FCPS This Week - November 15, 2023
Students at Orange Hunt Elementary School performed in a Veterans Day celebration.
🥙 Students Choose the Future of FCPS Food
This week, FCPS hosted the Future of FCPS Student Food Show. The Office of Food and Nutrition Services invited more than 200 students from 24 elementary, middle, and high schools to sample and provide feedback on various breakfast and lunch recipes. Watch students' reactions and read more about the event.
🎷 FCPS Students Selected for 2023 All-Virginia Jazz Band, VMEA Senior Honors Choir, and All-Virginia Elementary Orff Ensemble
Forty-six students representing 16 Fairfax County high schools have been selected for the 2023 All-Virginia Jazz Band and VMEA Senior Honors Choir. Students throughout Virginia went through a rigorous audition process for positions within these ensembles. Student musicians will rehearse with nationally recognized conductors.
In addition, seven students representing two Fairfax County elementary schools have been selected for the 2023 All-Virginia Elementary Orff Ensemble.
See the full list of students selected for these ensembles and a list of concerts that are open to the public.
🧼 Staying Healthy This Cold/Flu Season
Cases of RSV, the flu, and other viruses often rise this time of year. It is important for students to wash their hands regularly and cover their coughs and sneezes. Please monitor your child’s health daily and follow recommendations for when to keep them home due to illness. Visit FCPS' Health and Safety Guidance webpage for more tips.
📜 Paper Federal Impact Aid Surveys Due Friday
FCPS is asking all families to fill out a Federal Impact Aid Survey. The form is available online in SIS ParentVUE. Families should have also received a paper form from their school. If you have not completed the form online, please fill out and return the paper form by Friday, November 17.
Completing this form for each school-aged child in every household is important. Based on survey information, FCPS receives an additional $3 million in grants each year from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are used to support all Fairfax County public schools and centers.
Need to Register for ParentVUE?
Learn how to activate your SISParentVUE account to easily submit your survey online.
🎖️ Thank You Veterans!
Silverbrook Elementary School held a heartwarming tribute to veterans and their families on Friday. Hear Dr. Reid’s remarks and see some of the sights from that day. View more highlights from Veterans Day celebrations held around the district.
🍎 American Education Week
For American Education Week we celebrate ALL who work in the FCPS community. Learn more from the National Education Association.
Want to recognize someone from your child’s school who goes above and beyond? Submit a nomination to FCPS CARES.
🥎 Super Slugger: McLean Student Wins Softball World Cup
In late October, McLean High School sophomore Riley Staats celebrated a big win on the world stage. Riley, along with 15 other girls on Team USA, claimed the inaugural World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Women’s Softball World Cup title at Ota Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Read more about Riley and her accomplishments.
Special Education Resources for Families
Fairfax County Public Schools has the following resources available to help assist families of students with special needs:
- The Office of Special Education Procedural Support helps staff, families, and students with the implementation of and compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended.
- The Family Resource Center (FRC) offers free webinars, consultations, a lending library, and resources to help adults support the success of all students, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities. Sign up for their newsletter. Contact the FRC at [email protected] or call 703-204-2941.
- Kathy Murphy, the assistant ombuds for special education, provides information and support to caregivers and students regarding special education and Section 504 services. Contact the Ombuds Office by submitting a question, calling 571-423-4014, or emailing [email protected].
The Virginia Department of Education has updated the Virginia Family's Guide to Special Education. This state guide was developed to help those involved in special education including families, teachers, school administrators, advocates, and students.
📚 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 from Wednesday, November 15, 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. If you review instructional materials, please complete an electronic comment sheet which will be on the webpage during the review period.
Visit FCPS' website for instructions on how to view hard copies of the instructional materials at Pimmit Hills Center. The Elementary Language Arts team will be on site to answer questions Friday, December 1, 4-8 p.m., and Saturday, December 2, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
All community feedback will be shared with the review committee and the School Board.
🌷 Helping Our Students Grow in School, at Home, and in Life
Check out the latest Healthy Minds Blog post on ways to help students take on new challenges, learn new skills, and feel valued, so they can grow as individuals and contribute to a positive school community.
The Healthy Minds Blog is a collaboration between Fairfax County Public Schools and the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. Subscribe to Healthy Minds and receive a quarterly digest of articles.
🙋 Student Attendance and Engagement
During the Academic Matters segment of last Thursday’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid discussed student attendance and engagement. Attendance and absenteeism rates are one measure of Goal 2 for our 2023-30 Strategic Plan.
Chronic absenteeism — which is defined as a student missing 10% or more of school for any reason — is a concern across Virginia school districts. Although FCPS continues to outperform the state average in attendance rates, we are tracking chronic absenteeism closely.
Data shows that:
- Missing just 10% of school — just two days a month — negatively affects a student’s academic performance.
- Only 17% of students who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade were reading proficiently in third grade, compared to 64% of those with good attendance.
- Students who fail to read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than students who achieve proficiency to drop out of high school.
- By sixth grade, chronic absenteeism becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
Attendance is critical for academic success.
Missing School Over the Holidays
Looking ahead to the holiday season, if missing school is unavoidable, please speak with your child’s teachers in advance to create a plan for making up missed work. But remember, a homework packet cannot make up for the interaction and learning that happens in the classroom.
Visit our website for more attendance resources.
🎉 Congratulations to the 2023 Teacher Grant Recipients!
Educate Fairfax and FCPS are proud to announce that 57 grants will impact more than 16,000 K-12 students across the county.
These grants will fund innovative classroom initiatives that focus on developing career-connected experiences for students. Funded projects should enable students to reinforce and deepen their classroom learning, explore future career fields, and demonstrate their acquired Portrait of a Graduate (POG) skills.
Now in its fifth year, our partnership with Educate Fairfax and the Teacher Grant Program has funded 255 grants to educators and impacted more than 80,000 FCPS students! Learn more about teacher grants.
🦃 Calendar Reminder: Thanksgiving Holiday
Schools and offices will be closed Wednesday, November 22, through Friday, November 24. Classes will resume on Monday, November 27. See the complete school year calendar.
Please note, there will be no issue of FCPS This Week on Wednesday, November 22.
School Board Meeting Scheduled for November 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the School Board will hold its next business meeting on Monday, November 20, at 7:30 p.m. Agenda highlights include:
- Baseline Report on Strategic Plan Goal 3
- Facilities Engagement Plan
- Annual Legislative Program
School Building Asbestos Management Plans Available for Public Review
Asbestos was discontinued in most building materials after 1977, and all schools constructed after 1986 should be asbestos-free. FCPS has worked to remove asbestos-containing building material during renovations of older schools. Per federal requirements for all schools, even schools constructed after 1986, an inspection for asbestos-containing building material is conducted each year, with an Asbestos Management Plan being maintained for the site.
FCPS has completed the required Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (A.H.E.R.A.) asbestos reinspection and surveillance of all school buildings for Fiscal Year 2023. Updated asbestos management plans for each building are available for review in the main office of every building during regular school hours.