🏀 FCPS This Week - March 22 🏆

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
For Parents
March 22, 2023

Welcome to FCPS! FCPS community liaisons—(from left) Andrea Ramalheira, Seunghyun (Helen) Ko, Beatriz Bucarey, Rana Al Yousuf, Leny Arispe and Rosa Gehler (not pictured)—welcome families to FCPS, and provide information and resources in a variety of languages at three central student registration Welcome Centers.

Update Your Emergency Care Information Through weCare@school

Fairfax County Public Schools provides weCare@school (weCare), an emergency care information system, available to parents/caregivers who have registered for their own parent account. weCare helps manage emergency medical information by allowing parents/caregivers to enter and update their children’s medical data online at their convenience. The contact information provided automatically enrolls parents/caregivers to receive critical updates from the district and their child’s school through the eNotify system. FCPS uses eNotify as a tool to communicate emergency, transportation, attendance, weather closing and delays, and essential outreach messages. Messages are sent via email, text, and occasionally phone. 

Get more information about updating your emergency care information.

🏀 Fourth Consecutive State Title for Madison Girls Basketball

The Madison Warhawks girls basketball team defeated the Manchester Lancers (49-46) last week, making this their fourth consecutive state title. This was Madison’s ninth state final appearance—now the most in the history of Class 6 and the former Group AAA. Learn more about the team and their winning season

No-Cost Mental Health Teletherapy for Students Starting April 10 

FCPS has partnered with Hazel Health to begin offering virtual mental health services to high school students via live video sessions. Starting Monday, April 10, parents/caregivers who have been struggling to find a therapist for their child or who notice changes in their child’s behavior will be able to connect them virtually with a licensed therapist. Teletherapy is available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The first step for parents is to provide information through an opt-in form. Visit FCPS’ Teletherapy webpage for details.

No Money Needed for Prom Dress Shop at Centreville High School 

FCPS marketing students from Centreville High School and the Fair Oaks Classroom on the Mall program will open their Prom Dress Shop on Friday, March 24, at Centreville High School. Since 2006, the dress shop has helped hundreds of financially challenged students attend prom in style each spring by providing dresses and accessories at no cost.

Any area student—not just those from Fairfax County Public Schools—who does not have the funds to purchase a prom dress may choose from hundreds of new dresses donated by Macy’s. They must show a valid student ID, or other form of school identification, to choose a free dress on select days from Friday, March 24, to Sunday, May 7. See shop hours

Does Your Child Qualify for PreK or Early Head Start? 

FCPS PreK and Early Head Start programs provide a quality preschool experience with no cost to qualifying families who live in Fairfax County. Your family may qualify for PreK or Early Head Start if you:

  • Have a child who will be age 3 or 4 by September 30.
  • Receive free or reduced-price school meals, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), social security income, and/or are considered homeless per definition of the McKinney Vento Act.
  • Receive resources from a shelter and/or the FCPS Homeless Liaison Office, for example.

Though many families may qualify, spaces are limited. Selection is based on need, not “first come, first serve,” with PreK priority given to 4 year olds. It is important for all families to apply as soon as possible.

Early Head Start is for children 2 years of age and younger, and pregnant women who live in the Reston, Herndon, and Springfield areas.

Visit the PreK and Early Head Start webpage for more information, or call 703-208-7900 (English) or 703-208-7901 (Spanish).

Arabic Language Course Enrollment Nearly Doubles in 10 years

Justice High School junior Jenna Kassem has been studying Arabic since her elementary school days. She stuck with it over the years because she wanted to be able to have deeper conversations in Arabic, hoping one day that she would be able to discuss global concepts.

Jenna is one of a growing number of FCPS students who enroll in Arabic language instruction. In the 2012-2013 school year, there were 435 FCPS students enrolled in Arabic 1-4 and International Baccalaureate Arabic courses. There are now 838 students enrolled in Arabic 1-4 and International Baccalaureate courses, representing a 193% increase in student enrollment in 10 years! Learn more about the growing enrollment in Arabic instruction

Parent Information Phone Line Available in Eight Languages

Parents who speak Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, or Vietnamese can call a telephone information line for general information about FCPS. They can also get support with communicating with their children's schools.

