May Newsletter

Dear Community,

With the instructional plans set for the remainder of this epic school year, and the target set for returning to 5 days weekly in the Fall, I’ve been glad to provide more timely responses to constituents seeking assistance from my office – whether those are students, parents, or staff. The work of a School Board member ebbs and flows – from focusing on school division level work on policy and strategic decision-making, to the one-on-one help I can provide to help find solutions. I’m proud of the work of this school division and to be part of it.

Teacher appreciation week graphic and student walking alongside a teacher

May 3 - May 7 is National Teacher Appreciation Week!

Thank you to all of our amazing educators. You are true pillars of the community. Here's a message from me to you!

Upcoming Meetings and Topics to be Covered

  • May 11th at 6 p.m.- Budget Public Hearing
  • May 18th at 3 p.m.- Work Session- Budget; FPAC, FATE reports
  • May 20th at 7 p.m.- Hybrid Regular School Board Meeting

Revised Fairfax County Budget Includes 2% Staff Pay Raise

Over the past year, FCPS teachers and staff members have worked tirelessly to overcome the many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, May 4, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the county's FY 2022 Budget, which includes a 2% salary increase for FCPS employees.

Also on May 4, the School Board had our latest FY22 Budget Work Session. Information about speaking at a budget public hearing and a list of relevant budget dates, along with updates and budget news, is available online. 

  • May 11 - School Board holds public hearings on FY 2022 Budget
  • May 12 - School Board holds public hearings on FY 2022 Budget (if needed)
  • May 18 - School Board Budget Work Session
  • May 20 - School Board votes to adopt FY 2022 Approved Budget
  • July 1 - FY 2022 begins

See more details on the FCPS FY 2022 Budget and planning documents.

Accessing Board Meetings

View this link for a comprehensive list of upcoming meetings and associated information.

Click here for meeting logistics, agendas and handouts (to view the slides and materials, scroll down to the bottom of the page). Meetings are live-streamed on the FCPS website and televised on FCPS Cable Channel 99. For more information about signing up to speak at a regular meeting, click here.

FCPS School Board Members

Recent and Upcoming Work

Planning for "5 in Fall" Underway

FCPS 5 in Fall

FCPS is excited to have all staff and students return in the fall to five days of in-person instruction! Our schools are safe. FCPS in-school transmission rates remain less than 1%, even with reduced social distancing to three feet in schools. 

FCPS realizes that some students may have a documented health or medical need for virtual instruction. Enrollment in FCPS’ Virtual Program for the 2021-22 school year will be very limited. Eligibility will be based on a health/medical certification of need completed by a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, or a licensed clinical psychologist. Families will need to apply. Please be aware that FCPS is planning to base enrollment on the health needs of the student only.

The Health Eligibility Form as well as a Virtual Program Enrollment Application must be submitted by May 21. 

Additional Resources:

If you have questions or need support with your online application, please contact your school's registrar/student information assistant or email the FCPS student virtual enrollment specialist at

FCPS Seeks Input on Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Curriculum Policy

screenshot of town hall presentation

On April 25, I held a Hunter Mill Anti-Bias Curriculum Town Hall to inform my constituents on how to get involved with the work being done, by both the Virginia Department of Education and locally by FCPS.

I am so grateful to those that were able and willing to participate in these powerful, and often times uncomfortable conversations. Changing attitudes, challenging inequality, and raising consciousness are not neutral matters. This is about authentically belonging in our schools and ensuring that all students and families feel welcomed, valued, and seen.

  • The public can submit written comments this spring to inform the work of the Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee to, or provide live comments during their upcoming scheduled meeting (May 18) if they register in advance. Commissioned by the General Assembly, this Advisory Committee is tasked with creating recommendations for the revisions of the HSS Standards as well as broader recommendations for professional development. 
  • As stated on the projected timeline, the VDOE will conduct public hearings across the Commonwealth to gain public input on the proposed revisions.
  • The VDOE staff will continue to accept public comments throughout the review and revision period (Staff Contact: 
  • FCPS Social Studies is welcoming the public to share their comments not only with VDOE but also via a designated email account ( to inform the social studies team’s efforts locally and at the state level.
  • I encourage you to copy my office (via my Staff Aide Emma Heisey at if you are submitting comments on this topic, as we would like to include them in our own submission(s)!

FCPS Outdoor Classrooms in the Washington Post

FCPS featured on WAPO image of page

The April 29 issue of the Washington Post contained a story on the front page of the Metro section featuring the outdoor classroom at Centreville Elementary School. Read the story.

Read the original story by our new media relations team on the FCPS website. This post includes a full list of schools where outdoor classrooms have been piloted, set up, or are in motion.

New Student Representative to the School Board 

Congratulations to Pranav Choudhary, a Langley HS  junior, who is the SY2021-22 Student Representative to the School Board! I am looking forward to working together to help amplify student voice. A huge thank you to our current Representative, Nathan Onibudo for his consistent and thoughtful advocacy throughout an extremely difficult year.

Pranav Choudhary

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

AAPI heritage month graphic

At the Thursday, May 6, Regular Meeting the School Board passed a resolution celebrating May as 2021 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, in recognition of the many contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to our society.


My office also recently met with leadership from the Chinese American Parents Association of Northern Virginia (CAPA NOVA). As a newer organization, I have been eager to connect them to several community partners, both locally and at the state level, who can help further their work to advocate for inclusion of AAPI history in K-12 curriculum and other initiatives!

Rededication Ceremony of Lewis High School 

John Lewis High School Mural

Mural at John R. Lewis High School by South County Middle School Art Teacher and graduate of the school Ramandip Singh.

FCPS celebrated the rededication of John R. Lewis High School, the first high school in the nation to be named in honor of the late civil rights icon and congressman, on April 23. 

View a recording of the ceremony:

Lewis HS Rededication Ceremony Video

Hunter Mill Happenings

Fox Mill Elementary Renovation Underway!

Fox Mill ES renovation rendering

The contract award for Fox Mill Elementary School’s renovation and addition project was approved at the May 6 Regular Meeting of the School Board! The updates include a complete renovation plus an additional 19,000 square feet of new space. The work will include a new courtyard, secondary entrance, all new systems (HVAC, electrical, plumbing), improved interior layout, expanded parking lot, and a new basketball court. Work begins on-site this month, with an expected completion by spring 2023. The total project estimate is programmed for approximately $30,000,000, including all design, permitting, and construction costs.  Thank you to Fairfax County voters who approved capital improvement bonds in 2017 and 2019 that now fund this project for our students’ and community’s success!

Madison Girls' Field Hockey Team Claims State Champs Title

Madison field hockey team

Congratulations to the Madison High School Girls' Field Hockey Team who won the STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS!! What a season!

The Warhawks (15-0) fulfilled their preseason goal of a perfect season — not only unbeaten, but winning every game by shutout

What incredible athletes! I'm so happy for you all.

Reston Comprehensive Plan Study Task Force

Map of Reston for the comprehensive study

I recently attended a few Reston community meetings with FCPS staff and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Alcorn to review and provide input on the Reston Comprehensive Study.

The webpage for the Reston Comprehensive Plan Study now includes a section with edits and changes to the Reston Comprehensive Plan made by Task Force members. You can see the latest documents listed under the “Task Force Comprehensive Plan Mark-Ups” tab in the Community Engagement section of the webpage. 

The next scheduled meeting is Monday, May 10, 7 to 9 p.m. The meeting will be hosted on the Webex platform. Details and the agenda will be found here. You can watch all of the task force meetings on YouTube Live

Information of Interest

All Students to Be Virtual on June 8 Due to Primary Election

calendar reminder graphic

Tuesday, June 8, is the Democratic Primary Election. Because the Fairfax County Electoral Board and City of Fairfax Electoral Board will be using 165 school facilities as polling locations, June 8 will be a virtual synchronous learning day (no in-person classes) for students. 

Get more information about the primary elections.

Subscribe to the FCPS Religious and Cultural Observances Calendar 

The Fairfax County School Board approved the 2021-22 school year calendar that is designed to recognize, respect, and honor the plurality of religious and cultural observances in Fairfax County. 

The school year calendar includes 15 religious and cultural observance dates that are recognized by FCPS.

Parents and community members can subscribe to have the dates sync with their Google, Outlook, or other online calendar applications. To do so, go to the Subscribe to Calendars web page and select Religious and Cultural Observances.

Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative

Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative

The Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI) is a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) proposal to modernize and update Virginia’s mathematics curriculum in grades K-12 to align instruction with the essential knowledge and skills students need to succeed in the 21st-century economy.

A key component of VMPI is the shift from a traditional high school mathematics course sequence to an Integrated Mathematics course sequence. The content from Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 is not being eliminated by VMPI, but rather the content of these courses is intended to connect mathematical concepts and for students to develop a much deeper  understanding of each concept. 

School districts would design their own courses to meet the new requirements, and changes made to the Mathematics Standards of Learning would be taught in the 2025-2026 school year. View the VDOE Diagram of Math Sequence of Courses and Opportunities. Submit comments using this form or via email to Want to submit comments to your state representatives? Click here for their contact info. 

Rec-PAC Summer Camps (Grade 1-6)

County summer camp flier

After COVID-19 prevented in-person programs last summer, the Fairfax County Park Authority’s Rec-PAC (Pretty Awesome Children) returns this summer at 30 elementary school locations across Fairfax County.

Rec-PAC is an affordable, structured six-week summer program for children in grades 1-6 featuring a different theme each week. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays from June 28 through Aug. 5, 2021. Parents can sign up for one week at a time or all six weeks.

 Visit this site for more information and to register.

Test Schedules for Students Observing Ramadan

image of a scantron with pencil

This year, the main Standards of Learning (SOL) testing window has significant overlaps with Ramadan, the Muslim holy month marked by daily fasting. The SOL testing window begins Monday, April 12, for high schools and Monday, April 26, for elementary and middle schools. All schools must complete SOL make-up tests and retakes by Friday, June 4. Ramadan begins the evening of Monday, April 12, and ends with Eid-al-Fitr on Thursday, May 13.

FCPS welcomes and encourages engagement with parents and guardians of students affected by this overlap. School staff will work with parents and guardians to make schedule adjustments or determine how best to address students’ needs. For example, it may be possible to schedule testing early in the day when energy levels are likely to be highest.

If you have a child in an SOL grade-level who will be fasting to observe Ramadan this year, notify the principal or school counselor to take advantage of possible scheduling options.

View more ideas and tips to prepare for upcoming testing during Ramadan.

Face Mask Updates

FCPS student wearing mask

On Thursday, April 29, Governor Ralph Northam amended Executive Order 72 to adopt new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on mask use in outdoor settings beginning on May 1. The CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks outdoors when alone or in small gatherings. Mask use is still required indoors and outdoors at large crowded events like concerts, sporting events, and graduation ceremonies. 

What does that mean for FCPS?

The ease in the mask rule only applies to social gatherings.Until further notice, FCPS’ Regulation 2109 still requires masks in facilities and on school property as FCPS has no way of knowing who is and who isn’t vaccinated. 

What about student athletes?

Face masks for all outside sports will no longer be required for athletes during times of physical exertion. This includes all Virginia High School League (VHSL) spring sports as well as fall sports that practice and play outdoors. Athletes must wear a mask during all other times when not engaged in physical exertion. This includes when on the sideline, going to and from practice, when huddled as a group during stoppage of play, or as stated, any time not actively engaged in physical exertion. Coaches and all others are always to wear a mask. All indoor sports and outdoor sports athletes coming indoors for practice will always be expected to wear a mask.  

VHSL’s specific guidance on masks currently is stated as: “participants should not be required to wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts or competitions, however, athletes, coaches, and officials should wear masks to the greatest extent possible”. 

Please be aware these standards are subject to change based on community and FCPS health conditions and will be reviewed on a regular basis. It is important to continue to take all appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

Reissuing Diplomas and Transcripts by Request

Graduation cap and diploma clip art

Students who have undergone a gender change can request a replacement diploma or transcript with their new name. For students who have been out of FCPS less than 5 years, they need to go back to their former school and request the amendment from the school.  

For alumni of schools that have been renamed, if so requested, FCPS can order a replacement diploma through our vendor with the new school name. 

Hispanic Leadership Alliance Virtual Scholarship Banquet 

Hispanic Leadership Alliance scholarship recipient

On Monday, May 10, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., the Hispanic Leadership Alliance (HLA) will recognize the 21 recipients of this year’s HLA scholarship awards. The virtual celebration will focus on the stories of the 21 recipients, as each of them also shares their aspirations and future plans. FCPS Superintendent Brabrand will be this year's keynote speaker.

The HLA is a non-profit organization comprised of FCPS employees and residents of Fairfax County that was established in 1997. One goal of HLA is to encourage student participation in advanced academic programs, leadership activities, and higher education. This annual scholarship program for Latinx learners is for those who are the first in their families to attend a post-secondary educational institution.

Join at 7:00 p.m. on May 10.

For more information about the scholarship recipients and the awards ceremony, please contact Jane Cruz, scholarship chair of Hispanic Leadership Alliance, at 202-207-5839 or

Contacting Me

I prioritize responses to Hunter Mill constituents, so please be sure to identify yourself as such if you contact me. If you are unsure of your county magisterial district, you can look that information up here.

To contact me, it is most helpful to please use the official School Board contact form. This form prioritizes emails to me from constituents, and helps me track communication so I can be sure you receive a response. Thank you for your cooperation.


Please take good care,

Melanie Meren


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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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