Return to School News - February 22, 2021
Safe, Steady, Ready: FCPS Welcomes Students Back to School Buildings
Last week, FCPS staff members were excited to welcome back more than 8,000 students to in-person learning. Our buildings and staff were ready, our mitigation measures were in place, and there were smiles on the faces of our students when they walked back into their classrooms! FCPS leaders visited students at Key Center and participated in a morning meeting.
Tomorrow, we will welcome back our next group of students, including our kindergartners, many of whom will celebrate their first day ever of in-person learning! Following our steady and measured approach, all FCPS students who have previously selected to do so are scheduled to return to school by March 16.
School Board Adopts Advertised Budget Focused on COVID Recovery
The Fairfax County School Board has unanimously adopted its FY 2022 (2021-22 school year) Advertised Budget that places student health, well-being, and learning at its core, while remaining fiscally responsible during this uncertain economic climate.
The FY 22 Advertised Budget prioritizes and funds resources that support our students’ academic and social-emotional needs. The $3.2 billion budget also recognizes the sacrifices and commitment of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teachers and staff with a proposed 3 percent compensation rate for all employees.
Updated FCPS Weather Conditions
FCPS inclement weather closing conditions have expanded and include additional options for the school division to consider as we bring more students back for in-person instruction. Please make a note of the new conditions:
- All Schools and Central Offices Closed.
- Virtual Learning for All Students, Division Operations are Open On Time, School and Central Office Building Work Spaces are Available to Employees.
- Virtual Learning for All Students, Division Operations are Open On Time, School and Central Office Building Work Spaces are Not Available to Employees.
- All Fairfax County public schools and offices will close two hours early.
- All Fairfax County public schools and offices will open two hours late.
FCPS Newsletter Poll
On March 17, this newsletter, Return to School News, will be changing its distribution day from Mondays to Wednesdays. In anticipation of the move, please help us better meet your needs by answering four short questions.
Video: Back to School at Bucknell Elementary
Superintendent Brabrand toured concurrent classrooms at Bucknell Elementary School on February 16, as part of his visit to welcome students returning to the school.
Draft Calendars for 2021-22 School Year
Draft calendars for the 2021-22 school year were developed with a focus on instruction and learning time for students. The School Board will vote on the calendars at their regular meeting on Thursday, March 18. View the draft calendars.
School Board Votes to Rename Mosby Woods Elementary School as Mosaic Elementary School
The Fairfax County School Board has chosen Mosaic Elementary School as the new name for Mosby Woods Elementary School, a reflection of the school’s multicultural community that will represent inclusivity for students, families, and staff members. The new name will become effective at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Black History in FCPS: Providence Chapter of the NSDAR Posthumously Honors FCPS Teacher Minnie Beckwith Hughes
Recently, as part of Black History Month, the Providence Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) posthumously honored former FCPS teacher Minnie Beckwith Hughes with its Women in American History Award, which Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand accepted on her behalf.
Return to School Photos of the Week
Take a look at these photos from last week's return to school for the first group of FCPS students in this week's photo gallery.
New Podcast: En Pocas Palabras FCPS
A new podcast, En Pocas Palabras FCPS, in Spanish and English, has been launched to provide timely and important information to busy FCPS families in their primary language. The goal of every podcast is to help families access key resources and understand how to best support their children’s education.
Fairfax County Special Education PTA Receives Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award
The Fairfax County Special Education PTA has been named the recipient of the National PTA’s 2021 Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award. This is one of five national advocacy awards given to PTAs around the country by National PTA.
The Fairfax County Special Education PTA was recognized for demonstrating “true dedication and leadership through their determined advocacy on the issue of restraint and seclusion in schools,” according to the National PTA. The group will be recognized at the 2021 National PTA Virtual Legislative Conference on Wednesday, March 10.
Fairfax County Student Representative to the School Board Fulfills Campaign Promise
Business leaders in our region recently were asked by Nathan Onibudo, student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, to donate books to students in Fairfax County Public Schools or to purchase the books for themselves. The books, personally and carefully chosen by Onibudo, share messages of inclusion and equity that would interest elementary, middle, and high school students as well as adults.
Onibudo fulfilled a campaign promise by creating on online bookstore to help make the donations happen.
The Launch of NASA Mars Rover Perseverance
Last week, the NASA Mars Rover Perseverance made a successful landing on the red planet. Lake Braddock Secondary School student Alex Mather was last year's winner of the contest to name the new Mars Rover. His submission was the winner out of 28,000 entries. NBC Washington had a chance to speak with Alex as the Rover was making its way to Mars.
Important Special Education Parent Survey Coming Soon
On March 1, parents of FCPS students with disabilities will receive an invitation via email from the FCPS Office of Auditor General to complete an independent, third-party survey on FCPS’s special education services provided through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan. All responses are confidential and will be used to generate recommendations for the Fairfax County School Board.
Your voice counts, so please share your thoughts once you receive the survey.
Video: Smiling Faces at Kilmer Center
On February 16, students from the Kilmer Center were welcomed back by staff who were excited to see the smiling faces and joy in being back together again.
Elementary Magnet Schools Applications Accepted March 2-April 6
Fairfax County Public Schools will be accepting applications for its elementary magnet school programs beginning Tuesday, March 2. Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences will accept lottery applications for students who will be in grades K-2 during the 2021-22 school year; Bailey’s Upper School for the Arts and Sciences will accept applications for students in grades 3 and 4. Hunters Woods Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences will accept lottery applications for students who will enter grades K-6 during the 2021-22 school year.
Selection for available magnet school spaces is based on a lottery. Registration for the elementary magnet school lottery closes on Tuesday, April 6, at 4 p.m.
January FCPS CARES of the Month Winners
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. All FCPS Cares submissions were reviewed, and six winners were selected for the month of January—one for each region and the central office—to receive extra recognition for their work. They are:
- Central Office: Gregory Robinson, Sideburn Satellite Center, Department of Facilities and Transportation.
- Region 1: Leah Conte, South Lakes High School.
- Region 2: Barbara Oswalt, Sleepy Hollow Elementary School.
- Region 3: Monica Pelzer, Stratford Landing Elementary School.
- Region 4: Carmen Correa Ibarra, Ravensworth Elementary School.
- Region 5: Erin Denton, Daniels Run Elementary.
Video: Back to Building for CTE Students
Earlier this week, students in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) construction program returned to their job site at Spring Village Estates to get back to hands-on work.
FCPS Return to School in the News
- Students return to in-person learning in Fairfax, Loudoun counties.
- Fairfax, Loudoun County schools begin return to classroom with in-person, hybrid plans for some students.
- 'It's so important': Fairfax Co. students in career-based classes resume hands-on learning.
- For Future Nurses, a Critical Return to the Classroom.