Employee News - Tuesday, 8/20/19

Woodburn School staff in a group photo

Woodburn School staff members are ready for the new school year. (Photo: Woodburn School) 

Welcome Back, Teachers!

It is so wonderful to have our teachers back after summer break! We are very thankful for each and every one of them. It’s going to be a great school year! See our Welcome Back tweet.

Leading with 20/20 Vision

Superintendent Brabrand speaking at 2019 Leadership Conference

Instructional and operational leaders from around the school division attended FCPS' annual Leadership Conference on July 31, at George Mason University's Center for the Performing Arts. The half-day event included amazing student performances, such as "An Ode to Kindergarten," as well as Superintendent Brabrand's inspiring remarks on how we can meet each student by name and by need. Watch the Leadership Conference main session and keynote

Update: MyPDE Evaluation and Professional Development System

The Department of Human Resources, Department of Information Technology, and Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement are launching MyPDE this school year. MyPDE, FCPS' new online evaluation and professional development system, is for all employees, including operational staff and non-school based administrators.

All employee evaluations will be completed within the new system. In addition, all employees will have the same cycle for beginning and completing evaluations: July 1-June 30. Employees will no longer be evaluated on their anniversary date. The change to the completion date will not impact an employee’s anniversary date or salary increment. More information will be available this month. Stay tuned for specific details regarding training, support, and MyPDE access. If you have questions, please contact Cindy Fitzgerald at CSFitzgerald@fcps.edu or 571-423-3263.

ICYMI: Summer News Headlines 

FCPS released several major divisionwide announcements during the summer including the ones below: 

Visit the News section of FCPS' website for more announcements.

Photo of the Week 

Carson MS Principal Gordon Stokes and the school's new therapy dog, Tucker


Carson MS Principal Gordon Stokes has a paw-some new staff member this school year. Meet Tucker, the therapy dog! Tucker's trainer will accompany him to school, so he can work with students to increase their reading time, as well as provide soothing therapy to students and staff when needed. If things get ruff, Carson can count on Tucker! (Photo: Sybil Terry, Assistant Principal, Carson MS)

VDOE Climate Survey Results Available 

The 2018-19 Virginia Department of Education Climate Survey school reports were shared with principals in June 2019. All school reports are available on the intranet. Employees will need to be logged into the FCPS network to access the survey results.

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.  

#OurFCPS Faces: Jennifer Burns

Jennifer Burns, teacher, South Lakes HS


Jennifer Burns has been an FCPS educator for 12 years. She teaches World History II Honors, Government for English Learners (EL), and Strategies for Success at South Lakes HS. She taught at Langley HS for nine years before joining the South Lakes team.

Jennifer says, “I love that I have a variety of classes and a variety of students. Each course has something special about it. I love working on skills and teaching the writing process in history. This is something students can take with them to other classes, college, and beyond.” She adds, “Having students share successes with me that they worked hard for in Strategies for Success is amazing. I also like that I can work on all subject areas with students, not just history. It is fun to get to see what students are learning in all of their classes. In government, I love when I can connect content to current events and make the ideas and concepts relevant to them.”

Principal Kim Retzer says, “South Lakes is lucky to have Ms. Burns on our staff. She is a student-focused educator who goes above and beyond to support and push her students to achieve their very best. Her dedication to her students is a shining example of a caring culture.”

Colleague and Systems of Support Advisor Chrissy Kelley shared wonderful words about Jennifer in an FCPS Cares submission: "Jen Burns is a phenomenal human being and teacher. Jen takes caring for her students to a high level. As a social studies teacher who teaches government and Strategies for Success, Jen knows her students and their needs as well as anyone in the building. [...] Jen's students trust her and with good reason; she is their true advocate. Jen Burns is a true definition of a caring teacher."

One of Jennifer's favorite mottos is, "Never give up on a student. Always provide opportunities." She clearly lives that motto every day. Thank you, Jennifer! 

2019 FCPS Outstanding Employee Award Winners

Excellence in teaching students, leading schools, and providing support is what Fairfax County Public Schools is all about. The Department of Human Resources sponsors recognition of outstanding performers as they seek to create and demonstrate the best instructional and operational practices. The annual FCPS Honors event, held on June 12, recognized 569 employees, including 64 finalists and 12 winners in 12 different award categories. See this year's award winners. Thanks to all of the FCPS parents, students, community members, and staff who nominated an employee!

#OurFCPS: Together It's Possible

Region 3 staff holding #OurFCPS photo frame

The traveling #OurFCPS frame found some fantastic staff members at Region 3's kickoff on August 1. Pictured clockwise from the left are Kristin Wiley, education specialist; Nardos King, assistant superintendent; Evangeline Petrich, executive principal; and Grace Taylor, executive principal. #squadgoals indeed! (Photo: Region 3)

An Opportunity for Middle Managers to Develop Leadership Skills

Consider applying for the Middle Managers Round Table! The Middle Managers Round Table (MMRT) is an eight-month collaborative leadership development program for both operational and school leaders, conducted by The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement and the Fairfax County Government. The application deadline is close of business August 30. Apply now.

During the program, middle managers from both systems build leadership capacity and collaborate on a group capstone project. The program is seeking coordinators, managers, and school-based administrators (not principals) who have a supervisory or management role and want to develop their leadership skills. Supervisors of MMRT applicants will need to complete a recommendation form on the applicant’s behalf. Get more information on MMRT. Please e-mail Tiffany Lee at ttlee@fcps.edu with any questions!

Check Your Voter Information

Viewing your registration status and voter information has become easier with the Virginia Department of Elections' citizen portal. Check out the portal to: 

  • register to vote, if you have a driver’s license or Department of Motor Vehicles ID.
  • update your voter record if your address has changed.
  • find your assigned voting location.
  • learn more about absentee voting, if applicable.

Remember–the next general and special elections will be held on Tuesday, November 5!

Paul Wellstone Quote: We all do better when we all do better.

Use #firstdayfairfax on the First Day of School!

FCPS staff, parents, and students are encouraged to tag their photos and videos from the first day of school (August 26) using the hashtag #firstdayfairfax. We'll share some of the photos and videos from the division's social media accounts. You'll also be able to find them by searching #firstdayfairfax on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Staff Staples

Note: Intranet access is required to open some of the links in this email. If you're using a mobile device or working remotely, you can connect to the intranet via the Pulse Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network). Email RequestIT@fcps.edu with questions. 

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!