FCPS This Week - February 28, 2024

By Office of Communications
February 28, 2024

Sergeant Samuel Karns of the United States Park Police Aviation Unit answers questions from students at West Springfield Elementary School after crew members landed a helicopter on school grounds. 



☑️ School Board Adopts Fiscal Year 2025 Advertised Budget

The School Board voted to adopt the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Advertised Budget last Thursday. 

The Advertised Budget prioritizes the school division’s most urgent needs, including providing employees with competitive compensation, so that each and every student has access to the world-class education they deserve.

The budget is closely aligned with FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan, which seeks a strong academic start for our youngest students and prepares our graduates for a thriving future. Nearly 86% of the budget is focused on instruction.

The School Board will vote on the FY 2025 Approved Budget in May. View the news release.

Do You Know Where FCPS Funding Comes From?


The majority of FCPS funding is requested from the Fairfax County government, which generates its revenue from real estate and personal property taxes. The Commonwealth of Virginia provides the next largest source of revenue to FCPS through state aid and sales tax. The rest of the funding comes from a variety of sources, including federal aid and tuition for non-county residents. (Numbers in the chart above represent the FY 2025 proposed school operating fund in millions.)

FCPS does not have the authority to impose taxes and may only charge fees where the Commonwealth of Virginia has granted specific authority.



🏫 Happy Public Schools Week!

Public Schools Week is an annual celebration that brings together school leaders, educators, parents, and community leaders to recognize the importance of our nation’s public schools. Thank you for being a major part of what makes our schools amazing! 



🧱 STEAM Builds a Foundation for Future Careers

In the Academic Matters segment of last week’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid addressed how STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) and computer science are building the foundation for our students’ future careers. Access to STEAM and computer science is part of Goal 4 in the 2023-30 Strategic Plan. View the presentation slides or watch the presentation



🖍️ It’s Kindergarten Registration Time!

Attending kindergarten provides children with an opportunity to learn and practice the essential social, emotional, problem-solving, and self-regulation skills they will use throughout their lives. 

Fairfax County public schools typically conduct kindergarten registration events, including orientation, in the spring during March or April. Eligible children can also be registered throughout the summer, but registering your child earlier helps schools plan so they will have the teachers and resources they need for your child on the first day of school. 

After determining which school their child will attend, families should prepare for registration by gathering documents and completing forms. All families can get support with registration and the transition to kindergarten. For more information in other languages, visit the Kindergarten Registration webpage.



Learn About Science, Technology, and Arts Magnet Schools

Three FCPS elementary magnet schools — Hunters WoodsBailey’s Primary, and Bailey’s Upper — provide enhanced learning programs in science, technology, and performing arts. 

Registration for the 2024-25 elementary magnet lottery is open Tuesday, March 5, through Friday, April 12. Learn more about the schools, their programs, and locations.



🏆 Student Achievements: Groups Recognized by School Board

The School Board recently recognized teams that were named Virginia High School League champions and groups recognized by state, national, and international music associations. See who was recognized in a photo gallery at the bottom of the meeting highlights page. 

🎨 Scholastic Art Awards Recognize Students’ Creative Work of Students

The 2024 Regional Scholastic Art Awards program has awarded FCPS students in grades 7-12 a total of 714 awards for outstanding artwork, including 176 Gold Key awards, 172 Silver Key awards, and 366 honorable mention awards. 

Artworks were submitted and judged in categories including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture, digital art, design, architecture, jewelry, fashion, film and animation, mixed media, and art portfolios. Read about the winners

📰 Schools Receive First Amendment Press Freedom Award

Three Fairfax County public schools are among 28 schools nationwide selected as recipients of the 2024 First Amendment Press Freedom Award. The award recognizes private and public high schools that actively support, teach, and protect First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media where students make all final decisions on content. Read about the award



🏃 Empowering Students Through Middle School Sports

Witness the transformative power of middle school sports, as FCPS students share their experience with participating in school athletics for the first time. Watch this video to discover how these no-cost programs provide an important pathway for students of all backgrounds to explore their athletic passions. Access to and participation in extracurricular activities are part of Goal 2 and Goal 4 in FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan



🎤 Join a Community Conversation on Fentanyl and Other Drugs

A community conversation addressing the opioid crisis within Northern Virginia and Fairfax County Public Schools will be held Monday, March 18, 6:30-8 p.m., in the auditorium at Lake Braddock Secondary School. Please enter through Door #14. 

