November 2018 Newsletter from School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Mount Vernon District Newsletter banner

Contact Karen:

Karen Corbett Sanders

Phone: 571-423-1086


Lisa Madeja

Executive Admin Assistant

Karen Corbett Sanders's Newsletter

Dear Families,


This month seems to be flying by so fast, the chill of fall is in the air, we have already had our first snow day, and Thanksgiving is just a few days away!


As we near this Thanksgiving break, and Holiday Season, I want you to know how thankful I am to be able to represent the students, families and schools of Mount Vernon.  Every day I am amazed by the incredible talents of our students in the classroom, on our sports fields and in our auditoriums.  I believe that their success is greatly attributed to the nurturing community that comprises Fairfax County. Thank you for all that you do to encourage, support, and communicate with your student.  I especially appreciate the priority our families place on supporting your children’s education.  Working in partnership with you are our dedicated teachers and staff.  Please take the time to thank them during this holiday season.  I am very grateful for their work.


I also want to thank all of the community members who have contributed to the Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving celebrations in our schools.  I have been honored to attend a number of these celebrations.  It is wonderful to see our children embrace honor these Holiday traditions.


As we look forward to December I hope that you will take the opportunity to attend some of the performing arts programs in our schools.  A number of our booster organizations are conducting holiday craft and tree sales.  These are great opportunities to support our students and prepare for the holidays.  I look forward to seeing many of you at these community events.


Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the school break from November 21-23.


Seal for Excellence in Science and the Environment

A new graduation seal is available for students who enter grade 9 in the 2018-19 school year and beyond. The Board of Education Seal for Excellence in Science and the Environment may be earned by completing the following:

  • Earning a standard or advanced studies diploma
  • Completing at least three different level I science courses and at least one advanced-level or postsecondary-level science course  as approved by the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE)
  • Earning a grade of B or better in each of these four courses
  • Completing laboratory or field-science research and presenting it in a juried setting
  • Completing at least 50 hours of voluntary participation in community service or extracurricular activities that involve the application of science such as environmental monitoring, protection, management, or restoration.


FCPS Student SAT Scores Jump Significantly, Best National and State Peers

Fairfax County Public Schools seniors in the class of 2018 continue to exceed state and national averages on the SAT, according to results released by the College Board and the Virginia Department of Education. The mean score for 2018 was 1213, 28 points higher than the 2017 mean score of 1185, and is 103 points higher than the Virginia average and 164 points better than the U.S. average.  West Potomac had the largest increase in the county.


Learn more about FCPS SAT scores.


Fourteen Schools Recognized by VDOE as Military-Friendly Purple Star Schools

Fourteen Fairfax County public schools are among 59 schools in Virginia recognized as Purple Star schools, indicating they are military-friendly schools that have demonstrated their commitment to meeting the needs of military-connected students and their families.  In the Mount Vernon and Lee Districts Fort Belvoir Upper and Primary, Waynewood Elementary and Hayfield Secondary are recognized with this designation.  


The recognition was announced by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on the Educational Opportunity for Military Children. 


See what schools were recognized as Purple Star schools


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 or


Mount Vernon High School PTSA Holiday Market

MVHS Holiday Market

Mount Vernon High School PTSA presents the Mount Vernon High School Holiday Market


When: December 1 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Where: 8515 Old Mount Vernon Rd, Alexandria, VA 22309


Parent Resource Center December Workshops

The Parent Resource Center in Dunn Loring offers families a number of educational opportunities for families.  These include:


Mindfulness for Children: Evidence-Based Practices to Use at Home

The use of yoga and mindfulness in schools is on the rise and it’s no wonder why. These evidenced-based practices are the perfect tool to support your children in developing strong social-emotional development and improving behavior and academic performance. Participants will learn the basics and benefits of yoga and mindfulness and will walk away with practical and creative ways to encourage the use of these holistic practices at home.


Friday, December 7, 2018, 10 a.m.-noon

Register for Mindfulness for Children: Evidence-Based Practices to Use at Home


The IEP Transition Plan: Postsecondary Planning in Middle and High School

Join FCPS Career and Transition Services (CTS) to learn the importance of the Individual Education Program (IEP) Transition Plan for effective postsecondary planning in the middle and high school. Have in-depth conversations with CTS staff, and get answers to questions about what parents should look for, questions to ask the school team, questions to ask your child and what role the IEP plays in increasing self-advocacy.


Thursday, December 13, 2018, 10 a.m.-noon

Register for IEP Transition Plan: Postsecondary Planning in Middle and High School


Collaborative IEP Meetings: Parents as Partners

Join us for this important workshop for parents of children receiving special education services. Parents are essential partners in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process. Strategies to support your role in your child's IEP meetings will be shared and highlights include: the IEP process and its components, your role in the IEP meeting, responsibilities of the IEP team members and planning for your child's IEP meeting.


Thursday, December 20, 2018, 10 a.m.-noon

Register for Collaborative IEP Meetings: Parents as Partners

The workshops above will be held at the Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services, Entrance 1, Room 100.


Language interpreters and accommodations are available for all Parent Resource Center workshops upon request by contacting us at 703-204-3941 or


Sexual Harassment Prohibited in FCPS

Policy 4950, Sexual Harassment, states that no person in Fairfax County Public Schools shall be subjected to sexual harassment. It is the intent of the School Board to maintain an environment free from sexual harassment of any kind.


Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature amounting to or constituting harassment are prohibited. Employees should report complaints of sexual harassment to their supervisors or program managers. Students and parents of students should bring concerns to their school principals.


If, for any reason, an individual prefers not to address their concerns directly with a principal, supervisor, or program manager, he or she may consult with, or file a complaint with, the Office of Equity and Employee Relations by calling 571-423-3070, or by contacting the Title IX coordinator at


Important Dates to Remember

November 21-23 - Thanksgiving Break


December 14 - Students Released Three Hours Early


December 24, 2018 – January 04, 2019 - Holidays: Christmas/Winter Break


January 18 - Students Released Three Hours Early


January 21 - Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday - Student Holiday


School Board Meeting

The next School Board Meeting will be held on December 6, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School.  Information about upcoming meetings and agendas can be found here