Employee News - Tuesday, 1/8/19

FCPS staff attending the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) conference.

FCPS educators attended the 2018 Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) Conference. (Photo: Tim Stahmer, retired )

Superintendent Brabrand to Present FY 2020 Proposed Budget on January 10

Dr. Brabrand will release FCPS' FY 2020 Proposed Budget (for the 2019-20 school year) at the School Board meeting on Thursday, January 10, at Jackson MS, at 7 p.m. The main budget priority will be employee compensation. We'll share more details in next week's issue of Employee News. View FCPS' 2019-20 Budget Development Calendar. 

VDOE Teacher-Staff Working Conditions Survey Available January 14

As directed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), Human Resources-Business Services will coordinate the online Virginia Teacher/School-Based Staff Working Conditions Survey January 14-February 8. School codes have been distributed to principals. Information collected from the survey is intended to be informational. As a result of the VDOE Working Conditions Survey, FCPS' Employee Engagement Survey will be administered in fall 2019. Get more information.

New Year’s Resolutions Made Easy

Make your New Year’s resolutions count! If you’ve decided to improve your overall health and wellness, get help from Learning to Run and Motivate Me, which are part of FCPS' Employee Assistance Program's (EAP) Healthy Guidance Wellness Coaching. One-on-one coaching is only a phone call away, so contact the EAP toll-free at 855-355-9097 today!

Photo of the Week

Office of School Support staff and Superintendent Brabrand with ice cream

Eating ice cream is a treat, especially when it's served by Superintendent Brabrand! He 
was the celebrity scooper at an ice cream social sponsored by the Caring Culture Committee at Willow Oaks Administrative Center. Members of the Office of School Support joined Dr. Brabrand in the photo above. They include (left to right) Krystal Rodney, Dana Chen, Jennifer Lempp, and Ali Getsloff. (Photo: Dana Chen)

Attend ERFC’s Annual Retirement Seminar

Where can you go to hear comprehensive FCPS retirement information all in one place? Attend the Educational Employees' Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County's (ERFC) popular Annual Retirement Seminar on Friday, January 25, 8 a.m.-noon, at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The seminar is open to all members and will feature presentations from ERFC, Virginia Retirement System (VRS), FCPS Office of Benefit Services, and the Social Security Administration. Representatives from the FCPS 403b and 457 plans, Apple Federal Credit Union, International City/County Management Association-Retirement Corporation (ICMA-RC), and the VRS Hybrid Plan defined contribution manager will also be on site. Please register via MyPLT and search "ERFC." 

FCPS Announces Proposed FY 2020-24 Capital Improvement Program

FCPS released its proposed FY 2020-24 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), reflecting a five-year requirement of $972 million, or roughly $243 million per year. Student membership in certain locations is projected to exceed the school system’s ability to accommodate students within existing school buildings. This will require an increase in the allocation of capital dollars to build new facilities and provide for capacity enhancements, along with boundary adjustments. Included in the new CIP are proposals for three new elementary schools and one new high school. Read the news release.

See FCPS' New Sizzle Reel!

FCPS Logo on a video thumbnail

FCPS’ logo is an important identifier of the school system to students, parents, teachers, and the broader community. Included in our logo is, “Engage. Inspire. Thrive.” Those words are an important element of the FCPS brand. They help tell the story of who we are and why we are here. They speak to our passion for transforming children’s lives and shaping their future. We created a short “sizzle” or promotional reel to help convey that message. Please take a look and be sure to visit FCPS’ Brand page.

#OurFCPS Faces: Frances Whalen

Frances Whalen, security system monitor


Frances Whalen is in her third year working at FCPS in the Office of Safety and Security (OSS). As a security systems monitor, Frances provides guidance and support to school staff, students, and members of the community. She says, “I am part of a team that provides security and safety services for the school system [24 hours a day/7 days a week].” Frances' favorite part of the job is that, “Every day is an adventure. I never know what I am going to deal with minute by minute; it can be exciting and stressful and sometimes even fun. I enjoy coming to work and making a difference.”

Frances recently graduated from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Emergency Management Basic Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. The Academy consists of five courses, covering a broad range of emergency management topics that provide a comprehensive foundation for skills needed in resolving critical incidents. According to Thomas Rogers, coordinator for security operations, “Ms. Whalen completed this intensive program at her own time and expense. The training she now possesses will be of great value to the Office of Safety and Security in the unfortunate event of a large scale disaster or major incident affecting our school system.“ 

Frances’ supervisor, Jeff Steinhoff, agrees. “Frances is always striving to increase her knowledge professionally. It seems as though she is always involved in a class or seminar after hours which will be beneficial to her in the work place. I admire her willingness to sacrifice her personal time to this end.”

Outside of work, Frances enjoys spending time with her friends and family, crafting, and reading. She says, “I also enjoy volunteering with my CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and taking part in local exercises and trainings based around the five phases of emergency management.” 

Congratulations, Frances, on your FEMA certification, and thank you for your commitment to providing a safe and secure learning environment for FCPS  staff, students, and visitors!

Spring Tuition Reimbursement Is Now Open!

The application portal for spring reimbursement is now open. Interested contracted employees may apply for up to $700 in tuition reimbursement for one spring course (spring terms with a start and end date between January 2-May 31). To apply for tuition reimbursement, use FCPS’ new Tuition Reimbursement Portal from now through February 15. (VPN required if accessing remotely.) Tuition reimbursement is available on a first come, first served basis using the current priority list on this page. For more information, please email Tuitionbenefits@fcps.edu.

Save the Date: Office Support Employee Professional Development Conference on April 5

The Office Personnel Advisory Council (OPAC) is sponsoring the first Office Support Employee Professional Development Conference on Friday, April 5, at Hayfield SS, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This conference is for Schedule A office support employees (formerly US-19 and below). Dr. Brabrand will provide opening remarks, followed by a keynote address by Ron Culberson. Ron is a speaker, author, and humorist whose mission is to change workplace culture, so that organizations are more productive and staff are more content. Participants will also attend break-out sessions around topics of interest that support FCPS' Strategic Plan.

The purpose of the Office Support Employee Professional Development Conference is to build stronger professional relationships throughout the Division with emphases on customer service, high-performing teams, and equity and cultural responsiveness. Registration will open in late January. Please contact Joan Carboni, jecarboni@fcps.edu.

After-School Specials for Instructional Coaching

FCPS' Instructional Coaching Program is hosting three after-school specials for teacher leaders interested in becoming an instructional coach for the 2019-20 school year. Sessions will be held on January 10, February 21, and March 7, from 4:45-7:45 p.m., at Willow Oaks. The sessions will focus on the instructional coaching model in FCPS, roles of an instructional coach, and application process. Interested teacher leaders should register for one of the sessions in MyPLT. Search for course IC-1001. Please contact Michelle Lis, mllis@fcps.edu, for more information.

Introduction to Special Education Course

In spring 2019, through a partnership between the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement, the Department of Special Services, and the Department of Human Resources, current contracted employees who would like to become special education teachers will have the opportunity to access EDSE 501—Introduction to Special Education—tuition free with George Mason University. 

Preference will be given to classroom support employees. Eligible candidates must have a principal or manager recommendation, agree to the terms of the program, and hold a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution. (Candidates with degrees from foreign universities are eligible, but have additional requirements.) Upon completion of the course, successful candidates will apply for Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provisional licensure, join a certification or degree program leading to full licensure in special education, and seek to fill a special education vacancy in fall 2019.

EDSE 501 is an online, on-demand master’s level class. View course details. If interested, please work with your principal to complete documents found in the January 7 ActionGram. Contact Nicki Conners, naconners@fcps.edu, with questions.

J.P.  Morgan quote: The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

Who's on #TeacherTuesday


Every Tuesday, we highlight one of FCPS' amazing teachers on Instagram as part of our #TeacherTuesday series. Please stop by FCPS' Instagram page and check out today's #TeacherTuesday profile

Staff Staples

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Employee News is sent to all FCPS employees every Tuesday. Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!