Employee News - Tuesday, 2/19/19

Newington Forest ES staff on Valentine's Day


Secret Valentine's Day Pals at Newington Forest ES gathered after enjoying donuts and learning who their secret pal was. (Photo: Angela Thompson, principal)

VRS Hybrid Members: Take Advantage of Matching Retirement Contributions

Most instructional and school-based staff hired after January 1, 2014, are members of the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan. If you are a hybrid member, it’s time to enroll or make changes to voluntary contributions

Leave of Absence Application Due March 1

Employees who intend to request or extend a Leave of Absence (LOA) for the 2019-20 school year must indicate their intentions by or before March 1. An LOA is an approved, unpaid, extended absence from work which exceeds 30 calendar days. Additional information about leaves of absence and the application process can be found on the FCPS Leaves of Absence webpage. Please contact the Disability and Leaves Unit with questions at HRConnection@fcps.edu or 571-423-3200, Option #1.

Note: If you are expecting a baby or planning to adopt a child, the March 1 due date does not apply to you. If you are currently on an LOA for child care, it does apply to you.  

Photo of the Week 

Frost MS Principal Anthony Harris stretching with students during a physical education class.

Frost MS Principal Anthony Harris surprised students by joining them for a good stretch during PE. (Photo: Shannon DiGaudio, crisis resource teacher)


Community-building activity at All-County Principal Meeting.

Photo of the Week Mystery Solved!

Last week, we asked for help identifying the woman with Carson MS Assistant Principal Sybil Terry, during a recent All-County Principals Meeting. Thanks to Groveton ES Teacher Hayley Mondres, who identified the mystery woman as Gina Amenta. Gina is Groveton's instructional coach.

First-Class Awards Nominations due by March 6

First-Class Awards are presented each year to individuals who support, design, or implement inclusion activities that result in positive outcomes for students. Please complete this form to nominate an administrator, a staff member, or a student who has made an exceptional contribution to inclusive practices in Fairfax County Public Schools. Nominations close March 6.

#OurFCPS Faces: Nicole Vide

Nicole Vide, Mason Crest ES first grade teacher


Nicole Vide, first grade teacher at Mason Crest ES, joined FCPS in 2012. (She's been teaching since 2007.) Nicole is also part of Mason Crest's House Committee. She says, "This group of teachers plans fun and exciting events for all of our students [...]. Every classroom is grouped into one of four colored houses. Different grade levels within the color house are assigned to each other. Those grade level buddies meet once a month to share work, build relationships, and become friends!”

Nicole's favorite part of the job is “seeing the light bulb go off in a kid's head." She adds, "When you work so hard with them on an idea or a concept and finally it clicks, there’s no better feeling! I also really enjoy seeing the overall progress the child makes throughout the year. Our kids are more than just a test score; stepping back to see how they’ve changed as little people is so heartwarming!”

What's also heartwarming is the story that inspired a parent to submit this FCPS Cares on Nicole's behalf: “Mrs. Vide is truly a gem! My son just started wearing glasses, and she noticed that he was feeling a little embarrassed being only one of two kids who wear glasses in class. She wore hers to school the same week to show him that wearing glasses can be cool. She also offered suggestions on how I could help my son keep track of them based on her own experiences with her son. This is just one example of how Mrs. Vide has gone above and beyond for us. Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that make the biggest difference in the life of a child. I’m so grateful you are in our lives Mrs. Vide [...]!"

Principal Sherry Shin shares that “Nicole is passionate about student learning and providing students with fun and memorable opportunities within the classroom. She is a cheerleader who believes school is more than just academics and should engage the whole child.”

Nicole's family includes her husband, a dog, three young children, and a fourth due in March! We wish them all well and are so thankful that they share their amazing wife and mother with #OurFCPS family! 

Office Support Employee Professional Development Conference Registration Now Open

The Office Personnel Advisory Council (OPAC) is sponsoring the inaugural Office Support Employee Professional Development Conference on Friday, April 5, at Hayfield SS, from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This conference is for Schedule A office support employees (formerly US-19 and below). Superintendent Brabrand will provide the opening remarks, followed by a keynote address by Ron Culberson. Participants will then attend break-out sessions around topics of interest to them that support the FCPS Strategic Plan goals: Student Success, Caring Culture, Premier Workforce, and Resource Stewardship.

Register now in MyPLT for the conference general session. Registration for individual break-out sessions will open in early March.

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. Please contact Joan Carboni with questions at jecarboni@fcps.edu

2019 Pathways to Leadership Conference for Instructional Staff

The 2019 Pathways to Leadership Conference for Instructional Employees will take place on Thursday, February 28, at Willow Oaks, in Rooms 1000A/B from 4:30-6:45 p.m. Booths and breakout sessions will highlight instructional leadership opportunities. Dr. Francisco Durán, our chief equity officer, will be the keynote speaker, and Superintendent Brabrand will give the welcome address. Register now in MyPLT; search "Pathways." Please contact Baek Chong with questions at bochong@fcps.edu. 

It's Custodian Appreciation Week!

Cunningham Park Custodians

Cunningham Park ES custodial staff.

To Our Caring Custodians,

It’s easy to see how important you are.
You keep our schools clean every day.
Behind the scenes, there’s much more you do.
And, that's why we're taking time to say, "Thank you!"  

#CustodianAppreciationWeek #ThankaCustodian 

After-School Specials for Instructional Coaching

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

Langston Hughes quote about humor

Volunteer at Fairfax County's Science and Engineering Fair

The 2019 Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair is in need of teachers and other staff members to help at this exciting event. The science fair will be held March 15-17, at Robinson SS. It’s for high school students throughout the county, including private school students, that have won a local school science fair. Volunteer opportunities include setting up the exhibit hall, registering students, preparing awards, distributing awards folders, and other activities. Please register to volunteer. Find out more about the science fair. Please contact Tim Harazin, Tim.Harazin@fcps.edu, with questions.

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!