FCPS This Week - September 6, 2023

By Office of Communications
September 06, 2023

Third grade students at Shrevewood Elementary School enjoy reading. 

✔️ Caregiver Checklist: Have You Completed These Important Forms? 

During the first weeks of the year, schools mail and email caregivers many forms to complete. Several of the most important ones are below:

  1. Digital Resources Consent: Some FCPS-approved digital resources require parent/caregiver consent before they can be used by students. Find the list of resources which require consent on the Digital Resources - Parent Consent page. This page also includes directions on how to provide permission so your child(ren) can access all resources provided by their teachers.
  2. Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R): This document explains expectations for student behavior and adult responses. Parents using SIS ParentVUE will be prompted to sign the document when they log in to that platform. A printable version of the document with a signature sheet is available on the SR&R webpage. This form should be signed and returned by Friday, September 29.
  3. Opt-Outs: The Opt-Out booklet is online or available from your child’s school. It contains information on: 
  • Parents’ rights to inspect and consent or opt out before their child participates in certain surveys.
  • Parents’ rights to inspect instructional materials.
  • Rules regarding student records and disclosure of student information (including photo/video of students) and the right to opt out.
  • Parents’ rights to opt out of the Social Emotional Learning Screener, physical exams not required by state law, career or social emotional counseling, Library Equity Access Pass Project, and/or Tutor.com.
  • The process by which complaints may be filed if parents or students believe their rights have been violated.

Paper forms can be signed and returned to your child’s school.

🩹 The Importance of Up-to-Date Immunizations

Immunizations are required by the code of Virginia § 22.1-271.2 for public school entry and help keep students protected from serious diseases. Check with your students’ healthcare providers now to make sure they are up to date on their immunizations.

Immunization records can now be updated online in SIS ParentVUE through the Online Verification Update form. To access that form, click Online Packets in the top right of the screen after logging in. Caregivers can obtain an activation key letter to activate their SIS ParentVUE account by contacting their child’s school. 

Statewide Outbreak of Meningococcal Disease

One of the required immunizations for students entering 7th and 12th grade is the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY). The Virginia Department of Health is currently tracking a statewide outbreak of meningococcal disease. The vaccine can provide protection against the bacteria responsible for this outbreak.

Visit the Fairfax County Health Department website for a list of immunization clinics or contact your family’s healthcare provider. Appointments are required for most clinics.  

Remember that you need to provide documentation to your school. Get more information on immunization requirements and the necessary documentation for schools. 

😷 2023-24 Health and Safety Guidance for Schools

Although the COVID-19 hospital transmission level (previously the COVID-19 Community Transmission level) for Fairfax County is currently low, COVID-19 cases have risen in Virginia over the last few weeks, and flu season will soon be upon us. Be sure to review health and safety guidance for schools to stay up to date on the best ways to prevent the spread of disease, and for information on when students should stay home from school. 

🌍 FCPS Hosts 31 Ambassador Teachers in New Global Exchange Program

Christopher Jones, a sixth grade teacher at Woodlawn Elementary School, is one of 31 ambassador teachers in FCPS this year. Through Participate Learning, “Global Exchange” teachers have started teaching this year. They all have bachelor’s degrees, some have doctorates. Combined, they have 274 years of teaching experience. Read more about the Global Exchange.

🍎 Make Every Day Count! The Importance of Attendance

As you plan upcoming trips and other family events, please remember the importance of sending your child to school every day. Review the FCPS School Year Calendar and try to plan any time away during long breaks from school. 

Children who show up for school regularly develop fundamental reading and math skills while building a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college and careers. Research shows that children who were chronically absent (missing 18 days or more) in kindergarten and first grade were far less likely to read proficiently at the end of third grade.

Learn how families can help form good attendance habits.

🧠 How to Access Free Resources from Tutor.com

FCPS students continue to have unlimited access to live, 24/7, one-on-one online tutoring services through Tutor.com at no cost to families. Student participation is optional and parents/guardians can opt their student(s) out of accessing the services. Detailed information and FAQs are available on the Tutor.com Online Tutoring Services webpage.

Students can access Tutor.com via a link in Schoology. Additional information about how to log in and access a tutor is provided to families via the following: Elementary - How It Works and Middle & High - How It Works. Questions not answered in the posted resources may be sent to [email protected].

✨ 2023-30 Strategic Plan — Goal 3: Academic Growth and Excellence

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 measure our success. 

Under Goal 3, every student will learn to use critical and creative thinking. They will meet or exceed academic goals. Students will reach their full potential. 

Visit the Strategic Plan webpage for more information. Watch this video to learn about the many voices that came together to create the plan. 

💻 Coursera Career Academy Student Pilot Program

The FCPS Student Pilot Program with Coursera is open for registration. The program, which is sponsored by our Department of Information Technology, allows up to 1,000 FCPS high school students to access the full contents of the Coursera Career Academy.

Through the program, students can explore popular digital jobs and career paths, from marketing to data science, and learn from experts at leading companies, including Google. 

Interested students should complete the Coursera Student Interest Form. Once it is submitted, their parent/guardian will be contacted for consent.  

Please note: Coursera courses are not recognized by the Virginia Department of Education as industry credentials and do not count toward high school graduation requirements. The pilot program has a limited number of licenses which are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Scott Simmons at [email protected]. 

🌱 Healthy Together Fairfax Festival

Enjoy a day of wellness at Healthy Together Fairfax on Saturday, September 10, from noon to 3 p.m. at Franconia Park. The Fairfax County Park Department and other local sponsors will be hosting guided trail walks, meditation sessions, health screenings, and a complimentary lunch.  

No matter what type of health you’re interested in — physical, environmental, social, or emotional wellness — there’s plenty to learn and do at this event! Visit the Healthy Together Fairfax webpage for more information. 

🧪 STEAMOLOGY STEM FEST Offers Hands-On Activities for Students

Students are invited to participate in STEM FEST on Saturday, October 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at South County High School. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade can participate in robotics demonstrations, coding experiments, and other activities. High school students are invited to volunteer. Visit the STEAMOLOGY website for more information. 

☀️ Academic Matters: 2023 Summer Learning

At the August 31 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid presented data from learning programs that took place this past summer. 

Nearly 34,000 students participated in 23 programs at 87 sites across the county. They included Extended School Year, High School Credit Recovery, Institute for the Arts, Career and Technical Education summer camps, and others. 

Watch the presentation or view the slides

Sexual Harassment Prohibited in FCPS

Regulation 4950 – Sexual Harassment states that no person in Fairfax County Public Schools shall be subjected to sexual harassment. It is the intent of the School Board to maintain an environment free from sexual harassment of any kind.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature amounting to or constituting harassment are prohibited. Employees should report complaints of sexual harassment to their supervisors or program managers. Students and parents of students should bring concerns to their school principals.

If, for any reason, an individual prefers not to address their concerns directly with a principal, supervisor, or program manager, they may consult with, or file a complaint with, the Office of Employee Relations by calling 571-423-3070.