March Newsletter

Dear Mason District Community,

In the past month, the Board has been busy with Return to School plans and the FY22 budget. In Mason, there has also been significant activity to select principals for Glasgow Middle School and Glen Forest Elementary School. A couple of weeks ago, we hosted a successful Mason District PTA/PTO Presidents' Roundtable to discuss the issues taking place in our community. Thank you to the PTA/PTO leadership who were able to participate and I look forward to the March meeting. Additionally, it has been exciting to see the engagement of our middle school students as they submit an unprecedented number of applications to TJHHST. Thank you to our principals for the targeted outreach to eligible students to ensure families are made aware of available opportunities.

The Board also approved two motions following the adoption of the 2022-26 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to engage the Mason community regarding the inclusion of 6th grade students at the middle schools. Mason District is the only area in which 6th graders are not educated in elementary schools. The Superintendent will be working to gather parental perspective on the placement of 6th graders in middle school and conduct a program audit to determine if this configuration offers the most efficient use of facilities and/or meets instructional best practices.

I value the input I receive from the Mason Community and am happy to address questions or concerns via email or phone. You can reach me by email at If you are interested in scheduling a phone call, please reach out to my assistant, Ms. Coffey, at to arrange a time.

I wish you all good health.


baileys rts

Return to School Update

FPCS has successfully welcomed Groups 1-5 and grades 8, 9 & 12 from Group 8 for in-person instruction, with the remaining groups scheduled to return within the next two weeks:

March 9:

  • Grades 1-2
  • Grades 7, 10 & 11
  • Grade 6 from Poe, Glasgow, and Holmes
  • Davis and Pulley Center students who age during the 2021-2 SY

March 16:

  • Grades 3 - 6
  • Burke Middle School
  • Davis & Pulley Centers - all remaining students and Davis STEP

Staff and teachers are excited to welcome students back into the buildings and centers and have put in place numerous changes and improvements to ensure our schools are safe places for learning. The next Return to School update from Superintendent Brabrand will be received by the Board at our work session scheduled for March 16.

westlawn video

Watch this great video montage of the first day of school for kindergarten at Westlawn ES. Video credit to Westlawn SBTS!

Boundary Scope Meetings - Justice Pyramid

Many of the elementary schools in the Justice High School pyramid have experienced an increase in student enrollment in the past several years. When a school becomes overcrowded, one way to reduce overcrowding is to adjust the school’s attendance boundary and re-assign some students to a different school with capacity which is done through the boundary adjustment process. 

FCPS staff will be holding community meetings to share more information about the process for elementary school parents in the Justice pyramid. Any approved boundary adjustment related to the elementary schools will not change the middle or high school boundaries.

In community meetings this week, FCPS facilities staff will present information about the boundary scope process and attendees will be able to discuss and share feedback. Please register to attend the meeting for your school community. Interpreters will be made available upon request. Visit the Proposed Boundary Adjustment webpage for more details and links to register for a meeting.

Tuesday, March 9th

Glen Forest and Sleepy Hollow - 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Bailey's Elementary and Bailey's Upper - 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 10th

Belvedere and Parklawn - 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Beech Tree and Mason Crest - 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

2021-22 Calendar Update

Two calendars (A & B) were developed prior to the pandemic with considerations for additional holidays for certain observances. 

A third calendar (C) was developed during the pandemic with a focus on student learning loss and continuity of learning as well as balancing Support Staff unpaid and paid working days. 

The Board discussed the 2021-22 calendar in our work session on March 2, 2021. The outcome of the work session resulted in the Board providing direction to the Superintendent to develop a new calendar option, to account for but not be limited to:

  • legal considerations
  • instructional concerns and disruption
  • student wellness, both socio-emotional and academic
  • support staff pay
  • absenteeism data
  • operational disruption
  • staff days off and planning time
  • survey preferences
  • transparency and community climate
  • any and all equity considerations
  • inclusiveness
  • consider use of two floating holidays that could be used for religious observances or cultural celebrations​​​​​​

Additionally, during the March 4 regular meeting, the Board directed the Superintendent to identify religious and culturally significant days that could result in significant absenteeism and create regulations that do not currently exist for the manner in which FCPS will designate impermissible activities on said days to prevent negative impact upon the academic, social or emotional well-being of those students who engage in such observances.

