Back to School 2016 Newsletter from Pat Hynes

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Hunter Mill District Newsletter

Contact Pat:

Phone: 571-423-1082

Melanie Turpin
Executive Admin Assistant

Back to School Newsletter

Welcome back to school! I've been visiting with the Hunter Mill principals over the summer, and I know how hard everyone has worked to make sure the school year gets off to a great start. Thanks especially to the teachers and specialists for creating a welcoming, challenging environment for every child. And to the amazing PTA volunteers out there who make a huge difference every day, but especially at this busy time.

New FCPS Website

If you haven't checked out the new FCPS website,, please take a few minutes to explore! Thanks to FCPS Communications and IT staff for giving us all a new, more powerful and user-friendly tool. Here are some tips for making the most of the new website. Let me know if you have any questions or find any glitches.


School Funding Advocacy

I want to thank everyone who took the time this past year to advocate for improved funding for our great schools. After nearly a decade of revenues not meeting needs, we were spending $1,000 less per child in real dollars than in 2008. Thanks to the efforts of so many community members who made clear that their priorities include well-funded schools, our county and state elected officials responded with a much-needed shot in the arm. We begin the 2016-17 school year able to make critical reinvestments, including moving our teacher salary scale halfway to market average, and capping elementary class sizes at 30. That is good news, but it is not a complete recovery. Holding onto our great teachers means truly competitive pay, and attracting families and businesses means challenging every child every day in every classroom. This community's resounding support for FCPS makes me hopeful about continued progress.


Meals Tax Referendum

We all know this is an important election year. Turnout in Presidential elections is always high - typically over 80% in Fairfax County. Before you go to the polls, please don't forget the important down-ballot items, in particular the Meals Tax Referendum. Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax City and the towns of Herndon and Vienna already have a meals tax. The proposed 4% meals tax for Fairfax County is estimated to bring in approximately $100 million - equivalent to the revenue from this year's 4-cent property tax rate increase. Seventy percent of the revenue every year would go to FCPS. I encourage everyone to learn more about this important referendum question before November 8.


What's New in Hunter Mill Schools

I want to recognize the great work of FCPS Facilities staff in our Hunter Mill schools. We have a lot of building going on! Terraset, Westbriar and Thoreau have moved fully into their beautiful new spaces and plans for other expansions are on time, on budget and promise exciting innovations. FCPS has 2.2 million square feet under construction across the county, with another 2.1 million square feet in design. Making all those trains run on time every day is a tremendous feat! I'm especially excited that Facilities leadership is actively looking into alternative, sustainable energy sources for our buildings. I know many in the community join me in a feeling of urgency about that transition.


School Board's Student Leadership Development Program

The School Board's Student Leadership Development Program is an opportunity for one high school student from each magisterial district to shadow a School Board member for a year and participate in policy decision-making exercises. The Board learns a great deal from these students, and I believe the students develop important knowledge and new skills. If your high school sophomore or junior is interested, please find out more here. Let me know if you have any questions!


I wish you all a wonderful start to the new school year!  Please keep in touch.


Pat Hynes