Return to School Countdown - September 8, 2020

By Communications and Community Relations Staff
September 08, 2020

Share Your Best First Day of School Photos 

We know that the first day of school this year is different, but we still want to see your first day photos and videos. Share your favorites on social media using the hashtags #Firstdayfairfax and #Fcpsready.

We will share some of the photos on the FCPS Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. 

Multiple Technology Resources Available to Support Learning at Home

As the school year begins with virtual learning, FCPS has developed resources that can help with basic technology issues. FCPS’ YouTube channel has videos on basic technology topics that highlight some of the key FCPS tools, such as Google and Blackboard. These videos are designed to provide solutions for quick, simple questions. 

Additionally, there are tip sheets available on the FCPS Parent Technology Resource page in multiple languages that provide answers to basic questions about FCPS technologies. These resources will continue to be updated throughout the year; we encourage you to check that page first.

If you can’t find answers in FCPS’ online resources, there are several places to seek help. Below is a guide to help you get information quickly:

  • For a child’s schedule or classes, school events, or programs, checking out an FCPS laptop, or updating your information, contact your child’s school directly.
  • Broader inquiries about FCPS programs or resources for families may be directed to the Parent Resource Center at 703-204-3941, or use one of our eight Parent Information Phone Lines for information in multiple languages. 
  • Technical support questions about your online parent accounts, your student’s FCPS laptop, or your student’s online applications, contact the Parent Technology Help Desk (toll free) at 833-921-3277 or enter a support request ticket via the Parent and Student IT Portal.

Videos: September 1 and September 2 Superintendent Town Hall Meetings

If you missed either of last week’s Town Hall meetings with Superintendent Brabrand, you can watch them online. In the September 2 Town Hall, Dr. Brabrand was joined by Leona Smith-Vance, director, equity and family engagement; Tracey Jewell, director of IT support services; and Pam Galietta, school-based technology specialist from Rocky Run Middle School, to discuss the resources in place for parents, guardians, and families for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

In the September 1 Spanish-language Town Hall, Dr. Brabrand was joined by two FCPS principals, Cecilia Vanderhye from Belvedere Elementary School and Karim Daugherty from Beech Tree Elementary School, along with Director of Equity and Family Engagement, Leona Smith-Vance.

The topics included laptop and internet access, virtual learning expectations on engagement and attendance, and the variety of ways to get support and help for parents and students. 

FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference Goes Virtual; Starts September 14

FCPS will host its 7th Annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference over a three-week period beginning Monday, September 14 through Saturday, October 3. The virtual event will focus on resiliency. Our Minds Matter will also host a student strand. Inova will be sponsoring the conference for the second year in a row.

Registration information and the complete schedule and list of speakers are now available online

School Counselors, Psychologists, and Social Workers Are Ready and Willing to Help

As you and your family begin the school year, school counselors, psychologists, and social workers are here and ready to support you. These professionals work with students in a variety of different capacities, whether through virtual classroom lessons, groups, individual counseling, or connection with community resources to provide support in the areas of social-emotional learning, academics, and college and career planning. College and career planning is also supported by the college and career specialists in each FCPS high school.

Contact information for your student’s school counselor, social worker, psychologist, and college and career specialist (high school only) are available on your specific school’s website under Student Services, found by clicking on the Full Menu button on the toolbar on the upper left side.

Save the Dates for Fairfax County Government Stuff the Bus Food Drives in September

On Saturday, September 12, and Saturday, September 26, Fastran buses will be parked at 21 locations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to collect food donations. Buses will be located in less-frequented lots throughout the county, including many Board of Supervisors’ offices and the Fairfax County Government Center, to allow donors to comply with social distancing recommendations.

For more information, including donation sites, a list of most-wanted items and information about donating virtually, visit

New Virtual Learning Tech Tips Video: Creating a ParentVue Account

SIS ParentVue is where you view your student's attendance, report cards, class schedules, grade book (for middle and high school), course history, discipline, health, and school information. Watch this video to learn how to set up your account

Advanced Academic Program Level IV Screening Updates for 2020-21

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there will be a few adjustments to the Advanced Academic Program (AAP) level IV screening processes for the 2020-21 school year. Additional information is available online

Healthy Minds Podcast: Ease Your Mind With Exercise 

In this week’s Healthy Minds podcast, we hear from FCPS Social Worker Supervisor Stephanie Herman. She walks us through some easy mindfulness exercises and explains how these simple acts can help reduce worry or anxiety as we begin the new school year.

From the Healthy Minds Blog: Setting Up a Workspace for Children at Home

Regardless of whether students are in kindergarten or seniors in high school, it is important for them to have a space within the home where they can complete their schoolwork efficiently and effectively. The global pandemic has caused work, play, and learning to move inside the home, with virtual learning taking the place of in person instruction for the foreseeable future. Also, now more than ever, parents are faced with the challenge of creating a space within the home that is conducive to learning. 

For students to feel comfortable and alert in their space and ready to dive into schoolwork, there are several things to consider when creating this workspace at home. Answering these five questions will assist you in creating a workspace that your child will thrive in.

2020-21 Annual Notice of Survey, Records, Curriculum, Privacy, and Related Rights

Fairfax County Public Schools wants all parents to understand its policies regarding surveys, records, curriculum, privacy, and related rights.

In its Annual Notice of Survey, Records, Curriculum, Privacy, and Related Rights and Opt-Out Forms (Annual Notice), FCPS provides explanations of the rights listed above as well as forms that may be used to exercise opt-out choices. Two versions of the Annual Notice are available—a grades K-8 version and a grades 9-12 version. Parents with children at different grade levels should read each applicable version of the Annual Notice because the notices and opt-out rights vary depending on the student’s grade level.

Get more information and view the 2020-21 Opt-Out Booklets.  

FCPS in the News