FCPS This Week - December 13, 2023

By Office of Communications
December 13, 2023

Preschoolers play with sand at Lynbrook Elementary School. 

⛄ Student and Family Resources

Fairfax County Public Schools has compiled a list of resources for students and families in case they need assistance while schools are closed for winter break. Please visit our winter resources webpage for links to academic support; mental health support; and food, clothing, housing, and other county resources. 

School’s Closed, Learning Can Continue! 

FCPS encourages students to take advantage of fun learning opportunities during winter break and snow days. Consider these winter activities to blend education and play for your students during winter break or weather-related school closures. 



🎓 Student Flees Civil War, Overcomes Obstacles With Support from FCPS

In May, James Wrobeh received his diploma from Virginia State University (VSU) and was pinned a second lieutenant in the Army. When he immigrated to the United States at age 19 — fleeing the civil war in Liberia — James never imagined this day would come. Watch this video and read more about James’ remarkable story



🗓️ Save the Date: Academy Open Houses Begin in January!

Is your child interested in architecture and construction, information technology, or health science? FCPS high school academies will hold open houses for interested students beginning in mid-January. 

An academy is a center within a high school that offers advanced technical and specialized courses that can prepare students for postsecondary education and/or career fields. Students enrolling in academy elective courses will be provided with opportunities to participate in a variety of career experiences including shadowing, mentoring, or internships with local businesses. More than a dozen career fields can be explored through FCPS academies. 

Learn more and find the calendar of Academy Open Houses.



🎼 FCPS Students Recognized in National Arts Competition

FCPS students received 10 awards in the National YoungArts Foundation Competition. These students are part of a group of nearly 700 winners who were selected through a highly competitive process. Read about the winners



Promoting Mental Wellness During Winter Break

Although mental health indicators have improved over the past year, Fairfax County Youth Survey (FCYS) data suggest that more than 25% of students in 8th to 12th grade feel sad or hopeless every day for two weeks or more in a row. The holidays can be a time to reduce stress, but they can also contribute to it. Here are some tips for making winter break a positive time for the young people in your life.



Inadvertent Family Education Rights and Privacy Act Disclosure

In a letter to the community, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid followed up on an inadvertent Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) disclosure to a parent. 



💙 CARES of the Month Recipient Reaches Students Individually

FCPS CARES is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. One of the October CARES of the Month recipients was Laura Osborne, a special education preschool teacher at Rose Hill Elementary School (pictured on the right with Rose Hill Principal Rachal Edwards). 

“She continues to find creative ways to reach students on an individual level and celebrate with them even if their progress is not as she'd hoped,” Laura’s nomination said. “She is in daily communication with families to keep them apprised of what goes on in their child’s classroom. Her teammates also benefit from her experience, expertise, and professionalism.” 

Congratulations to Laura and other September FCPS CARES of the Month recipients:

  • Mirna Soriano, Lorton Center, Transportation
  • Ashley Scott, Churchill Road Elementary School
  • Greg Williams, Glasgow Middle School
  • Susan Waring, Caitlin Schifter, and Megan Counts; Laurel Ridge Elementary School
  • Elisabeth Frostick, Sandy Nolff, and Waleed Mufti; Chantilly High School
  • Anthony Garza, Hayfield Secondary School

Read more about all the recipients

Do you know an employee who deserves to be recognized for going above and beyond? Submit their story.



🔢 Virtual Math Week: Save the Date

Get ready for Virtual Math Week, Monday, January 8, through Friday, January 12, 2024. Save the date for a week filled with stories, games, and math activities, presented in English and Spanish for families with students in kindergarten through sixth grade. 

This free experience is designed to make math fun for the whole family. Learn more about FCPS Math Week.



🏆 Multae Laudes! 320 FCPS Latin Language Students Receive Honors

Three hundred twenty Latin language students from 10 Fairfax County public schools competed at the 71st annual Virginia Junior Classical League (VJCL) State Convention in November in Richmond. Read more about the winners.



