Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Congratulations Class of 2021!

Dear Providence District Families,

This month I attended eight graduation ceremonies – Oakton, Marshall, Falls Church, McLean, Woodson, and Madison high schools, along with Kilmer Center and the school division's firefighter program. 

It was inspiring to see our seniors completing their K-12 academic careers and hearing student speakers hammering home the importance of resilience, lifting others up, and living in the moment.

As we move into summer and toward five days a week of in-person learning, I am focusing my attention on subjects like improving early childhood literacy, enhancing social/emotional supports, and increasing access to advanced academics and STEM.

This email includes updates on the following topics:

  • Budget Focuses on COVID-19 Recovery
  • Next School Year Starts August 23
  • Five Days a Week of In-Person Learning
  • Summer Learning and Enrichment
  • New Principal at Mantua Elementary
  • Protecting Immigrant Families
  • Vaccines for Teens
  • LGBTQIA+ Pride Month
  • Summer Entertainment at Nottoway Park
  • Graham Road Soccer Field Opens
  • Emergency Broadband Benefit Available for Families
  • New FCPS Director of Cybersecurity
  • New Student Representative to the School Board
  • Joining the Cleaning Crew at Mantua Elementary

Please don't hesitate to contact me. Hearing your comments, questions, and concerns has been invaluable to my work on the School Board.


Karl Frisch
Providence District Representative
Fairfax County School Board

Celebrating the Class of 2021

Providence District Graduates

Budget Focuses on COVID-19 Recovery, Staff Compensation

The School Board unanimously approved its FY 2022 budget, placing the well-being of students, staff, and families at its core during a time when the pandemic has significantly impacted county finances. Among the Board's investments was a 2 percent raise for all employees recognizing their sacrifices and commitment to Fairfax County Public Schools during the pandemic. The budget prioritizes and funds resources that support student academic and social-emotional needs, including increasing technology support for students and their families. [Additional Details]

Next School Year Starts August 23

With the school year winding down and many families making plans for summer camps, vacations, and other activities, be sure to note that the first day of school for the 2021-22 school year will be Monday, August 23. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.

Five Days a Week of In-Person Learning

We are welcoming all students back to school buildings for five days a week of in-person instruction for the 2021-22 school year. For more information about the limited virtual program for School Year 2021-22, visit the virtual program webpage. The next In-Person Learning Update will be presented to the School Board during the Work Session on June 15. [Additional Details]

Summer Learning and Enrichment

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will provide multiple in-person opportunities for students at all levels this summer. The summer programming is much larger than what is offered in typical summers to help address increased student learning needs. [Additional Details]

Credit Recovery: Each high and secondary school will host credit recovery opportunities for its students during two sessions.

School-Based Opportunities for Select Elementary School Students: Each elementary school has summer learning opportunities to support students as they develop executive functioning, mathematics, and language arts skills.

School-Based Opportunities for Select Middle School Students: Each middle school has summer learning opportunities to support students as they develop: mathematics, language arts, and problem-solving skills.

Summer Practice Books: Summer practice books will be mailed home in early June to students in grades PreK-8, Special Education, and English Learners to provide suggested activities for students to support continued learning. [Additional Details]

Additional Enrichment Programs: There are also various summer enrichment programs open to all students, including Elementary Institute for the Arts (E-IFTA), Institute for the Arts (IFTA), Tech Adventure Camp, and CTE Summer Academy. Information on how to register for these programs is available on the FCPS Summer Learning webpage. [Additional Details]

New Principal at Mantua Elementary

Last week, Linda Shannon was announced as the new principal of Mantua Elementary. Principal Jan-Marie Fernandez is retiring after 21 years of leadership at Mantua. Ms. Shannon currently serves as acting principal of Providence Elementary and previously worked as assistant principal at Frost Middle School.

Photo collage of principal announcement at Mantua Elementary School

Protecting Immigrant Families

The School Board voted unanimously to develop a School Trust Policy aligning the school division with Fairfax County's Trust Policy. Adopted in January, the County policy prohibits voluntary cooperation by all Fairfax County agencies with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The policies are designed to help build trust and confidence with immigrant families. The proposal, sponsored by Dr. Ricardy Anderson (Mason District) and me, now heads to the Board's governance committee, which will work with division staff to develop the policy for adoption by the entire Board in the near future. [Additional Details]

