October 2018 Newsletter from School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders

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Contact Karen:

Karen Corbett Sanders

Phone: 571-423-1086


Lisa Madeja

Executive Admin Assistant


Karen Corbett Sanders's Newsletter

Dear Families,


The beginning of this new and exciting school year has flown by and we are almost to the end of the first grading period! By this time, everyone has adjusted well to the school routines and we are well on our way to a productive school year. As we near the end of the first grading period and Thanksgiving Break, please ensure that your child stays on top of their assignments as it is easy to fall behind in the homestretch.


Below I have included some dates and events that you may find helpful. I wish everyone a successful finish to the first grading period of the year!


2019 Summer Residential Governor’s School Applications

The application process for the 2019 Summer Residential Governor’s Schools has begun.  The Summer Residential Governor’s Schools program is open to current high school sophomores and juniors and provides students with intensive educational experiences in visual and performing arts; humanities; mathematics, science, and technology; or through mentorships in marine science, medicine and health sciences, or engineering.  Students must indicate interest by completing the interest form no later than November 2, 2018, in order to be considered.


2017-18 Fairfax County Youth Survey

The Fairfax County Youth Survey is a comprehensive, anonymous and voluntary survey given each year to students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 that examines behaviors, experiences and other factors that influence the mental and physical health and well-being of Fairfax County's youth.   The Youth Survey is a collaboration of Fairfax County Government and Fairfax County Public Schools.  The results provide a snapshot of the county's youth and serve as a barometer of the community's effectiveness in fostering healthy choices in young people.


Data from the youth survey shows that having just three assets, also known as protective factors, gives students the tools they need to build resilience and to respond to life challenges and make healthier choices.  Protective factors include support to youth from family, school, and the community. Supports include parents being available to help, parents including youth in decision making, teachers being available for one-to-one conversations, teachers letting parent know when the student has done a good job, community adults to talk to, performing community service, and participating in extracurricular activities.  


Highlights from this year’s survey show that prevalence of overall alcohol use has decreased to the lowest levels since 2010.  However, alcohol use by 12th graders is comparable to that of their peers nationally.  What adults say and do matters. Of the students who perceived their parents thought it was very wrong for them to drink, 93% reported they did not drink alcohol in the last 30 days compared to 46% of students who perceived their parents thought it was not wrong at all to drink.


Lifetime and past 30-day marijuana use appear to be trending downward, down from 20.5% and 11.0% to 17.4% and 8.9%, respectively.  Past 30-day e-cigarette use (4.0%) continues to be more prevalent than regular cigarette use (2.6%), which is at its lowest recorded level.


The prevalence of depressive symptoms (i.e., feeling so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities) and suicidal ideation (having considered attempting suicide) are at their lowest rates since 2011: 25.9% and 13.7%, respectively.  The prevalence of being a victim of cyberbullying, as well as being an aggressor, continued to decrease in 2018.  There was a decrease in youth reporting being an aggressor of racial/cultural harassment, but there was a continued increase in being a victim.


There is a continued downward trend in youth who reported ever engaging in sexual intercourse (16.8%), down from 21.2% in 2012.


Complete Youth Survey reports, along with additional information on the survey and resources for interpreting and using the data, can be found on the Youth Survey website. New this year is an interactive tool that allows you to search and compare data.  Healthy Minds is for parents, educators, and community-based providers who are interested in supporting student mental health and wellness. It represents a collaboration between FCPS’ Office of Intervention and Prevention Services and the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. SUBSCRIBE to Healthy Minds and receive a monthly digest of our most recent articles.


Related Resources:

Public Comment on Proposed Language Arts Basal Instructional Materials

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is soliciting community feedback on proposed new Language Arts resources for English students in grades 9-12 and language arts electives beginning Monday, October 8, through Friday, November 9. Books will be available at the Willow Oaks Lobby located at 8270 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031.  Willow Oaks is open from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm each business day and will provide extended hours until 8:00 pm on the following dates: October 9, October 17, and October 25. Resources are also available by going online to https://www.fcps.edu/node/36853 and following the directions on the page.


A review committee composed of community members, administrators, and teachers will meet in November and December to review the resources and the community feedback.  Public review of the recommended materials is part of the process for selecting new resources.


Citizens are encouraged to review the proposed textbooks and online materials and complete comment sheets and/or the online survey.  All community feedback will be shared with School Board members before the vote at the School Board regular meeting.  The new resources will be available for purchase by the school division in July, 2019.



Paige Whitlock pewhitlock@fcps.edu   or 571-423-4763


Mount Vernon District Environment Expo

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck will be hosting a first Environment Expo: Saving the Earth One Person at a Time on Saturday, November 10, from 8 a.m. – noon at Walt Whitman Middle School.  The Expo will feature an Exhibit Hall with a variety of County agencies, service providers and educators, informational and hands-on workshops and screenings of the film "Hometown Habitat".


Please join us for some or all of the Expo to learn, engage, and act to save our environment!


For more information, please click HERE.


Volunteer Opportunity: 3rd Annual Travis Manion Foundation Operation Legacy Project Veterans Day of Service at West Potomac High School


PLEASE JOIN US for a day of service at West Potomac High School!

Who: West Potomac High School Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators, Active Duty Military and Veterans, First Responders and Inspired Civilians

What: 2018 Travis Manion Foundation Operation Legacy Project at WPHS aka Veterans Day of Service – We’ll be painting, weeding, mulching, and grilling hamburgers and hot dogs too!

When: Monday, November 12, 2018; 9am-3pm


  • To honor our military veterans, families of the fallen and first responders and connect them to our next generation via service right here at home.
  • To build some Character “muscle memory” through Service!
  • To instill Travis Manion’s mantra, “If Not Me, Then Who…” and have FUN!

Groups Participating:

  • Leadership Class, SGA, NHS, JROTC, MVP Club, Police Explorer Post 2252, LEAD Club, FCCLA Club, PTSA, Travis Manion Foundation, Team RWB


  • 9:00am Volunteers Begin Arriving and Marching Band/Drum Line Performs (Students, Staff Members, Parents, Veterans, First Responders, Inspired Civilians)
  • 9:30am-10:00am Opening Ceremony 
    • Welcome – Jim O’Farrell, TMF
    • Present Colors – WPHS JROTC
    • National Anthem – WPHS Choir members
    • Welcome to the Veterans Day of Service at WPHS – Assistant Principal Statz
    • Remarks from Karen Corbett Sanders – Chair, Fairfax County School Board
    • Military Veteran Guest Speaker – TBD
    • Award “If Not Me, Then Who…” Challenge Coins
    • Thank You to Our School & Community Supporters for Making This Day Possible!
    • Transition to Project Teams
  • 10:00am Move to project areas
  • 10:10am Projects are underway
  • 11:45am-12:30pm Hamburgers and Hot Dogs at Stadium (Administrators/Teachers/Team Leads notify students when to go to stadium)
  • 2:15pm Projects completed
  • 2:15pm-2:30pm Clean up
  • 2:30pm – Closing Ceremony – Football field
  • 2:55pm Depart

CONTACT: Jim O’Farrell; Travis Manion Foundation Ambassador; jofarrell@amsgcorp.net; 571-283-1871.


QUANDERPALOOZA Community Yard Sale


Saturday, November 3rd

9:00am - 1:00pm

Quander Road School

6400 Quander Road School

Alexandria, VA 22307


Quander Road School's annual community yard sale* is almost here! Check out these highlights:

  • My Friend's Closet will have vintage and lightly used clothing for sale
  • Prom Dresses priced to sell
  • Craft Vendors (jewelry and other hand made items)
  • Quander Road School's Famous Cake Walk! 
  • Concessions sold on-site

Got stuff to sell? Clear out your garage, closet and attic! Vendor? Tables still available and are just $25 each!


For more information contact Ms. Rose or Mrs. Williams at 703-718-2400


* All proceeds support Quander Road School educational programs


GrandInvolve: Changing the World - One Child at a Time

GrandInvolve - a program which facilitates volunteer opportunities in Fairfax County's Title I schools continues to grow. Learn how to help students in our local community succeed in school. GrandInvolve is looking for people who enjoy being with children and have an hour or more each week to volunteer. 


For more information, please contact info@grandinvolve.org or www.grandinvolve.org.


Save the Date: TOUR de MOUNT VERNON

The Tour de Mount Vernon date has been changed due to inclement weather. Explore your community and join the ride on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8:30 am at the Fort Hunt Park. Registration has been extended until November 17.


Mt Vernon

Important Dates to Remember

November 2 - First Grading Period Ends


November 5-6 - Student Holidays


November 21-23 - Thanksgiving Break


School Board Meeting

The next School Board Meeting will be held on November 8, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School.  Information about upcoming meetings and agendas can be found here