May 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,


It feels like only a few weeks ago we have commenced the 2018-19 school year, however, summer is just around the corner, and this school year is coming to an end very quickly. In just a few days, our graduating class of 2019 will don their cap and gown and receive their diplomas. Congratulations to all of our FCPS graduates! I am so proud of you, and wish you continued success! 


I would like to thank all of our parents, teachers, and staff for making the necessary sacrifices throughout the school year and going above and beyond to ensure that all of our children K-12 receive the best education possible. I look forward to attending the Class of 2019 graduations and supporting and celebrating our students!


Fairfax County School Board Passes FY 2020 Approved Budget

Last week, the Fairfax County School Board adopted the FY 2020 Budget.   This is a good news budget that reflects the School Board’s commitment to ensuring equity of opportunity and excellent classroom experiences for all of our students.  For the second consecutive year, our budget request was fully funded by the Board of Supervisors (BOS) and we thank our county partners for their continuing support of our school division.


The FY 2020 budget includes a $55.2 million investment in teacher salary scales—including a 1.0 percent market scale adjustment--and $46.8 million for a step increase for eligible employees and a 1.0 percent market scale adjustment for non-teacher salary scale employees, an additional $16.1 million for instructional programs, which includes funding to distribute a laptop to every high school student.  This 1-to-1 computing initiative will better prepare students for college and careers.  Funding to support the first year of a three year plan to bring instructional assistant salaries to 50% of BA salaries for teachers, the addition of behavior intervention teachers in each of the regions, advanced academic resources for title 1 schools and the adoption of a living wage for our education support professionals was also included in the adopted budget.


Details and additional information about the FY 2020 budget are available online.


School Board Approves Assistant Ombudsman for Special Education Position

The Fairfax County School Board established an assistant ombudsman for special education position, effective with the 2020 fiscal year. The Board voted on the new position at its May 9 business meeting.

 This individual will report to the Chief Equity Officer as an assistant ombudsman and a member of the Office of the Family and Student Ombudsman. The assistant ombudsman for special education will be primarily responsible for supporting parents who have special education concerns and will provide deeper knowledge and more experience with the special education process. During the 2018-19 school year, 29 percent of the requests with the Office of the Family and Student Ombudsman have been about special education issues.

The assistant ombudsman for special education will provide support to parents by reviewing and planning for IEP (individualized education program) meetings, providing resources and research to meet student needs, assist with the informal resolution of potential and actual conflicts, may attend IEP meetings to support parents, and provide learning opportunities about informal strategies to improve collaboration in IEP meetings.

The Office of the Family and Student Ombudsman can be reached at 571-423-4014 or


Mount Vernon District Resident Kimberly Boateng Elected Student Representative to the School Board

Kimberly Boateng, a sophomore at Lee High School, has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council (SAC) to serve a one-year term as student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, beginning July 1.  Boateng will participate in School Board meetings as a nonvoting member, filling the position currently held by Bennie Tignor, a senior at South Lakes High School.  She will be the 49th student representative to the School Board.

Boateng believes her experience attending four schools in four years will contribute to her vision and ability to advocate for all students.  “Through these years at a variety of schools, I’ve seen the diversity of people, location, and culture,” she states. “I’ve seen things that have really worked for schools and I’ve also seen things that don’t work in the slightest.” She hopes that, as a student advocate, she can offer students “the sense of having some sort of say in decisions that will be made involving them.”

Among the pressing issues for students, Boateng believes that mental health, implicit bias awareness, the dress code, assistance for at-risk students, drug use, and punishment reform are most important. Punishment reform, according to Boateng, “merges in with the issue of at-risk students and implicit bias…one can see that suspending or expelling students hasn’t been effective.” She adds that different solutions should be explored to help reform students who have committed offenses.  “Instead of throwing the child away, I want to work with the School Board to find a way to fix the child,” she states.

Since seventh grade, Boateng has attended Twain Middle, South County Middle, South County High, and Lee High. Her activities have included membership in the Technology Student Association, International Club, Black Students Unite, South County Marching Band and Winter Guard, Jazz Band, Minority Achievement Committee, honor societies for math and music, National Honor Society, Lee Marching Band, and NAACP. 

Boateng is currently enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) Government, Honors English, band, International Baccalaureate (IB) chemistry and math, and Spanish 3.  She plans to pursue the IB diploma and will be enrolled in IB Spanish HL (higher level), IB English HL, band, IB History of America HL, IB chemistry, AP Calculus BC, IB Theory of Knowledge, IB Anthropology, and economics and personal finance.

As a recipient of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth scholarship, Boateng studied psychology at Lafayette College and principles of engineering at Roger Williams University, and will study global politics this summer at Princeton University.


2019-20 School Year Calendar Changes; Notable Dates

New Virginia legislation requires that schools opening prior to Labor Day must be closed the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day. As a result, FCPS’ 2019-20 Standard School Year Calendar has changed and Friday, August 30, is now a holiday for students. In addition, the Board voted to move the March school planning day to Tuesday, March 3, 2020, to accommodate the 2020 presidential primary.

Other notable dates include the first day of school, August 26; Thanksgiving break, November 27-29; Winter break, December 23, 2019-January 3, 2020; Spring Break, April 6-10, 2020; and the last day of school, June 12, 2020. See the 2019-20 school year calendar


List of Colleges and Universities Still Accepting Applications

Do you know a high school senior who is still looking for the right college fit for the fall? The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has released their annual list of colleges and universities that are still accepting applications from prospective freshmen or transfer students for the fall of 2019. 


Students and families are encouraged to use this tool to search colleges from across the United States that still have space available. Users may narrow down the list of schools by state and view whether a school still has financial aid, to include scholarships, as well as unfilled housing. It is recommended that students and families contact their school counselor and career center specialist with any questions.


School Board Seeking Applicant for FPAC Members from Mount Vernon District and Two At-Large

The Fairfax County School Board invites applications from Mount Vernon District  community members interested in serving on the Facilities Planning Advisory Council (FPAC).  The School Board is also accepting applications for two At-Large members.  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 three council members for terms ending June 30, 2022.


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 June 7.


Apply here 


Apply for PreK and Early Head Start

FCPS is looking for 3 and 4 year olds to register for pre-K at many schools in Mount Vernon.  To qualify, families must be Fairfax County residents, qualify for free and reduced lunch and the students must be 3 or 4 by Sept. 30, 2019. Spaces are available at Mount Vernon Woods, Woodlawn, Bucknell, Belle View and Hybla Valley Elementary Schools. Apply online or get more information by calling 703-208-7900 (for English) or 703-208-7901 (for Spanish).



FCPS Bus Driver Job Fairs

Tuesday, June 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Stonecroft Transportation Center
Tuesday, July 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Lorton Transportation Facility


Transportation staff members will be on site to answer questions and provide information to prospective drivers.


TJHSST Open House

Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m.-noon


Visitors can learn about TJHSST’s academic programs and the admissions process. TJHSST students, staff, parents, and alumni will be present to answer questions.


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


Important Dates to Remember

June 13 - Last Day of School (scheduled)


School Board Meeting

The next School Board Meeting will be held on June 13, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School.  Information about upcoming meetings and agendas can be found here