RCMS Updates - Week of September 23, 2019

RCMS Front

Important Upcoming Events

September 26 - Parent Coffee, RCMS Cafeteria, 9:00AM

September 26 - PTA Meeting, RCMS Library, 6:30PM

September 27 - TJ applications due, 4:00PM

October 5 - Mental Health and Wellness Conference, Fairfax High School, 12:30-4:00PM

October 14 - School Planning Day - No school for students

October 21 - Fall Pictures (ANCHOR DAY)

Parent Coffee - This Thursday!

Parent Coffee and BTSN Recap

We invite you to join us for our first Parent Coffee of the year, scheduled for Thursday, September 26, from 9:00-10:00AM in the cafeteria.  For those families who were unable to attend our Back to School Nights and for those who would like more information, we will be presenting an overview of numerous topics.  We realize you may still have questions about what to expect this school year, so we will take this opportunity to share information about upcoming programs and supports, including: A Guide to Middle School; Grading and SIS Parent Vue; and The ACT Program for 7th Grade Students in November.

Parent Coffee Schedule - SAVE THE DATES:

-Topics of Interest/Rotations & Stations: December 5, 9:00-10:00AM

-Digital Citizenship/Technology: February 27, 6:30-7:30PM

-Mental Health & Wellness/Testing Information: April 2, 9:00-10:00AM

We hope you can make it!

Panthers On-Time!/Class Arrival Policy

Being on-time to class is important for each of our students and when students arrive late to class, teachers and students experience an interruption to learning.  Carson’s tardy policy, Panthers On-Time!, outlines expectations aligned with positive behaviors to support on-time arrivals to class.  Students who accumulate tardies will receive a teacher or administrator notice from school.  Please encourage your student to arrive on-time and if necessary, communicate any class transition issues early to a teacher or staff member.   

Panthers On-Time!

Behavior Expectation: Be On Time To Class

  • All students must be in the classroom by the conclusion of the bell tone.
  • Students are expected to have a pass if their tardy is excused. They will not be allowed to go back to get a pass.
  • Teachers will make every effort to release students when the bell rings. If a student is kept after the bell, the teacher will notify the student’s next teacher so the tardy will be recorded as excused. 
  • Teachers will work with students who have a legitimate reason for being late. Transitions from across the school are not a viable excuse.
  • For attendance purposes, students should always report to the main office for an office pass when arriving late to school.


Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2019


Calling for Veteran Volunteers - Rachel Carson Middle School would like to invite our community’s veterans to speak with students and share their experiences on the morning of Monday, November 11. Please fill out this form if you or a member of your family is a veteran and would be interested in participating. In order to participate in our Veterans Day program please fill out this form by Friday, October 11!

Bus Riding Policy

We receive several requests each day from students wanting to ride another student’s bus home. Unfortunately, we are not able to grant these requests. At this moment, transportation is trying to balance our loads. All of our buses are filled to capacity. It has been a long-standing practice at Carson for parents to provide transportation to after school activities for their students. The only exception is a family emergency which must be approved by our Assistant Principal, Sybil Terry. Parents are welcome to pick up their students in kiss and ride. 

Volunteers Needed

Vision and hearing screening will be held on October 23 and 24 for all 7th graders.  If your child wears glasses, please be sure he/she has them at school on screening day.  The purpose of screening is to identify students who need further evaluation because they have difficulty seeing the screening chart or hearing the screening tones.

Parents will be notified by letter if screening results indicate that further testing is needed.  Vision and hearing difficulties can interfere with learning.  Prompt follow-up of a referral is recommended.

We need parent volunteers to assist with the screening process.  Any parent interested, please sign up here: 

Vision and Hearing Screening Volunteers

Visit Exotic Panama

Want to give your child a unique educational experience? We are so excited to announce that Sofi Cahoon will be leading a group of students to Panama through EF Educational Tours. The trip will take place in July of 2020. Students will visit Panama City, tour a pineapple farm, see the biodiversity of the rainforest firsthand and explore the Panama Canal among other activities. Attached is the invite to the mandatory parent meeting where you will get all the details and have your questions answered. We want to help as many students as possible experience this once in a lifetime trip. Please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Cahoon at srcahoon@fcps.edu with your general questions. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Click the link to RSVP to the parent interest meeting:


If you cannot attend the meeting, but are interested, RSVP using the link and click ‘cannot attend’. We will make sure you receive the information.


