Find everything you need to know about mentoring students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
Mentoring in FCPS
In FCPS, mentoring occurs at the student’s school site during the school day. Typically, mentors meet with students every week for at least 30 minutes. We ask that mentors commit to at least one school year (though new mentors can be onboarded at any point during the school year).
Most of the schools in FCPS provide one-to-one or group mentoring services during the school day. Mentors can usually be placed in a school that works for them geographically during the work day.
Interested in mentoring a student?
Register for a mentoring training session via the Mentoring Onboarding Process form.
What do mentors provide?
- Attention and Support: Mentors provide dependable and consistent attention. They support their mentee by listening, guiding, and by encouraging them to reach their full potential.
- Enrichment: A mentor guides their mentee by connecting them with resources, safe places, and structured activities. A mentor encourages self-advocacy and helps their mentee see and strive for horizons and possibilities that may not be apparent to them in their current environment.
- Academic Support: Goal-setting and encouragement can increase academic success and school engagement for a mentee.
- College/Career Guidance: A mentor helps their mentee reach their full potential by helping them to discover and develop their interests. Mentors can provide assistance in obtaining a marketable skill through support of education, and by providing them with an opportunity to give back through community service.
- A tremendous impact on a young person’s life: Young people who were at risk for falling off track but had a mentor were:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
- 81% more likely to participate in sports or extracurricular activities
- 130% more likely to hold leadership positions
Data from Mentoring.org (2018)
From The National Mentoring Partnership
Mentor Screening and Application Process
All potential mentors will:
- Attend a mentor onboarding session (includes fingerprinting and mentor orientation training)
- Complete the Mentor Application and Personal Reference Form and bring it to the onboarding session
Mentor Onboarding Sessions
- Pre-registration is required (see registration link below)
- All sessions take place at 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA (Room 1180)
- Includes fingerprinting and mentor orientation training (entire session lasts approximately 90 minutes)
- Register for a mentor onboarding session (Google Chrome preferred)
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Background Check (Regulation 4119)
- FCPS regulations preclude anyone with a felony conviction from volunteering in the schools.
- Misdemeanor charges are evaluated based on the nature of the offense, the age of the person at the time of the offense, and the amount of time between the date of the offense and the date of application.
- Active law enforcement personnel are exempt from the background check but must attend mentor training. Please email Martha Macdonald at MMacdonald@fcps.edu before attending the training if you will not require fingerprinting.
Off-site Onboarding and Fingerprinting for Groups
If your organization has five or more potential mentors, we can come to you to conduct the fingerprinting and mentor orientation training. Please email Martha Macdonald at MMacdonald@fcps.edu to arrange a group onboarding.
What does a partnership look like?
- Partner-designated program coordinator will recruit mentors on a mutually-agreed upon schedule
- Partner-designated program coordinator will work with FCPS Mentoring Specialist to coordinate training, background checks and mentor placement
- The FCPS Mentoring Specialist will train, arrange for fingerprinting and will place mentors in schools
- After placement, every school has a mentoring coordinator who will facilitate mentor/mentee matching and will support the ongoing mentoring relationship
What is the commitment for an individual mentor?
- We ask for 30 minutes once a week for one school year (can be flexible)
- Mentoring takes place on school grounds during the school day
How are school placements determined for mentors?
- Mentoring is all about geography–mentors can be placed in a school that is convenient to where they live/work
- It is also best practice for mentors to stay with their mentees as they move to middle school and high school if appropriate
- If a mentoring partnership is with one local school, mentors will be placed at that school whenever possible, but may also be placed in other schools within FCPS if is logistically better for the mentor
What is the onboarding process for mentors?
- All potential mentors must attend a mentor training session which includes required FCPS fingerprinting and background check
- Additional information on this process can be found on the Mentor Onboarding Process form
- If your organization has at least 5 potential mentors, we can come to you for the onboarding. Please contact Martha Macdonald at email@example.com to make arrangements.
Learn more about Mentoring Partnerships.
Interested in finding a mentor for your child?
FCPS mentoring programs occur at the student’s school site during the school day. Mentoring programs are coordinated at the school level. Please contact your school counselor.
Are you a business or community group interested in mentoring?The FCPS Partnerships team would like to connect with you.
For more information on mentoring in FCPS or to learn more about mentoring partnerships with FCPS, please contact Martha Macdonald, Conflict Resolution and Mentoring Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org.