Mt. Vernon District Newsletter

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Contact Karen:

Karen Corbett Sanders

Phone: 571-423-1086


Annie Meier
Executive Admin Assistant

As I write this letter, I am looking forward to a very busy and exciting week and month ahead. Issues before the board in the next month include budgets, boundaries, calendars, grading policies, and summer learning opportunities.


On Tuesday, I expect that our Board of Supervisors will adopt a budget that will provide an additional $33.6 million above the county executive’s advertised budget, for a total increase in county funding for school operations of more than $88 million.  Based on this budget allocation, the School Board now has the opportunity to begin to reinvest in teacher salaries and class size reductions while avoiding cuts to vital student programming. Please reach out and let the Board of Supervisors know how much we appreciate the “boost” in the budget.
Once the County adopts the budget, the School Board will begin deliberations on how to allocate the funds received.  After revenue adjustments and division wide cost savings adjustments, FCPS projects the gap between the requested budget and the allocated budget to be $9.4 million.  FCPS has third quarter surplus of $5.3 million available as one-time funding.  If the one-time funding is applied to the 2017 budget, the remaining gap is estimated to be $4.1 million. 

The schedule for the remainder of the budget calendar follows:

April 26 County BoS adopts tax rate and allocates the transfer to schools

May 2    Budget work session

May 12  Approved budget presented for new business

May 17  Public Hearings to hear from the community

May 18  Public Hearings (continued if necessary)

May 19  Budget Work Session

May 26  Vote on New Budget

July 1    FY 2017 begins 



The School Board will be asking the Superintendent to prepare a 2017-2018 Calendar which begins 1 week in advance of the September 4, Labor Day and ends earlier taking into account the earlier start date. Thank you to all those who let their views be known through the recent survey.

Today is the beginning of the 4th quarter.  Over the next 6 weeks our students will be taking Standards of Learning tests as well as AP and IB exams.  During this busy time please remind your students of the importance of getting a full night’s sleep, eating a good breakfast, and taking advantage of opportunities to reduce stress.  Consult your local school calendars for specific dates. 


Teacher - Staff Appreciation Week May 2-6

I am always amazed and grateful for the many ways that our teachers and staff go above and beyond for our students.  The first week of May is the week in which we recognize all of our teachers and staff who work so hard to ensure that each of our children has a great education.  Please take the opportunity to thank and recognize those teachers and staff who make a difference in your child’s life.  This can be done with a short email, a kind word, or by joining in on the activities sponsored by your local parent organizations.



With the opening of the Fort Belvoir upper school in fall 2016, there will be available capacity in Woodlawn Elementary. The second of two community meetings to discuss a boundary realignment for Woodlawn Elementary School will be held at Woodley Hills Elementary School on May 5, 2016 from 6:30 – 7:30.  Copies of the Division Superintendent's recommended boundary adjustments and assignment plans are available for review Recommended Adjustments and Assignments.

The School Board will hold a public hearing Tuesday, May 17 at 5 p.m., at Jackson Middle School for citizen comments on the potential boundary realignment. Beginning at 6:00 a.m. on May 6, 2016, you may Sign Up Online to address the Board or call the School Board Office at 571-423-1075 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


Grading Policies

FCPS has been working with students, teachers and central office staff to address concerns regarding grading policies.  The objective is to separate work habits from achievement, have a common approach to retaking assessments to demonstrate mastery of knowledge, minimize the impact of a single grade on a quarter grade and consider the impact of 0s on the current system of a 100 point grade scale.  They now want to hear from parents.  A survey is available on line through 4/29/2016 and can be found at Grading Policy.


Summer Learning Opportunities

Registration for summer learning opportunities is now underway.  Opportunities range from credit recovery (grades 7-12) to enrichment (grades 1-12).  Additionally, there are on-line courses for students and ESOL classes (grades 7-12). 

Summer Learning 


Community Events

April 28 - May 7  -- West Potomac’s Beyond the Page Theater presents Starlight Express
April 23- 30 –- Historic Gardens Week Celebrate by visiting one of our historic residences
April 30 –- SPRINGfest  Free Family Day 10 am – 4pm  sponsored by Fairfax County Park Authority in recognition of Arbor Day and Earth Day Hosted at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center

April 30 –- Hollin Meadows Partnership for Science and Math Education Gala  7 p.m.
May 1 –- Wetlands Awareness Day at Huntley Meadows Park 12 -4 participate in hands on activities and crafts and discover nature at education stations
May 2  –- Healing Voices  A free film screening at Sherwood Hall Library 7 p.m., in recognition of Children’s Mental Health Awareness day on May 5th.
May 6 – 14 --South County HS Theater Department presents Guys and Dolls
May 7 -- The 27th Annual Carl Sandburg Pantherlon 5K followed by a pancake breakfast.
June 10-12 --Groveton High School Celebration A double celebration of the school's 60th anniversary and the class of 1976 40th year reunion -- the last class to graduate from the old building on Popkins Lane (now Bryant).