🏆 McLean Student Places in Top 10 of National Science Competition

Ethan Zhou, a student at McLean High School, has placed 7th in the national 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Zhou received a $70,000 award for studying the theory behind a machine learning model in which the learning program receives training data gradually. His math research could be especially useful for algorithms that predict and learn from events that are revealed over time, such as the weather.  

Flash Forward: Postsecondary Education and Employment Options

Career and Transition Services is hosting an event to provide families and students with disabilities seeking a standard or advanced diploma an introduction to options available after high school. The event will take place at Woodson High School on Wednesday, April 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m

Participants will receive an overview on postsecondary options such as college, military, apprenticeship, trade school, gap year, and employment. There will also be an Options Fair, where representatives from adult education, employment, and community programs will host information tables. Register today.

🏆 Students from 15 FCPS High Schools Win DECA Awards

Two-hundred-three students from 15 Fairfax County public high schools were recognized as competitive event winners at the Virginia DECA State Leadership Conference. These students earned the right to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference from April 22 to 25. Visit our website for a complete list of winners

Registration Open for Virtual Strategic Planning Forums

We invite parents/caregivers, students, employees, and community members to join us for a virtual community forum to discuss the first draft of proposed goals for the new Strategic Plan. Forums are scheduled for Monday, April 10, at noon; Tuesday, April 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (in Spanish); and Monday, April 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Click on the date to register for the event. Your participation is important to this work that will help ensure a thriving future for each and every FCPS student. Get more information on our Strategic Planning webpage.

Proposed Updates to the 2023-24 Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R), and Feedback Opportunities 

Last week, we shared information about the Department of Special Services’ virtual meetings regarding proposed updates to the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) Regulation for the 2023-24 school year. The meeting scheduled for Monday, March 27, 6:30-7:30 p.m. is currently on hold. Please check the event webpage for updates. Beginning Wednesday, March 29, staff, families, and students will be able to provide input on proposed updates to the SR&R via an online feedback form. Please stay tuned for details. Visit FCPS’ website.   

Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?

Research shows that sleep deprivation is widespread and can lead to serious consequences such as:

  • Academic struggles and low grades in school.
  • Impaired cognitive functioning and low standardized test scores.
  • Emotional difficulties such as depression and anxiety.
  • Behavior problems and inattention.
  • Health problems including weight gain and asthma.
  • Greater risk of injuries or automobile accidents.

How do you know if your child is getting enough sleep and how do you help them develop healthy sleep habits? Learn more in this month’s Healthy Minds blog

🌷 Calendar Reminder: Spring Break

Schools and school offices will be closed Monday, April 3, to Friday, April 7. Students will return to school on Monday, April 10, 2023. 

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims congregate that morning for Eid prayers. The most common way to wish someone a Happy Eid al-Fitr is Eid Mubarak, which means “blessed feast” (or festival). Read more at Britannica.com. 

FCPS has designated Eid al-Fitr as a religious and cultural observance day to allow students the opportunity to miss school for observances not already designated as school holidays. Eid al-Fitr is from sunset Thursday, April 20, to sunset Friday, April 21. April 20 is a half O Day, April 21 is a student holiday. 

See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

According to a recent study of elementary and middle schools, there is a 5.8% difference between April and June attendance rates. Let's work together for a strong finish to the school year! Visit our website for more attendance resources

🌎 Save the Date! Earth Day Fairfax

Fairfax County Park Authority will host an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Sully Historic Site. Celebrate Healthy People—Healthy Planet with a fun day of entertainment, food vendors, touch-a-truck, prizes, and activities! Learn what Fairfax County is doing to support environmental sustainability and what you can do to help. For more information, visit the Earth Day Fairfax website.