Parent Advocacy Handbook: What is an Advocate?

Getting the most value from public school programs and resources.

As an advocate parents and guardians can make sure the student gets the most value from public school programs and resources.

Parents and guardians can help by ensuring that the student comes to class every day, on time, prepared, with a positive attitude, personal integrity, and a commitment to making good choices.

Being a strong advocate also means ensuring that the needs of the student are met, and that they are treated equitably and fairly by FCPS staff.

Stay Connected

  • Keep a list of important school numbers. 
  • Bookmark the FCPS website for information about Fairfax County Public Schools, to sign up for parent accounts, and to register for school email services.
  • Create a Parent Overview Account for the Student Information System (SIS). Your SIS account includes information about attendance, classes, and academic progress. It also has links to FCPS 24-7 Learning (Blackboard) Parent View and e-Notify emergency email and text from your child’s school. If you need help, contact your school’s School Based Technology Specialist (SBTS).
  • Ask family members and caregivers to sign up for News You Choose, an email service of FCPS.
  • Learn how your school communicates with parents. Some schools communicate through email, the school’s website, and social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter).
  • Learn how to access the online tools your child’s teachers or school use for homework, class assignments, calendars, and school activities (e.g., Google Classroom, Blackboard, etc.).

How to Be an Advocate

Build Good Relationships from the Start

  • Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher(s).
  • Introduce yourself to the principal and school office staff.
  • Be supportive of teachers and staff.
  • Keep in regular communication with teacher(s) throughout the year.
  • Volunteer at your child’s school or in the classroom.
  • Join your school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

Ask Questions and Ask for Help

  • Ask how parents and guardians can contact the school to talk to the teacher or in case of emergency. Also tell the school staff the best way for them to contact you.
  • If your child is struggling with a subject, ask the teacher for help.
  • If there are concerns about the student's social or emotional well-being, speak with the student's school counselor, the school social worker or the school psychologist.
  • If the student is teased or bullied, get the facts and contact your teacher or principal to ask for help.

Stay Informed

  • Know your rights as an FCPS Parent.
  • Know your responsibilities as an FCPS Parent.
  • Learn who’s who in FCPS, from the teachers, to the school principal and administrative team, to the superintendent.
  • Know who to contact when you have questions or concerns.

Translation Services

If you do not speak English and need help, FCPS provides free language interpreter services, including:

  • Translation of documents and other written information sent home to parents.
  • Interpretations during meetings when you need help in communicating with school personnel.

Ask your school to provide an interpreter.

Note: Some schools have a parent liaison that may speak your language and may be able to assist you. You also may ask a friend or relative to help you to request a translator.

Translation services are available in eight different languages for parents who need help. A bilingual staff member will answer your call within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. The staff member will help you speak with the appropriate school employee or connect you with the appropriate resource.

To use the parent information phone lines please call:

Amharic (አማርኛ): 571-423-4957

Arabic (arabic icon): 571-423-4952

Chinese (Chinese icon): 571-423-4953

Farsi (Farsi icon): 571-423-4954

Korean (Korean icon): 571-423-4951

Spanish (Spanish icon): 571-423-4950

Urdu (Urdu icon): 571-423-4955

Vietnamese (vietnamese icon): 571-423-4956

Parent Rights and Parent Responsibilities

As a FCPS Parent, you have the right to. . .   

  • Advocate for your child. You have a right to speak with teachers and administrators about your child. Make an appointment to ensure you have adequate time to do so.
  • Ask for a supervisor to review the decision or response if you disagree with a decision about your student.
  • Have a translator provided free-of-charge.
  • Expect your child’s school to be safe, welcoming, and fair.
  • Express your opinions through speech, assembly, petition, and other lawful means.​​​​​​​​

Privacy: You have the right to . . .

  • Expect your child’s personal information and school records to be protected in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99.
  • Expect that school staff will not ask about your or your child’s immigration status. Schools must enroll all students without regard to immigration status. They may not discriminate against a student because of race, color, or national origin. Remember that residency means where you live, not what country you came from.

Student Records/Student Information: You have the right to . . .

  • Expect school employees and volunteers to “maintain personally-identifiable student information, whether oral, written, or automated, in a confidential manner.” FCPS Regulation 2730.3.III.
  • Request and review school records about your child.  You also may request copies of your child’s record. FCPS Regulation 2601.32P.I.1
  • Challenge the contents of your student’s scholastic records, following required procedures. FCPS Regulation 2601.32P.I.6.

