September 2019 Newsletter from School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Mount Vernon District Newsletter banner

Karen Corbett Sanders's Newsletter

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that we are already in our third week of school.  This is always the most exciting time of year.  I have enjoyed meeting many of you at back to school events.  It is always my favorite time of year.  Our students area excited (and a bit nervous) about being back in school, seeing old friends and meeting new ones and getting to know their teachers and the expectations for the school year. 

It is also a great time of year for parents, teachers, and school staff to establish partnerships in our student’s success.  Please share with your child’s teacher, information about your child that you believe is important for the teacher to know to ensure your child has a successful school year.  Joining the local Parent Teacher Association or booster organization is also a great way of partnering with your student’s school.  As a past president of the Belle View Elementary and West Potomac High school PTAs and a booster mom for many years I know how much our schools depend on the extra help they get from volunteers.  This past week, I spoke at a local PTA and challenged the parents to volunteer 7 hours during the course of the school year.  That is equal to one school day.  The great thing about volunteering in our schools is that our students see parents engaged, working with teachers and staff to support their success.   

Speaking of volunteers, do you know any retirees interested in supporting our schools.  GrandInvolve is a local organization that supports Title 1 schools in Fairfax County.  The volunteers work closely with school staff, working in the classroom with our students.  GrandInvolve volunteers make a difference in student’s lives every day.

Please see below for important information about resources and opportunities available to our families and students.

I hope that you and your family have a great school year.




Bus Delay Notification System


Stay up-to-date on school bus arrivals with FCPS' bus delay notification system. This system provides parents with timely notification of late bus route information. Access it directly online. Morning bus route information will be available until noon. The afternoon bus route information will be available from 1 to 7 p.m.  

E-Notify email messages will also be sent to announce bus delays.

Need assistance or have questions? Visit the FCPS Transportation page for more information. 


Tech Pathways Initiative

Did you know that there will be a demand for over 112,000 technology jobs in Northern Virginia over the next decade?  FCPS has worked closely with the Northern Virginia Community College and the Go Virginia Organization to launch the Tech Pathways Initiative.  Pathways is a first-of-its-kind campaign as a result of a multi-year, regional effort in northern Virginia, which intends to increase awareness of careers in technology among K-12 students and their families to prepare them for the jobs of the future.  I was pleased to join the Governor, the Superintendent and the President of Northern Virginia Community College when the initiative was announced this week at Chantilly High School.

In the coming weeks, all of our students in middle and high school will be provided materials on how they can begin to plan their pathways to careers of the future.  Please explore these materials with your students. For more information, please visit Copies of the materials sent to regional middle and high schools may be downloaded here.


Parent Resource Center

The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) offers a welcoming and engaging environment for parents, educators and community members to access information and resources to support the success of all students, including those with learning challenges, special needs and disabilities. Free workshops, confidential consultations and over 6,000 lending library materials available at the PRC help ensure that ALL students are inspired, engaged and thriving. Walk-in, call or email us! We’re here to help!


The FCPS Parent Resource Center
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services, Entrance 1
2334 Gallows Road, Room 105
Dunn Loring, Virginia 22027


FCPS and the 2e Learner

Twice-exceptional (2e) learners are students who have the ability to think, reason, and problem-solve at very high levels, and they also have special education needs.

Over the past several years, FCPS has made an effort to raise teacher, parent, and student awareness about some of the typical characteristics of 2e students. As a school district, FCPS designs class instruction to respect the strengths and learning styles of 2e students.  The Advanced Academic Programs staff works closely with the Special Education staff to ensure that 2e students are supported by the very best research-based practices and interventions. As a result, 2e learners are finding success at all levels of advanced academic programs.

FCPS wants to provide 2e students with classroom settings that recognize and encourage their intellectual strengths. At the same time, FCPS aims to offer these students flexible instruction and accommodations designed to support their areas of need. I am pleased that we are able to offer Parents, Students and school based personnel a 2E Hanbook  to help them identify and support our  2E students with the best resources available in FCPS.  The Handbook can be downloaded HERE.


Joint Environmental Task Force (JET)

In cooperation with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the School Board created a new task force with a mission to proactively address climate change and environmental sustainability. The joint task force, known as JET, is made up of representatives from both boards, community partners, and students. More information on our mission and a list of members can be found in this recent news release.


ASCD Annual Conference on Educational Leadership - Resilient Schools in Action

For education leaders at every level, in every role, looking to transform intentions into targeted strategies for high-performing schools that achieve more for students, staff, districts, and communities.

At the Conference on Educational Leadership, explore sessions that will help you

  • Cultivate school safety
  • Foster a healthy climate
  • Raise student performance and trust
  • Instill the mindset of equity and respect for identity
  • Achieve connections to one another and the entire education community

More than 140 sessions, 7 Pre-Conference Institutes, 5 General Sessions, 2 Keynote Luncheons, and a Welcome Reception featuring former Education Secretary John B. King Jr.

Register today to get your blueprint to become a resilient education leader.



For those of you with kids in college or know of college students looking for an internship next summer, I encourage you to check out the DoD College Acquisition Internship Program (DCAIP).  Various DoD agencies participate in many different locations.  We will have openings in DCSA acquisition office.  The application period is open through 1 October but can close earlier if the maximum number of applications per location has been received.  For more info, please visit:


9/16-9/25 Community Meetings Regarding the Development of Fairfax County’s Strategic Plan

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors wants to hear from you as they develop their strategic plan. 

Meeting dates:

  • Monday, September 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Lake Braddock SS
  • Tuesday, September 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Justice HS
  • Wednesday, September 18, 7-9 p.m., at Chantilly HS
  • Thursday, September 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at South Lakes HS
  • Monday, September 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Gum Springs Community Center
  • Wednesday, September 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Marshall HS

Visit the Fairfax County Strategic Plan webpage.


Sixth Annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference

Fairfax HS
Saturday, October 5
8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference
12:30-4 p.m.: Inova's Act on Addiction Summit

FCPS is partnering with Inova and Kaiser Permanente on this year’s Mental Health and Wellness Conference. Marc Brackett, Ph. D., founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, will be the keynote speaker. Conference participants will be able to choose from a variety of options for each of two breakout sessions. Attendees are encouraged to stay for Inova's Act on Addiction Summit, which will be held from 12:30-4 p.m. in the same venue. High school students are invited to attend the Our Minds Matter Teen Summit which will have its own schedule of events. For more information, please visit:


FCPS Career Switcher Event

FCPS will host a Career Switcher Information Session at the Willow Oaks Administrative Center on Monday, October 14, 5:30 p.m., in room 1000A. This event will give military veterans, community members, and others an opportunity to learn how to become a licensed Virginia teacher. Visit the event webpage.

Fairfax HS
Wednesday, October 16


FCPS Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference

Fairfax County Public Schools will host the 2019 Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference. The 2019 RATE Conference is an educational technology conference focusing on the use of assistive technology to support all students, especially those with special needs. The 2019 RATE Conference is sponsored by Assistive Technology Services (ATS), part of the Office of Special Education Instruction in the Department of Special Services. For more information, please click HERE.


College Fair and College Night


Sunday, October 20 and Monday, October 21, 2019

The FCPS College Fair and College Night events offer a venue for high school students and parents to meet with colleges and universities to share information and answer questions about their institutions. Approximately 400 colleges attend these events. College Fair is an open-air setting and traditionally draws approximately 5,000 students and parents. College Night, held the following evening, attracts between 2,000 and 3,000 attendees. In addition to the open-air setting, College Night features workshops related to the college admissions process.

Students looking for an experience beyond the classroom should consider a gap year. FCPS hosts a gap year program fair each February and has produced a video featuring an FCPS student who recently completed a gap program.

To register, click HERE.


STEM Fest 2019

Magic of Mothers is a 501[c][3] non-profit that aims to provide a learning platform for all by engaging and empowering students through the use of innovative educational activities and support. Focused on spreading STEM beyond the classroom, they have hosted STEM workshops, math and science competitions, and conduct summer camps and robotics classes. They are builiding a STEM ecosystem and engaging high school and college students to share their STEM journey in FCPS with other students. It is a great platform for high school clubs to showcase their cool STEM stuff like Robotics, coding, visual arts etc to share with a broader community.  If you are interested in helping , volunteering and sponsoring Magic Of Mothers 2nd annual FREE STEM Fest  please email at


Election Day High School Student Program


Would you like to learn more about the electoral process and earn service learning hours?

The Office of Elections encourages you to become an election page for the upcoming November election if you are either:


1) Enrolled in a high school government class or
2) At least sixteen (16) years of age, and fluent in English (mandatory) and also fluent in one of the following languages, Spanish, Vietnamese, or Korean


For more information, please click HERE, or visit:


Election Officers Needed for the November 5 General Election

Fairfax County needs hundreds of election officers for the General Election on Tuesday, November 5. Please apply now if you would like to work during this election. For the best chance to receive a precinct assignment, apply by October 10.


Election officers are paid $175 for working a full day, although they can volunteer their time. Election officers must be registered to vote in Virginia and must attend a three-hour training class before they can work at the polls. Training classes are offered at multiple locations around the county starting in September. Advance registration is required. No walk-ins are permitted.


The Office of Elections is also seeking bilingual officers who speak Korean and English or Vietnamese and English fluently. Bilingual election officers are especially needed in Annandale, Falls Church, and Centreville. Learn more about becoming an election officer or call the Office of Elections at 703-324-4735, TTY 711.


Important Dates to Remember

October 14 - Columbus Day - Student Holiday

November 1 - First Grading Period Ends

November 4-5 - Student Holidays

November 27-29 - Thanksgiving Break - Student Holiday

December 23-January 3, 2020 - Winter Break - Student Holiday

School Board Meeting

The next School Board Meeting will be held on September 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School.  Information about upcoming meetings and agendas can be found here

Contact Karen:

Karen Corbett Sanders

Phone: 571-423-1086


Lisa Madeja

Executive Admin Assistant