Lee District Winter Newsletter

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a chance to relax, recharge and spend time with family and friends during the Winter Break.

I am honored to be re-elected for my third term serving as your Lee District Representative for the Fairfax County School Board.

I appreciate all the support from the families in Lee District and look forward to continuing our work together.

- Tammy

Save the Date - Kaufax Koffee

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Grounded Coffee
6919 Telegraph Road
Alexandria, VA 22310

Please join me for coffee and casual conversation. Bring your thoughts, concerns and questions. 

Save the Date - Lee District Evening Office Hours

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
John Marshall Library
6209 Rose Hill Drive
Alexandria, VA 22310

MLK Day of Service Care Packing


Please come together for a day of service in Region 3 on the Martin Luther King Holiday. 

Below is a Google form to RSVP. If you are unable to attend, but would like to help by providing donations, please see this list. Students who participate can earn service hours.

Please RSVP Here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd9g1lK4IF_dplYfapkNkTR99JOtNJLej3m-fjA7Rstfxdvbw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1

We Bring:  Boxes, Tape, Address Labels, Customs Forms, Pens, Scissors, Signs for Stations, Baggies, Postage
You Bring: Items for the care packages
Date: Monday, January 20, 2020
Where: Hayfield Secondary School ~ 7630 Telegraph Rd, Alexandria, VA 22315
Event Start: 9:00 a.m.
Event End: 12:00 p.m.

“Making a difference in the lives of our Veterans, Homeless Veterans, Service Members and their Families”

FCPS to Add Electric School Buses to Its Fleet


Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been selected to receive funding assistance to purchase eight electric school buses as part of Dominion Energy’s initial deployment of 50 buses across the Commonwealth. These buses will join FCPS’ current fleet of roughly 1,625 diesel-fueled buses.

FCPS was chosen in a competitive process after submitting an application with Dominion Energy during Fall 2019.

Dominion Energy will cover the difference in cost so that school districts pay no more for electric buses than they would for diesel models. Dominion will also subsidize the cost of necessary charging infrastructure.

The School Board’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability are represented in our strategic goals and the work that we are doing with the Board of Supervisors on the Joint Environmental Task Force,” said Karen Corbett Sanders, Fairfax County School Board Chair. “As the largest school division in Virginia, we feel it is critical for us to set an example for our students and our community that we are exploring and implementing as many solutions as possible to combat climate change.”

Electric school buses in FCPS will benefit not only the school division and its community but the entire national capital area as they will help reduce carbon emissions, serve as a resource for national emergency planning efforts, provide stability and capacity to the grid with meeting increasing energy demands, and provide charging facilities for other jurisdictions in the area to use when traveling through Fairfax County.

School Board Policy 8542 states that FCPS is committed to take innovative and cost-effective steps to help our country achieve climate stabilization. “We prioritize implementation of sustainability initiatives that are innovative and cost effective,” said Corbett Sanders. “This new partnership is part of an exciting movement towards sustainability programs for our facilities and transportation that we continue to explore.”

To read the full statement, click here.

FCPS Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2021

FCPS Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand presented a $3.2 billion school operating fund Proposed Budget for the 2020-21 school year (Fiscal Year 2021), with a focus on employee compensation, to the Fairfax County School Board at its business meeting on January 9. The FY 21 Proposed Budget represents an increase of $172.2 million, or 5.8 percent, over the FY 2020 Approved Budget. To watch the video, click here.

To learn more about the FY 21 Proposed Budget, click here.

Welcome Lee High School Principal Alfonso Smith


Please join me in welcoming Alfonso Smith as the new principal at Lee High School. Mr. Smith served as associate principal at Hayfield Secondary School and has been appointed as principal of Lee High School, effective January 6, 2020.

Mr. Smith is a veteran educator with nearly 23 years of experience. He has been a school counselor at the elementary and middle school levels, a special education administrator, and director of student services at Hayfield Secondary. He participated in FCPS’ aspiring directors of student services cohort and Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Fairfax cohort.

Mr. Smith earned his Bachelor of Science in Home Economics and Community Services, with a Minor in Business from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He earned his Master of Science in Counselor Education from North Carolina A & T State University. Mr. Smith completed the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Fairfax Accelerated Certification Cohort through the University of Virginia and has earned Virginia Education Administration and Counseling Education endorsements.

Oath of Office for School Board Members

SB photo

From Left to Right: Karen Corbett Sanders, Melanie Meren, Megan McLaughlin, Tammy Derenak Kaufax, Ricardy Anderson, Karl Frisch, Laura Jane Cohen, Karen Keys-Gamarra, Rachna Sizemore Heizer, Abrar Omeish, Stella Pekarsky, Elaine Tholen

On Thursday, December 12, 2019 the incoming elect School Board members and four of the returning School Board members were sworn in during the Oath of Office ceremony.

I want to congratulate the new incoming eight School Board members listed below, along with my three returning colleagues: Karen Corbett Sanders, Karen Keys-Gamarra, and Megan McLaughlin.

  • Ricardy Anderson, Mason District
  • Laura Jane Cohen, Springfield District
  • Karl Frisch, Providence District
  • Rachna Sizemore Heizer, Member-at-Large
  • Melanie Meren, Hunter Mill District
  • Abrar Omeish, Member-at-Large
  • Stella Pekarsky, Sully District
  • Elaine Tholen, Dranesville District

I am looking forward to working with our new School Board members. To view the full Oath of Office ceremony, click here: https://youtu.be/GmHNhfeEU84.

Lee Pyramid Tree Planting


School Board Member Tammy Derenak Kaufax with former Lee High School Principal Deirdre Lavery, Lee High School staff members, and Ms. Monica-Perz Waddington.

I want to give a special thank you to Ms. Monica Perz-Waddington, a Virginia Master Naturalist, outdoor educator and a parent volunteer in our community.


Ms. Waddington worked with the Fairfax County Urban Forestry Division to procure funding for new trees. Lee High School, Key Middle School, and Forestdale Elementary School have already received grants from the county's Tree Preservation and Planting Fund to install new trees on their campuses this fall. Lee High School planted their first group of trees on Thursday, November 7, 2019.

This is a valuable opportunity for students to enhance FCPS' caring culture and helps all of us learn more about climate change.

Click here to read more about this event.

Inclement Weather and Emergency Closing Plans: Prepare and Plan Now

Cold and wintry weather will soon be here! Due to inclement weather or other emergency situations, it may be necessary to close schools for the entire day, to open schools late, or to close early.

Parents are urged to make arrangements now for the care of their children when schedule changes are made (and to provide for the rare situation when it is necessary to close an individual school because of a power failure or other circumstances). Children should know where to go if a parent will not be home.

FCPS has several schedules set up to deal with inclement weather; these are put into effect when conditions threaten the safety of students and staff members:

  • Keep schools closed.
  • Open two hours late.
  • Close two hours early.

Watch our video on weather cancellation procedures.


For the first and fast mode of communication for emergency weather closings/delays, you can check out our official @FCPSnews Twitter account (with blue checkmark). Other communication channels will be updated as quickly as possible including email, text, website, other social media, and news stations.

NOTE: Please be aware, due to the large volume of emails sent, there may be a lag between the time a FCPS Twitter alert is posted and receipt of an email in your inbox.

Thank You Fairfax County Voters!

On behalf of the Fairfax County School Board, I want to thank everyone who came out to vote last November and helped support the 2019 Bond Referendum. This bond was approved for school renovations and improvements. We had an overwhelming support for this vote with more than 77% supporting the $360 million bond referendum.

The Fairfax County School Board is grateful for the support. To read the full statement, click here.

Important Dates

January 20: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School for Students
January 24: Second Quarter Ends
January 27-28: Teacher Work Day and Staff Development - No School for Students

The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© 2020 Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia