FCPS This Week - September 13, 2023

By Office of Communications
September 13, 2023

A preschool student plays during recess at Woodlawn Elementary School.

🏆 264 FCPS Students Recognized as National Merit Semifinalists

Two hundred sixty four FCPS students from 15 high schools have been named Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for 2024. See the full list of student awardees.

🩹 Hundreds of Students Get a Strong Start at Immunization Clinic

FCPS recently hosted an immunization clinic at the Dunn Loring Welcome Center. Partnering with the Fairfax County Health Department, FCPS helped more than 200 families with students in pre-K to high school receive required immunizations. These students were all newly enrolled in the school system. 

This initiative helped to ensure all our students have a strong start to their FCPS education. FCPS is hoping to provide additional opportunities for students to be immunized. Learn more about immunizations and registration.

🤒 When a Student Should Stay Home From School

Whether students miss school because of illness or any other reason, missing school leads to learning loss.

Help your student succeed by encouraging them to attend as many days as possible, but do make sure your student stays home if they are sick. Visit our site for information on when to keep your child at home.

If your child has a chronic illness, make sure to notify their teacher so that assistance can be provided if needed. Keep an open line of communication with your school’s public health staff. Call the school as soon as you know your child will be absent, and tell school staff why and for how long. 

Read more about how families can help form good attendance habits. Attend today, achieve tomorrow! 

🤧 Tips to Stay Healthy This School Year

Flu season is quickly approaching and communicable diseases continue to be present in our schools. Families and staff are encouraged to follow the health practices below to prevent the spread of illnesses and help keep our schools safe:

  • Make an appointment to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible. Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine (with rare exceptions). Flu vaccines are widely available at doctors’ and pediatricians’ offices, grocery stores, and pharmacies.
  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you have not done so already. As of Tuesday, September 12, updated COVID-19 vaccines are approved for use among those aged 6 months or older for the 2023-24 season. Find out where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster in your community by visiting Vaccinate Virginia, or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA or 877-829-4682. Note: Flu vaccines and COVID vaccines can be provided in the same appointment.
  • Check with your student’s healthcare provider to make sure they are up to date on their required school entrance immunizations. Immunization records can now be updated in SIS ParentVUE through the Online Verification Update form.
  • Check for mild, cold-like symptoms each day, such as fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath. If a child is sick, please keep them home and get them tested for COVID-19 to stop further spread from occurring. Additional guidance on when to keep your child home due to symptoms and illness is available on the FCPS Attendance webpage. FCPS employees are also advised to stay home and get tested when feeling sick.
  • Don’t forget to wash hands regularly, avoid touching the face with unwashed hands, cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing, and limit the time children spend in large group settings with contagious individuals whenever possible.

The most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 school health practices is available on the Health and Safety Guidance Document webpage.

Thank you for your continued partnership in keeping our schools safe and healthy.

🎓 College Fair and Postsecondary Virtual Events

High school students and their families are invited to attend the annual FCPS college fair and the postsecondary virtual nights. The college fair will feature admissions representatives from more than 250 colleges and universities from across the United States and abroad. The fair will be held at George Mason University’s Eagle Bank Arena on Sunday, October 15, 4-7 p.m. 

The postsecondary virtual nights will be held on Monday, October 16, and Tuesday, October 17, 5-8 p.m. The virtual event will feature workshops related to the college admissions process, financial aid, and other postsecondary educational opportunities. 

Students are highly encouraged to register in advance for these events.

📓 My First Year: Meet Ms. Vivi 

Varvara “Vivi” Zakharevich knew from the time she was in first grade at Lemon Road Elementary School that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. 

Our My First Year video and blog series will follow Ms. Vivi this year as she remembers being a first grade dreamer and experiences being a third grade teacher at Shrevewood Elementary School.

Watch the first episode and read more about Ms. Vivi and her journey toward her first day of school. 

Information Session for Substitute Teachers and Instructional Assistants

Learn more about becoming a substitute teacher or instructional assistant at a virtual information session on Wednesday, September 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. Register now.

Visit the Recruitment Events calendar for a list of all FCPS job fairs. 

✨ 2023-30 Strategic Plan — Goal 4: Equitable Access and Opportunity

The 2023-30 strategic plan sets five main goals to create positive change in FCPS. These five goals show where we should focus our attention and will help us align our efforts. Our equity commitment and a set of measures in each goal will monitor our progress toward those goals. 

Under Goal 4, high-quality academics will be available to all students. They will have access to excellent resources that support their success. Visit the Strategic Plan webpage to learn more about how we will measure the success of Goal 4. 

🏗️ School Bonds Benefit Students

A bond referendum to benefit Fairfax County Public Schools will be on the ballot this election season. The building and renovation of schools are not financed through the school system’s operating funds, but through bonds. 

Similar to an individual or a family obtaining a mortgage on a residence to spread the cost of home buying over several years, bonds spread the cost of major capital improvements over a number of years. This ensures that current and future residents and users share in the payment. The county’s bonded debt is not likely to be a contributing factor to any increase in local taxes. 

Hear from teachers how FCPS prioritizes safety with bond funding

Read more about the FCPS 2023 Bond Referendum. Learn about registering to vote. Vote on Tuesday, November 7

National Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15 to October 15, FCPS recognizes and celebrates the histories and cultures of the members of our community who trace their heritage to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS. Learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month

Fairfax Fiesta

Fairfax County's inaugural Hispanic Heritage Celebration, the Fairfax Fiesta, is taking place on Saturday, September 23, from noon to 5 p.m., at the PARC at Tysons (8508 Leesburg Pike). The free event, presented by the Fairfax County Government and Celebrate Fairfax!, aims to provide an extraordinary experience for all ages and backgrounds. Learn more about Fairfax Fiesta.

📅 Save the Date! Upcoming Holidays and Observances

Friday, September 15, is an evening-only Religious and Cultural Observation day (O day) in recognition of Rosh Hashanah, which begins at sundown. Evening-only O days are full school days, but important events will not be held after school on those days. Learn more about Rosh Hashanah from PBS

Wednesday, September 20, is National Voter Registration Day. Learn about registering to vote. Early voting will begin in Fairfax County on Friday, September 22

All FCPS schools and offices will be closed on Monday, September 25, for Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. Learn more about Yom Kippur on Brittanica.com

See the complete school year calendar.

School Board Meeting on September 14 at 7:30 p.m.

The School Board will hold its regular business meeting on Thursday, September 14, at 7:30 p.m. Agenda highlights include:

  • Executive expectations. 
  • Academic Matters.
  • Fairfax County purchasing resolution.

See the complete agenda. Find out how to watch and participate in School Board meetings