FCPS This Week - February 14, 2024

By Office of Communications
February 14, 2024

A Deer Park Elementary School student (right) makes Valentines with a student from Westfield High School as part of a peer mentorship program. 



Fiscal Year 2025 Proposed Budget Focuses on Educational Excellence and Competitive Compensation 

At last week’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid proposed a budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 that focuses on excellence and providing students an equitable education in an inclusive and respectful environment, where access, opportunity, and achievement are available to all. 

The FY 2025 Proposed Budget totals $3.8 billion. Nearly 86% of the budget is focused on instruction. Key highlights include:

  • Supporting students academically by maintaining existing class size formulas and providing necessary support to all students. 
  • Retaining and attracting world-class educators with a 6% market scale adjustment.
  • Strengthening student well-being outside of the classroom with expanded athletics offerings, additional athletic trainers, and enhanced stipends for fine and performing arts.
  • Continuing initiatives including expansion of inclusive preschool, adoption of green initiatives, and funding assistant director of student activities positions previously funded with ESSER III.

Special education daily contract extensions, funding for the safety and security screening program, and late buses to support academics and activities at middle schools are several of the priorities to be addressed at the end of FY 2024. 

The School Board is scheduled to adopt the Advertised Budget on Thursday, February 22. Read more about the proposed budget. Keep up with FCPS’ budget development process



🎤 Our Schools, Our Future: Register for Community Conversations

Join Dr. Reid for Our Schools, Our Future – A Community Conversation. Your voice matters! Share your thoughts about FCPS and bring your questions to a conversation on:

Pre-registration for a Community Conversation is not required but will help us plan. Childcare and interpretation services will be provided for all events based on staff availability. Events are open to all. Learn about other opportunities to connect with Dr. Reid.



👮 Building Relationships and Increasing Safety Every Day

February 15 is School Resource Officer (SRO) Appreciation Day. The SROs who work in Fairfax County public schools are sworn police officers with the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD).

Officer Brian Sehrer, pictured above, was selected as Officer of the Month by FCPD in December for his outstanding SRO performance at Frost Middle School. Learn more about him and the role of SROs

Thank you Officer Sehrer, and all our SROs, for the work you do in our schools every day.



🏫 School Board Approves Capital Improvement Program

The Fairfax County School Board approved an annual update to the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that includes new school construction and/or repurposing, capacity enhancements, and renovations.

These projects are detailed in the FY 2025-29 CIP, which also illustrates FCPS’ alignment with the Fairfax County Joint Environmental Task Force’s (JET) goals with the inclusion of more Net-Zero Energy (NZE) building practices.

New construction of Dunn Loring Elementary School is designed to provide capacity in the Dunn Loring, Falls Church, and Tysons areas. Other projects include renovations at 18 elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools, as well as capacity enhancements at Justice High School. Information about all capital projects will be posted on project webpages on the FCPS website. Read more about the approved CIP



🏆 FCPS Teams Win Five of Seven Top MATHCOUNTS Awards

Student teams from Fairfax County Public Schools won five of the top seven awards in the Northern Virginia Regional MATHCOUNTS competition, held recently at Chantilly High School. The regional competition combines the Fairfax, George Washington, and Northern Virginia Chapters of the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers. Read more about the winners. 



🔬 Science and Engineering Fair Judges Needed

The Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair will be held on Saturday, March 16, at Robinson Secondary School

Each year 250 judges are required to evaluate science fair projects in a wide variety of categories ranging from plant sciences to robotics. Ideally, those volunteering to serve as category judges would hold an advanced degree or possess extensive academic and/or professional experience in their selected STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) category.

Fairfax County Science and Engineering Fair Open House

Members of the general public are invited to attend the science fair open house at Robinson Secondary School on Sunday, March 17, 1-3 p.m.



🧸 Kindergarten Registration: It’s as Easy as 1-2-3 …

There’s an easy five-step process for parents wanting to register their child for kindergarten:

  1. Determine eligibility. 
  2. Identify your local school. 
  3. Gather documents. 
  4. Fill out forms. 
  5. Schedule an appointment.

After the appointment at the school (the student and one caregiver must be present), the student will be ready for orientation, Bridge to Kindergarten, or any other introductory events each school may host. 

Many schools are currently planning kindergarten orientations, so make sure you don’t miss out! 

Read more about the registration process.

💻 Register Your Child Online

Parents may register their children online for kindergarten through 12th grade. Learn how to begin the online registration process

When registering, parents will create (or log in to an existing) SIS ParentVUE account. Please note that passwords should be more than 12 characters long. If you have an existing account and your password is shorter, please update it when you log in. 