All attendees will receive free REVIVE! Narcan training during the event and learn about support services currently available within FCPS and Fairfax County.   

This discussion will provide families, staff, and students with valuable knowledge about the dangers of drugs and deadly fentanyl. The material discussed is suitable for students in grades 6 to12. Together as a community, we aim to explore collaborative strategies to minimize the impact of these harmful and too often fatal substances.

Language interpretation services are available as well as American Sign Language accommodation. Childcare and transportation will also be provided, as needed. Learn more about the event and register online



💬 Quick Chats Improve Attendance and Belonging at Hayfield 

Teachers at Hayfield Elementary School were recently asked to review data from the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener given to students in grades three through six. They looked for students in each class who reported that they didn’t feel like a part of their school’s community. 

The teachers were challenged to have daily two-minute chats with the students — about anything except school — for 10 consecutive days. Read how Nina, pictured above, now connects with her teacher and feels like she belongs



Learn About Pathways and Opportunities at Virtual Military Night

FCPS School Counseling Services is hosting a Virtual Military Night on Wednesday, March 20, 6-8 p.m. This event is designed for high school students and their families who are interested in learning more about military pathways and opportunities. Enlistment, service academies, and ROTC pathways will be represented. 



✅ Look for the Family Engagement Survey This Sunday

FCPS’ Family Engagement Survey will open Sunday, March 3. Parents/caregivers will receive the survey link via email from independent research firm K12 Insight. Please participate — your feedback is critical in helping to inform and improve practices to best support our students.

Taking this survey will also help strengthen the partnership between your family and your school. When that partnership is strong, students can experience a range of benefits including improved school readiness, higher student achievement, better social skills and behavior, and an increased likelihood of graduating high school. 

The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete and will be available in 10 languages. Please visit the Family Engagement Survey webpage for more information. Your voice matters!



Become Next Year’s School Board Student Representative

Each year FCPS students have the opportunity to apply for the position of student representative to the School Board. The student representative is not a member of the School Board but serves in a nonvoting, advisory capacity by representing the interests of the students of Fairfax County Public Schools. 

For more information on this role, see FCPS Policy 1802. Visit the application webpage for more information on eligibility, the application, and deadlines.

What It’s Like to Serve on the Fairfax County School Board 

Rida Karim, the current student representative to the School Board, describes the demands, expectations, and rewards of the position in this short video.



⏰ School Board Exploring Middle School Start Times

At the February 22 School Board meeting, Prismatic Services Inc. presented an analysis of middle school start times including background information and community engagement plans. 

In September 2023, Prismatic was awarded a contract to explore adjusting middle school start times to 8 a.m. or later, beginning in the fall of 2025. View the presentation slides



📅 Calendar Reminder: First Full Day of Ramadan

This year, the first full day of Ramadan is Monday, March 11. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year, a time for spiritual discipline for Muslims, who believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran to Muhammed. Read more about Ramadan in National Geographic Kids. 

March 11 is an O day. The school calendar recognizes many religious and cultural observances during the school year. There is school on these days, however, tests, quizzes, field trips, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events will not be held on these observance days.

Throughout the year, as we celebrate and recognize various cultural holidays and observances, families are encouraged to contact their student’s principal regarding accommodations, including but not limited to those around lunch, prayer/meditation and silent reflection spaces and times, and instruction. 

March 5 Presidential Primary — Student Holiday/School Planning Day

The Fairfax Board of Elections requested that schools be closed on Tuesday, March 5, to accommodate the administration of the 2024 presidential primary election. March 5 will be a holiday for students and a virtual School Planning Day for teachers. Central offices and school offices will remain open. See the complete school year calendar