September 2017 Recap 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

Karen Corbett Sanders's Newsletter

Dear Families,


I want to welcome you again to the 2017-2018 school year! This is such an exciting time for your child as well as our FCPS teachers and staff. Our teachers and staff have put forth countless hours in preparation for this school year, and I am happy to report that we have had a successful start to this exciting new year.


As we begin a new school year, I am reminded of the importance of parent involvement in the education of our children. It is a crucial part of student achievement and success. This year, please consider volunteering your time in the classroom or during a school activity. When we work together as a community, our children succeed.


As your Mount Vernon District School Board Member, I look forward to serving you and your children during this exciting year. Below you will find information about some new programs in our schools in addition to a few events that are happening in our schools. I wish everyone a successful and fruitful 2017-2018 school year!


Universal Screener | Screening for Success!

Universal screening in reading and math is providing FCPS with information about strengths and needs in students’ foundational skills, or the building blocks for reading and math success. Gaps in foundational skills are the root of many later learning difficulties; early detection and intervention in these gaps can help students reach their potential.


Basics about the Universal Screener

The universal screener provides an initial view of all students’ foundational skills to help teachers identify students who may have challenges in reading or mathematics.

The reading assessment evaluates each student’s skills in five areas:

  • phonological awareness
  • phonics
  • high frequency words
  • vocabulary
  • comprehension

The math assessment evaluates each student’s skills in four areas:

  • number and operations
  • algebra and algebraic thinking
  • measurement and data
  • geometry

All students from kindergarten through sixth grades are assessed three times a year in fall, winter, and spring. In addition, students may participate in shorter assessments monthly to monitor their growth. These assessments are online and adaptive, meaning that the difficulty of the items adjust depending upon each student’s performance.


The universal screener was successfully piloted in 2016/2017 prior to division-wide roll out.


To learn more about universal screener and to watch the video, click HERE.


School Board Student Leadership Program

The School Board is accepting applications for the Student Leadership Development Program, open to any high school sophomore or junior in good academic standing. The program is for students interested in a future in law, government or public policy. Twelve students will be chosen to work closely with the School Board to how FCPS is governed and will give the students opportunities to participate on various advisory committees to the School Board, and even to seek election as the student representative on the School Board.


The Student Leaders attend and participate in:


• Group orientation (December 2017)

• School Board forum work session (January 2018)

• Mock Forum (March 2018)

• Mock Work Session (May 2018)

• Program Completion Ceremony (June 2018)


Students should submit the brief application and one-page statement of interest to their principals by October 16, 2017. Principals will submit applications to the School Board Office by October 27, 2017. Each School Board member will select one student from their magisterial district, and the at-large members will select one student from all the applications received. The selected student leaders and remaining applicants will be notified by email in late November.


For questions, please contact Barb Gibbs in the School Board Office at:, or at 571-423-1063..


The program information and application can be found on our website


South County Marching Stallions | Twilight Rock n Run

Support the South County Marching Stallions on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm for “The Twilight Rock n Run 5K, 1 Mile Glow Walk and Kids Fun Run.” This is a family-oriented evening run with music to benefit the South County High School Band.


All events begin on South County High School’s campus and will end in the school’s stadium. The 5K race is on a paved, mostly flat course that goes past Laurel Hill Golf Club and South County Middle School. The overall top male and female, as well as the top 3 runners in 5 age categories and fastest team will receive awards!


To register go to:


Collaborative IEP Meetings: Parents as Partners

Parents are essential partners in the IEP process. Join us for this important workshop to learn strategies to support your role in your child's IEP meetings. Highlights will include the IEP process and it's components; your role in the IEP meeting; responsibilities of the IEP team members and planning for your child's IEP meeting. Register now!

Friday, October 13, 2017
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services
2334 Gallows Road
Entrance 1 - Room 100
Dunn Loring, VA (map)


Moving on to Life in the Community

Don't miss this free Resource Fair for students with disabilities and their parents! Learn about vocational, residential, leisure, recreational, independent living and advocacy options. This Resource Fair is for all individuals requiring ongoing employment and community support services after graduation. Register now!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
6:30 - 8:45 p.m.
Lake Braddock Secondary School
9200 Burke Lake Road
Entrance 14 or 15
Burke, VA (map)


The Social Impact of ADHD

Children with ADHD often struggle in social situations and have difficulty with peer relationships. Many parents feel frustrated not knowing how to help their children make the friends they so strongly desire. Join Cathi Cohen, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Group Psychotherapist, author and expert in the field of social skills training for children to learn strategies to help support your child. Register now!

Friday, October 20, 2017
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services
2334 Gallows Road
Entrance 1 - Room 100
Dunn Loring, VA (map)


Postsecondary Education Planning - Coffee and Conversation

Join staff from FCPS Career and Transition Services to learn about disclosure, accessing accommodations, and disability support services as you plan postsecondary education for your child with special needs. Register now!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
9 - 10:30 a.m.
Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services
2334 Gallows Road
Entrance 1 - Room 100
Dunn Loring, VA (map)


Dyslexia Open House - SAVE THE DATE

Celebrate the launch of the NEW FCPS Online Dyslexia Handbook, visit exhibit tables, check out NEW resources in the Parent Resource Center library and more!  Registration opens soon.


Friday, October 27, 2017
Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services
2334 Gallows Road
Dunn Loring, VA (map)


Important Dates to Remember

October 9 - Columbus Day - Student Holiday


October 11 - PSAT Testing - All High Schools


School Board Meeting

The next School Board Meeting will be held on October 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School.  Information about upcoming meetings and agendas can be found here