LBSS Weekly News - December 18, 2020

Happy Holidays

Message from Dr. Smith

Hello Bruin Families, 

This week has been an eventful week as we close out 2020. The remaining winter sports began the try out process this week and our choral department put on an amazing virtual concert featuring our elementary feeder school students, along with our talented middle school and high school students. Also, our Parent Academy had two events this week. We featured a repeat session  from our clinical team titled Self-care: Good for You and Your Family and our wonderful art teacher Teresa Rose led a family paint night titled An Evening with Kandinsky. Thank you to our staff who are working so hard to put on these various events, concerts and athletic opportunities for our students.  

Recently, the school board discussed several topics regarding grading and bell schedules as we move forward with phasing students back in to the school buildings in January. You will see the adjusted secondary school start and end times, and our staff is currently working through lunches and hall passing times to determine how our bell schedule will need to be modified. There are additional grading policy shifts that are currently being finalized, and we will share more information with you in the first few weeks of the new year.  

From all of the Lake Braddock staff to all of our Bruin Nation families, we want to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. We hope that the winter break will bring you all time to relax and connect with loved ones. We are excited to see you in the New Year. 

United as Bruins, 

Daniel W. Smith, Ed.D.

In this Issue

Important Information for All
Student of the Month Winners
FCPS Meals During Winter Break
Adopt a Soldier
New Bell Schedule
Attendance Requirement Updates
Last Opportunity for Yearbook Photos
Academic Advising
Classroom Monitors Needed
Parent Academy
Substance Abuse Edition: December 2020
Staff Shout Out
LBSS Online Book Store

High School Information
Yearbook Photos
Deadline for May AP Exam Accommodations Request

Middle School Information
TDAP Vaccine Reminder
Middle School-After School Program

FCPS Information
FCPS Tech Support
FCPS Mental Health Resources

Important LBSS Contact Information
Attendance Procedures
How to Stay In Touch

Important Information for All

Student of the Month Winners

Despite our social distancing, we still want to celebrate and recognize our students and our staff. Each month, staff are able to recognize students who have demonstrated characteristics of our Shared Vision. The four main attributes of our theme #BruinsCARE are connected, adaptable, resilient, and engaged. 

Congratulations to the October and November Students of the Month!

October Student of the Month Winners - Adaptable:

  • 7th grade: Alex Cardona-Bustamante
  • 8th grade: Amando Arispe-Camacho
  • 9th grade: Gabriel Salmeron
  • 10th grade: Elissa Press
  • 11th grade: Ieva Thackery
  • 12th grade: Karen Shrieves


November Student of the Month Winners - Resilient:

  • 7th grade: Logman Dawoud
  • 8th grade: Catherine Mendoza-Lozano
  • 9th grade: Reina Westhoff
  • 10th grade: Jaisley Tibayan
  • 11th grade: Jacob Rice
  • 12th grade: Brady Croghan


December Student of the Month Winners will be announced in January. Stay tuned!

FCPS Meals During Winter Break

The following plan will be in place from Friday, December 18, 2020 through Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

Friday, 12/18
Bus routes will offer 4 days of breakfast and lunch
Grab & Go locations will offer 4 days of breakfast and lunch

Monday, 12/21
Bus routes will offer 4 days of breakfast and lunch
Grab & Go locations will not distribute any meals 

Tuesday, 12/22
Bus routes will offer 4 days of breakfast and lunch
Grab & Go locations will offer 14-day meal kits 
Meal Kits sites will offer 14-day meal kits

Wednesday, 12/23 through Friday, 1/1/21
No food service

Monday, 1/4/2021
Resume regular bus route and SRS meal service

Tuesday, 1/5/2021
Resume regular Grab & Go location distribution

Wednesday, 1/6/2021
Resume regular Meal Kit site distribution

Meals will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.   

As a reminder, it is important to follow social distancing guidelines. Be sure to stand a minimum of 6 feet apart from others and practice regular hand washing, including prior to leaving a residence to pick-up meals, upon returning home, and before consuming food.  Please wear a mask when picking up meals. Please visit the Return to School/Food page for more information or call the Office of Food and Nutrition Services at 703-813-4800. 

Adopt a Soldier

America’s Adopt a Soldier® program is celebrating the 10th year of its National Care Letter Campaign to honor deployed service members and veterans in state homes and hospitals. Writing letters of appreciation would be a great activity for students and families to engage in during the winter break. Now more than ever, veterans in veterans’ homes and hospitals are feeling isolated. Many have no family or family nearby and eagerly await visits from volunteers. However, these visits have not been possible due to health and safety restrictions resulting from the pandemic.  

Cards and letters will be accepted through Tuesday, December 29, and should be mailed to:

America’s Adopt a Soldier
5400 Shawnee Road, Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22312

For more information visit: or call 703-278-3718.

New Bell Schedule

Each year, the Office of Transportation Services reviews the bell schedules for all Fairfax County public schools and makes minor adjustments as necessary to improve on-time arrivals. As you can imagine, developing this school year’s bell schedule has been extremely challenging due to the pandemic.

You may remember that new school bell schedules were announced in July. Our school’s bell schedule was changed. However, given the all-virtual start to the school year, there was no need to implement the new bell schedule.

At the School Board Work session on December 10, Superintendent Brabrand presented a revised phase-in plan to return all students who have selected the in-person option starting in January 2021. Staff worked to improve start times and end times for all levels.

Barring any changes to the plan that may be impacted by the pandemic, the following bell schedule will be in place effective January 12, 2021 for both virtual and in-person instruction.

Return to School Bell Schedule

Middle School


Secondary School


High School


Thomas Jefferson


Elementary School

9:00-3:30 or 9:45-4:15


We feel this plan is a significant improvement and less disruptive over what was presented in the original plan last summer.

The fifteen (15) minute reduction in the school day is due to the increased cleaning time required between bus runs. Additionally, as more students return to school, the number of students allowed on each bus will be reduced substantially to meet social distancing requirements. With fewer students able to ride a bus at the same time, FCPS has no choice but to adjust the times that our buses are transporting students.

We understand that changes may present a hardship to some of our families and staff. However, it is the only way we can return all our grade levels to in-person learning, while following the critical guidelines to help keep our students and staff safe.

Thank you for your understanding.

Attendance Requirement Updates

Please remind your students that on January 4th and 11th, students MUST complete the regular Monday Check-In form to be marked as present for the day. While Mondays have been designated as teacher prep days (with no teachers' office hours), attendance records are still required. Students must complete the Monday Check-In form to be marked as present for the day. Please ask your students to set a reminder in their phone, write it in their agenda, and/or make a note on their calendar.

High School Monday Check-In Form Link

Middle School Monday Check-In Form Link

The LBSS Attendance Team thanks you for your continuous support! Happy Holidays!

Last Opportunity for Yearbook Photos

The LAST opportunity to get a middle school or underclassmen studio yearbook photo and a school ID will be on January 11. Photos will be taken between 9:00 and 1:00 on this day. Use the following links to schedule your session.

High School -

Middle School

Email with questions.

Academic Advising

It is hard to believe that it is already time to begin to select courses for the 2021-2022 school year!  This year, our staff has been hard at work to develop a Curriculum Fair Google Site that will house information on the courses that we offer here at Lake Braddock. This site, in addition to our Online Course Catalog and counselor lead programs, will be used to help students and families identify courses for the upcoming school year. This site will not only hold information on course offerings but will also allow for families to ask questions and see responses from staff!  

Please review the LBSS Academic Advising Timeline and mark your calendars for these important events related to Academic Advising/Course Registration as the process will begin as soon as we return from winter break!

Please note that students will be selecting their courses in StudentVue. Course selection sheets are for reference only and will not be turned in. Parents will be able to see the courses students have selected through their ParentVue account.  CLICK HERE if you need help accessing your ParentVue account.

academic advising

Classroom Monitors Needed

LBSS is looking to hire classroom monitors to provide in-person classroom assistance for students when a teacher remains virtual. The position will start mid-January and end June 11. The pay rate is $15.42 per hour, for 7.5 hours per day, Tuesday through Friday.

Description:  Provides in-person classroom assistance to a school or center assisting a virtual teacher with conducting classroom activities; works with individual and small groups of students; operates technology to include cameras, learning platforms, and learning tools; helps maintain order and discipline and assists in managing the behavior of students; provides supervision throughout the school day including in the classroom, halls, and lunch; performs administrative and non-instructional duties, such as keeping daily attendance; and ensures all CDC/safety protocols and procedures (e.g., fire drills) are implemented and followed. 

Qualifications:  Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from high school. Must be comfortable with basic technology equipment/tools; knowledge of and ability to ensure all CDC/safety protocols and procedures are implemented and followed; and ability to interact effectively with the assigned student population.

If you are interested in applying for this job, please contact Ms. Jennifer Harris.

Parent Academy

See our Website for more information about Parent Academy events.


Previous Parent Academy Recording

Self-care: Good for You and Your Family: Self Care Recording


Upcoming Parent Academy Events

The Teenage Brain, Drug Trends, and Parent Tips Series
See dates below for various sessions
Hosted by the Jessica Giffin, Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS) & Office of Student Safety and Wellness

Session 1: The Teenage Brain: Building Connections - January 12, 2021 @ 7 PM

Session 2: Drugs & The Teenage Brain - January 21, 2021 @ 7 PM

Session 3: Drug Trends in Teens: Identifying Common Household Substances and Drug Culture - January 26, 2021 @ 7 PM

Register here today – Registration Link
Questions? Contact Jessica Giffin at


Upcoming LBSS Parent Academy Events - Family Engagement Series

Middle School Family Reading Club - Here Be Dragons!
January 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Hosted by LBSS Middle School Librarians
Please click HERE to register and enter to win a book of your own choice! The virtual link will be sent to each member. 
Questions? Please contact Carolyn Hilyard at or Diane Rogers at 

High School Family Book Chat
January 21, 2021 from 7-8 PM
Hosted by the LBSS High School Librarians
Register by January 13th here: LBSS Book Chat Registration Form
Questions? Please contact Sarah Pevner, or Laura Christadore,

Substance Abuse Edition: December 2020

Happy Holidays Bruin Family! As winter approaches and we prepare for the holidays and winter break from school, it is important to be mindful of the increased risks of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. During a normal fall or winter, children and adults may feel lost, sad, or isolated. Most times, a parent or another caring adult or friend can help a child or teen manage their stress. Your child's stress this holiday season may depend on your family's hardships. Covid-19 brings a new kind of stress this holiday season and further increases the risks of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.

Tips for Managing Stress:

  • Be open to change. Talk with your kids about your traditions — which ones they love and which you might evolve to make them more fun or memorable for everyone.
  • Be realistic. Factoring in kids’ limitations when you make plans will reduce stress on everyone. Children who tend to be impulsive need structure to minimize disruptive behavior. Not overestimating your kids’ patience and ability to focus will help you enjoy yourself more, too.
  • Prep kids for changes in routine. Routines may look different while dealing with Covid-19. Preparing them for changes in their routines — what to expect and what you expect of them – will help your children adjust. 
  • Give yourself a break. Don’t stretch yourself too thin trying to create the “perfect” holiday season. Decide what is important, prioritize, and say “no” to what you can’t handle.
  • Be sure to laugh. Kids pick up their parents’ stress and tension, so they’re more likely to be irritable if you are. Have a sense of humor, enjoy your kids for who they are, and keep in mind that what you’ll all remember when it’s over is likely to be the unexpected moment when everybody was relaxed, not the brilliantly choreographed party, dinner, or outing.

Don’t forget: This is Quitting offers text messages for teens and young adults that provide support throughout the quit process. This is Quitting is easy to use, free and anonymous.

Here's how This is Quitting can help:

  • Set a quit date and receive up to 12 weeks of tailored daily text messages.
  • Get 24/7 on-demand support for cravings, stress, relapse, or requests for more messages.

Sign up now: Text VapeFreeFFX to 88709 (Staff/Parents – please use “TIQTest” to 88709 to keep your participation separate from students if you’d like to test it out).

Jessica Giffin, LMSW
Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

If you need support for a student or have concerns you’d like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to me via email at

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270 or visit our website here.

Staff shout out

Staff Shout Out

Has a staff member at Lake Braddock Secondary School gone above and beyond to support you or your student? Someone who is your student’s champion? Is there someone that you would like to recognize for his/her hard work or dedication? Send a quick Staff Shout Out or Nominate an outstanding staff member who has made a difference! Please scan the QR Code or use this link to make a nomination: Feel free to submit more than one nomination!

If you would like to complete a more formal nomination, FCPS Cares is also taking nominations at

Thank you so much! Your kind words are appreciated! Stay well!

LBSS Online Book Store

The LBSS Library is hosting an online bookstore through Bookworm Central that will continue throughout the entire year. Students and teachers can purchase books and have them delivered to their house. Purchases over $30 will be delivered for free. Stock up for the holidays and support the library.

The Online Library Book Store opened December 7. Please enjoy this promotional video HERE.

Contact the with any questions.

Thank you, Lake Braddock SS Librarians

High School Information

Yearbook Photos

The high school yearbook needs photos of students! Send us photos of students voting or working the polls on Election Day. Of students at Halloween, at Thanksgiving, at Diwali, at Hanukah. Of students with their pets, with friends, in their home classrooms, and playing club sports. Go to and use code 5061 to upload photos to eShare. Email with questions.

Deadline for May AP Exam Accommodations Requests

Because the Advanced Placement (AP) exams are operated by the College Board, testing accommodations must be approved by College Board. If your student has an IEP or 504 plan, you may apply to the College Board for accommodations to be administered for future AP exams. Please contact Mr. Chuck Lord, Lake Braddock’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Coordinator, by email at no later than Monday January 11th to begin the accommodations request process. If your student has already been approved by College Board to receive accommodations, you do not need to apply again unless there is a need to add additional accommodations.

Middle School Information

TDAP Vaccine Reminder

The Code of Virginia requirements for immunizations and physicals for school entry have not been waived for School Year (SY) 2020-2021.

Students will not be permitted to access face-to-face instruction without meeting all compliance requirements. For students who are conditionally enrolled and have not completed the necessary immunizations as required by the Code of Virginia, FCPS will provide provisional access to virtual learning only. Students may not participate in “in school” instruction and activities until meeting this requirement.

For questions about immunization requirements for your child, or to send proof of your child’s Tdap vaccination, please contact Angela Santizo at 703-426-1030 or

Middle School After-School Program: Bruins Stay Virtual

There have been a number of new clubs and activities updates added to our after-school program at Lake Braddock including:

  • MS Lunch Bunch
    • Come and hangout with other students and staff during lunch – talk with friends, listen to music, play games and have some fun during your mid-day meal!
    • Register here:
  • New AS Programs as of 12/1
    • LB Cyber Security Club (T 3:10p)
    • Game Club (T & Th 3:30p)
  • AS Programs “Coming Soon”
    • Jr Bruin Minds Matter
    • LB Dungeons & Dragons
    • OBS Club
    • Photography Club
  • New Asynchronous Activities on the Bruins Stay Virtual After-School site
    • Sports Locker Room
    • Meditation Room
    • Mindfulness Room
    • Fitness Room
    • STEM Room
    • Art Room
    • Plus Arts & Crafts workshops

Here is our most updated LBMS After-School Activities Calendar

If students are interested in participating:

  1. Complete the student interest form:
  2. Parents/guardians should complete the parent permission form:

Questions to After-School Specialist, Jamaal Hines,

FCPS Information

FCPS Tech Support

If you find your student in need of tech support for their school-issued laptop, please to go FCPS Technology Support. There are a number of tips, suggestions, and links for assistance. If you are not able to solve the problem, please submit an IT request online. This request will be routed to Lake Braddock's IT team, who will get in contact with you and/or your student to solve the issue. Please do not submit multiple requests or call the school office directly. 

Please keep a close eye on your email. This is how our IT department will communicate with you and your student. The email will come from FCPS and will have a subject line beginning with INC followed by a number. Please also give one to two school days for a response. 

FCPS Mental Health Resources

Important LBSS Contact Information

Attendance Procedures

  • Monday attendance form:  Students must complete the required attendance form between 8:00 and 10:00 am each Monday to be counted as present. Students need to be signed in to their FCPS Google accounts to complete the form. Your child’s 4th period Advisory teachers will remind them and post the same link every week. Please encourage and remind your child to complete the form EVERY Monday morning.
  • Reporting absences, late arrivals, and early dismissals: Use the following form to report absences, late arrivals and early dismissal: You can also call the subschool attendance phone numbers shown below:
ss attendance

How to Stay In Touch

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: