Mason District Updates

Dear Mason District Community,

Since March, we have been mired in a health pandemic that has changed every facet of our daily lives. As we continue to deal with the Covid-19 challenges and plan for a fall Return to School, this past week, we are yet again reminded of a social pandemic which has been crippling certain communities for a very long time. I am cognizant that current situations are causing turmoil in our community and I acknowledge that in this forum because our students are unable to learn when they feel unsafe, our staff cannot demonstrate excellence when they feel threatened and as a community, we cannot continue to strive and be our best selves in the face of persistent and chronic injustice. 

Public awareness had been raised and I hope we heed the call to action and engage in honest and constructive conversations in support of marginalized communities as if the future of all students depends on it.  


FY21 Approved Budget

The School Board approved the FY21 Budget during our regular meeting on May 21, 2020. The budget, revised due to the COVID-19 pandemic, includes a reduction from $85.5 million to $7.3 million from the County and a reduction of $4.8 million from the state. Along with other cuts, the total amount of the FY21 budget was reduced by $67.0 million.

The Board voted to preserve $11.2 million for strategic investments in achievement, equity, and social emotional health. Also included in the revised budget is funding to address distance learning challenges and $9.3 million to fund a post COVID-19 recovery plan.

Among the revisions were the elimination of step increases and market scale adjustments for employees; elementary principals salary parity; options for other salary scale enhancements; and division-wide professional development. The Board did approve funding for the second year of a three-year implementation plan to bring classroom instructional support scales to 50 percent of the teacher salaries on the bachelor’s scale; additional on-time graduation coordinators; additional special education resource teachers and intensive support specialists; additional substance abuse prevention specialists; and additional social workers.  

In addition, the Board also approved amendments to develop a plan to move school counselors into the highest-need schools for the 2020-21 school year, and to support gaps in learning for the highest-need English language learner (ELL) students.

FCPS will receive $21.1 million from the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the school system.

The School Board also directed the Superintendent to prepare quarterly reviews of the FY21 budget and recommend adjustments based on the increased availability of funds. Future recommendations should include potential investments being proposed by the County for employee compensation, as well as strategic school-based services.

Glasgow Middle School!

Glasgow Middle School has been recognized by Solution Tree as a Model Professional Learning Community At Work! Glasgow is the only middle school in Virginia and one of only 200 schools and districts in the US and Canada to have earned this distinction.


This recognition is based on rigorous criteria, including demonstration of a commitment to PLC concepts, implementation of these concepts for at least three years, and clear evidence of improved student learning. Model Professional Learning Communities At Work are schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students. The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to:

  1. Focus on learning
  2. Build a collaborative culture
  3. Create a results orientation.

Glasgow Middle School joins other Mason District schools Mason Crest ES and Glen Forest ES as recipients of this prestigious award. This recognition is a testament to the efforts of the Glasgow staff and students. Congratulations!


Access Library Books Online

While the Fairfax County Public Library buildings are closed, you can obtain a virtual library card to use until the buildings re-open. No need to present documents. Just sign up online.

When buildings re-open, you can get a real card and account by presenting a photo ID and proof of address at the library. If you don’t get a real card, the virtual account will eventually disappear.

Already have a library card? Set up and use Libby, the Overdrive app for reading and listening to books online.

Go to this link for a tutorial on how to sign up and how to access Libby and online books.

Need more help? Go to Go to Ask the Library and submit your question.

Curbside Services

Fairfax County Public Library’s curbside pickup of holds and grab bags begins Monday, June 1. Curbside pickup hours at all branches are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit the Curbside Services webpage for information on using this service.

Temporary Food Assistance (P-EBT)

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) families whose children are eligible for the federal free and reduced-price meal program can receive temporary food assistance from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS). Families will receive a P-EBT (Pandemic Electronic Bank Transfer) for temporary food assistance to cover the cost of meals missed while schools are closed.

FCPS has submitted the names of families currently eligible for free or reduced-price meals (FRM) to the VDSS; currently eligible families do not need to apply or fill out additional forms to receive the funds.

Families that are not currently eligible for free and reduced-price meals can apply for that program by June 11. VDOE and VDSS ultimately approve eligibility and issue the benefit. 

Please see this news release for more information.

NCS Community and Teen Centers go Virtual!

Recently, Fairfax County launched NCS Connects, designed to emulate the experience of visiting a Community or Teen Center. The platform was created for youth and teens of all abilities, grades 1-12.

The current activities include Bigfoot Race and Paper Airplane Fun for young children, Save the Earth Poster and Vegetarian One-Pot Meal for grades 7-12, among others. The platform also kicked off with two videos: a circuit training workout for teens, and a special message to youth featuring more than a dozen NCS staff.

Along with new weekly activities added each Monday, youth and teens have access to the Exploration Station for on-demand resources and previous activities for students in grades 1-12 and their parents.

Visit NCS Connects for more information.

get to green

Eco-School Awards

Congratulations to Belvedere ES and Beech Tree ES on their recent Eco-School Awards. The Eco-Schools program improves student academic achievement, contributes to financial savings through energy and water conservation, reduces waste and consumption, increases environmental awareness and stewardship, and boosts community involvement. Learn more about the Eco-Schools program.

Supporting Your Child with Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship can be described as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior (and its positive and negative impact on self and others) with regard to technology use. All FCPS students are learning to become safe, ethical, and responsible digital citizens. FCPS recognizes that schools and families both play a role in helping children develop the skills and behaviors needed to make positive contributions to the online community.

As we move to distance learning, families and caregivers will play a critical role in modeling expected behaviors, and mentoring their children as they use technology to learn with others online. Children may test limits in new online learning spaces. Some children may have difficulty with self-regulation and this is a normal part of child development. Children may need support from families caregivers and their teachers.

To help, FCPS has many resources to support family learning and conversations, which can be found on the Digital Citizenship for Families webpage.

2020 All-Virginia
Middle School Chorus

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.

Congratulations to the selected Mason District students!

Glasgow Middle School:

Colt Armstrong, Madeline Jensen, Juliette Jensen,
Gabriela Simmons-Robles, and Madison Okada

Holmes Middle School:

Lina Abu-El-Hawa, Jordon Dixon, Jamison McAndrew,
Drew McKenna, Tyler Miller, and Madeline Vukich

Poe Middle School:

Amelia Mongold and Bilal Hammod

Ms Ireland

 Heroes of Distance Learning

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Cox Local VA went on a search to find Virginia teachers who have become Heroes of Distance Learning. Out of the 156 teachers nominated, Cox named 11 of them as Heroes of Distance Learning. Six of the top prize winners are from FCPS, including Annandale Terrace 5th grade teacher, Ashley Ireland! They were awarded $1,000 for a virtual classroom makeover.  Meet Cox's Heroes of Distance Learning.

Summer Learning

ESOL Online: Language and Literacy Connections for current English learners in grades 7-12 will be held Monday, June 22-Tuesday, July 14, in two sessions. The morning session will run from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. daily and an evening session will run from 7 to 8 p.m. daily. Students may select one of the two sessions. For more information and to register, contact your ESOL teacher or visit ESOL Summer Learning.

Special Education: FCPS will provide Extended School Year (ESY) to students, grades PreK-12, whose IEP (Individualized Education Program) team determines that the student qualifies for ESY due to significant regression and lack of recoupment of skills that were gained during the regular school year prior to the shutdown.

Middle and Elementary School: Students can focus on math and literacy using self-directed print and digital materials—supported by teachers—from Monday, June 29, through Friday, July 31. These teachers will hold virtual office hours to provide support. A middle school ESOL online summer program will also be offered; dates will be communicated soon. These programs are free to students and more information about continuity of learning resources will be provided before the end of the school year.

High School: Summer High School Credit Recovery classes will occur via distance learning at every high school from Monday, July 6, through Friday, July 24. This free virtual program is designed to allow students to recover credit for a failed course or receive targeted intervention to support future success. Schools will be able to invite students who did not fail a course but who may need extra support. 

Online Campus  will be open to all students to take courses for new credit. Students will complete a full course and participate in daily synchronous (live) communication with teachers. Students who enroll in the Online Campus pay tuition however, tuition has been reduced to $375 for this summer. Students who have already registered will receive additional information about a refund.

Students may also work with their school counselor for approval to complete a new course through a college of university or through another public or private school accredited by the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) and virtual private schools accredited by VCPE.

For courses taken outside of FCPS, the parent or guardian must complete the Request to Earn High School Credit from Programs Outside of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) form. Submit the completed form and additional documents to your child’s school counselor to obtain permission to transfer credit prior to enrolling in any non-FCPS program.


JHS Student Invention

Andrew Tran, a junior at Justice High School was recently highlighted in a story in the Fairfax County Times about his newest invention - an AI-based learning assistant  to help answer questions about schoolwork while learning from home. Read the story here.

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