FCPS This Week: August 30, 2023

By Office of Communications
August 30, 2023

A student at Annandale Terrace Elementary School enjoys lunch. 

A Great School Year Starts With Mental Wellness

All FCPS high school students can access virtual therapy sessions with licensed counselors from Hazel Health at no cost.

Hazel’s therapists — who specialize in working with teens — can help students address mood/behavior changes, motivation, grief/loss, anxiety, peer and family relationships, and academic stress.

For high schoolers to participate in teletherapy services, caregivers must:

Students must be referred to therapy by a caregiver or designated school staff member.

Visit the FCPS Teletherapy webpage for more information.

SEL Screener Parent Notification and Updates

FCPS is committed to supporting the mental wellness of all students. The Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener helps our students share their perspectives on how their schools and communities support them and help them develop the skills they need to succeed.

The screener is offered to all students in grades 3 through 12 in the fall and spring. It addresses skills like achieving goals, understanding and managing emotions, establishing and maintaining relationships with adults and peers, and making responsible decisions. Students also share how successful their school and community are at making them feel valued, included, and supported. Screener data is used to plan programming for the division, schools, and individual students. 

Key updates to the screener this year include:

  • Different versions for students in grades 3-5 and 6-12
  • Fewer topics with more questions to provide schools and families with more data to support planning. 
  • Additional questions aligned with FCPS’ commitment to educational equity. 

Results are mailed home to families after each screening. Families who wish to opt their child out may do so by completing the opt-out form in the Annual Notice packet or SIS ParentVUE

For more information, please visit the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener webpage or contact your child’s school. 

Please note that the SEL Screener differs from the anonymous Fairfax County Youth Survey

FCPS Annual Public Notice: Career and Technical Education

FCPS’ Career and Technical Education Program offers a variety of career and technical programs to all middle and high school students. The program areas include the following:

For more information about Career and Technical Education call 571-423-4526 or visit the Career and Technical Education webpage. Visit ADA accommodations for more information or request accommodations.

📅 Calendar Reminder: Labor Day

Friday, September 1, and Monday, September 4, are Labor Day holidays for all FCPS employees and students. The Code of Virginia requires schools opening before Labor Day to be closed the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day. We hope everyone takes the long weekend to celebrate a strong start to the school year and enjoy time with family and friends. See the complete school year calendar.

September 11 National Day of Service

With the upcoming 22nd anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, FCPS acknowledges the loss of life, the heroism of our first responders, and the resilience of our country. The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, also called Patriot Day, is a chance to reflect and act in service to others to honor those who were injured or killed in the terrorist attacks.

All FCPS students are encouraged to participate in service learning as it supports Portrait of a Graduate (POG) attributes and social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. Middle and high school students can learn more about service learning by logging into their Naviance account to access x2VOL. 

Get started this fall with two great opportunities: Public Lands Day (September 23) and Volunteer Fairfax’s VolunteerFest (October 21). Information on service projects can be found on the Volunteer Fairfax website.

✨ 2023-30 Strategic Plan — Goal 2: Safe, Supported, Included, and Empowered

The 2023-30 strategic plan sets five main goals to create positive change in FCPS. These goals show where we should focus our attention and will help us align our efforts. Our equity commitment and a set of measures in each goal will measure our success. 

Goal 2 states that every student will be part of a school community that cares for their health, well-being, and opinions. We will listen to students and use their input to guide our decisions. We will respect their individuality, identity, and experiences. We will make sure they feel safe and supported at school.

Visit the Strategic Plan webpage to learn more about how we will measure the success of Goal 2. 

🏗️ Projects Supported by the 2023 Bond Referendum

The 2023 $435 million School Bond Referendum — which will be on the ballot this Election Day, Tuesday, November 7 — is expected to fund projects at Franklin Middle School and Armstrong, Bren Mar Park, Brookfield, Centre Ridge, Cub Run, Dranesville, Herndon, Lees Corner, Poplar Tree, Sangster, Saratoga, Union Mill, Virginia Run, Waples Mill, and Willow Springs elementary schools.

The building and renovation of our schools are not funded through the division’s operating budget. Voter-approved bonds allow payment for these projects over time. Read more about the 2023 School Bond Referendum. Learn about registering to vote

Vote on Tuesday, November 7

Overdose Awareness and Understanding the Dangers of Opioids

In Northern Virginia, consistent with national and state trends, the opioid epidemic continues to impact communities, including young adults and school-age children. Opioids are a class of drugs used to treat pain and can include prescription medication and illegal drugs. 

Tragically, their misuse can lead to devastating outcomes. Fentanyl is an extremely fatal and especially powerful opioid, even in small doses. Most fatal overdoses in Fairfax County in recent years have involved fentanyl.

Thursday, August 31 is Overdose Awareness Day. There are three things you can do now to support student wellness and increase understanding of the dangers of opioids and fentanyl:

  • Talk with children and loved ones in your life about the dangers of drug use, especially opioids. For more information about substance use among youth, tips on how to recognize and prevent substance abuse, and available support services, please watch this webinar.
  • Safely store and dispose of medications, including prescription pain medications, to prevent drug misuse.
  • Sign up for a Virtual REVIVE! training class to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose and administer naloxone nasal spray to reverse an opioid overdose.

Learn more about the dangers of opioids and available resources. Visit the Student Safety and Wellness webpage for more information on topics related to student well-being. 

School Board Meeting on August 31 at 7:30 p.m.

The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, August 31, at 7:30 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda (English only)

The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and the FCPS website

Agenda highlights include:

  • Fiscal Year 2023 Year-End Review
  • Committee Assignments and Appointments
  • Summary of Appointments and Separations

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on any School Board action items the morning after the School Board meeting.

Find your School Board members and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.

FCPS Statement on Nondiscrimination: Americans With Disabilities Policy Notice

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment, Title IX, and pregnancy), marital status, religion, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information in its programs and activities. These protections apply to students, employees, and other members of the public.

FCPS also provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. FCPS is committed to equal access and equal opportunity in all services and employment; to include its policies, complaint process, program accessibility, religious accommodations, and other Equal Employment Opportunity matters. FCPS prohibits retaliation against individuals who report allegations of discrimination, file a formal complaint, or participate in the investigative process.

Compliance is coordinated by the directors of the following:

  • Office of Equity and Employee Relations, Department of Human Resources, 571-423-3070, TTY 711, [email protected] regarding equal employment opportunity, discrimination, and sexual harassment issues.
  • Office of Special Education Procedural Support, Department of Special Services, 571-423-4290, regarding programs and activities for students with disabilities.

For more information, visit the non-discrimination policy webpage or the non-discrimination/ADA webpage (contact information).