an additional $159.6 million, or a 7.0% increase, from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Nearly 86% of the Advertised Budget is targeted at instruction. 

The budget includes innovative investments that aim to close the achievement gap for all students. Read more about those investments

Improved Access to Language Translation on FCPS Websites

In a continued effort to prioritize access for our diverse communities, FCPS is launching a language translation feature that will be available on every division and school webpage. The feature has been added to the header at the top of the page and will scroll with the user as they navigate the page. Learn more about our new translation feature.

“You Are Enough as You Are Right Now,” says Alumna Actor 

As part of Black History Month, FCPS staff recently interviewed two famous alumni. Grace Duah, West Springfield High School Class of 2016, is a series regular on HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot. Olympic gold medalist and South County High School alumnus Trevor Stewart is a talented track star who wants to help youth. We are thrilled to spotlight these remarkable alumni as they discuss how FCPS has aided in their success.

FCPS Early Childhood and PreK Programs

Fairfax County Public Schools offers programs for the youngest learners:

  • PreK is for students 3-4 years old whose parents meet income requirements. Space is limited, and priority is given to 4-year-olds to help them prepare for kindergarten. 
  • Early Head Start is for infants, toddlers, and expectant mothers who meet income requirements. 
  • Early Literacy Programs and Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) work with parents to help prepare their children for school. 

Community liaisons are available to assist families with the registration process and answer questions. For more information, visit the Early Childhood Registration webpage

Providing a Safe and Welcoming Space 

The FCPS Trust Policy supports a continued commitment to foster a caring culture and strives to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for all students and families in our schools. The policy ensures that FCPS students and families can access FCPS benefits and services without fear that information will be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to federal immigration officials. 

Magnet School Applications are Open

Fairfax County Public Schools is accepting applications for its elementary magnet school programs. Registration for the elementary magnet school lottery closes on Wednesday, April 12, at 4 p.m. Three FCPS elementary magnet schools provide programs that enhance learning in science, technology, and performing arts. Get more information about the magnet school lottery.

Academic Matters: STEAM and Early Childhood Education 

Superintendent Reid shared a video on Early Childhood Education, and science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), and computer science learning during her Academic Matters segment in last Thursday’s School Board meeting. 

Students Receive 2023 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards

FCPS student writers won 35 Gold Key awards in the 2023 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards competition. In all, our students earned 213 Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mentions. Winners in the regional competition came from 27 Fairfax County middle and high schools. View the complete list of FCPS winners.

Three High Schools Recognized for Press Freedom

Three Fairfax County public high schools—Chantilly, McLean, and West Springfield—are among 16 schools nationally that have been selected as 2023 First Amendment Press Freedom Award winners. The award recognizes private and public high schools that actively support, teach, and protect the First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions on content.

How Are We Doing? 

Next week, FCPS will be seeking your feedback on the school division’s progress with developing our new Strategic Plan. 

Since last fall, thousands of students, staff, families, and community members have contributed to the strategic planning process by participating in focus groups, planning teams, community forums, and surveys. Parents/caregivers and community members will be invited to provide feedback on the work that’s been done thus far by completing a survey. Your input will help us know whether we are headed in the right direction—one that will help ensure a thriving future for every FCPS student.

Please keep an eye out for the survey link starting early next week. Visit our Strategic Planning webpage for more details.

“When I Sing, It Feels Like I am Floating in a Space of My Own”

Nine talented students from Daniels Run Elementary School will soon be off to Florida after being selected to perform at a prestigious national music teachers convention. The students made it through a tough audition process competing against elementary-aged students from across the U.S. and Canada. Read more about these students

“Compassion, Empathy, Passion” Drives FCPS CARES Winner

“The student body of Bryant High School is blessed to have Pipi Harrison in their corner,” a colleague said about Florence Harrison, director of Student Services at Bryant High School and an FCPS CARES recipient in November. “It's compassion, empathy, and passion that drives Pipi to serve her community. She is very aware of the needs in our Bryant community, and she seeks to meet those needs.”

FCPS CARES is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. 

Winners for November include:

  • Florence Harrison, Bryant High School
  • Jessica Bigles, Langley High School
  • Jennifer Santos, Camelot Elementary School
  • Maggie Jones, Hayfield Secondary School
  • Lauren Joyner, Ravensworth Elementary School
  • Ruby Brown, Stone Middle School

Read more about Pipi and get more information about all the winners. Learn how you can acknowledge an FCPS employee.

Fairfax County Teen Job Fair Series

High school students are invited to attend the 2023 Fairfax County Teen Job Fair Series, which kicks off Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at West Springfield High School. Fairs will also be held Saturday, March 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at South County High School and Saturday, March 25, from 1 to 3 p.m., at Chantilly High School. 

Each fair will feature employers offering part-time, full-time, seasonal, and volunteer positions. Students will also be able to attend career-building workshops like Resume Building and Interviewing 101. Most positions at the fair are geared toward students age 16+, but some opportunities for younger students may be available with parental consent. Visit the Teen Job Fair webpage to register.

“I Want to Make a Difference” 

Destinee Freeman, a fourth-grade teacher at Riverside Elementary School, became a teacher to help expose students to new opportunities. She was inspired by her own teachers. 

Are you considering a career switch? Learn more about becoming a teacher for FCPS. An instructional job fair will be held on Saturday, March 4.

Public Hearing on 2023 History and Social Science Standards of Learning 

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will hold public hearings on the Proposed Revised 2023 History and Social Science Standards of Learning. The Standards of Learning identify the essential content, processes, and skills for grade levels and subject courses. 

Public comment regarding the proposed revised 2023 History and Social Science Standards of Learning may be offered through public hearings or public comment on the VDOE website until Tuesday, March 21. A hearing will be held Tuesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Visit the VDOE webpage for more information.

Parental Notifications and Policy 3290: Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content 

A Virginia law passed last spring requires schools to create a policy for parental notification of sexually explicit content/materials. In December 2022, the School Board adopted FCPS Policy 3290: Parental Notification Regarding Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content

FCPS has had policies in place for many years regarding the review of instructional materials, communication with parents, and options for alternative instructional materials.

An expectation of this new policy is the 30-day parental notification requirement of sexually explicit content in instructional materials assigned or selected by teachers. Parents and caregivers may start receiving notifications through email or postal mail this month. After reviewing the notification letter, parents or caregivers who prefer to choose alternative instructional materials for their child must submit this form to the appropriate teacher within the 30-day notification window. View Policy 3290 for more information

Calendar Reminders: Student Holiday on March 3 

Students have an early release on Thursday, March 2. There is no school for students on Friday, March 3, due to a school planning day. See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

Celebrate Public Schools Week With Us

Join us in celebrating Public Schools Week this week! Public Schools Week is an annual celebration that brings together school leaders, educators, parents, and community leaders to recognize the importance of our nation’s public schools.

Share how you are #PublicSchoolProud. Visit the FCPS Facebook page and tell us what you are most proud of about our public schools.

National Women’s History Month

Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history. Read more about Women’s History Month in National Geographic Kids. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.