School Visits and Parent Participation in School Activities: You have the right to . . .

  • Visit your child’s school to observe lessons, volunteer at school, chaperone field trips, etc. Check your school’s policy on school visits. You may need to make an appointment to observe a class.
  • Request that your child be released to you from school during the school day, if you have legal custody of your child.
  • Attend school events for parents, such as parent lunches and parent-teacher conferences.

Educational Decisions: You have the right to . . .

  • Join in educational decisions about your child.
  • Request that your school evaluate your child for special education services if you suspect your child may have a disability.
  • Expect placement of your child in any middle or high school course for which your child meets the course prerequisites. FCPS Regulation 3250.3 (Exception: Placement of students in Algebra 1)

Opt Out: You have the right to . . .

You have the right to . . .

  • Request that your child’s name, address, telephone number are kept private. (Your information does not have to appear in a school directory.)
  • Request in writing that your child not participate in academic, career, or personal or social counseling. FCPS Regulation 2501.5.IV
  • Review the Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum materials and decide whether your child will participate in FLE lessons. FCPS Regulation 3204.7.C
  • Inspect certain student surveys and request that your child not participate.
  • Request that your child’s image not be included in graduation photographs.
  • Request that your students’ names, addresses, and telephone numbers not be provided to military recruiters.
  • Decline physical examinations of your child if not required by state law.
  • To do so, you must take the necessary steps to state your specific wishes (often by completing an opt-out form).

Library or Instructional Materials: You have the right to . . .

  • Challenge library or instructional materials. FCPS Policy 3009.5. You may request that such materials be removed, or that students have restricted or expanded access to such materials. FCPS will make a final determination on challenged materials.

Student Transfers: You have the right to . . .

  • Request a student transfer to a school other than a base school under certain circumstances. FCPS Regulation 2230.13.III.B.

Testing: You have the right to . . .

  • Receive information about testing policies and practices within the Commonwealth of Virginia and FCPS.
  • Refuse standardized testing for your children under Virginia law. Refusals are subject to state reporting guidelines for SOL testing.
  • Receive prior notice of tests, such as the Universal Screener and Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, and of individual educational and psychological tests.  
  • Request (“Opt In”) that your student be allowed to take end-of-course tests that are not needed for verified credit. 

Safety and Discipline: You have the right to . . .

  • Expect safe and welcoming schools. Your school can provide information about its safety policies and safety drills that students will participate in during the school year.
  • Talk to school staff about disciplinary decisions. Steps to appeal disciplinary decisions are outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) handbook.
  • Receive timely information of your student’s suspension; be informed of the rules governing suspensions and the procedures for appeal. FCPS Regulation 2601.33.
  • Receive notice when your child is restrained or secluded at school. 8 VAC 20-750-50.
  • Receive advance notice that your student may be questioned by a School Resource Officer (SRO), unless there is “immediate risk of danger.” In that circumstance, your principal must contact you as soon as possible. SR&R p.14
  • Be notified “as soon as practical” by your principal if your student has engaged in misconduct that may result in referral to the Hearings Office, e.g., for weapons violation, illegal drugs, and other offenses that could result in the student being excluded from school.
  • Be notified if your student is questioned by a police officer, other than an SRO, in school or on school property about alleged illegal activities. Schools must make reasonable efforts to get your permission by telephone or in person before questioning. If you cannot be reached and school staff makes reasonable efforts to get your permission, the school must notify you in writing. FCPS Regulation 2616.9.III
  • Participate in hearings before the Hearings Office and School Board before your student is excluded from school (“where it is determined there are special circumstances and whether a different consequence might be more appropriate.” SR&R, p.25).
  • Attend and have representation at any discipline hearings.
  • File a written appeal if you are not satisfied with the results of a discipline decision or hearing.

File a Complaint; Right to Appeal: You have a right to...:

  • Express your concerns informally (e.g., by email or call to teacher or principal) or formally (e.g., by official complaint).
  • Present a concern or complaint to teachers, counselors, or your school principal, if you disagree with school decisions.
  • Contact your Region Assistant Superintendent if you are not satisfied with the resolution of a complaint presented to the principal.
  • Contact the Superintendent or the School Board if you are not satisfied with the resolution of a complaint presented to a Region Assistant Superintendent.
  • Present a complaint if you believe your child’s special education needs are not being met.
  • Present a complaint if you believe that you or your child have been discriminated against because of “age, race, color, disability, marital status, gender/sexual harassment/pregnancy, religion, retaliation(for a complaint), ethnicity/national origin, nationality, or genetic information.” (See discrimination claims)
  • Present a complaint with regard to student health and/or safety. 
  • Receive a timely response to your complaint or appeal.

