May 11th Town Hall – Return to School, Budget, and Graduation

Dear Fairfax County students, staff and families,

I hope you are staying safe and healthy! I have received many questions about return to school for the summer or fall and graduation and so am sending you this to fill you in on School Board work related to those topics. I will be holding my weekly town hall tonight to discuss these topics and more. Below are links and more information.

This week, the school board will meet virtually Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to discuss:

  • Preliminary Return to School plans (Monday)
  • Class of 2020 graduation options (Monday)
  • The AAP Study Results (Monday)
  • Virtual Budget Public Hearings (Tuesday)
  • FY 21 budget (Thursday)

For those of you who can’t watch the live stream Monday, I will go over our Return to Learn, budget and graduation presentations Monday night during my weekly town hall (more information below). I will be joined by my colleague, Megan McLaughlin, budget chair and school board member for the Braddock District. We look forward to answering your questions and sharing information.

Finally, for you moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day! I want to take a moment to thank all the moms – thank you especially to our hero moms working in healthcare, the essential stores, our delivery and postal workers, our farmers and plant workers, our moms doing double duty working and helping support their children’s learning, the moms missing their adult children (and the adult children missing their moms), and all the moms making the best of these difficult times. I thank you all. I spent most of the day working grading papers and prepping for our school board meetings but I did get a nice walk in the sunshine, my son treated me to a “pajama jams” concert in the evening, and my daughter cleaned the bathrooms!

It’s the little things in life that matter these days and I am grateful for those little things and also recognize how lucky I am that I have those little things in my life. I hope you were also able to enjoy the beautiful weather and celebrate the little things in life on Sunday.

Again, please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can help your family.

In Health,


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P.S. At the end of this newsletter, I have recognized our FCPS middle school students who were selected for All-Virginia chorus. I’d like to share this message for those students (I previously shared this for our all state high school students):

While I know it is incredibly disappointing to have your workshops and performances cancelled, I wanted to take this chance to recognize and congratulate you and recognize your amazing talent and hard work. This is quite an achievement and I hope you and your loved ones are very proud of you. I know I am.

Keep making music. While I am incredibly grateful to our first responders, medical professionals, grocery store and supply chain workers, delivery workers, postal workers, and many more, I am also thankful for the actors, writers, and musicians whose movies, shows, music, and books are keeping my family occupied and sane. I appreciate the joy, laughter, entertainment, and thought-provoking conversations my family has had because of the arts in our lives.

Below you will find information on (in order):

  1. My Monday Town Halls (Updated)
  2. School Board Meetings this week
  3. Updated Office Hours
  4. Links to Superintendent Brabrand’s Town Halls and Community Messages from May 4-10
  5. Frequently Asked Questions Pt. 3
  6. Hearings Office Report
  7. National Day of Graduation
  8. Communicating with me
  9. Middle School All State Chorus Students

Monday 7-8 pm Town Halls (Updated):

Since I started on the school board four months ago, I’ve been committed to being as available and transparent as possible, and part of that is holding these weekly townhalls.

Tonight’s Townhall (May 11th):

I will be joined by Megan McLaughlin, Budget Chair and School Board Member for the Braddock District

Via ZOOM and Facebook Live

Link to Zoom Meeting Here

Meeting ID: 821 0523 2137 Password: 623214

(Phone Dial in Option  +1 301 715 8592)

Link to Facebook Live Sessions Here. 

Rachna and Megan

We will hold a town hall via Zoom (limit 100). I will also use Facebook Live for anyone who can’t get into Zoom. You can post questions in the comments on the Facebook live feed as well as via the chat in Zoom and we will do our best to answer those.


Tonight’s Topics

  • Return to Learn
  • Budget
  • Graduation


May 18th Town Hall

Jeff McKay


May 18 7-8 pm with Chairman Jeff McKay, Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors - via Zoom and Facebook Live. Come hear the latest county and school updates!

Link to Zoom Meeting Here

Meeting ID: 821 0523 2137 Password: 623214

Link to Facebook Live Sessions Here.


June Townhalls:

Starting in June, I will be going to every other week for my town halls.

  • June 1st 7-8 pm
  • June 15 7-8 pm
  • June 29 7-8 pm

Link to Zoom Meeting Here

  • Meeting ID: 821 0523 2137 Password: 623214

Link to Facebook Live Sessions Here.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

SB dais

Monday, May 11th, Work Session - 1 pm

Return to School, Graduation, AAP Report

  • Superintendent draft proposal for Return to School plans - the School Board will hear a presentation from FCPS staff on “Return to School” – the preliminary thoughts of what returning to school will look like.
  • Superintendent plans for Class of 2020 graduation - I have heard from students and families asking for a meaningful graduation experience for our seniors. Rest assured I have sharing your thoughts with FCPS Leadership.
  • AAP Program Review final report and recommendations- In March 2019, the School Board requested an external review of identification practices for FCPS’ Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) program. This review and recommendations are contained in this report and will be discussed at the May 11th work session.

School Board Budget Meetings:

May 12th Budget Public Hearing

To sign up to speak or provide comments (virtually) at the FCPS Budget Hearing on May 12thclick here. Registration closes on May 11 at 4:30 pm.

May 14th Budget Work Session

May 21st School Board Meeting to adopt FY 21 budget

  • For school board meeting agenda, handouts and more click here
  • For agenda, handouts and more click here
  • For information on how to submit testimony at a public meeting, click here
  • Members of the public are welcome to attend virtually via at
  • Meetings will be recorded and available to view on the FCPS YouTube page here

This month the School Board will determine the budget for the upcoming school year (2020-2021), beginning the fiscal year on July 1, 2020.

  • The School Board has been working to meet the new challenges presented by decreases in funding for the FCPS budget.
  • Because of COVID-19, we will receive less money from the county and state; however, the federal government is expected to provide FCPS with new funding via a one-time stimulus support of $20.8 million.

Office Hours:

I am now scheduling regular virtual office hours with constituents for May and June. I will hold on two different days a week and you can sign up for 15 minute slots. If we end up needing more time, we can always schedule a longer follow up after our initial meeting. And you are always welcome to send me an email.

Click on this link to sign up 

Superintendent Brabrand’s Town Hall and Community Messages

  1. Recording of My May 4th Town Hall with Superintendent Brabrand Here
  2. Webinar with Superintendent Brabrand and Teresa Johnson with the Special Ed PTA Link Here
  3. Superintendent Brabrand’s May 4 message to community

Frequently Asked Questions Part 3

Can I pick up my child’s belongings from school?

Plans for student item retrieval/medication distribution and classroom pack up have been prepared and will be implemented across the system in individual schools over the remaining weeks of the school year.  Principals received guidance on the three processes today.  Staff and community safety were the foundation of the plan that was developed based on Health Department guidance.   As a result, medication and classroom item pick will be conducted curbside through prescheduled appointments.  Students will not be permitted in the building at this time. Teachers will be permitted to return to their classrooms for end-of-year packing and organization. Schools that are ready, may begin this process as early as May 18. Principals will communicate their individual school plans directly to their school communities.

We are working on a way that a child’s SACC belongings can be collected at the same time. If you want to pick up the items without your child present, please let your school principal know once they have communicated the plan to you.

Is there an answer key for the packets?

Yes, there is an answer key available on the Blackboard 24/7. For copyright reasons, we cannot post the link on a public web or message but if you need help finding the answer key, please reach out to your school’s principal.

What are other schools doing for Distance Learning?

Here is a report discussing distance learning plans for local school divisions and the 10 largest schools systems in the country. Independent Research Firm EAB has updated the Distance Learning Plan Report (Updated EAB Report) for school divisions within the Washington Area Board of Education Districts (WABE) and the 10 largest school districts in the US. This updated report also includes information on the learning management system, video conferencing platforms, and 1:1 device status of the profiled school divisions. Here is the link to the EAB report

What’s going on with AP and IB tests?

The College Board has released the 2020 AP Exam Day Checklist and an Exam Day Experience. Please note, it is important that AP students review the checklist and immediately complete the AP Exam demo to confirm that their testing device and browser will be able to access the AP exam on test day. If a student cannot complete the AP Exam demo, contact the school AP Testing Coordinator for assistance. The following resources from the College Board are now available: 2020 AP Testing Guide, Explainer Videos and new Course Specific Exam Information.

FCPS is sharing the College Board’s most recent updates by program are published on the FCPS public web at Coronavirus Update – Frequently Asked Questions.

Hearings Office Report

During the 2018-19 school year, school principals and program administrators submitted 883 student disciplinary referrals to the Hearings Office, an 18% increase in Hearings Office referrals compared to the previous school year. An examination of student misconduct resulting in referrals to the Division Superintendent demonstrates that 49% were based primarily upon drug-related violations, 21% upon assault-related violations, 11% upon weapons-related violations, and 19% upon other prohibited conduct. While referrals increased across all offense categories, drug-related referrals increased most significantly, by 38%.

For more information, the 2018-19 Hearings Office Annual Report is available at the following link: 2018-19 Hearings Office Annual Report

Teacher Appreciation

Louise Archer ES PTA's sign of appreciation for our teachers

Louise Archer PTA Heroes Work Here

Appreciating Our Educators and Staff (and parent educators!)

Thank you to our incredible community who have shown so much appreciation to our educators and staff during this Teacher Appreciation Week. Our students and families created videos and songs, donned spirit wear, and more to show that they care. And I want to give a huge shout out to all those parents who are supporting their students’ education at home. As a parent myself juggling my two jobs with helping my own child, I both have a new-found greater appreciation for our teachers and much respect for all our families out there trying to be everything to everyone. These are incredibly difficult times and I have been humbled watching people rise up to support one another these days.


National Day of Graduation

Saturday May 16th

buses 2020

FCPS Transportation’s Message to the Class of 2020

The class of 2020 has faced a senior year like none other in history. The XQ organization has partnered with The Lebron James Family Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to celebrate high school seniors throughout the country with a first-of-its-kind national graduation that will air simultaneously on network television, social media and streaming platforms on Saturday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

The event will feature LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, H.E.R., Megan Rapinoe, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Ben Platt and others. Former President Barack Obama will give the commencement address.

Here's how you and your students can participate:

Communicating with me

For more frequent updates and information, please like and follow me on Facebook and Twitter

I cannot conduct school board business via direct messages on Twitter or Messenger. As always, the best way for me to receive input is via the official public constituent contact – click on “Submit a Question” here

Please note that due to the volume of emails I receive, and that I do not have any full-time staff, it is difficult to respond as quickly as I’d like. I do read all of these communications, share thoughts and concerns, and try to respond as quickly as possible. Thank you!

Middle School All State Virginia Chorus

music graphic

Seventy-three students from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) middle schools were named to the 2020 All-Virginia Middle School Chorus. This group had been scheduled to perform on Saturday, April 25, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, but the performances were cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Students from throughout Virginia went through a rigorous audition process to compete for a spot in the chorus. Students selected for this ensemble were to have rehearsed with a nationally recognized expert conductor to prepare for their performance.

See below for all the students who worked incredibly hard for this honor! I am sorry you will not be able to experience the performance

FCPS students selected for the 2020 All-Virginia Middle School Chorus are:

  • Carson Middle School: Sri Allam, Om Arya, Adarsh Bhardawaj, Nicholas Boswell, Sansh Chawla, Vaishnavi Desabatla, Ashley Ding, T. Liden Krush, Emma Mathew, Sofia Mutarelli, Spoorthi Nadkarni, Harper Nave, Shikha Raghuram, Vishwa Rakasi, Shreya Sahu, Alexandra Seemueller, and Manashaa Shan. 
  • Franklin Middle School: Ellalee Bullock.
  • Frost Middle School: Max Goldsmith, Emily Hudders, Sarah Hymans, Yasmin Kudrati-Plummer, Joaquin Najar, Carlos Ramirez, Charlotte Reymann, Brandon Spratt, and Claire Warden.
  • Glasgow Middle School: Colt Armstrong, Madeline Jensen, Juliette Jensen, Gabriela Simmons-Robles, and Madison Okada.
  • Herndon Middle School: Sumner Langston.
  • Holmes Middle School: Lina Abuelhawa, Jordan Dixon, Jamison McAndrew, Drew McKenna, Tyler Miller, and Madeline Vukich.
  • Hughes Middle School: Ashley Gurney and August Rivers. 
  • Jackson Middle School: Gina Huang, Ella Kim, and Daniel Miller.
  • Kilmer Middle School: Omar Falki, Johnathan Tapia-Urrutia, and Elisabeth Barnett.
  • Lanier Middle School: Ainsley Buice, Diana Mejia Lopez, Daniel Moir, and Laila Simpson.
  • Longfellow Middle School: Riya Hemanth.
  • Poe Middle School: Amelia Mongold and Bilal Hammod
  • Rocky Run Middle School: Laura Mineo, Grace Paul, and Lillianna McNerney.
  • South County Middle School: Reina Fernandez, Natalie Beasley, Theodore Jones III, Nathan Bach, Jacob Butts, and Ariana Rahman.
  • Stone Middle School: Nicole Lane, Alejandro Cahoon, Justin Pokrant, and Justin Short.
  • Thoreau Middle School: Gianna Gecan, Fortune Picker, Jose Mendoza Blanco, Meher Nalwala, Angelina Remondino, and Cole Seevers


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