FCPS This Week - May 19, 2021

By Communication and Community Relations
May 19, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Available to Children 12-15

Good news! Vaccine providers in Virginia began vaccinating teens between 12-15 years old, following federal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last week. Fairfax County Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu and FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand sent a joint letter to parents stressing the important role that vaccinating young people plays in keeping our schools a healthy place to learn. Check out FCPS teens from Justice High School who are sharing why they are getting vaccinated.

Vaccines are widely available now:

  • To learn how to get a vaccine at a Health Department clinic site, including the Fairfax County Government Center, George Mason University, and the Tysons Community Vaccination Center, go to the Fairfax County COVID-19 Vaccine webpage or call the Fairfax County Health Department vaccine call center at 703-324-7404. You can schedule directly, and you don’t need to pre-register.
  • Walk-in appointments are also being offered at the Tysons Community Vaccination Center Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. This center is in the former Lord & Taylor site at Tysons Center at 7950 Tysons Corner Center in McLean.
  • To schedule an appointment at Inova’s Stonebridge site at 5001 Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria, go to the Inova COVID-19 scheduling webpage.

FCPS Hosts COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Schools—Register Here!

FCPS is scheduling free COVID-19 vaccination clinics for students ages 12 and up at some high schools between May 25 and June 4.

Vaccinations are free, transportation will be provided to and from the clinic from the student’s base school, and registration is required.

Interested families must complete a parent/guardian consent form in order to participate. This form must be received by 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, for your student to participate. Please register now at https://redcap.link/FCPSvax

A letter was sent to all families of 7th-12th graders on Monday, May 17, announcing these convenient vaccination opportunities.

Student Application for Virtual Enrollment, Based on Health Needs, Due May 28

If your child is currently attending school virtually and you would like for them to remain virtual due to their documented health or medical needs for the 2021-22 school year, the deadline to submit the COVID-19 Health Eligibility Form and the Virtual Enrollment Application is Friday, May 28, which is one week later than the original deadline of May 21. Please be aware that the medical need must be based upon the student, not a sibling’s or a family member’s health condition.

All parents of virtual students were sent a letter on May 17 with information on how to apply.

Video: Return to School Parent Perspectives—Oswin Johnson

Oswin Johnson’s daughter returned to in-person instruction. He shares how she has been doing, as well as advice he has for parents who may still be concerned about their children returning to school.

FCPS is offering in-person instruction five days a week this fall. #FcpsReturningStrong 

Calendar Reminder: FCPS Schools and Offices Closed on May 31 for Memorial Day Holiday

As a reminder, schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 31, for the Memorial Day holiday. Students are not expected to complete asynchronous assignments that day. Classes will resume on Tuesday, June 1. See the complete 2020-21 school year calendar

All Students to Be Virtual on June 8 Due to Democratic Primary Election

Tuesday, June 8, is the Democratic Primary Election. Because the Fairfax County Electoral Board and City of Fairfax Electoral Board will be using 165 school facilities as polling locations, June 8 will be a virtual synchronous learning day (no in-person classes) for students.

Get more information about the primary elections.

Register Now for 2021 NCS Summer Camps

Fairfax County’s Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) offers several summer camp programs for students ranging from rising 1st graders to teens. Registration is now open for NCS camps, which run from June through August. Summer camp programs include:

  • Camp Fairfax, for grades 1-6 (rising).
  • Culmore Soccer Camp, for ages 6-16.
  • Teens in Action, for ages 12-18.
  • Therapeutic Recreation Camp, for participants ages 5-22 with disabilities.
  • Value in Prevention (V.I.P.) Camp, for grades 7-9 (rising).
  • NCS Connects: Summer Adventures, virtual camp for youth and teens.

For more information on camps and to register, visit the NCS Summer Camps webpage.

Many Students to Receive Summer Practice Books in June

Check the mailbox for practice books delivered to homes of many FCPS students. The books provide suggested activities to support continued learning over the summer break. Families who have opted-out of paper mailings from the division will only receive a digital link. 

Books will be mailed home to families in early June to arrive before the last day of school, June 11. If books do not arrive ahead of the last day of school, families are encouraged to reach out to their school and request print copies. 

Students will receive the following books:

  • Pre-kindergarten students will receive one interdisciplinary summer practice book.
  • Students enrolled in grades K-8 in 2020-21 will receive one Language Arts practice book and one Math practice book by course enrollment. These books will also include information and guidance about digital tools that can be accessed by students and families to support learning throughout the summer.
  • English learners and students receiving Special Education services may receive additional or customized books. 

Please see the Summer Practice Books public webpage for more information and details about customized books for English learners and Special Education students. 

Job Opportunities in Fairfax County Public Schools

Fairfax County Public Schools to Host Virtual Instructional Job Fair

Are you interested in becoming a teacher? Fairfax County Public Schools, the largest school system in Virginia, is searching for educators with a strong academic background and a passion to make a difference in the lives of students.

Principals will meet and engage with candidates at the FCPS Virtual Instructional Job Fair on Monday, May 24, to fill vacancies for the 2021-22 school year. 

FCPS Hosts IT and Trade Careers Seminar 

Do you know any recent FCPS graduates or current juniors and seniors who might be interested in information technology (IT) or trades careers at FCPS?

If so, help spread the word.

FCPS is hosting the 2nd Annual (Virtual) Back2Fairfax Operational Employees in IT and Trade Careers on Tuesday, May 25, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Participants will have an opportunity to hear from current employees, check out exhibitor booths, and attend breakout sessions on résumé essentials; preparing for an interview; supporting and repairing computer hardware, audio-visual equipment, and software applications in our schools and offices; and learning about trade careers such as carpenters, roofers, electricians, and HVAC technicians.

Registration for the event is available online.

Help Plan for FCPS' Future Facilities: Applicants Wanted from Braddock, Dranesville Districts and At-Large

The Fairfax County School Board invites applications from community members in the Braddock and Dranesville Districts interested in serving on the Facilities Planning Advisory Council (FPAC). The School Board is also accepting applications for one At-Large member.

FPAC advises and informs FCPS staff and the School Board in the development of comprehensive, long-term plans for facilities, such as creative financing and construction strategies, scope of renovations, and school closures and new schools.

FCPS encourages individuals with experience in construction, engineering, architecture, land use planning, development, demographics, government operations, and financing to apply. The deadline to submit an application is May 23. Get more information and submit an application.

Register Now for New Webinars from the Parent Resource Center

Registration is now open for some new webinars in May presented by the FCPS Parent Resource Center. They include:

  • How to Talk to Your Children About Body Safety. Friday, May 21, 10-11:30 a.m. There are a lot of important conversations that we need to have with our kids, and how we treat our body and allow others to treat it, is one of them. It can be challenging to figure out where to begin and what is age appropriate. This webinar is about how to talk to our kids about body safety and a program that you can utilize to support your effort. Register online.
  • Parent to Parent: Surviving and Thriving During a Second COVID-19 Summer. Thursday, May 27, 10-11:30 a.m. and 6:30-8 p.m. Are you searching for peer support, advice, encouragement, and resources? This webinar will offer families opportunities to learn from each other as they grow in their parenting skills. Parents build their own sense of competence and power by building relationships and connecting with other parents who share common experiences, successes, and challenges. Register online.
  • ST Math: Help Children Love Math This Summer: A Webinar for K-6 Families. Monday, May 24, 10-10:45 a.m. and 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.; and Monday June 7, 10-10:45 a.m. and 6:30-7:15 p.m. Every student has the potential to deeply understand, and truly love math. This belief helps ST Math become a powerful tool many students are using in FCPS. Students develop their math knowledge through challenging puzzles, non-routine problem solving, and informative feedback. Join us for this important webinar to learn how families can use ST Math with their children to help them develop a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics. Register online.

Tune Into This Year's 6th Grade All-County Choral Festival

Fairfax County Public Schools and the Fairfax General Music Educators Association announced that the 6th Grade All-County Choral Festival will be held in a virtual format this year. The concert, which includes selected 6th grade students from schools across the division, will air at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 27, on Red Apple 21 (available via cable providers Cox, Verizon and Comcast) and streaming online on the FCPS website.

Multilingual Parent Podcasts: Edu-Futuro—Empowering Students, Involving Parents, and Transforming Communities

Listen to this informative and inspiring discussion about how Edu-Futuro, a leading organization that advocates for families, prides itself in the whole family approach. They empower students, engage parents, and transform communities.

Victoria Mejía, youth programs coordinator, and Maria Mateus, parent support specialist, talk about the valuable programs that Edu-Futuro offers families. They particularly talk about families’ goals of attaining a post-secondary education and career, and how Edu-Futuro offers mentors and scholarships. 

Listen and Subscribe:

Video: A Safe Space

Julie Wu founded the Asian Pacific American Club (APAC) at West Potomac High School and is the president of the Asian Pacific American Club Coalition, which brings together all of the APACs across FCPS to educate other students about Asian American heritage and culture and provide a safe space for Asian Americans to share about their identities.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Available for Families

The Federal Communications Commission has launched a temporary program to help families and households struggling to afford Internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. Eligible families can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. This is not an FCPS-funded program. It is a way for families to potentially access a more reliable hard-wired internet connection at a higher bandwidth than the “basic” packages provide.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail in application.

Learn about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information, by visiting www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, or by calling 833-511-0311.

From the Healthy Minds Blog: How to Be Optimistic in Challenging Times

There is no doubt about it, life has a way of throwing you a curveball and pushing you off balance from time to time. The whole world got one this past year and we are still trying to find a way to get our balance back. 

Why is it that when faced with substantial life stressors some people seem to easily find the silver lining and bounce back? Scientists know that these people have a natural tendency towards optimism. Optimism serves as a good predictor for recovery from illness, increases work motivation and performance, improves relationships and promotes resilience. So, what is optimism and how can I get some?

Cappies Review of W.T. Woodson High School's Double Feature: Buddies and The Philadelphia

The Cappies is a program through which high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. There are fifteen Cappies chapters across the United States and Canada. 

The Cappies continues 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 W.T. Woodson High School's production of Buddies and The Philadelphia is written by Elizabeth Cheek of Justice High School.  

Hayfield Secondary School Student Awarded Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship

Kelly Bonilla, a senior at Hayfield Secondary School, has been named one 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. Recipients were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, future goals, and financial need. 

TJHSST Student Named Presidential Scholar

Jason Wang, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), was one of two students in Virginia selected as a finalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. As a Presidential Scholar, Wang has been named among the top 161 students in the country through the Department of Education’s prestigious program. Read more

Updates to Family Life Education Instructional Content Now Available for Public Review

Recommended Family Life Education (FLE) materials (media and lesson objectives) to support instruction are available for community review until Monday, June 7, at 4:30 p.m. Recommendations affect grades K, 1, 7, 8, 10, modified 1-6, and modified 7-12.

Details of the recommended materials are available online.

Video: Painting Lewis

Spend some time with Ramandip Singh, a John R. Lewis High School graduate and FCPS art teacher, as he discusses his creative process and what it means to be asked to paint a mural of the school's namesake.