Right to Appeal Decisions:  You have a right to . . .

  • File written appeals of decisions regarding your student’s placements in programs (e.g., AAP, SPED, immersion programs).
  • File written appeals of discipline hearing decisions (e.g., out-of-school suspensions; Hearing Office decisions).
  • File written appeals of decisions made at the school level to the Regional Assistant Superintendent, the Superintendent, and the School Board.

If you have a question or concern about your right to complain, contact the Ombudsman’s office.

Do you have a Potential Discrimination Claim?

If you believe you or your child have been discriminated against because of “age, race, color, disability, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, religion, retaliation for filing a complaint, ethnicity ornational origin, nationality, or genetic information,” you have a right to file a complaint with the FCPS Department of Human Resources, Office of Equity and Employee Relations (EER).

You may file a FCPS Complaint of Alleged Discrimination form (HR-153), or submit a letter to:

Office of Equity and Employee Relations
Department of Human Resources
Gatehouse Administration Center I
8115 Gatehouse Road, Suite 2500
Falls Church, VA 22042

or

Call:  571-423-3070
Fax:  571-423-3057

Parent Responsibilities

As an FCPS Parent, you have the responsibility to . . .

  • Advocate for your child.
  • Register your child for school.
  • Provide proof of immunizations required by Virginia law for all students to attend public schools.
  • Notify your child’s school if your family moves. (If you move outside the boundaries for your student’s current school, your student may have to be reassigned to a different school.)
  • Complete the Emergency Care Form for your child every year and update when necessary. (Use weCare@school, through your SIS account.)
  • Review Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook‘s important topics and discuss with your child and then sign and return the Parent and/or Guardian Signature Sheet to school.

Attendance: You have the responsibility to . . .

  • Ensure that your child attends school regularly and on time, and that your child follows assigned school schedules. Code of Virginia § 22.1-279.3
  • Notify the school when your child will be absent or late.
  • Request a pre-arranged absence, when your child will be absent for several days for any reason. (Prearranged Absence Forms are available at your student’s school or at the Attendance Form link on your school’s website). 
  • Ensure that your child completes any assignments missed during an absence.

Monitor Academic Performance: You have the responsibility to . . .

  • Visit your child’s school. Learn about your school’s policy about visiting the classroom. Contact your school to schedule an observation. When you visit, report to the Main Office and register. (You may have to wear an ID badge.)
  • Attend Back to School Night.
  • Attend parent teacher conferences.
  • Review your student’s progress report "report card". If your child might fail and/or not meet the promotion benchmarks, you should contact your child’s teacher and school administrator to set a remediation plan.     
  • Ask about programs and services that are available for your child both at your base school and at other schools.

Monitor Screen Time: You have the responsibility to . . .

  • Know what your child is looking at on television, tablets, phones, etc.
  • Limit screen time on computers, televisions, tablets, and smartphones, when it interferes with school work.
  • Review and moderate your child’s use of social media.

School Attendance Matters
Virginia law requires all children between the ages of five and 18 must be enrolled in school and to attend on a daily basis. Code of Virginia § 22.1-254

Report All Student Absences: If your child will be absent from school, or tardy, for any reason, you must contact their school. You may:

  1. Complete an attendance form online (link on school’s website); or
  2. Call your school’s attendance line.

Make sure your child completes all missed school work.

Attendance Matters:

  • Attendance is checked every day. FCPS is required by state law to call, text or email you if your child does not come to school as expected.
  • If your child is absent for five full days, a school attendance officer will contact you. VA Code § 221-258.
  • If your child is absent for 15 (or more days) in a row, they will be withdrawn from school. You must officially re-register your child when he or she returns to school.

Absences Add Up:

  • Students who attend 90 percent  or more of the school year are more likely to graduate from high school on time.
  • Middle and high school students who miss 18 days of school (two days a month) during the school year, are less likely to graduate from high school.
  • Students who are absent more than 10 percent of the school year are considered “chronically absent” under Virginia law. 

Transportation

FCPS provides transportation to students who live in the designated attendance area of a school, if the student lives beyond the approved walking distance. (Usually one mile for elementary schools and 1.5 miles for middle and high school students). There are exceptions made for safety reasons. Please check with your school about specific bus routes.