🎤 Haycock Elementary School Students to Recreate History Performing at Ford’s Theatre

The historic Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., selected Haycock’s fourth grade class to participate in the Abraham Lincoln Oratory Residency and Festival. The program allows area students to recite a speech given by a famous American on the theater’s legendary stage. 

The students will take the stage in early February. But first, as with any performance, they must rehearse. Read more about how this class is bringing their oratory skills to the big stage.



🧰 Fairfax County Public Library Loans More Than Just Books

Need a specialized tool? Don’t buy it! Borrow it for free from a Fairfax County Public Library. Laser thermometers, battery testers, and air quality monitors are just a few examples. Nine different types of meters and readers joined the Library of Things last month. 

Dozens of other helpful items are also available to check out at no cost with your library card such as artwork, binoculars, games, Connect Chromebook Kits, Conserve Energy Kits, early literacy Launchpad tablets, nature backpacks, and thermal cameras. 

Visit your local Fairfax County Public Library branch or their Library of Things webpage



✨ 2023-30 Strategic Plan — Goal 3: Baseline Report

At last week’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid presented the condensed baseline report on FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan Goal 3: Academic Growth and Excellence.

The baseline report identifies benchmark data, final targets, and our current divisionwide work toward the goals. Our Goal 3 measures can impact the rest of a student’s life in the following ways:

  • Students who are not reading on grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. 
  • Students who do not successfully complete Algebra 1 by eighth grade are kept from higher-level mathematics courses needed for STEM careers.
  • Students without experience in advanced coursework during high school are less likely to enroll in, persist, and complete college. 

FCPS’ overall percentage of students successfully passing the third grade reading SOL and completing Algebra 1 by eighth grade is above the state average. There is still room for improvement among groups including English learners, economically disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities. 

Read the full report.



📚 Community Review of Elementary English Language Arts Basal Instructional Resources

FCPS will adopt new Elementary School Language Arts Basal Instructional Resources for the 2024-25 school year. Public review of the recommended materials is part of the process for selecting new resources. The resources may be accessed in person and online until Friday, December 15, at noon

Digital materials for public review and comment will be available on the Elementary Language Arts Basal Resource Review webpage. That page also has information on how to view hard copies of the instructional materials at Pimmit Hills Center. All community feedback will be shared with the review committee and the School Board. 



SIS ParentVUE and StudentVUE Down Time

ParentVUE and StudentVUE will experience downtime from Friday, December 15, at 5 p.m., through Wednesday, December 20, at 6 a.m. 

Grade Book progress reports will not be emailed to parents/guardians during winter break. Emails will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2024



😷 Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests 

Residential households are eligible to receive free at-home COVID-19 test kits. If an order has not been placed for your address since the program reopened on September 25 you can place two orders now. 



❄️ Calendar Reminder: Winter Break

As a reminder, there will be no school from Monday, December 18, to Monday, January 1, 2024, for winter break.

To help make sure you and your children have a restful break, no homework will be assigned during this time. Teachers may assign long-range assignments in the weeks ahead of the break, allowing students to practice time management skills, but no assignments will be due immediately following the break. 

We look forward to welcoming students back in the new year. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. See the complete school year calendar.

FCPS This Week will not be published during winter break. The next issue will be sent on Wednesday, January 3, 2024.

2024-25 School Year Calendar

Making plans for next school year? Don’t forget FCPS’ 2024-25 School Year Calendar is already available. 



School Board Meeting Scheduled for December 14 at 7:30 p.m.

The School Board will hold its next business meeting on Thursday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. 

Topics on the agenda include:

  • Strategic Plan Goal 1 Baseline Report.
  • Fiscal Year 2024 Midyear Budget Review. 
  • Awarding of Contracts. 

View the complete agenda.

The swearing-in ceremony for the new School Board will be Wednesday, December 13, at 7 p.m

Find out how to watch and participate in School Board meetings.