FCPS This Week e-newsletter - May 18, 2022

By Communication and Community Relations
For Parents
May 18, 2022

Dr. Reid Joins the Community for a Multilingual Virtual Town Hall

On Tuesday, May 17, incoming Superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed.D. was joined by families, employees, and community members for a multilingual virtual town hall. Dr. Reid answered questions submitted by audience members on many topics including equity, student success, student and employee social/emotional health, and more.

Watch the highlights of the May 17 virtual town hall in this short video.

Missed this event? 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

Do Your Part: Stay Home When Sick

FCPS has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases recently as the county has transitioned to the medium community level. Schools continue to apply layered prevention strategies to maintain a healthy work and learning environment. However, each of us has a responsibility to do our part to help keep ourselves, our students, and our colleagues safe.

As we enter the final weeks of the school year, we must stay vigilant so we can all enjoy the events and milestones ahead and be ready for a relaxing and healthy summer.

Easy ways to “Do Your Part” include: staying up to date on vaccinations and boosters, considering when and where to choose to mask up, practicing good hygiene, and monitoring symptoms daily. 

It is increasingly important to stay home if you feel unwell and testing is a critical strategy to slow transmission. Visit the Fairfax County Health Department website for information about COVID testing and testing sites. At-home testing is also a good option. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order a third round of free at-home COVID tests; visit COVID.gov for details. 

Mental Health Acceptance Month and Day of Action

May is Mental Health Acceptance Month. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on the mental health of children in Virginia as young people continue to face physical isolation, ongoing uncertainty, fear, and grief,” says the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (VA-AAP). “Even before the pandemic, mental health challenges facing children were of great concern, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated them.” 

Between March and October 2020, the percentage of emergency department visits for children with mental health emergencies rose by 24% for children ages 5-11 and 31% for children ages 12-17. There was also a more than 50% increase in suspected suicide attempt emergency department visits among girls ages 12-17 in early 2021 as compared to the same period in 2019. Read more in this news release from the VA-AAP. 

Mental wellness is key to student success and the pandemic has added to mental health challenges facing children of all ages. We are joining the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and pediatricians across the Commonwealth in calling attention to this issue by participating in “Wear Green Day of Action” for mental health on Friday, May 20

Join us in “Wear Green Day of Action” this Friday to call attention to this important issue. For resources to support the students in your life, visit our website.

Tip Sheet for Parents: Help Your Teen Handle Pressure Without Melting Down

You want to help your student deal with pressures, not add to them. To be a safety valve for your teen, show that you care. Respect their feelings, and avoid making unrealistic demands. Teens need to feel they are working toward their own goals, not their parents'. 

Teach your student to view mistakes as learning opportunities, and to develop good study habits. When studying is routine, it's easier to deal with increasing workloads. Here are some tips for being a safety valve for your student

Copyright 2022, The Parent Institute, a Division of PaperClip Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Get more tips for parents and other family engagement resources.

Sing, Dance, and Design With FCPS Summer Programs

All students with an interest in continuing to explore the arts are eligible for two summer enrichment programs. Registration is now open for the Elementary Institute for the Arts (E-IFTA) and Institute for the Arts (IFTA) Summer enrichment programs. 

Elementary Institute for the Arts (for rising 3rd through 6th graders) and Institute for the Arts (for rising 7th through 12th graders) will be held July 5-29 at Lake Braddock Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Classes are offered every day related to dance, music, theater, and visual art. Both programs have fees. Waivers are available for students eligible for free and reduced-price meals.  

For more information or to register, visit the Summer Learning webpage.

TJHSST Senior Named 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar

Helen Dunn, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), has been named a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. Dunn is one of 161 students from around the country—and one of five Virginians—selected for the honor. 

Thirty Students Named National Merit Scholarship Winners

Thirty students from six Fairfax County high schools have been named winners of $2,500 scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Scholarship winners are part of a group of approximately 2,500 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships in 2022 primarily financed by the NMSC. 

See who received National Merit scholarships.

FCPS Earns 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence Award

Fairfax County Public Schools has received the 2022 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy.  

Each year, the ENERGY STAR program honors businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy achievements. ENERGY STAR award winners lead their industries in the production, sale, and adoption of energy-efficient products, homes, buildings, services, and strategies. These efforts are essential to fighting the climate crisis and protecting public health.

More information is available online

Student-Created Vegejita Wrapadilla Coming Soon to FCPS Lunch Menus

Ellie Whiteman, a seventh-grader at Franklin Middle School in Chantilly, had a goal in mind since third grade: entering the Real Food for Kids culinary challenge, in which teams of students from across the Washington, D.C., region compete to design and prepare the best school lunch menu offering. 

Ellie, along with fellow Franklin seventh-graders Hannah Lee, Anvita Gandi, and Janya Patel, were chosen as the team to represent their school in the Real Food for Kids challenge. The four girls, all united on the idea of coming up with a quesadilla lunch option, got to work months ago on creating their menu. The “Vegejita Wrapadilla,” billed as a quesadilla stuffed with green and red bell peppers, tomatoes and onions, was the eventual outcome, and was selected to be served on FCPS lunch menus in the 2022-23 school year

An Accessible Website Supports Equity in FCPS

Thursday, May 19, marks the 11th Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which has us thinking about digital access and inclusion. Our families and students rely on our websites to engage with the division and learning. These are essential tools for a public school system.

Equity is at the core of FCPS’ mission and ensuring everyone can access the information they need is a critical component. Our students, staff, families, and community are diverse in many ways. We can provide a website experience that meets their needs. 

Providing an accessible website experience for all users strengthens our caring culture and reaffirms our commitment to equity. Within the last few months FCPS has:

  • Conducted routine accessibility checks of our web pages.
  • Added accessibility checks for web pages and web-based applications as part of standard workflows.
  • Updated requirements for FCPS’ online web accessibility training.

Ensuring an equitable and accessible online experience for everyone requires a daily commitment. As we honor Global Accessibility Awareness Day this week, we would like to say thank you to everyone who works with our websites for their dedication to maintaining high standards for website accessibility.

Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on May 30 for Memorial Day Holiday

As a reminder, all schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, for the Memorial Day holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, May 31. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar