Update from School Board Member Melanie Meren

Update from School Board Member Melanie Meren

Since January 1, I’ve visited nearly all principals at schools in the Hunter Mill district! I’ve been blown away by the dedication and professionalism of FCPS principals. One topic I hear consistently is that increased funding and positions are needed to hire specialists in areas like math and technology, and for professionals to provide mental and behavioral health education and direct support to students.

I’ve also been invited to speak and answer questions at PTA meetings. Some common topics asked about are: FCPSOn, school facilities, and special education needs. Parents are eager to learn about our new School Board and how our work guides the school division – and how the School Board amplifies and elevates family and community needs.

School Board Member Melanie Meren

School Board Member Melanie Meren visiting Dogwood ES

School Board Member Melanie Meren and Teacher

 Melanie Meren and Teacher Josh Abt at Westbriar ES

Please keep me updated on school and community events --- I am happy to attend to speak, listen, learn, and engage!  My office contact information can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.

Hunter Mill Happenings

Office Hours

Wednesday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hunters Woods Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston.  You are welcome to join me at my office hours in the small meeting room (Room 5) at the Hunters Woods Community Center. I hope to have an opportunity to chat with you about matters related to FCPS and your students.   

Saturday, March 14, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Panera, 136 Maple Avenue West, in Vienna. Please plan to stop by to see me during my office hours at Panera to ask questions, talk with me about your concerns, or offer suggestions.  No appointment is necessary.

Hunter Mill Budget Town Halls

Come learn how Fairfax County government budgets billions of taxpayer dollars to fund your community services and our schools! Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn and I will share an update at this point of the budget-creation process for Fiscal Year 2021 and take questions from participants.

Saturday, March 21
9 a.m. to noon
Council Chamber at Town Hall
127 Center Street
Vienna, VA  22180

Monday, March 30
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dogwood Elementary School
12300 Glade Drive
Reston, VA  20191

McNair Elementary -- New Principal and New Name

Work continues on the construction of a new school on the McNair Elementary campus to house students in grades 3-6; the original school facility will then be used to educate students in PreK-2. FCPS is thrilled to welcome the new PreK-2 principal, Merrell Dade, a seasoned leader and recent recipient of the FCPS Outstanding Principal of the Year. The School Board this month began the process of gathering community input for naming the new school.

Merrell Dade and Melanie Meren

Merrell Dade and Melanie Meren

School Board Updates

Here are just a few highlights of what the School Board has been working on:

  • Finalizing the FCPS Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which gives direction on school building and renovations, and boundary adjustments.
  • Requested an audit of Special Education programs, introduced via Forum topic on February 6.
  • Began work of creating a Family Engagement Policy & Plan.
  • Identified areas our Public Engagement Committee (which I chair), can better connect with and use public input.

For more, check out my update shared at the February 20 Board meeting:

Melanie Meren, School Board Member

Upcoming Events

The 2020 Student Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS)

Mark Tuesday, April 21 on your calendar for SEAS 2020! Students from across Northern Virginia - many from Fairfax County - will once again be invited to showcase their schoolwide environmental work and learn from and with other students and environmental professionals. This is an event I’ve been involved with for years, and it’s always inspiring and fun.

Registration is now open! Visit NoVA Outside's SEAS page for the latest information on how students and educators can participate.

Melanie Meren and Wolftrap students

Melanie Meren accompanies the student team from Wolftrap Elementary to a previous SEAS 

Tools to Use

notOK App®

The notOK App® gives students and anyone the ability to get immediate support from friends, family, or peer network. While at the National School Board Association’s Equity Symposium this month, I heard the app’s creators, a brother-and-sister team in high school, share their stories of anxiety that led to making this app that has been a lifelong for students challenged by depression and anxiety.

Get2Green newsletter

Sign up for the FCPS Get2Green newsletter to stay updated on opportunities and inspirations about learning and efforts to expand whole school sustainability and environmental education across Fairfax County.

Bring Your Own Bag to Whole Foods to Benefit FCPS

From now until June 30, the Foundation for FCPS, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that benefits FCPS students and educators, will benefit from Whole Foods’ Nickels for Non-Profits, a community giving program. Every time you bring your own shopping bag to the Fair Lakes, McLean, Springfield, Tysons Corner, and Vienna stores, Whole Foods will donate a nickel to the Foundation. The goal of the program is to reduce the use of new bags, while increasing funding for a local non-profit. Learn more about the Foundation for FCPS

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All the best,


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.

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