March 2017 Newsletter from School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders

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Contact Karen:

Karen Corbett Sanders

Phone: 571-423-1086


Lisa Tolstykh

Executive Admin Assistant

Phone: 571-423-1055

Karen Corbett Sanders' Newsletter


Dear Families,


Spring is almost here, and the second semester is off to a great start! The second half of the school year is always a busy time for our students, so please encourage your students to stay on top of their assignments while enjoying their spring activities.  Additionally, please make sure that they get a full night’s rest and start the day with a healthy breakfast.  This is especially important as our standards of learning testing calendar begins.  Each of our school principals should be communicating the dates scheduled for each building.


Unused Snow Days

No snow - can we start summer early?


With this year’s warm weather and lack of snow many people have been asking if the school year will end earlier. Unfortunately, the short is answer is no because of state requirements.


As a learning organization, FCPS values the importance of as much instructional time as possible for our students. Virginia law requires school districts to provide 180 days of classroom instruction each school year. The state allows local jurisdictions to be granted a waiver from the 180 day requirement by demonstrating that students have met a minimum of 990 hours of instruction when severe weather conditions or other emergency situations require schools to be closed.


With the adoption of full day Mondays for elementary school students in the 2014-15 school year, the School Board began approving a 180-day calendar. Prior to this, FCPS adopted a 183-day school year calendar with the three extra days to be used for snow and other emergencies. In the past, once FCPS used the three snow days, additional days had to be added to the end of the school year to meet the state requirement of hours because the elementary schools did not meet the 990 hour minimum.


The current FCPS planned school year exceeds the 990 hour state requirement because of the length of the student day. The additional time (hours) is converted to “days” that can be used in the event of inclement weather. An advantage of the built in hours is that days do not need to be added on at the end of the year, as was done in years past, when too many snow days were used. Last year, our area had a very significant storm which required the use of most of the additional time built in since FCPS had eight days closed due to weather and a number of late openings.


There is no means for days to be given back at the end of the year because those additional “days” are simply the excess time beyond 990 hours and, if the days were given back, FCPS would fall short of the required 180-day school year. In addition, teacher contracts (mostly 194 days in length) are based on a 7.5 hour day and are tied to the number of school days per year with teacher workdays included.


While we are hopeful for continued good weather, winter is not over yet, and some years we have had severe spring weather.


FCCPTA Diversity Conference: Diversity in the Classroom

You are invited to attend FCCPTA's Diversity Conference: Supporting Diverse Students with Disabilities in the Classroom



Thursday March 2, 2017

from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST



Annandale High School
4700 Medford Drive
Annandale, VA 22003


Download Flyer 

Diversity Conf

Join us for An Introduction to Special Education

Is your child in the referral or eligibility phase of the special education process?  Do you want to know more about how the process works? Join us for this workshop to learn more about the process, resources available and how to help your child be successful.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services
2334 Gallows Road
Entrance 1 - Room 100
Dunn Loring, Virginia (map)


Register online now or call 703-204-3941


Hollin Meadows Community Cookbook

Hollin Meadows PTA Care & Share Committee would like to announce their 1st Community Cookbook! The proceeds from the cookbook will go to towards the Weekend Backpack program which provides food assistance FRM eligible to Hollin Meadows students over the weekend when they are away from school-supported meals to make sure they do not go hungry.  


The cookbook orders can be made by submitting an email request to: Questions can also be directed to this email address. The deadline for submissions and orders is Friday, March 3.


Orders can be mailed to:

Hollin Meadows Elementary School

ATTN: PTA Care & Share Committee - Cookbook

2310 Nordock Place

Alexandria, VA 22306  


Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge and Wellness Expo

Less than Two Weeks Left to Register!


The Culinary Challenge

This event begins with a culinary challenge in which high school and middle school students from Northern Virginia, specifically Fairfax County, compete with lunch, breakfast and snack dishes designed to bring restaurant-quality food to our school cafeterias. Using approved ingredients and USDA school nutrition guidelines, students demonstrate how they – the consumers – can impact the taste and reputation of the lunch line with creative approaches that benefit entire school systems.


The Expo Workshops

The challenge is paired with an expo that brings together celebrity chefs and experts to share information and insight on healthier cooking, healthier lifestyles and healthier futures. This year we welcome back Bonnie Benwick and Renee Comet of the Washington Post Food Section and Aviva Goldfarb of The Six O’clock Scramble. We’ll also be joined by a locally renowned hand-crafted small ice cream maker, and a sports nutritionist and a team from George Mason University School of Nutrition and Food Studies.


Register Today!


GrandInvolve: Changing the World - One Child at a Time

Join GrandInvolve- a program which facilitates volunteer opportunities in Fairfax County's Title I schools.  GrandInvolve recruits 50+ adult volunteers who are interested in mentoring, providing reading and math tutoring, as well as assisting in the classroom. 


GrandInvolve is currently seeking a core group of community volunteers for the GrandInvolve Steering Committee in the Mount Vernon District.  Tasks include developing timelines, establishing goals and objectives, networking in the community, and developing community partnerships.  


Interested? Please Contact: or


Important Dates to Remember

March 2 - Read Across America Day


March 12 - Daylight Saving time 2017 will start at 2:00 AM


March 17 - St. Patrick's Day


March 24 - Student Holiday


School Board Meeting

The next School Board Meeting will be held on March 9, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School.  Information about upcoming meetings and agendas can be found here