Students who ride buses for any reason (including field trips) must comply with the FCPS Standards for Students Riding Buses. Discuss bus conduct with your student so that all riders have a safe and pleasant trip. Bus privileges can be taken away.

Student Health and Safety

Student Health

Every school has a School Health Room ("clinic") and a School Health Aide (SHA) who:

  • Cares for sick or injured students;
  • Gives medications to students following FCPS regulations;
  • Notifies parents or guardians, if students need more care or treatment; and
  • Coordinates vision and hearing screenings.

The SHA is a trained, para-professional, but not a professional nurse. A Public Health Nurse (PHN) provides additional support to schools. PHNs serve more than one school and may not be at your school every day.

Every school also has a social worker and a school psychologist to support students.

  • School social workers provide services to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students. They provide risk assessments, connect with students who are unable to attend school, assist homeless students and families, etc.
  • School psychologists provide family-school collaboration services to help families navigate educational and community systems that support students academic, mental health, and behavioral needs. They also serve on the school’s Crisis Team.

Most school social workers and psychologists are assigned to work at more than one school.

Be an advocate for healthy children.

  • Notify your school about any medical conditions (e.g., allergies) your child may have that could affect them during the school day.
  • Bring medications that your child may need during the day to the SHA. DO NOT send your student to school with medication without pre-approval from the SHA.
  • Keep up with required vaccinations. (Note: Students in 7th grade, for example, must receive a Tdap booster shot.)

 Do not send your student to school if your child has:

  • Fever of 100.4º or higher (keep student home until fever stays below 100.4º for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication).
  • Diarrhea or Vomiting
  • Discharge from eye (if eye is pink and there is a thick yellow/green discharge)
  • Coughing (if severe and uncontrolled, rapid, or there is wheezing or other difficulty breathing)
  • Rash (if rash spreads quickly or is not healing)
  • Strep Throat (if doctor diagnoses strep, stay home for 24 hours after antibiotics are begun)
  • Chicken Pox, Measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. If student has chicken pox, measles, rubella (German measles), mumps, or pertussis (whooping cough), they must stay home until a health care provider says the student is no longer contagious.

Student Safety

Student Safety is the #1 Job of School Personnel. School personnel work to keep all students safe by:

  • Checking attendance every day and calling you if your child is absent from school.
  • Asking all school visitors (including parents) to sign in and present a photo ID.
  • Allowing only you, or authorized adults, to pick your child up from school.
  • Practicing safety drills – such as fire, lockdown, and tornado drills –  because they need to be prepared to protect children if an emergency occurs.

Middle and High Schools have additional security personnel, including the School Security team and a Student Resource Officer (SRO). 

Safety for Young Students. School personnel also provide added support for our youngest students. They:

  • Help new students understand the importance of emergency drills and bells or sirens that may be used in those drills.  Your school principal will notify you before the first drills of the school year.
  • All kindergarten bus riders must be met at the stop by an authorized adult, or an authorized middle or high school sibling. If this does not happen, the bus driver will return the child to the school and you will be contacted.

Be A Safety Advocate. You can help keep your child safe at school by:

• Contacting the school when your child will be absent or late.
• Updating your Emergency Contact (weCare@school) information when you change your emergency contacts.
• Giving the school written notification if you authorize someone other than yourself to pick up your child from school.
• Helping your child understand emergency drills, and preparing them for drills ahead of time before they take place

Questions or Concerns?  If you have questions about school safety, contact your school’s principal, or security staff (in middle and high schools). You may also contact the FCPS Office of Safety & Security.

Who's Who in FCPS?

Fairfax County Public Schools is one of the largest school systems in the United States. There are more than 187,000 students in 198 schools and centers. FCPS employs more than 25,000 staff.

It is important to understand how FCPS is organized and governed, so that when you need help or have concerns, you know who to contact.

Important names and contact information to know:       

  • School Board members
  • FCPS Superintendent
  • Region Assistant Superintendent
  • School principal and key school staff members

Know Your Base School

Your base school is your neighborhood (attendance area) school. Students may be assigned to another school for special programs (e.g., advanced academic centers; special education centers; academies) or if a parent’s transfer request is approved.

Know Your Pyramid

Who To Call?

