LBSS Weekly News - June 12, 2020

Bruin 2020

Update from Dr. Smith

Lake Braddock Families!

As we close out this year, I wanted to reflect on the successful year that we have had together and all the relationships built with families, students, and staff.  While this is not the ending that any one of us would have hoped for, the strong relationships and support are what got us through this unprecedented time.  

My goals were to build trust within our community, provide opportunities for all voices to be heard, and increase the support that our school could provide to families.  This year, students participated in the first ever Principal's Cabinet, Athletics Council, and Clubs Council as a way to elevate student voices and provide additional opportunities for students to contribute and improve our culture at Lake Braddock.  We partnered with our PTSA to provide events where parents learned strategies to help their children be successful in school and deal with challenging topics like anxiety and substance abuse.   We also provided parent coffee events, even in the virtual setting, to make sure we provided timely information, were available for parents to ask questions and share their concerns with myself and Lindsey Kearns, our Associate Principal.  We also created the first ever School Planning Council where parents, students, and staff came together to discuss our current state and the future of LBSS.  

As we end this school year, I wish you happiness and a wonderful summer break.  As more information about next year becomes available, we will communicate out those changes and how they may impact Lake Braddock.  Know that we will continue to be here for you, our LBSS family, throughout the summer break if you need anything.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Have a wonderful and safe summer! 


United as Bruins,

Daniel W. Smith, Ed.D.

Important This Week

Class of 2020 Photo Opportunity

Our Class of 2020 Photo Opportunity is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, June 15 and 16. Please see the email from Dr. Smith sent earlier this week for details, along with the June 12 email with the location update due to the rain. Here is the link for the sign up to reserve a time slot.

7th-11th Grade Item Pickup

We have a final pickup date scheduled for locker items on Friday, June 19 from 8:00 to noon. Please drive up and park outside door 14. Show a paper with your student's name and locker number (if known). Please remain in your car. A staff member will bring your items to you.

If you have items that may have been missed during the initial pickup, please use this link to provide information: Student Item Follow-Up


Returning School-issue Laptop

School-issued laptops will not be returned to school for the summer, unless you are a Senior or you are not returning to Lake Braddock SS for the 2020-21 school year. Seniors will return their laptops during the day they come to get their Senior packets. All other students who are leaving Lake Braddock SS, please contact Lindsey Kearns ( to schedule a time to return your laptop. 


PE Lockers

We realize that there are still a large number of families who have been unable to pick up their PE locker items. Please know that we share your frustration and are working hard to sort everything out. If you are still missing PE items, please fill out the Google form linked above. Once we have had the final locker pick up on June 19, we will go through the bags once again to locate any missing items entered on the Google form.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Last Call to Purchase Yearbooks

The high school and middle school yearbooks will be delivered to school sometime in early July. After they arrive, the advisers (Mrs. Poquis and Mr. Toney) will send an email to all purchasers with a plan for pickup.

If you have not yet purchased a book, but want one, you can order from the publisher site at using school order code 5061 for the high school and 13956 for the middle school. Orders can only be taken until June 20 there.

You can also place an order on MySchoolBucks. We will accept orders until we are sold out via this option.

If you aren’t sure if you have already placed an order, please email Mrs. Poquis at or Mr. Toney at

Information for All

Principal's Cabinet















Principal's Cabinet Year End Summary

This past year, Lake Braddock introduced a new opportunity to students called the Principal's Cabinet. The Principal’s Cabinet was created by Dr. Smith to get insight from students to glean what LBSS does well and what it could improve. The inaugural cabinet of 70  voted and decided to focus on these 7 topics: Teacher Consistency, Student Activities, Respect, Physical Environment, Parking and Security, Mental Health, and Attendance. In October, students picked one of the 7 sub-committees to join. Each sub-committee began to come up with the issues they sought to fix this year. There was also one additional sub-committee known as the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was comprised of 11 students representing both middle school and high school. They met monthly prior to each larger council meeting to structure the work time, as well as to update Dr. Smith on the progress that each committee was making and how the administration could help speed it up. 

Throughout the rest of the school year, students met bi-monthly with their sub-committees to help improve Lake Braddock. Multiple accomplishments were planned for this spring/summer but have now been delayed till the next school year. Each committee’s work can be seen in the bullets below. 

  • Student Activities: Powderpuff football game and boys volleyball game.
  • Mental Health: Had Sam Lucania come and speak to students and parents.
  • Parking & School Security: Painting senior parking spots that will double as a senior class fundraiser.
  • Responsibility: Piloted a cafeteria clean up program with middle school students.
  • Physical Environment: Did research on implementing murals within Lake Braddock, as well as piloting a new type of bathroom pass.
  • Attendance: Created an attendance challenge among grade levels with a party as a reward.
  • Teacher Consistency: Brainstormed and researched what helped students thrive in their learning environment. 

As school has moved to an online platform, so did our Principal’s Cabinet work. We continued to have monthly meetings, and work within our sub-committees to find creative solutions to the new problems students were facing at home. We created a new sub-committee focused on student morale. The student morale committee has only existed for 2 months but has already created solutions to some newfound problems. They have created a new program called Bruin Bites which is a virtual lunch program that offers students a chance to share lunch on Blackboard Collaborate instead of in the cafeteria. While our year got cut short this year, this past school year was a very successful inaugural year for the principal’s cabinet. 

The students on the Principal’s Cabinet would like to thank Dr. Smith for providing this opportunity to provide input and solutions to problems that our school may face. He has done an extraordinary job of giving students a voice and bringing positive change to Lake Braddock.  I also want to say thank you to Mrs. Kearns, Mr. Dibari, Mrs. Hoppock. Ms. Eby, Mr. Darwin, Dr. Patrick, Ms. Pritchett, Mrs. Soos, Ms. Polino, Ms. Pack, Ms. Pevner, Ms. Butler-Johnson, and Ms. Petrovic. These individuals have put countless hours into helping our school become the best place for a student to learn. We learned that when we work together as a LBSS community more can get done for the good of all. We look forward to the positive changes that will come from this committee in the future. If you are interested in having a voice on the principal’s cabinet, be sure to look out for applications in the fall! 

Odyssey of the Mind World Finals Winners

Congratulations to the following LB students, who competed over the past several weeks in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals tournaments. The students' participation in the World Finals this year is a particularly huge accomplishment because of all the extra work involved in adapting to an online format, so only a small percentage of teams from all the regional, state, and national competitions took part.  Without being able present their problem solutions live, which is how they trained all year to do, the students worked hard during the shut-down to rework them into new formats and record them online with team members at a distance, and then also took part in a timed, online spontaneous competition.


Team 1.  Lake Braddock/West Springfield/Thomas Jefferson:  7th-9th grades, Technical Division III

Lake Braddock SS:  Maliha Sheikh (9th), Kate Burns (9th), Evan Adams (8th), Ella Ridgway (7th), Zach Davis (7th)

West Springfield HS:  Robbie Kugler (9th)

Thomas Jefferson HSST: Laura Ridgway (9th)


Team 2.  Lake Braddock/Irving:  8th grade, Classics Division II

Lake Braddock SS:  Jonathan Barnard, Zumi Riekse, Casey Chen, Tyler Huang, Kiersten Schmitt, Vitaliy Schweigert (all 8th)

Irving MS:  Sarayu Jilludumudi (8th)

LB Student Starting Coffee Delivery Business

Check out this article in the Connection Newspaper about LB Junior Josh Putz, who has started a coffee delivery service.

Summer Learning

FCPS school buildings will remain closed through the end of July. Therefore, we will continue to provide optional, virtual learning opportunities for students from June 29 to July 31. Students currently in grades 9-11 will have access to a Google Site that provides practice on essential skills to review over the summer. The Google Site(s) will be located on the Free Summer Offerings page and will be live by June 24. The Mathematics site will focus on practice of essential mathematics content. The Language Arts site will provide practice on grammar and mechanics and offer choice reading opportunities. Students currently in grades 7-8 will receive both a Mathematics and Language Arts Essentials Summer Practice Book in the mail by the end of June; digital versions of the books will also be posted on the Continuity of Learning Blackboard page. These books will provide practice activities that review essential content from the 2019-2020 school year. Students will receive a mathematics book based on the level of mathematics they took during the 2019-20 school year. The language arts book will focus on essential skills in reading, writing, grammar, mechanics and vocabulary.

A supplemental English Language Development Summer Practice Book will be mailed to students enrolled in High School ESOL Newcomer Programming (ELP Level 1 & 2) in Grades 9 – 11, as well as middle school English learners who are ELP levels 1 & 2. These books will provide English Language Development practice activities to support and enrich language development during the summer. Language Arts workbook that all students receive will contain an ELD section with language development activities designed for students at ELP level 3 & 4. In addition, High school English Learners enrolled in Individual Math and Algebra 1 Part 1 in the spring of 2020 will mailed an Algebra preparation focused math packet. 

Students with disabilities accessing the Adapted Curriculum will receive four packets mailed to families in July to support their learning. 

To support student learning from June 29 to July 31, teachers will hold one hour per week of “office hours” for Continuity of Learning. Office hours for Mathematics, Language Arts, and English Language Development will be with one of our own outstanding staff members and are intended to support students with the digital practice resources and the English Language Development Summer Practice Book. To register your student for office hours and receive a secure link, please complete school insert a link using questions from HERE. Once registered, your child will receive log-in information through his or her FCPS Google email address prior to the first session.

There are additional opportunities students have to earn course credit and receive a grade this summer. Registration for any summer program has to be approved by the student’s high school counselor by June 15 as counselors do not work over the summer.  Student Services contact information can be found here:

  • Virtual Credit Recovery with Lake Braddock teachers. We will be offering the following courses: Health/PE 9 & 10, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Algebra Functions Data Analysis (AFDA), English 9-12, Biology, Chemistry, Geosystems, World History I & II, US/VA History & Government. Registration has begun and will continue until Monday June 15th . To register your student for office hours and receive a secure link, please complete school insert a link using questions from HERE. Over three weeks from July 6th through July 24th, students will take part in synchronous learning as well as complete daily online learning modules (asynchronous). Students are eligible to enroll in Virtual Credit Recovery for one course only. There is NO COST to take credit recovery course.
  • FCPS Online: Students who meet the course prerequisites can take one online course. Students who have completed a high school math course may take an online campus math class. Middle School students who expunged a high school math course or wanting to recover a course credit may take the course again. Please note there is a COST to participate in these courses.
  • Virtual Virginia is offering 52 online courses, including core, world language an elective courses. Enrollment for summer sessions continues until June 17th. Classes begin June 17th and run through July 28th. Please note there is a COST to participate in these courses.
  • Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPS) Virtual Program offers a wide variety of programs/classes through private schools as a means for students to seek course credit. Additionally VCPS believes it is desirable to seek accreditation of strengthening their programs and facilities to assure the public that the established mission, vision and philosophy of the school is being fulfilled. Please note there is a COST to participate in these courses. Courses having varying start and end dates depending on which program you choose.


All information regarding these various programs can be found on our Lake Braddock website.

Online Research Workshop by STEM4Tomorrow

STEM4Tomorrow is holding a free online research workshop for students who are interested in conducting scientific research. The speakers are high school students who have actively conducted scientific research and won awards in various research events. They will share their research projects, experiences, and tips. A panel discussion will be held with questions about the research process and their programs. A Zoom link will be sent before the workshop to those who sign up.

The workshop date has been extended to Sunday, June 21.

Sign up and submit your questions at:

STEM4Tomorrow is a student-led volunteering organization dedicated to promoting STEM learning and research. For students who are ready to conduct research or have already started their own research projects, STEM4Tomorrow provides free research-prep courses and research mentorships in various fields. For more information about their programs, please visit

School Counselors Available

Any FCPS parent may schedule a 30-minute phone consultation with a school psychologist or school social worker, for either themselves or their middle or high school student.

Consultations provide an opportunity for parents to receive guidance on how to support their child’s emotional well-being during their time away from school. Student consultations will provide support and strategies to students who may be experiencing difficulties with anxiety, mood, behavior, or peer or family interactions during this unprecedented and challenging time.

Note: Parent consultations are available for all grade levels. Student consultations are only available for middle and high school students. Schedule a phone consultation online.

Lake Braddock Counselors are available to support you as well so please email them if you need support.

PTSA Updates

All PTSA information can be found on the PTSA web site:

MS Information

 virtual vip

VIP Camp is going virtual this summer! The After School Specialists from all FCPS middle schools are hosting an exciting virtual summer camp in partnership with Neighborhood and Community Services. Rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders in the Lake Braddock, Robinson, South County, West Springfield, and Woodson pyramids are invited to join our camp. The camp will run from 9am to 3pm Mondays through Thursdays from June 29th to July 30th. Our camp will consist of a mixture of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (self-guided/recorded) activities, and includes program offerings in the areas of art, basketball, cooking, debate, drama, fitness, STEAM, trivia, yoga and much more! There is no cost associated with this camp, but we are requesting that all campers be registered by Friday, June 19th so we can be efficient in our planning and staffing. Please use the link below to register your child.  

Virtual VIP Camp Summer 2020 Registration   

Middle School Student Recognition

Congratulations to all our middle school students who were recognized by their teachers for their outstanding effort and continued demonstration of Lake Braddock’s core values.  Be sure to check out our complete list of award recipients HERE.  Interdisciplinary Teams recognized these students though end of year team celebrations and certificates were emailed to parents and students last week. 

Physical & Immunization Requirements

Physicals are not required for school entry in grade 7 and above. A TDAP booster is required for all rising 7th grade students. Updated immunization records can be emailed to Angela Santizo at or faxed to 703-426-1193.

HS Information

Alcohol in the time of COVID-19

With all the attention being paid to opioids and opiates, it may be easy to forget that alcohol is the most commonly abused drug in the United States. Teenagers especially, are most likely to abuse alcohol because it is fairly easy to obtain and is more socially normalized. While many of us are either quarantined or spending more time at home due to social distancing restrictions amid COVID-19 concerns, alcohol sales have nearly doubled.

Teenagers being the resourceful and savvy beings that they are, are finding ways to obtain alcohol even in quarantine. Some recent trends include alcohol delivery via Drizly and other services and apps like GrubHub where they may not enforce policies around checking identification. Some states have loosened restrictions around carryout/takeout alcohol and are allowing restaurants to sell pre-made cocktails for carryout. It is especially important as parents to monitor receipts, credit card statements, apps, and orders placed.

Another issue to be mindful of is how easily fake IDs are obtained. Many fake IDs look real and are easily bought from the internet. There are a number of websites dedicated to providing anyone with a fake ID. However, we won’t list them here because we do not want to encourage students to access these sites, which are likely to cause computer viruses. So, check your and your student’s internet histories regularly on all personal devices.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with me, Ken Johnson, Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist for the Lake Braddock Pyramid at .

Information from the Career Center

Click here to view past newsletters from the Career Center.

FCPS Resources

FCPS website for Mental Health Resources and information for emergency mental health services:

Mental Health resources

Calendar at a Glance

June 12: Last day of classes for 7th - 11th grade students

How to Stay In-Touch

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: