FCPS This Week e-newsletter - May 11, 2022

By Communication and Community Relations
For Parents
May 11, 2022

Join Incoming Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid for a Multilingual Virtual Town Hall on May 17

On Tuesday, May 17, incoming superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed.D. will join staff, families, and students for a multilingual virtual town hall, from 7 to 8 p.m. Register online.

Can’t make this date? Dr. Reid will be hosting additional engagement sessions throughout the county after her official start date on July 1. Stay informed about community engagement opportunities by visiting our website. 

May 3 Town Hall Highlights
Dr. Reid answered questions from students, staff and families gathered at Annandale High School on May 3, addressing topics including pandemic learning loss, supporting diversity, and career pathways. Six student representatives from across FCPS shared the stage with Dr. Reid, asking their own questions on matters such as school lunch, supporting the arts, and helping immigrant families feel safe.

If you missed the May 3 town hall meeting with Dr. Reid, you can watch the highlights in this short video

Help Keep Schools Healthy for All

We are aware that FCPS has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks and nervousness in our community as our County has transitioned out of the low community level into a medium COVID-19 community level. We want you to know that we are doing everything we can to keep our schools open and safe for all students to learn.

Our layered prevention strategies have generally served us well throughout this school year, and we have continued to work with the U.S. Department of Health and Northern Virginia Health Departments to do what we are able to to keep our students safe. We understand that some people are wondering why we have not returned to requiring universal masking. 

The Code of Virginia mandates that schools cannot require universal masking without allowing the parent/legal guardian to elect for their child to not wear a face covering while on school property (to include FCPS buildings). 

However, there are many things each of us can choose to do to help keep ourselves, our students, and our colleagues safe and healthy. 

Get Vaccinated or Boosted

Vaccination is the best protection we have against severe illness. Everyone is encouraged to stay up to date with vaccinations and boosters. If you need more information about COVID-19 vaccinations or where to get the dose you need, visit the Fairfax County Health Department website.

Consider a Mask

Currently, masks are optional for all students, staff, and visitors. Health experts agree that wearing a well-fitting mask is an excellent practice for avoiding COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. If you are immunocompromised or at high risk of severe illness, or live or have social contact with someone in this situation, speak with your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask or take additional precautions. See a full list of masking recommendations on the CDC website.

If Fairfax County transitions to high community level, FCPS will require all students, staff, and visitors to wear a face covering when indoors (except while actively eating/drinking) on school property (to include the buildings, school buses, and other school provided vehicles). However, in accordance with the Code of Virginia, even when in high community level, the parent/legal guardian of any child enrolled in an FCPS school may elect for their child to not wear a face covering while on school property (to include FCPS buildings). 

FCPS will let you know if the County transitions to a high community level and our requirements around masking change.

Stay Home When Sick and Get Tested

This time of year sniffles and fatigue may be allergies, or they may be COVID-19. That is why it is always best practice to stay home if you are sick or having symptoms and get tested as soon as possible. Staying home when you are sick or having symptoms is the best thing you can do to help stop the spread of any virus, especially COVID-19.

Students Win 20 Category Awards in 2022 Virginia History Day Competition

Students from Fairfax County Public Schools won 20 category awards in the 2022 Virginia History Day competition, held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond, and based on the theme, “Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.” Ten students won first place awards. The top two entries in each category and age division at the state level will compete at the National History Day finals.

See who received awards.

From Phoenix, Ariz., to Mount Vernon High School: The Performance of a Lifetime for Orchestra Students

The Mount Vernon High School orchestra has teamed up with Selena Ryan, a young composer from Arizona who is flying to Fairfax County later this month to see the world premiere of Free Fall, a piece of music she wrote specifically for the students to perform.

Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Update

The Fairfax County School Board is collaborating with the Fairfax County Government to fund FCPS schools next school year, while also making minor adjustments to Fiscal Year 2023 budgets to ensure opportunities for affordable housing that will potentially allow teachers, school staff, and county employees to live where they work. Learn more about this latest update in the budget process by watching the recording of the May 10 school board work session on the FCPS YouTube channel.

Multilingual Parent Podcasts: Preparing for Virginia State Tests—Standards of Learning (SOLs) 

In this episode, we explain the Virginia Standard of Learning tests (SOLs) and how parents might help their child prior to the tests. The SOLs are administered in FCPS in May.

Many answers to frequently asked questions about the SOLs are available online

Listen and subscribe:

Educate Fairfax Inducts Inaugural Class to FCPS Hall of Fame

On Wednesday, May 4, Educate Fairfax (formerly the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools) inducted the inaugural class of eight members of the FCPS Hall of Fame, established to honor distinguished alumni of Fairfax County Public Schools.

The inductees for the FCPS Hall of Fame’s 2022 class include:

  • Elizabeth Moore Aubin (Langley High School), U.S. ambassador to Algeria.
  • Christian Burbach (Langley High School), decorated military veteran and business leader.
  • David Guernsey (Falls Church High School), business owner and non-profit leader.
  • Shea Megale (Westfield High School), an author, film director, and advocate.
  • Paul Misener (Annandale High School), business leader, engineer, and inventor.
  • Jeffrey Platenberg (West Springfield High School), assistant superintendent, FCPS Department of Facilities and Transportation.
  • Lynn Symansky (James Madison High School), an international equestrian, trainer, and Olympian.
  • Les Williams, Jr. (Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology), an entrepreneur, engineer, and nonprofit leader.

Educate Fairfax is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works to make a positive difference in the lives of FCPS students and teachers. For more information, or if you would like to donate, visit the Educate Fairfax website

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

People with ancestral roots in Asia and the islands of the Pacific have been integral to the story of America. In 1992, May was designated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to celebrate their heritage and contributions.

Jewish American Heritage Month

May is a national month of recognition of the history of Jewish contributions to American culture, acknowledging the diverse achievement of the Jewish community in the U.S.

Reminder: School Board Meeting on May 12 

The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda. The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website. Agenda highlights include:

  • Approval of the Tax Deferred savings program regulation.
  • Introduction of recommended changes from the Public Engagement Committee to the Strategic Governance Manual regarding community participation. 
  • Approval of changes to the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) regulation.
  • Awarding of contracts.

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 votes the morning after the School Board meeting.

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