Parent
Teacher If you have questions, start with your child’s teacher. You may email the teacher with your questions or make an appointment to discuss your concerns.
Assistant Principal If you need additional help, or your concerns involve a teacher, contact an assistant principal (AP). In elementary school, there is at least one AP. In middle and high schools, there are more APs. You can contact the AP who leads the department in which the teacher is assigned (e.g., science, math, English) or the AP who leads the class or grade of your child.
School Principal If you are not satisfied, contact your principal. Email or arrange to meet with your principal.
Office of Region Assistant Superintendent

If you need additional help, you may contact your Region Assistant Superintendent (RAS). The RAS is the regional leader for schools in his/her area and monitors school effectiveness.

If you have questions about special education, transportation, or other issues, contact the appropriate departmental assistant superintendent (e.g., for Special Services, Facilities, etc.) instead.

Office of the Superintendent If you need additional help, or your issue has not been resolved, contact the Office of the Superintendent or your School Board representative.

If you do not know where to start, or you need help with navigating the school system, contact the FCPS Office of the Ombudsman.

Advocacy Tips: Keep a Record

  • Do your homework. Read FCPS regulations, contact the Ombudsman, speak with other parents and make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities.
  • Keep copies of all important documents (e.g., progress reports, certificates, and school letters) in a file so they can be found when you need them.
  • Gather and organize the information and documents you may need to ask questions, request action, etc.
  • If you have questions or concerns about your student, begin with a casual meeting or email to a teacher or counselor. If you have safety issues or concerns about a teacher, contact your principal or other school administrator.
  • If you are not satisfied with the response, follow up with the person you first contacted. You should get a response within 24 hours.
  • After the first meeting, keep a record of all your communications and contacts. Take notes – either during the meeting or soon after to remember what was discussed.
  • Follow-up with emails to record your understanding of the meetings or if any decisions or agreements were made. If you send a letter, use certified mail and request a return receipt so you have a record of if it was received.  

School Board Advocacy

The School Board sets policy for FCPS and their meetings are open to the public.

If you are concerned about programs or practices within FCPS, you may contact the Ombudsman, your Region Assistant Superintendent or your School Board member to voice your concerns.  

If you find that other parents have similar concerns, those individuals noted above or sign up to speak about your concerns to the School Board at a public meeting.

Common Questions

Help for Families

Does FCPS offer breakfast or lunch for students?

FCPS offers students healthy meals for breakfast and lunch for a nominal fee. You may purchase meals by adding funds to your student’s account through the online My School Bucks program or by writing a check or paying cash. Contact your school for additional information.

If you are unable to pay, you may qualify for free or reduced price meals (FRM).  Your child may be eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch if your family:

  • Receives Supplemental Nutrition Help Program (SNAP) benefits
  • Receives TANF (Temporary Help for Needy Families
  • Meets the financial eligibility requirements

Students may qualify for reduced-price meals, if they are:

  • In foster care
  • Eligible for Medicaid
  • In a family receiving WIC benefits
  • In a family that has income that meets eligibility requirements.

The FRM program is a confidential program for eligible students. To apply for FRM, you must complete an application EVERY YEAR. You may do so online or on your mobile device.

Fairfax County may offer additional food services, including after-school snacks or meals and a summer meals for kids program for students ages 5-18.  Contact your school’s social worker about summer food programs that may be available in your community.

Are there programs to assist with access to technology?

FCPS provides access to technology as part of its instructional practices and Portrait of a Graduate.

Computers

  • Students in grades 9-12 will have access to a laptop computer that can be used in school and at home. There is an annual technology support fee, with a sliding scale for students eligible for FRM.
  • Students in grades K-8 may be able to check out of a laptop computer from their school library.
  • Students may purchase products for home use directly from vendors, at discounted educational rates, through the Technology@Home program.

Internet 

Students who do not have Internet access at home may obtain a MiFi mobile hotspot device through their school librarian.

Are there resources for families dealing with an emergency?

If your family needs emergency housing, health care, or other financial help, contact Fairfax County Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) for help. Call 703-222-0880, TTY 711.

In addition your School Social Worker can help find resources in your community.

What if my family has become homeless?

Children experiencing homelessness have a right to attend school. You do not need a permanent address to register for school.

Please Be Aware:

  • You cannot be denied enrollment if all of the required documentation is not immediately available.
  • If your child needs free or reduced price meals, you do not need to complete an application if you are homeless.
  • If your family becomes homeless while your child is attending school, they may continue to attend their school and may get transportation services to and from school.
  • Your child has the right to participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, and local programs.
  • Homeless, unaccompanied youth have the same rights, and can stay in their school or enroll in any school whose attendance area they currently living.

If you need help, contact the FCPS Homeless Liaison at 571-423-4332.

