October 2019 #2 Newsletter from School Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders

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Karen Corbett Sanders's Newsletter

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that we are finishing the first quarter this week.  It has been a wonderful start of the year with lots of sporting events and opportunities to be in our schools.  I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather, and will take the opportunity to recharge over the four day weekend for our students.

This past Thursday the School Board recognized schools for achievement in standardized testing with the Superintendent’s Excellence in Equity Award. This award was developed by the superintendent and the School Board to recognize schools that make considerable gains in improved school performance across all student subgroups and significant reductions in achievement gaps among student subgroups in English and mathematics. Awards are based on school performance in the 2018-19 school year under revised accreditation standards that were approved by the Virginia Board of Education in 2017.  Please join me in congratulating the students, staff and administrators at these schools.

Schools earning the Excellence in Equity Award for being a top ten school to achieve the highest average increase across all reporting groups in English included: Fort Hunt Elementary and Hollin Meadows Elementary.  The Excellence in Equity Award for the highest average increase across all reporting groups in mathematics included: Fort Belvoir Primary and Mount Eagle Elementary.  Schools earning the Excellence in Equity Award for being a top ten school to achieve the greatest reduction of the English achievement gap included: Bryant High and Bucknell Elementary.  Edison High, and Mount Eagle Elementary were among the 10 schools that earned the Excellence in Equity Award for achieving the greatest reduction of the mathematics achievement gap.

Belle View ES, Bucknell ES, Fort Hunt ES, Gunston ES, Key Center, Riverside ES, Woodley Hills ES and Rolling Valley ES  met or exceeded state benchmarks for each reporting group (English, math, science) and all student subgroups (Asian, Black, Hispanic, White, students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged, and English learners).

Purple Star Schools are schools recognized by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children as 2019 Purple Star schools. The Purple Star designation is awarded to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated their commitment to meeting the needs of military-connected students and their families.  18 Fairfax Schools were recognized for their commitment this year.  Schools Mount Vernon students attend include: Fort Hunt Elementary, Gunston Elementary, Hayfield Elementary, Key Center, Elementary, Mount Vernon High, Riverside Elementary, Sandburg Middle, Saratoga Elementary, Stratford Landing Elementary, Whitman Middle, Washington Mill Elementary, and Woodley Hills Elementary. Fourteen Fairfax County public schools were named Purple Star schools in 2018.  With Veteran’s Day coming up, please thank our service members and their families for their service to our country.

There are a number of opportunities available for our students and families coming up.  These are detailed  below.

Again, I hope everyone has a great end to the quarter and a great long weekend.

I hope to see many of you around our community this fall season.



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: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/high-school-student-program


Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder: Beginning Your Journey

Attend this important workshop, presented by Julia Calhoun and Katie Boxer, FCPS Behavior Intervention Teachers to understand characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  • Does your child have a new diagnosis?
  • Do you suspect your child may have Autism?

Highlights will include:

  • Understanding the unique learning styles of students with Autism.
  • Effective strategies to use in the home and classroom.
  • Examine examples of resources.

Friday, November 8, 2019, 10 a.m.-noon.

Register for Understanding Autism


Special Education: Understanding the Process and Collaborating with Your School

Topics Include:

  • What is Special Education?
  • How do children qualify for services?
  • What is Least Restrictive Environment?
  • What is the difference between accommodations and modifications?
  • What is an IEP?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of IEP team members?
  • How can I work with the school team to develop an IEP?
  • How do I advocate for my child at school and in the IEP process?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Register for Special Education: Understanding the Process and Collaborating with Your School


Parenting Through Challenging Times: Supporting Your Child Through Life’s Ups and Downs

Transform feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious and stressed to calm, confident and compassionate. Learn tools and techniques to navigate turbulent waters and times of change within your home and family life.

Major Life Changes can make you feel out of control:

  • A Job Change/Loss
  • A Move
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Addition of a family member or sibling to the home
  • Death
  • Mental/physical illness
  • Child leaving the home

Presented by Corinne Coppola, M.A., and Well-Being Professional.

Friday, November 22, 2019, 10 a.m.-noon.

Register for Parenting Through Challenging Times: Supporting Your Child Through Life's Ups and Downs


Public Safety Job Fair

Communities of Trust and Bethlehem Bible Church invite you to attend the Public Safety Job Fair on Saturday, November 16th 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

For more information and to register, please click HERE.

pub safety

Environment Expo: How YOU Can Act on Climate Change

Supervisor Dan Storck invites you to participate in the 2nd Annual Mount Vernon District Environment Expo: How YOU Can Act on Climate Change on Saturday, November 16, 2019, from 8 a.m. - noon at Walt Whitman Middle School. This event will educate and inform local residents on environmental challenges that we face on a daily basis, including ones that are unique to the Mount Vernon area given our proximity to water and the many industrial facilities nearby. Attendees will leave the Expo with simple actions you can take to make an impact on climate change. Highlights include and Electric Vehicle Showcase, Exhibit Hall, Workshops and Film Screening. Please share information about this event with your family, friends and neighbors!

Join us for the morning to LEARN, ENGAGE and ACT to save our environment!

Webpage: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mountvernon/environment-expo-how-you-can-act-on-climate-change

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2390732377648656/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/UXxhQkiGXKo


Important Dates to Remember

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 November 7, 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