Credit Exam For World Languages 2019

Do your children speak languages other than English?  If they can read and write proficiently in a language other than English, FCPS offers our World Language Credit Exam where students can earn up to 3 high school credits in a World Language.  These credits can be applied towards the Advanced Diploma for the State of Virginia graduation requirements.  For more information, see below and have your child sign up via the google link located here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe5l299YGMM7QE-YzpuaOfhgdw_Gz7_HcF1VDPfuE6wFgSILg/viewform.

Exam Information:

Date of exam: November 13, 2019

Time: 1:45 PM

Location: Rachel Carson MS Library

Registration dates are September 4-October 9, 2019.  More information and available languages can be found here:  https://www.fcps.edu/academics/high-school-academics-9-12/world-languages/credit-exam-world-languages

If you have questions you may contact your child’s school counselor.

Very Important: All registrations must be completed by October 9, 2019 at 4:00PM. Late registration will not be accepted

Helpful Resources:

*FCPS Credit Exam Website:


*Questions about graduation requirements or course planning?  Click here: https://www.fcps.edu/academics/graduation-requirements-and-course-planning



Students interested in participating in the AMC 8 must register by Friday, September 27.

The AMC 8 test date at Carson is Tuesday, November 12, from 2:20 to 3:30PM.  There are no late buses on the test date. Students must be picked up at 3:30PM. Please consider carpooling due to the large number of students participating in this competition.

Since the AMC tests must be ordered ahead of time, students must sign up to participate. The deadline to sign up is Friday September 27.

What is the AMC 8?

The AMC 8 is an optional math test being offered to RCMS students who wish to participate in a math competition. More information about this math competition and practice problems can be found at: http://www.maa.org/math-competitions/amc-contests/amc-8

“The AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute, multiple choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills.”  (www.maa.org).  

How do you sign up for the AMC 8?

Students, not parents, must register for the AMC 8 Test.

Students will need to log into their FCPS Google account before accessing the sign-up form. On the form students must enter their student information (name, grade, math teacher, math period, etc.). Students will receive an email confirmation (sent to their fcpsschools.net account) after submitting the form and successfully signing up for the AMC 8.

Students must sign up online RCMS AMC 8 Registration Webpage

Please contact Mrs. Cahill (agcahill@fcps.edu), Mrs. DeBaldo (nadebaldo@fcps.edu), or Ms. Joyce (eajoyce@fcps.edu) if you have any questions.

AAP Parent Referrals for Students New to Fairfax County Due October 7, 2019

AAP Level IV services are available to students in grades 3-8.  Students may be found eligible for full-time placement in AAP Level IV Center classes through a central selection process and receive a highly challenging instructional program in science, social studies and English.  Multiple criteria are reviewed by a central selection committee to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. More information about AAP services available at the middle school level may be found on the FCPS public website at:  https://www.fcps.edu/academics/middle-school-academics-7-8/advanced-academics.  If you have any questions, you can contact Brenda Humphrey at bahumphrey@fcps.edu.  

Parents or guardians of seventh grade students, who are new to Fairfax County Public Schools since January 2019, may initiate the full-time AAP Level IV screening process by completing and submitting an Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form to Brenda Humphrey at bahumphrey@fcps.edu  no later than October 7, 2019.  No late referrals will be accepted.

Seventh grade students who are not new to FCPS may apply in the winter for AAP entry in eighth grade.  Those referrals are due January 6, 2020.

Join the RCMS PTA!

The RCMS PTA supports the school with funding for technology purchases, spirit events, student enrichment programs, staff development, staff appreciation events, and much more!  Go to www.rcmspta.org (use school code: 3MA6NU) to join the RCMS PTA.

To stay up to date on PTA news, please go to our website, likeus on Facebook and subscribe to RCMS PTA News You Choose emails.

We will have our first general membership meeting on Thursday, September 26, at 6:30PM in the Library. We hope to see you there!

Other FCPS Schools are Sharing....

Tune in here to find out what other schools are sharing about activities and events that may be of interest to you.