November 2018 Newsletter

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Tamara Derenak Kaufax

Contact Tamara:

Phone: 571-423-1081


Cheryl Austin
Executive Admin Assistant


Upcoming Events

Evening Work Session

11/5   6:00 p.m.

Gatehouse Administration Center


Regular School Board Meeting

11/8   7:00 p.m.

Luther Jackson MS

All-Day Work Session

11/12   10:00 a.m.

Gatehouse Administration Center

Save the Date

Kaufax Koffee

December 12

9:30-11:30 AM

Grounded Coffee

6919 Telegraph Road


Tamara Derenak Kaufax's Newsletter

Happy Fall! The days are getting shorter, the cooler weather has finally arrived, and fall colors are almost in full bloom!


Along with school back in session for two full months, football and other fall sports are in full gear too. I hope everyone gets a chance to get out and enjoy them.


I want to thank everyone who attended back-to-school events. Parental support at your child or children’s school is key to their success, and I encourage you to stay engaged throughout the school year.


I also want to thank everyone who attended the movie Screenagers at Edison High School. This was a very impactful documentary that shared a lot of good insight on how families can navigate the digital world together. For some helpful resources, please visit their website:


I hope to see you at one of the upcoming Lee District events or my upcoming Kaufax Koffee. 


- Tammy

Applications Still Being Accepted for Facilities Planning Advisory Council from Lee and Springfield Districts; Deadline Extended to Friday, November 30

The Fairfax County Public School Board invites applications from Lee and Springfield District community members interested in serving on the Facilities Planning Advisory Council (FPAC). FPAC advises and informs FCPS staff and the School Board in the development of comprehensive, long term plans for facilities.


The Facilities Planning Advisory Council consists of 13 members, one from each Fairfax County district, three at-large representatives, and one representative from the City of Fairfax, each appointed for three year terms. The Board will be appointing two council members for terms ending June 30, 2021.


FCPS encourages individuals with experience in construction, engineering, architecture, land use planning, development, demographics, government operations and financing to apply. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, November 30.


Get more information and submit an application.


Auto Tech Program at Edison High School Academy

Last month I donated my second vehicle, my minivan with over 150,000 miles, to the Auto Tech Program at Edison High School. This program accepts late model vehicles for both instructional purposes and for the Student Auto Sales (SAS) program. SAS, sponsored by the Foundation for Applied Technical Education (FATE), refurbishes used vehicles for sale to the public. Proceeds benefit student competitions, scholarships, and the Automotive Technology and Automotive Collision Services programs. Your car donation is tax deductible.


The Auto Tech academy is a center within Edison HS that offers advanced technical and specialized courses in auto technology that successfully integrate career and academic preparation. Students are provided with opportunities to participate in a variety of career experiences including shadowing, mentoring, and/or internships with local businesses.


In the Auto Tech courses, students learn all aspects of repair, safety, and customer service by concentrating on four primary areas: brakes, steering and suspension, electrical/electronics, and engine performance. Students get a taste of real-world scenarios while being encouraged to enter into postsecondary education opportunities.



The Auto Tech Program at Edison is taught by John Bogan. John, an FCPS graduate, holds an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Technology. He has many years of trade experience and is an ASE Certified Master Technician. John taught Automotive Technology at Marshall Academy and Hayfield Secondary School before coming to the Edison Academy.


If you are interested in donating your vehicle, please call 571-423-1206, or email: Donate To FCPS for details.

The Match Game - Volunteering with Passion and Purpose


Join us for a workshop designed to help you match your skills, hobbies and passion with volunteer opportunities in our community while learning about GrandInvolve - a unique volunteer experience that uses your skills and experience to help students in our community succeed in school. 


Sunday, November 14 - 1:00-3:00 PM Sherwood Hall Library

2501 Sherwood Hall Lane

Alexandria, VA

Meeting Room 4 


For more information, contact


GrandInvolve is a program which facilitates volunteer opportunities in Fairfax County's Title I Schools. GrandInvolve recruits older adult volunteers who are interested in providing mentoring, reading and math tutoring, or classroom assistance. 

Serve on the Challenged Materials

The Challenged Materials Interdepartmental Review committee consists of individuals appointed by six School Board members (on a rotating basis) for a one-year term. It will convene in the case of a challenge to a library or instructional material initiated by a resident. A challenge initiated by an FCPS parent or staff member will begin with the local school process outlined in Regulation 3009.


If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact my assistant, Cheryl Austin:

7th Food Day Event at Lynbrook Elementary School


I had the wonderful pleasure of joining the first grade students at Lynbrook Elementary School for the Real Food for Kids' 7th FOOD DAY featuring Bayou Bakery's Chef David Gaus and FoodCorps for this special event. 


Chef Gaus and the kids created a Real Food for Kids' signature “big salad” in a baby pool with the help of students from the Title I school. In addition, FoodCorps created a hot grain breakfast with students in the new school garden, which was installed this past summer through a partnership with REAL School Gardens.


Real Food for Kids' Food Day was created in 2010 to help build awareness, and encourage healthy choices among preschool and elementary school students. Lynbrook is one of the first schools in Virginia to have a full-time FoodCorps member on staff this year to engage students in a wide-ranging food, health and wellness curriculum.


A special thank you to the event sponsors, Anthem Healthkeepers Plus and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. For more information about this program, go to:


6th Grade Students from Springfield Estates Elementary School on the National Mall for AARP's Ready.Set.Pack event

Springfield Estates Students Help Feed Needy Senior Citizens

Sara Deshong’s class from Springfield Estates Elementary participated with seven sixth grade classes at AARP’s Ready. Set. Pack. event on the National Mall, part of the organization’s campaign to fight hunger among needy senior citizens. Inside a huge tent, the Springfield Estates students joined teams of people in assembly lines to prepare nonperishable food packets.  The event goal for the day was 1 million dry meals for senior citizens in need of a hot meal.

Parent Tip: Prepare Your Teen To Handle Peer Pressure

What comes to mind when you think of peer pressure? Kids drinking, smoking, or taking other risks? The truth is that peer pressure can be both positive and negative. Kids encourage peers to do good things (such as volunteer) and bad things (such as drugs).


The bottom line is that all peer pressure requires kids to make a decision: “Should I do what others want me to do?” Here are ways to prepare your teen to make good choices:


- Uphold your values. Teens look for moral guidance from their parents—even when it seems most unlikely. A teen may curse or be defiant just to test his or her parents’ values. By disapproving of this, parents reinforce the message, “This is not OK.”


- Discuss peer pressure. Often, kids let peers influence them because they want to be liked. But there are more important things than short-term popularity. Ask your teen, “How would you feel if you gave in to negative peer pressure? Do real friends push you to do things you know are wrong?"


- Practice reacting. Role-play peer pressure situations with your teen. For example, a classmate wants him or her to smoke, or a friend encourages him or her to join the soccer team. What would he or she do? Talk about ways to handle negative peer pressure, such as standing up for yourself, ignoring the pressure or using humor to defuse a situation.


- Praise good decisions. Notice times when your teen does the right thing. If he or she defends an unpopular student or pledges not to drink alcohol, support him or her. Say, “I admire what you did. That took courage.”


Copyright 2018, the Parent Institute. Get more tips for parents and other family engagement resources.