Vaccines for Teens

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for people ages 12 and up. In other words, every middle and high school student in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) may now be vaccinated. FCPS encourages student vaccinations because this is one more way to ensure the safest school environment for everyone and for students to avoid quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. In a new campaign, "Ask Me Why," teens at Westfield and Justice high schools are featured here in photos and videos. They share why they got vaccinated or wanted to be vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available. Many pediatricians and family doctors' offices have the vaccine, and you may choose to take your child to their regular medical home for the vaccine. In addition, there are many opportunities to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Fairfax, including other private health care providers, Urgent Care facilities, pharmacies, Inova, and FCHD. Many locations offer same-day appointments, and some even have walk-in availability. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or another adult at all community vaccination sites. [Additional Details]

LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

June is Pride Month, a time to remember history, celebrate how far we've come in advancing the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, and reinvigorate efforts to continue the fight for equality and against discrimination and hatred. The School Board will recognize June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month at our meeting on June 17.

Ways to Support LGBTQIA+ Youth:

  • Educate Yourself (& Your Family): Showing the LGBTQ+ people in your life that you understand and respect their identities is a great first step. 
  • Encourage Kids to Find Community Online: Staying connected to the LGBTQ+ community can help youth combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. Many national organizations offer free support groups and social events online. 
  • Recommend LGBTQ+ Books and Media: Representation is powerful. Seeing movies, television shows, and books with LGBTQ+ characters help kids feel less alone.

Summer Entertainment at Nottoway Park

The Nottoway Nights concert series is back this year, bringing talented musical performances and outdoor entertainment to the Providence District. These free shows can be enjoyed safely outdoors at Nottoway Park (9537 Courthouse Road, Vienna) on blankets and lawn chairs. The Oakton High School Band will close out the series with a performance on Thursday, August 26.

  • July 8: Project Locrea (World Music)
  • July 15: Voices of Classical Soul (R&B/Motown)
  • July 22: King Soul (Southern Soul)
  • July 29: Lox and Vodka (Klezmer Folk, Jazz)
  • August 5: The Annandale Brass Ensemble (American Popular Music)
  • August 12: Bumper Jacksons' Band (Country)
  • August 19: The Seldom Scene (Bluegrass)
  • August 26: Oakton High School Band

Graham Road Soccer Field Opens

In May, we were joined by local elected officials, students, and other community members for a ribbon-cutting to officially reopen the Graham Road Community Building's soccer field! Last year, the School Board approved a nearly $100,000 contract for the now complete turf field replacement. Special thanks to all who were involved in making the ceremony a success: Virginia Delegate Marcus Simon, Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik, At-Large School Board Members Karen Keys-Gamarra, and Rachna Sizemore Heizer, Graham Road Elementary School Principal Lauren Badini, Congressman Gerry Connolly’s office, Arlington Boulevard Community Development, Chesapeake Management, and Girls on the Run!

A group of adults stand in a semi-circle behind two children who cut a large ribbon with scissors.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Available for Families

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is working to help build awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. This temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The $3.2B program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider. Emergency Broadband Benefit enrollment is underway right now. Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). Additional information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available at, or by calling 833-511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week. [Additional Details]

New FCPS Director of Cybersecurity

Vijai Rao joined FCPS on June 1 as the first Director of Cybersecurity. He is a widely respected cyber-security leader who joins the school division with over 20 years of experience. Rao recently worked at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Before WMATA, he served as Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the National Democratic Institute. As an industry expert on cyber risk, Rao has conducted several security audits and risk assessments for organizations ranging from large banks to federal, local, and state governments. He regularly speaks on security matters, and his efforts have been profiled in several technology articles.

New Student Representative to the School Board

Pranav Choudhary, a junior at Langley High School, has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council to serve a one-year term as Student Representative to the Fairfax County School Board, beginning July 1. Choudhary will participate in School Board meetings as a nonvoting member, filling the position currently held by Nathan Onibudo, a senior at South County High School. He is looking forward to hearing from students on their thoughts on improving the lives of all FCPS students.

Joining the Cleaning Crew at Mantua Elementary

I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to join the custodial crew at Mantua Elementary recently to help clean the school after students went home for the day. Special thanks to Ms. Fuentes for showing me the ropes!

Collage of Karl Frisch cleaning classrooms

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Meeting agendas and handouts can be found on BoardDocs. Meetings are broadcast on Channel 99 (Cox, Comcast) or 11 (Verizon) and live-streamed on the FCPS website. Recordings of meetings are archived on the FCPS YouTube channel.

Office Hours

If you would like to schedule a Zoom or phone meeting, submit a request here.

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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