Are there places to go for parenting help?

The Parent Resource Center (PRC) offers information and resources to help you support your student who may have learning challenges, special needs and disabilities. The PRC provides free workshops, parenting classes, confidential consultations, and houses a lending library with more than 6,000 publications.

The Parent Resource Center is located at:

Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services
2334 Gallows Road, Room 105
Dunn Loring, VA 22027

Parents may walk in, call (703-204-3941), or email (prc@fcps.edu).

Extra Support for Students

Where can I get a tutor for my child?

If your child needs help in a classroom subject, there may be resources at the school to help. For example,

  • Teachers may offer extra help after school, or remediation and enrichment during the school day.
  • Schools may offer after-school homework clubs or peer tutoring.
  • Schools may have an after-school tutoring partnership, where business partner’s employees volunteer for tutoring support.

If you are looking for additional one-on-one instruction for your student:

  • Your child’s teacher may be able to recommend a tutor.
  • Your High School College and Career Center may post information about available tutors.
  • The Parent Resource Center maintains a list of tutors.

How can I request a mentor for my child? 

Mentors can provide academic support to students; serve as role models; and offer attention and support. Some FCPS schools participate in the MentorWorks program that brings community-based business partners during the day to mentor students. 

Special Concerns

Does Immigration Status matter?

Children have a right under the U.S. Constitution to equal protection and access to free education, regardless of their or their parents’ immigration status.

YOU DO NOT have to answer questions about you or your child's or your immigration or visa status when you register your child for school.
YOU CAN NOT be asked to give your social security number to anyone who works at your student’s school.

FCPS does not enforce immigration laws. FCPS does not share student records with government agencies unless a parent gives consent or court order is issued.

Please Be Aware: If you are applying for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch for your students, you must complete a federal form. The form will not be seen by the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). The form will ask you to list the members of your household, dates of birth, relationships, and household income. You do not need a social security number.

If you are picking up your child at school, or visiting the school, you may be asked for identification. If anyone other than you is picking up your child from school, you must contact the school to let them know who has your permission to pick up your child. That person will be asked to provide identification.

If ICE requests any records relating to a student from a School Resource Officer (who also is a Fairfax County police officer), that request must be forwarded to the FCPS Office of Division Counsel, as provided by the School Resource Officer Memorandum of Understanding between FCPS and the Fairfax County Police Department.

Can I transfer my child to another school?

Parents may request  a transfer of their student  to another school if:

  • Your child care is not near your school and it is a hardship getting your child to school and to your caregiver
  • Your student’s medical, emotional, or social adjustment needs are better met at another school
  • Your student wishes to attend a high school curricular program not offered at the student’s base school (e.g., AP, IB, world language sequence;
  • You want to keep siblings together at one school
  • Your family moves outside of your school’s boundaries during your student’s last year of elementary, middle, or high school and you want them to finish the school year at their school
  • A student lives on a military installation or in military housing within Fairfax County

Transfers are not guaranteed, and must be approved by FCPS. R2230.13.III.B.

Please Be Aware:  FCPS may not provide transportation for some transfer requests.

Do you have a special process to children in military families?

Military families planning to move to Fairfax County within 120 days may enroll their children in school with appropriate documentation.

FCPS has joined the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3). If a military child falls under MIC3, they may:
enroll in school immediately without documentation of immunizations, with 30 days from date of enrollment to obtain any required immunizations; or,
if already enrolled in kindergarten in the sending state, may be eligible to enroll in kindergarten in Virginia even if the child never actually attended school in the sending state’s public schools.

If your family transfers to FCPS when your student is in high school, the MIC3 has rules about calculation of verified credits and exemptions to state standardized testing for high school diploma requirements.

The Department of Defense has a School Liaison Officer at Fort Belvoir who provides help with school registration and other issues to military families.

 

Mental Health Resources and Emergency Services Information

Call 911 in case of a life threatening emergency; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 
CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one.

CrisisText:  Text NEEDHELP to 85511

Dominion Hospital Emergency Room: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560 

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

Merrifield Center Emergency Services: 703-573-5679
The Merrifield Center of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board offers a range of clinical programming. Emergency services professionals work with people in psychiatric crisis who need immediate attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Need Help? Contact the FCPS Office of the Family and Student Ombudsman

The ombudsman is an independent, confidential resource for students, families, and community members. The ombudsman offers informal help to resolve concerns, problems and complaints. If you have a questions or concerns, start with the ombudsman.