🎨 Hear Student Artists Explain Their Art

David, a senior who attends South Lakes High School, created and submitted an art piece to the Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. He describes his art as a “diversionary” piece. 

It’s an award winner, and now a reproduction hangs at Dulles International Airport. 

At first glance, the image seems orderly. A person, head in hand, at a desk thinking. Like many workspaces, there’s an adjustable lamp and a brightly lit computer screen, and entering the room is a fair amount of light and shadows. But take a closer look. Is the worker thinking or bothered? 

Learn more about this piece from the student-artist.



💙 CARES of the Month Recipient Helps Student Realize Dream

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 November CARES of the Month recipients was Charles Cornwell, pictured at right, an auto collision services teacher at Edison High School. 

“Mr. Cornwell taught his students how to take an old beat-up truck and turn it into my son’s dream truck and make it ready for him and his grandfather to show in Ocean City. Mr. Cornwell stayed after school many days to help my son achieve his dream, this is not something that is required of a teacher. This will be something my son will always carry with him and a memory that he and his grandfather will always cherish all due to Mr. Cornwell.”

Congratulations to Charles and other November FCPS CARES of the Month recipients:

  • Eric Fleming, Instructional Programs Support Center
  • Kathleen Moskowitz, Herndon Elementary School
  • Emily Velez and Diane Quezada-Bin, Falls Church High School
  • Trevor Echols, South County High School
  • Denisse Stein, Stone Middle School
  • Rosemond Nkansah, Lane Elementary 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.

👩‍🏫 Help Students Achieve Their Dreams — Teach for FCPS!

Save the date! Attend an instructional job fair on Saturday, February 24, 9 a.m.-noon, at Lake Braddock Secondary School. Network and take advantage of interview opportunities with representatives from various FCPS schools. Employment offers may be extended during the fair. Register today



How School Counselors Support Student Success

During Academic Matters at the last School Board Meeting, Dr. Reid recognized National School Counseling Week. She discussed counselors’ roles, how they support academics, college and career paths, and social-emotional wellness. School counselors’ work supports all five pillars of the 2023-30 Strategic PlanView the presentation



Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge 

The Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge will be held on Saturday, March 2, at 10:45 a.m., at Hayfield Secondary School. The event features a public tasting of student dishes and demonstrations from two local celebrated chefs. 

The student challenge at the heart of this event is to create healthy, delicious, and culturally diverse school menu items that meet USDA guidelines. Entries will be judged by a panel including celebrity chefs, school food professionals, and local food producers. The public is invited to vote for their favorite dish. 

Chefs Najmieh Batmanglij and Chris Morgan of Joon restaurant will offer a demonstration at 11:15 a.m. The public tasting of student dishes begins at noon. 

Student created dishes from this annual event have been featured on school menus throughout the Greater Washington Region. It is free to attend, but registration is required



💜 Seeking Help Is a Learned Skill

Seeking help is a skill that is first addressed in kindergarten and only gets harder to exercise as we move from childhood through adolescence. Who can they go to for help? Where will they find these people? What does advocacy look like? What is the difference between an advocate and a “snitch”? Adults are the keys to these questions and they can be answered through productive conversations. 

Read the latest Healthy Minds blog for more information and resources.



📅 Calendar Reminder: Presidents Day (Holiday)

All schools and offices will be closed on Monday, February 19, for the Presidents Day holiday. 

Presidents Day is a time to honor and remember the birthdays and achievements of the country's most distinguished leaders, and to reflect on the role of the president in shaping the nation's history and development. Learn more about Presidents Day at Britannica.com

See the complete school year calendar.

Connect FCPS Calendars to Your Personal Calendar

You can subscribe to FCPS calendars so updates and new events will automatically be added to your Outlook or Google calendars. Subscribe to “All Calendars” or specific types of events, including holidays, featured FCPS events, School Board meetings, fine and performing arts events, or religious and cultural observances. 

February Is School Board Appreciation Month

Thank you to the Fairfax County School Board for all they do throughout the year. 

Learn more about your School Board members and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage



Information for Caregivers on Eating Disorders

In 2013, Virginia passed a law requiring every school system to provide information annually to parents/caregivers of students in grades 5-12. 

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA 2023):

Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights. In the United States, 28.8 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

There is no single cause of an eating disorder. Rather, it is a complex combination of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors that converge and set off an individual’s predisposed genetic vulnerability.

In collaboration with the Fairfax County Health Department, FCPS has developed a webpage with detailed information and resources about eating disorders

In addition to the information on the FCPS website, the National Eating Disorders Association has a toll-free, confidential Helpline, 1-800-931-2237.