FCPS This Week - November 16

By Communication and Community Relations
For Parents
November 16, 2022

In the photo above, students at Fort Belvoir Upper School participate in a Veterans Day Celebration. Many other schools, including Orange Hunt Elementary School, held Veterans Day celebrations as well.

Calendar Survey: Make Your Voice Heard! 

FCPS parents/caregivers, employees, and students in grades 7-12 were emailed an invitation to take the 2023-24 School Year Calendar Survey. This survey is part of an annual process to gather input from the community to help develop the school year calendar for the following year. Please complete the survey by Thursday, December 1, and make your voice heard! For more information or help filling out the survey, please visit our website.

Help Your Child Have Good Attendance

Just a few missed days here and there, even if they’re excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time and put your child behind in school. This is as true in kindergarten as it is in high school. How can you help your child attend school regularly?

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day—make that the expectation. 
  • Help your child maintain routines such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s  sleep.
  • Find out if your child feels safe at school and engaged by their classes. Make sure they are not missing class because of behavioral issues and school discipline policies. If these are problems, please work with your school.
  • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
  • Be aware of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Encourage meaningful after-school activities including sports and clubs.

Looking ahead to the holiday season, if missing school is unavoidable, talk to 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

Post-Thanksgiving COVID Diagnostic Testing

COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS teachers, staff, and students at five locations across the county November 28-30 from 5 to 8 p.m. This testing is for those who are either experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID. Appointments are not required, but registration must be completed before testing. Visit the COVID testing webpage for more information

Thank You, Veterans! 

In this video, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid expresses how grateful FCPS is to all veterans and their families. 

Recommended Changes to Family Life Education Curriculum 

The public may review recommended changes to the Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum and share feedback through Thursday, December 1. Recommended changes are based on leading education and child development research, and expert advice. The goal is to create a more inclusive learning environment, support higher academic achievement for students, and improve school climate. 

Please review the recommended changes on our website and complete the brief feedback form. Public feedback will be shared with the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee and the School Board. FCPS staff and the Board will consider all feedback but are unable to provide replies to individuals. 

Academic Matters

During the Academic Matters portion of Monday’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Reid discussed the innovative assessment practices happening in FCPS as part of our School Division of Innovation designation from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). 

This recognition means that VDOE has approved a plan to improve student learning, educational performance, and college, career, and citizenship readiness skills. It positions FCPS as a state leader in innovative practices with the opportunity to impact statewide policy decisions. Watch Dr. Reid’s presentation.

TJHSST Applications Due by November 18

Applications for admission to the Class of 2027 at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) must have been started by 4 p.m., today, Wednesday, November 16. The completed application must be submitted by Friday, November 18, at 4 p.m. Visit the TJHSST registration website for more information.

FCPS Students to Perform at Virginia Music Educators Association Conference

Forty-six students from FCPS will perform in three honor groups at the Virginia Music Educators Association state music conference November 17-19 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Students throughout the Commonwealth went through a rigorous audition process to compete for a position in these groups. Read more about the honor groups

Cappies Review of Woodson’s Production of One Man, Two Guvnors

Many FCPS high schools participate in the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theatre, also known as the Cappies. The Cappies is a program through which high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. 

Josie Amspaugh, from Langley High School, wrote this review of Woodson High School's production of One Man, Two Guvnors.

Subscribe to the 2022-23 Fine and Performing Arts Calendar

If you enjoy high school theater, check out the Fine and Performing Arts Calendar on our website. Individual listings for many middle and high school theater events are featured. Users can subscribe to the calendar to be notified of upcoming performances, and each event can be added to a calendar or shared on social media.

Opportunities to Participate in the Strategic Planning Process

FCPS is offering a number of opportunities for parents/caregivers to be involved in the Strategic Planning process! Check out two immediate options below:

Nominate Yourself or Someone Else for the Family Team 

We are currently seeking nominations for parents/caregivers who are interested in contributing to Strategic Plan development as part of the Family Team. This team will represent the rich diversity of families that make up FCPS’ community, and will focus on identifying engagement and outreach practices that will improve our partnerships with families.

If you are interested in being part of the Family Team or would like to nominate someone else, please fill out this form by Tuesday, November 22

Be a Key Communicator!

If you are a member of a community organization or group, consider signing up to be a key communicator during the strategic planning process. FCPS key communicators are active members of the community who people turn to for information, and have an interest in sharing information about the school division and encouraging involvement. If this describes you or someone you know, please get the details and complete this form by Monday, November 28.

Resources for Military Families

We are highlighting resources for military families in honor of Veterans Day and Military Family Appreciation Month. FCPS’ Office of Family and School Partnerships provides resources and support for military families transitioning to or from our school division. 

Tips to help ease a military-connected student’s transition to a new school in FCPS include: 

  • Inquire about your school's student-led peer transition support program, such as a Student Ambassador Program, and welcoming practices.
  • Contact your school's school counseling office for information on student registration; standardized testing; academic and career planning; course selection; course and grade placement; absences related to deployment; graduation requirements; and social and emotional support. 
  • Contact your previous school's record’s office to request transcripts and other school records, so they can be shared with your new school. 
  • Consider asking your child’s former teacher to write a summary including information about subjects and topics covered; curriculum used; and your child’s strengths and areas for growth. We encourage parents and caregivers to share the teacher summary, as well as insights on their child’s development, talents, and interests, with their child’s teacher and school counselor.
  • Contact your school’s Student Activities Office for information about participation in extracurricular activities and sports eligibility. 

For more information, please contact Meredith Ayala, family partnerships specialist. We also encourage you to sign up for the military-connected families newsletter

Make a SUBstantial Difference in FCPS!

FCPS is always looking for kind and caring individuals to serve as substitute teachers when teachers are unable to be in the classroom. Retiree Bunni Cooper is a perfect example! After a 23-year career at the World Bank, she chose to support Bull Run Elementary as a substitute teacher. Read Bunni’s story, and please ask your family and friends to consider being a sub. (Maybe you would like to sub, too!)

By the way, FCPS is offering bonuses for substitutes who are available to teach on high volume days. Visit our Substitute Teaching Employment Opportunities page for more information.

Calendar Reminder: Thanksgiving

Schools and offices will be closed November 23-25. Have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving! Classes will resume on Monday, November 28. Learn more about the first Thanksgiving

See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

FCPS This Week will return on Wednesday, November 30.  

Free, On-Demand, Online Tutoring

Did you know?

  • Students who’ve used Tutor.com have provided positive feedback.
  • Unless they’ve been opted out, students can access Tutor.com through Schoology. 
  • Every session is personalized to meet students’ needs from remedial to advanced levels. 
  • Sessions focus on conceptual learning and critical thinking—not quick answers. 

Learn more on FCPS’ Tutor.com webpage

Congratulations to Our 2022 Teacher Grant Recipients!

Educate Fairfax and FCPS are proud to announce that 52 grants totaling more than $82,000 were awarded in grades K-12 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 fourth year, our partnership with Educate Fairfax and the Teacher Grant Program has funded nearly 200 grants to educators and impacted more than 60,000 FCPS students. Learn more about teacher grants

A Safe, Welcome, and Inclusive Space at FCPS

FCPS’ Trust Policy confirms our commitment to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space, where all students and families can access FCPS benefits and services without fear of having their data disclosed to federal immigration officials. Read more about the Trust Policy

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. In addition, during school renovations of older schools, FCPS has worked to remove asbestos-containing building material. As 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.