The Board is scheduled to take action on the calendar at our regular meeting on March 18, 2021.

Temporary Policy Change

Supporting Relocating Families for the Remainder of SY 2020-21

The School Board has voted to support an exception to Policy 2202, Section III. I. that allows families who are permanently relocating within Virginia or to states contiguous with Virginia to request their child  remain enrolled in their current FCPS school (either virtually or in-person) for the remainder of SY 2020-2021, with immediate effect.

The temporary exception, which does not change the policy long-term, is to support students and families who may be relocating during the COVID-19 emergency, for the remainder of SY 2020-2021.

  • Families who are permanently relocating within Virginia or to states contiguous with Virginia before April 13, 2021 can request for their child to remain enrolled in their current school of enrollment within FCPS with immediate effect.
  • Families who are looking to relocate within the 60-day window permitted under the policy (starting April 13, 2021) can still request for their child to remain enrolled in their current school within FCPS no matter where they move within the United States.

Prior to the Board vote, Policy 2202, Section III. I. allowed for families becoming residents in another jurisdiction within 60 calendar days of the end of the school year to request to continue attending his or her previously assigned school on a non-tuition basis until the completion of the school year. The policy did not allow for longer than 60 days.

The policy language was not amended. This is a temporary exception. Per Policy 2202, students would no longer be eligible for enrollment after the end of SY 2020-2021 and will be required to transition to their new district school of residence in SY 2021-2022.

Health Screening Commitment Form 

As many students return to in-person instruction, parents and caregivers will be asked to acknowledge a Health Screening Commitment form before their student(s) re-enter school buildings. This document confirms that a parent, caregiver, or guardian will complete a daily health screening and will keep their students home when they are ill.

The Health Commitment form can be submitted electronically through ParentVUE (PVUE) or via hard copy. Please contact your child’s school to have a hard copy sent to you.

Budget Update

The School Board adopted the FY22 Advertised Budget on February 18, 2021, placing student health, well-being and learning at its core, while remaining fiscally responsible during this uncertain economic climate.

This is a responsible budget that takes into account the tough economic climate brought on by the pandemic, while also recognizing that a high-quality school system serves as the economic underpinning of a thriving community. It is a budget that will continue to build on FCPS’ tradition of excellence.

The FY22 Advertised Budget prioritizes and funds resources that support our students’ academic and social-emotional needs. The budget includes a request for an additional $104.4 million, or 4.9%, in the county transfer to provide a 3% compensation increase to all employees, continue funding expanded preschool special education classes; address retirement rate increases and rising health care costs; expand and support the district’s response to meet student needs arising from the pandemic; and offset decreasing revenue from state, federal, and other sources.

Additionally, to meet the prescribed changes to the Standards of Quality by the Virginia Board of Education, the budget includes $4.9 million and 50 positions for staffing adjustments at the elementary level for the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program.

In response to an update in the Code of Virginia that authorizes collective bargaining for public employees, the budget includes $0.5 million and three positions for a collective bargaining team to support the new requirements and activities.

The proposed budget includes $3.0 million for the third and final year of the three-year implementation plan to bring salaries of instructional assistants and public health training assistants to 50% of the bachelor's degree teacher salary scale.

The School Board is scheduled to present the FY22 Advertised Budget to the Board of Supervisors on April 13th. The FY22 budget documents and timeline can be found on the FCPS Budget website.


High School Students Invited to Fairfax County 2021 Virtual Teen Job Fairs

Fairfax County high school students looking for their first part-time job, summer and seasonal job opportunities, or who want more information about potential career pathways are invited to attend one of six upcoming teen job fairs and resume building workshops in Fairfax County. Local businesses and agencies will be on hand to offer a range of opportunities including part-time employment, internships, and volunteer work for prospective students.

Volunteer opportunities and resume building workshops will also be available for younger students. Free booth spaces are provided to local businesses. The first two job fairs will be held on Saturday, March 13, from 2 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Students can register for the March 13 Job Fair and the March 20 Job Fair.

Community Use Update

Community Use Phase 2 is effective as of February 8, with an update to the number of participants based on the Governor’s executive order of February 24. This provides access to outside grounds for PTA/PTO/PTSA/Booster managed independent contractors Monday through Friday from the end of the school day until 5:30 p.m. Groups are limited to 25 participants including adult supervisors. All groups must comply with FCPS, FCHD, and CDC guidelines and procedures, provide two adult supervisors, and obtain principal and Regional Assistant Superintendent approval.  

2022-26 Capital Improvement Program Update

The Board approved Fairfax County Public Schools Fiscal Year 2022-26 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP focuses on capital projects, including new school construction, capacity enhancements, and renovations, reflecting schools for the current School Year 2020-21 and a five-year requirement of approximately $1.1 billion.

The Board also approved follow-on motions directly affecting the Mason District:

  • To direct the Superintendent to conduct a program audit of middle schools with sixth grade to determine if the current grade configuration offers the most efficient use of facilities and/or meets instructional best practices.
  • To direct the Superintendent to engage the Mason District community to obtain parental perspective on the placement of grade six in middle school.

More information on the CIP is available online.

New Name for Mosby Woods ES

The School Board is committed to renaming schools that are symbols of oppression and hate. With that in mind, the Board has chosen Mosaic Elementary School as the new name for Mosby Woods Elementary School, a reflection of the school’s multicultural community that will represent inclusivity for students, families, and staff members. The new name will become effective at the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

16th Annual Special Education Conference

The Time for Inclusion is Now 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

This year’s conference will be VIRTUAL with a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) sessions. 

  • Registration opening soon 
  • Parents and Community Members will be able to register online or by phone 
  • FCPS Educators, Administrators, and Preservice Teachers can register online and earn recertification points for attending the conference 
  • Student Strand for youth ages 14-22 will be offered 
  • Exhibit Hall and Inclusive Schools resources

New Principal Announcements

Glasgow Middle School Welcomes

Mr. Victor Powell

May 3, 2021


Mr. Victor Powell, current Principal at Matthew Maury Elementary School (Alexandria City Public Schools), has been named the new principal of Glasgow Middle School. 

Mr. Powell brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences to Glasgow Middle School and to Fairfax County Public Schools. Mr. Powell has served as the principal of Maury Elementary School the last four years, where he has fostered a responsive and caring climate where all students are valued through the development of a strong and inclusive culture. Prior to his selection as principal, his administrative experiences include serving as an assistant principal in both Alexandria City Public Schools and Loudoun County Public Schools. His other roles include dean of students at Freedom High School in Loudon County, and an elementary and middle school math teacher. 

Mr. Powell earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Anderson University and a Masters of Arts degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Ball State University. 


Glen Forest Elementary Welcomes

Ms. Diane Herndon-Wilson

March 22, 2021


Ms. Diane (Dee Dee) Herndon-Wilson, current Assistant Principal at Lowes Island Elementary School (Loudoun County Public Schools), has been named the new principal of Glen Forest Elementary School.

Ms. Herndon-Wilson has served as an assistant principal and as an administrative intern for the past 11 years at Frederick Douglass ES and then at Lowes Island ES in Loudoun County.  During her tenure as an assistant principal, Ms. Herndon-Wilson has supervised special education programs, ESOL programs, as well as advanced academic programs in grades K-6.  Ms. Herndon-Wilson is highly prepared to support the current academic programs at Glen Forest.

Ms. Herndon-Wilson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Radford University.  She has also attained a Master of Education degree in Education Leadership from George Mason University.     

Students Recognized by NCWIT

Three FCPS students were selected from over 4,200 applicants as recipients of the 2021 National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) honorable mention for computing-related aspirations, demonstrated interest in technology, leadership ability, persistence in pursuing interests in computing, and plans for post-secondary education. The students are part of the STEM Impressionists group, an afterschool mentoring program that works with middle and high school minority girls interested in participating in career-related STEM activities. Congratulations to our two Mason District Honorees:

Aya Ahmed Elfettahi, Justice High School

Abia Zahir, Annandale High 

2021 Scholastic Regional Writing Awards

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) student writers won 30 Gold Key awards in the 2021 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards competition. In all, 163 Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mentions were earned by FCPS students. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, is the largest, longest-running recognition program of its kind in the United States. Writing categories include critical essay, dramatic script, flash fiction, humor, journalism, novel writing, personal essay and memoir, poetry, science fiction and fantasy, short story, and writing portfolio. Congratulations to our Mason District Honorees:

Lyat Melese, TJHSST

Gold Key • American Voices Nominee, Personal Essay & Memoir

Joonwon Lee, Jackson Middle School

Honorable Mention, Critical Essay

2021 Regional Scholastic Art Awards

The 2021 Regional Scholastic Art Awards program has awarded Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students in grades 7-12 a total of 540 awards including Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention awards, and American Visions Nominations. Judges recognized FCPS students among 2,500 submissions in a variety of categories including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture, digital art, design, architecture, fashion, film and animation, mixed media, and art portfolios.

Congratulations to the Mason District Honorees:

Annandale High School - Anthony Bui, Jasa Gellert, Noah Hush, Ryan Lam, Richard Zheng

Falls Church High School - Yuina Barzdukas, Arly Cardozo, Ava Hutchinson, Jenny Le, Glenda Lizama, Hazel Nguyen, Camilo Orantes, James Pham, Jamie Ryan

Justice High School - Kathryn Chervenic, Maya Schneider, Emely Sejas, Jordan Taylor, Ha Tran

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology - Sanne Wu

Holmes Middle School - Madison Mueller

2021 Student Peace Awards

Students from 24 Fairfax County public schools have been named recipients of the 2021 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County, designed to recognize young people who work as peacemakers. Recipients will be recognized at a virtual reception in March. The Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County were begun in 2006 to encourage people to think more about peace as both a means and an end, and to recognize young people who work as peacemakers. Every year, the high schools in Fairfax County are asked to select one junior or senior, or a group of students, whose work has promoted peace. The project is organized by volunteers and funded by donations from 17 secular and religious sponsoring organizations.

Congratulations to the 2021 recipients from the Mason District:

Equity Team, Justice High School

TJHSST Assistive Technology Club, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Read about all of the recipients in this News Release.

National Board Certification for Teachers

Twenty Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teachers achieved or renewed certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in 2020. Initial certification and renewal of National Board Certification requires that teachers compile and submit a portfolio documenting their high quality instruction, ability to differentiate, and a demonstration of how their practices continue to align with the five core propositions of accomplished teaching in their certificate area. Congratulations to newly certified Mason District teacher:

Corey Haynes, Justice High School

And Congratulations to renewed certifications for Mason District teachers:

Mark Erich Holzshu, Jackson Middle School

Tara Sanz, Glasgow Middle School

Applications Being Accepted for Student Representative to the School Board for 2021-22

Each year, FCPS students can apply for the position of the student representative to the School Board. The student representative is not a member of the School Board but serves in a nonvoting, advisory capacity, representing the interests of the students of Fairfax County Public Schools. 

Students who are currently in grades 9, 10, and 11 are eligible to apply, and they do not need to be current members of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SAC). Applications are due by April 7. 

The application and more information are available online

Attention, Mason District PTA/PTSA/PTO Presidents

I am looking forward to our dialogue at the roundtable discussion scheduled for March 24th. If you did not receive an email invitation, please reach out to my assistant, Ms. Coffey, at

Upcoming Board Meetings

Regular School Board Meetings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • March 18, 2021 at 7 p.m.
  • April 8, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Work Sessions (virtual)

  • March 16, 2021 at 11 a.m.
  • April 6, 2021 at 11 a.m.

Visit the citizen participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting or public hearing.

The meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and on the FCPS website. The meeting will be recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube page.

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.

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