Teacher Appreciation, Monday Work Session & Budget Town Hall

Greetings Braddock District Community,

For today’s Friday Newsletter, I will be providing you information on several topics:

  1. National Teacher Appreciation Week (School Board Public Recognition)
  2. Special Message from Braddock Supervisor James Walkinshaw
  3. NEW "It Takes A Village" spotlight on Braddock District community acts of kindness
  4. Monday’s Budget Town Hall with School Board Member Rachna Sizemore Heizer
  5. Upcoming School Board Meetings: FY21 Budget, Fall 2020 Return to School plans, and AAP Program Review final report

As we close out National Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to personally convey my gratitude for our incredibly dedicated teachers, school-based technology specialists, and school staff who work tirelessly to ensure all students have an opportunity to reach their full potential. Without question, the COVID-19 crisis has created unimaginable challenges and yet our teachers and school staff have remained steadfast in their desire to connect and support their students. Even though this special week has concluded, families are encouraged to email "notes of appreciation" to our teachers and/or staff (be sure to copy their principals who will be equally pleased to read these words of praise).

I would also like to extend my gratitude to FCPS parents and guardians who have served as additional "instructional teachers" to their children during this time of Distance Learning. This can be especially difficult for our working families with young children. Without question, our students continue to thrive as result of this added support for their education. 

Please note that I have created a NEW section in my newsletter called "It Takes A Village." This phrase comes from the well-known African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child." It beautifully captures our community’s collective effort to support our children (and families), particularly during this very difficult crisis. Listed below are recent examples that reflect this ideal, and I invite you to send me new stories to share in future newsletters.

  • Lake Braddock science teacher David Kelly and his students’ "Soap for Hope" project has raised more than $7500 to help Lake Braddock families who have been financially impacted by the COVID crisis.
  • Three Robinson students using their skills, time, and talents to make a difference by serving their community.

And finally, I want to extend a very special "Happy Mother’s Day" wish to all who will be honored this Sunday. Thank you for the care and support you give every day to your loved ones!

Yours in service,


School Board Recognition

of National Teacher Appreciation Week

(Presented at the May 7, 2020 School Board Meeting)

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 and it started on Sunday, May 3, 2020.

National Teacher Appreciation Week, is a week-long celebration in recognition of teachers and the contributions they make to education and society. It is held in the first full week of May of every year and provides an opportunity for students, their parents, and school principals to show their appreciation for the hard work teachers do and the long hours many of them put in. At this time of distance learning there are many school staff beyond classroom teachers who have worked extraordinarily hard to keep our students learning. FCPS is proud to recognize all our teachers as well as the school-based professionals who have made distance learning possible. Especially during this time of social distancing, FCPS school staff are going above and beyond to help children learn remotely.

Typically, during this time of year, teachers receive thank you gifts and notes of gratitude from their students, and schools organize events and celebrations to mark the occasion. This is a challenge this year due to social distancing. But there has never been a more appropriate time to show our gratitude for the staff in FCPS. While schools are closed and students are at home, and we’re reminded just how incredible teachers are. We've always been amazed by the hard work and impact of teachers, but we may never have fully realized just how tough their job was until now.

Say thank you to the educators in your life by participating in National Teacher Appreciation Week. There are plenty of meaningful ways to show gratitude outside the classroom, and it’s easy to get kids involved, too! Have them write a note, draw a picture, or create a video of thanks. You can also coordinate with other parents in the class as a way to say thank you from all the students together.  

At this time, on behalf of our school board and administration, it is my pleasure to recognize our FCPS teachers and staff and to offer a heartfelt thank you for all you are doing and continue to do for our students! We welcome this opportunity to highlight the energy, dedication, and vision that they contribute to our school system.

Special Message from Supervisor Walkinshaw

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, a once-a-year opportunity to pause and show our love for the teachers in our community. But in truth, we should be appreciating our teachers each and every day of the year. Here in Fairfax County, teachers are the key to providing our children with the world-class education they need and deserve.

Our teachers change the lives of children every day -- guiding, inspiring, and loving the young people who are our future. This school year is a school year like no other, as COVID-19 challenges us all. But as we knew they would, our teachers have risen to meet the challenge. They've been working tirelessly and creatively to find ways to connect with their students and ensure that learning continues. While we should do it every week, let's at least take this week to reach out to our teachers and thank them!

Yours in service,

James R. Walkinshaw
Braddock District Supervisor

It Takes a Village

LBSS Eighth Graders Use Chemistry Skills to Make Soap, Help Community During Quarantine


Science Teacher David Kelly created a student-driven service learning project to help Lake Braddock families in need. The group voted to call their project Soap for Hope, using their science skills to create soap and raise funds for team members whose families were struggling with lost income.

The students researched how to make soap while learning about how the chemical properties destroy viruses and—not only did they create more than 400 bars of soap—their soaps are colorful, creative, and reflective of them and their interests in addition to being a great weapon against the virus. A minimum donation nets the donor a bar of soap and thank you letter for helping support the community. Nearly 100 percent of Kelly’s students are participating in Soap for Hope in roles including soap chemist, letter writer, influencer, and production staff member. The community has donated and distributed supplies, offered their homes as soap drop-off locations, and spread the word about the project. Additionally, Soap for Hope has raised more than $7,500 to help Lake Braddock families.

Read the full story here.

Robinson Rams in Service

RHSRHS 2020RHS 2021

Monday Budget Town Hall 

I will be partnering with At-Large School Board Member Rachna Sizemore Heizer for a town hall to discuss the FY21 Budget. Please join us to hear the latest information and have your questions answered.

Monday, May 11, 2020

7 - 8 p.m.

Join the Zoom Meeting

To join by phone: 301-715-8592
or find your local number here.

Meeting ID: 821 0523 2137
Password: 623214

School Board Meetings and Public Hearings

  • Work Session, Monday, May 11 at 1 p.m.
    -Superintendent draft proposal for Fall 2020 Return to School
    -AAP Program Review final report and recommendations
  • Public Hearing, Tuesday, May 12 at 5 p.m.
    The School Board will hear public testimony on the FY21 Budget. Community members that wish to speak at this public hearing can register here.
  • FY21 Budget Work Session, Thursday, May 14 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Regular Meeting, Thursday, May 21 at 1:30 p.m.
    The School Board will vote to adopt the FY21 Budget

All School Board regular meetings, work sessions and public hearings can be viewed on Channel 99 (Comcast and Cox), Channel 11 (Verizon) or streamed live online.

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