LBSS Weekly News - January 29, 2021

bruins care

Message from Dr. Smith

Hello Bruin Families, 

This week, our Principal’s Cabinet Mental Health Group presented our virtual Parent Academy Mental Health Night, “Resiliency in a Time of COVID.”  They used data collected from LBSS students regarding mental health struggles they are experiencing this year and what supports and insights parents and students need to build resilience.  Following the student presentation, the Ms. Janene Pack, LBSS HS counselor and licensed LPC, presented a parent portion on strategies to support their own mental health and those of their children.  We are grateful to the students and Ms. Pack for their research and presentation to our community.  We know mental health is a concern for our students and families, and we are very appreciative for this timely conversation.  Students will be further discussing this topic through their Advisory class in the coming weeks.  The recording of the student presentation and Ms. Pack’s parent presentation are linked below, as well as on our Parent Academy webpage with our other previous Parent Academy events. 

Next month, February, is Black History Month.  Lake Braddock staff are coming together to plan various activities to honor and celebrate our Black and African American students, families, faculty and community members. Some of the activities include a speaker circuit with voluntary attendance to all students, presentations through Advisory Class celebrating influential figures in Black History, and student created presentations celebrating and informing about Black History.

Additionally, next week is National Counselor Appreciation Week. Our counselors bring expertise that is invaluable to our school community.  They invest time in building strong relationships with our students and families.  Their training, partnership and passion for our community directly attributes to the tremendous impact on our school community.  Please take a moment next week to send them a note of appreciation.    

We have completed the first half of the year and are looking into the future with optimism that we will have more of our students back in the building soon. As always, we are here for you and your family with needs you have.

United as Bruins, 

Daniel W. Smith, Ed.D.

In this Issue

Important Information for All
Region 4 Principal of the Year
Student of the Month  Winners
Outstanding Interpretation Ward Winners
Murals at Lake Braddock
Kindness Notes
LBSS Online Book Store

High School Information
PTSA for 10th Graders
College Partnership Program Application
Student Parking
Class of 2021 Caps and Gowns

Middle School Information
TJHSST Application Process
TDAP Vaccine Reminder
Middle School Spelling Bee
Middle School-After School Program

Parent Academy

PTSA Auction

FCPS Information
FCPS Tech Support
FCPS Mental Health Resources

Important LBSS Contact Information
Attendance Procedures
How to Stay In Touch

Important Information for All

Dr. Smith named Region 4 Principal of the Year

Dr. Smith has been named the Region 4 Outstanding Principal of the Year for the 2020-21 school year, as part of the FCPS Outstanding Employee Awards.  Dr. Smith is a finalist for Outstanding Principal of the Year for Fairfax County Public Schools, which will be named later this coming spring.  

Student of the Month Winners - #BruinsCARE

Bruin Pride wants you to know that, 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. Read more about the attributes here (attach PDF).

January Student of the Month Winners - #BruinsCARE (all 4 attributes):

  • 7th grade: Jayden Quintero
  • 8th grade: Markos Temesghen
  • 9th grade: Aslin Mitchell
  • 10th grade: Kaila Peterson
  • 11th grade: Aidan Franklyn
  • 12th grade: Taylor Brooke

February’s theme is CONNECTED. We look forward to highlighting more students soon!

ptsa district level winners

Outstanding Interpretation Award Winners

The Northern Virginia District PTA has awarded the Outstanding Interpretation Award to the  following entries:

Literature Special Artist Division, Charles Nguyen, "Kaleidoscope"

Music Composition, Special Artist Division, Jake Sizemore, "I Matter For Me"

Photography, Special Artist Division, Charles Nguyen, "Perseverance"

Visual Arts, Special Artist Division, Ashley Groves, "In the Time of Covid"

Congratulations! These entries will advance to the Virginia State PTA Level.


Murals at Lake Braddock

Congratulations to LB student, Jessica Hosken, for completing her Eagle Scout project this past week. Here is Jessie's story:

I was inspired to create multiple murals for my Eagle project after seeing other schools and what they had on their walls.  I wanted to do something that would brighten the hallways of Lake Braddock and make it a more exciting, inviting and inspiring place.  It was hard narrowing down my ideas with available locations in the school and also time restrictions.  I started working on ideas for this project last spring and created a business flocking peoples yards in order to cover all of the expenses of my project.  Usually an Eagle project would take place over a weekend or two but due to Covid limitations I had to revise that plan and was able to complete the project by going in every Monday since September for a total of 350 volunteer hours.  I was able to have a total of 4 people in the building at a time.  I am grateful to everyone who volunteered their time to help with my project:  Jenny Hosken, Dennis Hosken, Erica Hosken, Emma Kate Allman, Audrey DeVore, Ethan Duke, Maddie Duke, Caitlyn Kennedy, Samantha Lauer, Abby Morris, Olivia Preston & Kiersten Schmitt.

