March 2019 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,


I hope everyone is enjoying our long awaited spring weather.  With the flowers blooming and warmer days, I am reminded of the wonderful opportunities that we have here in Fairfax County and in particular here in Mount Vernon to explore our local parks, explore our historical sites and take advantage of the historical sites locally.  These opportunities provide an excellent opportunity for families to learn about our local and national history.  Spring break is a great time to explore.


Below you will find information on the upcoming job fairs, FCPS Family Engagement Survey, opportunities to support your local schools, and other events and dates that may be of interest to you.


SOL Testing and Assessments


The second half of the school year is very busy for our students as they balance classroom activities, spring sports, plays, concerts and more.  It is an exciting time of year.   It is also the time of year when our students have standardized testing. Principals should be sending home communications regarding Standards of Learning testing dates scheduled for each school. If you have any questions, please contact your students’ teacher.


Changes for High School SOL Testing from the Virginia Department of Education

This spring, most FCPS high school students will take fewer Standards of Learning (SOL) tests than were required in the past, thanks to changes from the Virginia Department of Education. Additionally, most students who entered ninth grade for the first time in 2017-18 or prior will have new options in which SOL tests they take to complete certain graduation requirements.


In the past, students took the SOL test any time they enrolled in a SOL course. Now, high school students are only required to take the SOL test if they need the assessment to fulfill:

  • Federal participation requirements (mathematics, reading, and biology), or
  • Content area verified credit requirements for graduation (English, mathematics, social studies, and science).

Students who entered ninth grade for the first time in 2017-18 or prior have one additional “student-selected” verified credit required for graduation, beyond those needed for specific content areas. In the past, when students had to take the test for every SOL course, the term ”student-selected” did not involve any decision-making. Now, schools can consider available “student-selected” test(s) to determine which may be most appropriate to ensure students fulfill their graduation requirements.


Schools should be sharing student testing plans with families and inviting them to provide input on decisions about “student-selected” SOL test(s). Only one passing “student-selected” test result will appear on students’ final score reports.


Learn more about student-selected tests, and talk to your high school student about their plans for upcoming SOL testing. Contact your student’s school counselor if you have additional questions.


Special Work Session

The Fairfax County School Board scheduled a special Work Session to discuss the Seclusion and Restraint practices on Tuesday, April 2 at 6:00 pm at Gatehouse Administration Center - 8115 Gatehouse Road, Room 1600, Falls Church, VA, 22042. The Work Session is open to the public.


Special Education Conference 2019

FCPS will hold its 14th Annual Special Education Conference on Saturday, April 6, 2019. This year's conference focuses on building inclusive and post-secondary practices to support the development of 21st Century skills and Portrait of a Graduate (POG) attributes. Highlights include:

  • New: Self-Determination Student Strand for FCPS youth with disabilities, ages 14 -22. This 4-hour session led by I’m Determined Youth Leaders includes interactive activities and networking with other participants.
  • Concessions will be available for cash purchase throughout the day
  • FCPS educators who attend the entire conference can earn five recertification points
  • This year’s conference focuses on building inclusive and post-secondary practices to support the development of 21st Century skills and Portrait of a Graduate (POG) attributes
  • Visit the conference website for details, a list of workshops and exhibitor information.

View the Conference Flyer


Saturday, April 6, 2019, 7:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

This event will be held at Lake Braddock Secondary School, 9200 Burke Lake Road, Burke, VA 22015


Register for the 2019 Special Education Conference


Register for the Self-Determination Student Strand for FCPS Youth


Email or call 703-204-3941 with questions.


Education and Career Certification Plans Move Forward at Original Mount Vernon High School

Fairfax County, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) signed a letter of intent to offer educational and career certification programs at the Original Mount Vernon High School. The redevelopment of the Original Mount Vernon High School is part of the revitalization plans embodied in Embark Richmond Highway.


The nonbinding agreement provides a framework for the public schools, college and county to:

  • Expand workforce training and certification programs that lead to employment with a focus on IT, cyber-technology, health and hospitality and culinary arts.
  • Expand training and workforce development for early childhood educators.
  • Develop a plan to establish a dual enrollment program to offer college credits to high school students, as well as possibly develop an Early College High School.
  • Offer high-quality, affordable, early learning and development programs for initially up to 160 children from birth to age 5.

To learn more, please visit the Fairfax County Website.


Take the FCPS Family Engagement Survey!

We need to hear from every Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) parent and guardian in the school division’s 2019 Family Engagement Survey. Only by listening to you and partnering with you can the school division strengthen family engagement and foster a Caring Culture as outlined in our Strategic Plan.


The survey asks your thoughts on your school’s communications and relationships, opportunities to participate, student success, and more. All responses are confidential.


The survey will be available between March 24th and April 12th.  There are 3 ways you can complete the survey:

  1. Check your email after March 24 for an invitation with a survey link from Dr. Scott Brabrand, Superintendent, with subject line: FCPS Family Engagement Survey.
  2. Ask the front office staff of your child's school for a paper survey. You can complete it right there on the spot.
  3. Complete the online survey using one of the school computers. The office staff would be happy to show you an available computer for you to complete the survey electronically at the school.

If you are unable to access the survey at your child's school, please take the survey via this link 2019 FCPS Family Engagement Survey  This link will be active on March 24th.

The survey is offered in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Urdu, Vietnamese, and Amharic.


You have from March 24th to April 12th to participate.


For more information, please contact the main office at your child’s school or visit


Celebrate Purple Up! Day During April’s Month of the Military Child

Each year our nation designates April as the Month of the Military Child to recognize and thank children from military families for the contributions and sacrifices they make living the military lifestyle. The recognition is part of the legacy of former Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger who established the commemoration in 1986. During the month, one day is selected as the day to “Purple Up! For Military Kids” and all are encouraged to wear purple in recognition of the strength of military connected youth (MCY). Why purple? Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is the combination of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Navy blue. This year Purple Up! day will be celebrated on April 10.


Fairfax County Public Schools is proud to have over 11,000 military connected youth as part of our student body. We appreciate the varied life experiences they bring to our school community. We extend our appreciation for their service and celebrate them by wearing purple in an effort to say “Thank You.” If you know any military connected youth, consider taking a moment to recognize and honor them for their service to our nation.


View our resources for military families


2019 Fairfax County Teen Job Fairs

You are invited to attend the 2019 Fairfax County Teen Job Fairs and Resume Building Workshops. First jobs are important and these events help connect teens and employers face to face and prepare our youth for the workforce.


These events will focus on student job seekers (approximately ages 16 to 18) looking for full time employment, after-school employment, seasonal positions, internship opportunities, or volunteer experiences. It is open to all teens in Fairfax County looking for employment or wanting tips to build their resume. Volunteer opportunities and resume building workshops will be available for younger students looking to begin to build their resume. Students click here to register.


Businesses and organizations have the opportunity to showcase their companies, brand their business in the local community, and advertise the positions they have available. It does not cost to participate. Businesses and organizations seeking to secure space at the job fair should click here to fill out the application form.


During our previous job fairs, over 2000 Fairfax County teenagers and 120 employers attended all events combined. These job fairs provided hundreds of teenagers the opportunity to get in front of employers and for employers and volunteer organizations to find talented, driven Fairfax County students to fill their positions.


Friday, April 5th

11 am to 1 pm

Chantilly High School


Saturday, April 6th

10 am to 12 pm

South County High School


Saturday, April 27th

10 am – 12 pm

Mount Vernon High School


Cultural Book and Arts Festival - Teen Scence

book night

Presented by: Hayfield’s Black Student Union & AVID, and Northern Virginia Chapter of Jack and Jill


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Hayfield Secondary School

7630 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA



-Hayfield Poetry Club

-African Dance Performance

-National & Local Authors

-Dozens of Vendors

-Onsite Harambee Bookstore

-Inspirational speakers


Doors Open at 12:30pm. Event 1pm - 5pm.


The first 100 youth will receive a FREE BOOK

The event is FREE and open to the public.

We ask that you bring a donation to

support the Hawk Pantry.


Teen Scene Flyer (4).pdf


Register Now for FCPS ACE Kids and Teens Spring Break Camps

Provide your child with an exciting spring break experience through FCPS Adult and Community Education (ACE). Students in elementary, middle, and high school can choose from variety of fun and creative classes such as French, Spanish, and German; Culinary Adventures for grades 2-5; Kickstart Spanish for middle schoolers; Algebra and Geometry SOL Bootcamps; Introduction to Filmmaking; Cooking for Teens; Young Writers’ Workshops; Leadership Skills for Teens; and Effective Study Skills.


All spring break classes will be held April 15-19 at the Plum Center for Lifelong Learning in Springfield. Choose what is convenient for you: a morning session, afternoon session, or all day.


Course offerings and prices may be viewed on the ACE website by clicking on Spring Break Camps. Registration may be completed online, by phone at 703-658-1201, by mail, or in person. 


Health Department Survey

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) employs school health aides and public health nurses who provide school health services to the students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). To determine the quality of these services, a survey has been developed by the FCHD to be shared with all parents or guardians. 


Electronic versions of the survey forms may be accessed at:

School Health Services Survey – Parents 2019:

School Health Services Survey-Parents 2019 (Spanish):


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


Spring Mulch Sale!

Support your local schools by participating in the Spring Mulch Sale Fundraiser:


Edison High School Annual Mulch Sale

Purchases support the Edison All-Night Grad Party


Hayfield High School Football Mulch Sale

Purchases support the Hayfield Football program


Mount Vernon High School Spring Mulch Sale

Purchases support the Class of 2019 Graduation Celebration


South County High School Mulch Sale Spring Fundraiser

Purchases support South County High School sports


West Potomac HS Spring Mulch Sale

Purchases support Wolverine Athletic Booster Club


Important Dates to Remember

April 4 - Third Grading Period Ends


April 5 - Teacher Workday - Student Holiday


April 15-19 - Spring Break


May 27 - Memorial Day - Student Holiday


June 13 - Last Day of School (scheduled)


School Board Meeting

The next School Board Meeting will be held on April 4, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School.  Information about upcoming meetings and agendas can be found here