Each mural has its own story and here is why I selected them: 

I am in band and have really enjoyed my opportunities in the Performing Arts department. I wanted "Create" to be bright, exciting and reflect the multifaceted opportunities for Lake Braddock students. I loved the quote for "Today" and wanted it to be in a location where it would be highly visible and a positive reminder for everyone.

Since I was little I have enjoyed STEAM activities ranging from the Science & Engineering festival to the Kings Park & Kings Glen STEAM night and even had STEAM themed birthday parties.  I wanted to reflect that excitement with something colorful in the science wing.

Both bears, the one in the front hall and the one by the lecture hall, were an important part of my project because I wanted to share school spirit & pride in being a Bruin.  

The "Mountains" mural encompasses not only where you currently are, the coordinates around the compass are for Lake Braddock, and the mountains are there to reflect where you are going because education prepares you for the future and that can be anything you want it to be.  'Be Prepared' is the Scouts BSA motto and by heeding that advice you really can do anything you set your mind to do.  This project is something I have thought about doing for a long time and ever since the Boy Scouts of America opened to girls in 2019 I knew I wanted to be an Eagle Scout.  Being able to complete this project for my school community and helping me complete that goal has been an amazing experience.

bruins in action

Kindness Notes

The LB Middle School Bruins in Action and the LB Philanthropy Club are inviting you to participate in Lake Braddock’s first ever Valentine’s Day Kindness Cards Shower!  The event will run from Mon. Feb. 1 to Fri. Feb. 26.

How To Participate: Develop uniquely written and designed cards or letters with heartfelt Valentine’s Day messages to senior citizens who are currently residing in one of our Burke community area nursing facilities -- Burke Health and Rehabilitation Center or Heatherwood Retirement Community.  The cards or notes should be handwritten and addressed to either of these facilities. 

Why Participate?  Because of COVID, visitors are severely restricted or prevented from visiting nursing facilities.  Therefore, a long-distance hug with a heartfelt letter or card to seniors will let them know that you’re thinking of them. In fact, develop as many cards or letters as you can!

Where To Bring Your Cards:  Drop your cards or notes off inside Door 1 at LB  from 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. There will be two seperate boxes for the two nursing facilities - try to spread your work out evenly and share the love!

What should you know before you write your letters or cards?

  • Write it by hand if you can. • Make it neat. • Make it personal. • Don’t write the date. • Start with “Dear Friend.”
  • Let your reader know that you are a Lake Braddock student and why you’re writing. • Avoid religion and personal views
  • Sign your first name. While it’s important that this letter or card come from you, don’t share more personal information (like your last name, home address, or phone number)—if the reader knows your first name and that you’re a Lake Braddock student, that’s more than enough.

For Information about receiving service hours credit:  HS students contact Mrs. Williams at and MS students contact your Social Studies Teacher!

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

PSAT for 10th Graders

On Monday, April 19, LBSS will host PSAT 10 for sophomores only. Testing specifics and the link for registration will be posted on March 1. However, the deadline to apply for College Board accommodations for the PSAT 10 is February 12. For more information, please visit the LBSS PSAT Parent Notification link.

College Partnership Program Applications

Applications are now available for the College Partnership Program (CPP).  The program goals are to increase the academic achievement of underachieving students and to increase the number of students, particularly first generation and minority students, who enroll and succeed in college. Through monthly school-based meetings and numerous opportunities on the county level, CPP members and their parents are provided with opportunities to successfully navigate the home, school, and college continuum. 

Students can apply online or with the paper application. The applications are due by March 19. 

Here is the link to the online application:  Students will need to log in to their G Suite account (FCPS Google Apps in Education) to complete the online application.  If you would like a paper application, please see your counselor or Ms. Veenstra in High School Student Services. 

There will be an information meeting on Thursday, February 25 during lunch and after school for interested students and parents. Current students will give testimony to their experience with CPP and we will have an activity that is typical of a CPP meeting.  Interested students may also join an upcoming CPP meeting on either Thursday, February 11 or Thursday, March 11.  Just let Ms. Veenstra know so she can provide a link to the meeting.

If you have any questions about CPP, please contact Margaret Veenstra at or (703) 426-1033.


Student Parking

Due to the current circumstances, we will be doing student parking a little bit differently this year. Our number one goal with this is to provide a safe, accessible, and equitable system for student drivers here at Lake Braddock. Here are some quick facts about this year’s process:

  • There will be no parking fees this year.
  • We will be doing “open parking” in the student parking lot this year. Students will not be assigned specific, numbered spots (unless you paid to decorate a parking spot).
  • Parking privilege will be selected by lottery. We will begin with Senior applications and, if spots remain, will move to Junior applications. If after this, there are still spots remaining, we will look at Sophomore applications.
  • Students will need to complete the following form: Parking Lottery Form. Students must be logged into their account to access the form.
  • The deadline for submission of the form is Friday, February 5.

If you have any specific questions regarding this process, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Ken May, Security Specialist ( or Mr. Tony DiBari, Assistant Principal (

Class of 2021 Caps and Gowns

We are in the process of planning a meaningful graduation experience for the Class of 2021 to the greatest extent possible given the current situation with COVID-19. We are considering many options to celebrate this momentous occasion. 

We are ordering our caps and gowns and we need your help and gentle encouragement. We need each senior to complete the cap and gown survey to ensure we have the appropriate cap and gown size for everyone. Please ask your graduate if they have completed the survey. If they have not, please ask them to click on the following link to give us their student id, height and weight.  Students can access this link by signing in with their account.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to recognizing and celebrating the Class of 2021.

Middle School Information

TJHSST Application Process

For those who are interested, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (commonly referred to as "TJ") just released updated information about the application process. The application window will begin on February 1 at 8:00 am and close on February 26 at 4:00 pm. There are two parts to begin the application: (1) Students must login and enter some basic information including parent email, and (2) Parent must login to their own account to submit the application after your student's counselor has verified that they meet the prerequisite course requirements. 

Here are important links that you will need:

  1. Eligibility Requirements:
  2. TJ Freshman Application Process:

There is still information that is yet to be released, but this should help you to get started with the application.

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 Spelling Bee

  • Lake Braddock Middle School is registered for the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee, but first students must compete at the school-level in order to move on to higher rounds of spelling bees.

spelling bee

Middle School After-School Program: Bruins Stay Virtual

Visit here for an up-to-date list of afterschool offerings at Lake Braddock:

New Activities (as of Jan 2021):

  • OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) Club
  • Jr Bruin Minds Matter
  • LB Cyber Security
  • LB Dungeons & Dragons
  • Yoga Club
  • DC Sports Club

Coming Soon (Feb 2021):

  • Virtual Board Games
  • Lens Photography Club

If students are interested in participating in the middle school after-school program:

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

Questions to After-School Specialist, Jamaal Hines,

Parent Academy

See our Website for more information about Parent Academy events.

Resiliency in a Time of COVID

On Thursday, January 28, 2021, students from the LBSS Principal’s Cabinet Mental Health Group delivered our virtual Parent Academy Mental Health Night, “Resiliency in a Time of COVID.” They shared their findings from data collected from LBSS students regarding mental health struggles they are experiencing this year and what supports and insights parents and students need to build resilience. Ms. Janene Pack, LBSS HS counselor and licensed LPC, presented a parent portion on strategies to support their own mental health and those of their children. One of the most powerful parts of this session was that it was student-led by middle and high school students at Lake Braddock. Our Principal’s Cabinet Mental Health Group members collected data on mental health struggles that LB students are facing right now. They created the survey, collected data, and put together the presentation. Check back soon because this talented group is also working on potential lessons for Advisory to support this work. We are so proud of this group and grateful for the powerful message and session!

If you missed the presentation, you can find the recording here:

"Resiliency in a Time of COVID" - recording_1

Teenage Brain and Drug Trends Series

Thank you to everyone who registered for the Teenage Brain and Drug Trends series and attended our live sessions. Below you will find the recordings to all 3 sessions and the exit surveys for each session. Please feel free to share the recordings with other parents, family, friends, and staff members. We feel this is important information that everyone could benefit from. Also, please email me if you have any questions regarding to the presentations or would like to talk more about substance use as it relates to your students.

Session #1: The Teenage Brain: Building Connections
Exit Survey:

Session #2: Drugs & the Teenage Brain
Exit Survey:

Session #3: Drug Trends in teens: Identifying Common Household Substances & Drug Culture
Exit Survey:

Thank you!

Jessica Giffin, LMSW
Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

LBSS Virtual Art Night

  • February 4, 2021 at 6:30 PM
  • Hosted by Ms. Gavin, Ms. McGrath & the LBSS Art Department

Students, staff, and families of all ages, please join us on Thursday, February 4th at 6:30 PM for a virtual guided group art lesson. No skills required! Together, we will create our own Starry Night inspired by Van Gogh! You can make your own or work together with a family member. What you will need: pencil, paper and coloring tools (watercolor, crayons, marker, color pencil, etc.). We look forward to creating with you!

Questions? Contact Ms. Cynthia Gavin at

Register by February 3rd at 9:00 AM using this link:



The LBSS PTSA will be hosting a virtual auction during the first three weeks of March!  We have a wide array of products, services, gift cards, and experiences already confirmed and the list keeps growing every day!  Do you have something you would like to donate?  Contact for more details!

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: