July newsletter

Dear Dranesville Families,

As we officially close out the 2020-2021 school year and move forward with the next year, I hope you can take some time to rest and enjoy your family.   Be assured our FCPS school board and staff are hard at work to ensure we are prepared to welcome our students 5 days per week on August 23.  I have been talking with staff and our principals to be sure we are ready to address any learning losses that we see in our students. We are also preparing to give our students, families, teachers, and staff any emotional supports they need to recover from the pandemic.  I have prioritized looking at ways to spend our federal support dollars to help us in this work.  

I know our Extended School Year (ESY) program did not start out as smoothly as it should have.  I have had many conversations with staff to improve this process as we move forward and will continue to do so.  

We had a busy past school year and I am pleased with the progress we have made on many fronts.  I am so proud of our students and their accomplishments under difficult conditions.  I cannot thank our assistant superintendents, principals and all school based staff, custodial staff, food and nutrition staff and bus drivers, PTA/PTO leaders, parent and community volunteers enough for the efforts to support our students. I appreciate the time you have spent with me, the hard work and the long hours.  There is always more to do and more conversations that need to be held. I am here to continue this work as we move to a new school year.  If we keep our students in the forefront and always work with them to be sure they are succeeding, we can do amazing work together. 

I have some projects I have initiated that will continue into next year, such as a review of programs to ensure overall access and availability to students.  Some examples that are important to Dranesville include: academy programs, IB programs, language immersion and advanced academics.  I am also looking at ways we can capture our “lessons learned” from virtual learning to be sure we can utilize these lessons as we move forward to meet our future academic needs creatively and efficiently.  I look forward to sharing more about this as this work continues.  

Here are a few highlights of the work we have already accomplished together in Dranesville.    Much of this is ongoing work that I am excited to be a part of and look forward to our continuing efforts in the next school year. 

See you August 23!!


Safe and Healthy Schools

  • Returning our students to 4 days a week in person learning and supporting students that chose to remain in virtual learning.  Preparing for 5 days in person for the 2021-22 school year.
  • Provided Multiple Tiered Systems of Support and social and emotional supports for students and families throughout the year
  • Provided over 16 million snacks and meals since March 2020
  • Reduced overcrowding issues at McLean HS with the addition of a modular and the completion of a boundary change.  Continuing analysis of enrollment projections for future needs
  • Working on joint environmental goals with the Board of Supervisors to make our schools cleaner and operationally more efficient and cost effective
  • Getting tents and other outdoor spaces available for safe outdoor lunches and learning
  • Assessed and improved ventilation at every school
  • Found creative ways to offer students in person graduation, proms and other events and to celebrate teachers and staff

Increasing Inclusivity and Communication

  • Engaging community and student leaders to discuss and plan actions to deal with Anti-Asian and Anti-Semitic behaviors
  • Developing regular student input from all 3 Dranesville HS bodies in conjunction with our student school board rep and expanding that to other schools
  • Promoting the work of our Parent Liaisons as they reach out to all of our families to be sure needs are met to increase learning
  • Started a PTA leadership group with the Safe Community Coalition so these leaders can connect and share ideas and resources  
  • Incredible work done by PTAs to build community when meeting in person was not an option
  • Continue to utilize community organization input to Dranesville issues as we did with the boundary change
  • Updated the Restraint and Seclusion policy so that the least restrictive interventions possible will be utilized

Challenging Academics and Emotional Needs

  • Piloted Schoology in the Langley pyramid to prepare all of FCPS for the transition to this platform in fall of 2021

  • Ensuring all base high schools offer advanced math and science courses

  • Funding full time school based technology specialists at all schools

  • Funding more advanced academic resource teachers, Young Scholar programs, and specialists to work with exceptional learners

  • Working with audit staff to do an overall look at our Special Education programs

  • Made sure all students had access to computers and internet

  • Provided social workers, counselors, and psychologists to meet with students and families as needed

  • Creative programming by many FCPS and community groups like the Safe Community Coalition and the Parent Resource Center to provide a wide variety of parenting resources for increased access

Giving Back

  • The Langley pyramid did several joint food drives with SHARE
  • Schools are growing produce to share with local food banks
  • PTAs held drives to provide resources for those within their communities and sister schools
  • Numerous student projects to provide masks and PPE, tutoring and other needed resources to the community

Olympic rings

Going for Gold: Former FCPS Athletes Fulfil Olympic Dream

This year, some of the remarkable young men and women heading to Tokyo are Fairfax County Public School graduates. In this article, they talk about their memories of FCPS and their hopes for the Games beginning on Friday, July 23.

Andrew Seliskar

Andrew Seliskar

Seliskar is a McLean 2015 TJHSST graduate and will be swimming in the 4 x 200 relay. Go Andrew and Team USA!

Returning Strong

2021-22 School Year to Start on August 23

We are looking forward to having students back in classrooms 5 days a week in the fall. Please visit the 5 Days In-Person in Fall website for the latest information. FCPS encourages all who are eligible  to receive a full COVID vaccination series. For the latest health and safety information see this website.

Be sure to note that the first day of school for the 2021-22 school year will be Monday, August 23. The last day of school is June 10, 2022. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.


Effective July 1, 2021, Virginia law requires new school immunization requirements this fall for certain grade levels. These are required by state law to bring Virginia school vaccine requirements in line with CDC guidance.   For information about childhood immunizations go to this website and for CDC immunization schedules please go here.

New Requirements 

The requirements took effect July 1, 2021. 

Meningococcal Conjugate (MenACWY) Vaccine - Effective July 1, 2021, a minimum of 2 doses of MenACWY vaccine.

  • The first dose should be administered prior to entering 7th grade.
  • The final dose should be administered prior to entering 12th grade. Students cannot begin 12th grade in August without proper Meningococcal documentation.  
    • Adolescents who receive a first dose after their 16th birthday do not need a booster dose unless they become at increased risk for meningococcal disease.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine - Effective July 1, 2021, a complete series of 2 doses of HPV vaccine is required for students entering the 7th grade.

  • The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the 7th grade. 
  • After reviewing educational materials approved by the Board of Health, the parent or guardian, at the parent's or guardian's sole discretion, may elect for the child not to receive the HPV vaccine.

New but only affects 8 month olds and younger:

Rotavirus Vaccine - This vaccine is required ONLY for children less than 8 months of age. Effective July 1, 2021, 2 or 3 doses of Rotavirus Vaccine (dependent upon the manufacturer) is required.

Standard School Immunizations 

  • Changes effective 7/1/2021 are noted in bold.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, or Tdap) - A minimum of 4 properly spaced doses. A child must have at least one dose of DTaP or DTP vaccine on or after the fourth birthday. DT (Diphtheria, Tetanus) vaccine is required for children who are medically exempt from the pertussis-containing vaccine (DTaP or DTP). Adult Td is required for children 7 years of age and older who do not meet the minimum requirements for tetanus and diphtheria. Effective A booster dose of the Tdap vaccine is required for all children entering the 7th grade.

Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib) Vaccine - This vaccine is required ONLY for children up to 60 months of age. A primary series consists of either 2 or 3 doses (depending on the manufacturer). However, the child’s current age and not the number of prior doses received govern the number of doses required. Unvaccinated children between the ages of 15 and 60 months are only required to have one dose of vaccine.

Hepatitis A (HAV) VaccineEffective July 1, 2021, a minimum of 2 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine. The first dose should be administered at age 12 months or older.

Hepatitis B Vaccine - A complete series of 3 properly spaced doses of hepatitis B vaccine are required for all children. However, the FDA has approved a 2-dose schedule ONLY for adolescents 11-15 years of age AND ONLY when the Merck Brand (RECOMBIVAX HB) Adult Formulation Hepatitis B Vaccine is used. If the 2-dose schedule is used for adolescents 11-15 years of age it must be clearly documented on the school form.

Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine - A minimum of 2 measles, 2 mumps, and 1 rubella. (Most children receive 2 doses of each because the vaccine usually administered is the combination vaccine MMR). The first dose must be administered at age 12 months or older. The second dose of vaccine must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.

Pneumococcal (PCV) Vaccine - This vaccine is required ONLY for children less than 60 months of age. One to four doses, dependent on age at first dose, of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, are required.

Polio (IPV) Vaccine - A minimum of 4 doses of polio vaccine. One dose must be administered on or after the fourth birthday.  See supplemental guidance document for additional information.

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine - All children born on and after January 1, 1997, shall be required to have one dose of chickenpox vaccine administered at age 12 months or older. Effective March 3, 2010, a second dose must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.

Where to get Vaccines

Vaccines are available through private physicians, pharmacies and clinics. The Fairfax County Health Department offers school-required immunizations at the Health Department clinics free of charge. Please call ahead to make an appointment at 703-246-7100 TTY 71.

  • Annandale District Office
    • 7611 Little River Tnpk., #400-E, Annandale, VA
  • Herndon/Reston District Office
    • 1850  Cameron Glen Dr., #100, Reston, VA
  • Joseph Willard Health Center
    • 3750 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax, VA
  • Mount Vernon District Office
    • 8350 Richmond Hwy., #233 Alexandria, VA
  • Springfield District Office
    • 8136 Old Keene Mill Rd., 1st Fl., #A-100, Springfield, VA

For more information about required immunizations, click here.

Health Department, FCPS Host COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

The Health Department is partnering with FCPS to host special COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the following schools:

The school-based COVID-19 vaccine clinics are for adolescents 12 years of age and older. To make an appointment for your child, visit the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).

Each school clinic site will also offer walk-in options during their hours of operation. To learn more, please see this website.

COVID timeline in time for start of school fully vaccinated

2021-22 Kindergarten Registration

Will your child turn five years old by September 30? If so, contact your child’s school to make arrangements for kindergarten enrollment. Most schools begin getting information together now for parents of incoming kindergartners, and many host an orientation or open house. All kindergarten programs are full-day and located in FCPS elementary schools.

Check your school’s webpage or contact the school directly for specific enrollment information and dates of orientation.

Get more information about kindergarten registration

Video: How to Register Your Student in FCPS.

PreK and Early Head Start Accepting Applications for SY 2021-22 

FCPS PreK and Early Head Start is now accepting applications for School Year 2021-22!  Please watch this video to see if your 3 or 4 year old may qualify for PreK. To apply online. For more information call our English Line: 703-208-7900 or Email: fcpsprekoffice@fcps.edu                   

¡FCPS PreK y Early Head Start ya está aceptando aplicaciones para el año escolar 2021-22!  Por favor mire este video para ver si su hijo de 3 o 4 años puede calificar para PreK.  Para aplicar en línea. Correo electrónico: fcpsprekoffice@fcps.edu Para más información llame a la línea de español: 703-208-7901

Fairfax County’s School Age Child Care to Open for 2021-22 School Year

SACC will be open to provide before and after school services for the 2021-22 School Year.  The SACC program is currently assessing center capacities based on health and safety protocols. More information for the 2021-22 School Year program is available now on the SACC website.  Families who were previously enrolled will be contacted to determine their need for services.

Mental Wellness Consultations 

The FCPS Office of Intervention and Prevention Services is offering virtual Mental Wellness Consultations from June 28th through August 6th. Parents and students have an opportunity to schedule a 45-minute consultation with a school psychologist or school social worker by phone or videoconference. Consultations are offered in two ways:  

  1. Directly to parents of students in any grade level. This consultation provides an opportunity for parents to receive guidance on how to support their child’s social, emotional, and academic success. Information about community resources will also be provided.  
  2. Directly to students in middle or high school. This consultation provides an opportunity for middle and high school students to receive guidance and support for concerns related to anxiety, mood, behavior, peer or family interactions, or the transition back to school in the fall. Strategies and tools can also be provided to address academic challenges such as organization and time-management.

All parents and secondary students are encouraged to take advantage of this service. There is no cost. Click here to request a consultation. You may also leave a message at 571-423-4276.

Emergency Resources

Crisis Link Regional Hotline            703-527-4077

Crisis Text                                       Text NEEDHELP to 85511

Dominion Hospital Emergency       703-536-2000

INOVA Emergency                         703-289-7560

Merrifield Center Emergency         703-573-5979  TTY dial 711

Life Threatening                             911

July is:

Latinx Conservation Month

Latinx Conservation Month is inspired by the Hispanic Access Foundation’s Latino Conservation Week. It is an inclusive celebration, and everyone is invited to celebrate. Take the opportunity to learn about the Park Authority’s offerings and connect with our green spaces.  The Fairfax County Park Authority, together with the Providence District Supervisor, Defensores de la Cuenca, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, and Audubon Naturalist Society, will provide free bilingual (English/Spanish) conservation-themed programs and activities and recreational opportunities to those registered for events featured throughout the month.

See the calendar for more events like: July 17 1 p.m. Native Reptiles and Amphibians in Spanish at Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale

Anti-Boredom Month

According to Nationaldaycalendar.com , in the late 1980s, Alan Caruba created National Anti-Boredom Month as part of his on-going boredom themed efforts. See their article 21 Ways to Beat Boredom if you need more suggestions.

Try these things out too:

  • Tinkering at home- Exploratorium Museum
  • LPRT, Park Authority Host Free Child Racquetball Clinic
    • See top-caliber, nationally and internationally ranked racquetball players in action and to get on the court for some free lessons. See this website for more information.
      • If your children ages 7 to 17 love racquetball or you think they might, join in the fun on Saturdays July 24, 31 and Aug. 7, 2021 from 8:30 until 9:30 a.m. 
        • Stratton Woods Park, located at 2431 Fox Mill Road, Reston, Virginia.  
  • Win Prizes with the Public Library Summer Reading Adventure
    • The Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) summer reading program started on June 11 and will end on August 13. Students can start signing up now on Beanstack or paper logs available online where they can track their summer reading.

      • Sign up for the program to unlock a chance to win a $25 e-gift card to Scrawl Books.
      • Read 500 minutes to unlock a chance to win a $50 Chipotle gift card.
      • Complete the program by reading 1,000 minutes OR reading 500 minutes and completing 5 activity badges to unlock a chance to win a $150 Amazon e-gift card.
      • Prizes will be awarded after the completion of Summer Reading Adventure. Winners will be notified by August 31. Fill out your reading log and return it to your local library by August 13 to be entered into the grand prize drawing. 

  • Contests
    • Conservation Through the Local Lens Photo Contest
      • The Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) is committed to conservation of natural resources through stewardship and education programs and they want to see these through your eyes. Learn more about the Conservation Through the Local Lens Contest and submit photos!
      • Capture those vibrant moments and express what conservation looks like through your lens!
        • You can submit up to 10 photos and all photographs must be taken within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
        • The deadline is July 30, 2021.
    • Conservation Poster Contest
      • The VASWCD poster contest is open to K-12 students, and scouts are eligible to receive a patch for participating. This year’s theme is “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities.
  • Volunteering
  • The Humane Society of Fairfax County cares for animals big and small from dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, horses and more! Their aim is to find good homes for each of these animals and to provide top care for the time they spend at the shelter.
    • Canned cat food is always needed to assist the community cat caretakers in the community They are the sole source of care for homeless cats.
    • You can help by making toys and blankets for them. You can find easy dog toys ideas on the internet and the shelter dogs really like the tennis ball toys using a sock or old t-shirt. You can also make no sew fleece blankets of all sizes to work for animals of all sizes!  
    • Please consider a dog food donation along with your toys! The Ani-Meals program supports families in the community who need support feeding their pets so they can keep their pets at home with them.
    • Donations can be made directly to the shelter at 4057 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax VA 22030. For a full list of donation needs see their website https://hsfc.org/support/

National Ice Cream Month

According to Nationaldaycalendar.com, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month, along with the third Sunday of the month, as National Ice Cream Day, July 18th.

Fun Facts from their site:

  • Vanilla is the most popular flavor of ice cream.
  • The ice cream soda was invented in 1874.
  • It takes roughly 50 licks to finish an ice cream cone.
  • California produces the most ice cream in the United States.

Community Information and Resources

Child Tax Credit Changes starting July 15

Important changes to the Child Tax Credit will help many families get advance payments of the credit starting this summer. The IRS will pay half the total credit amount in advance monthly payments beginning July 15. You will claim the other half when you file your 2021 income tax return. These changes apply to tax year 2021 only. This will help families in their monthly expenses. To learn more and eligibility requirements go to this website.

Supervisor Foust's Newsletters

Please go here to read past newsletters and sign up for his newsletter for the latest in Dranesville and Fairfax County news.

MClean Central Park Gazebo

McLean Central Park Comment Period Extended

A Public Information Meeting was held on May 24, 2021 to review the development concept for McLean Central Park. The meeting was attended by over 61 people and was held online in a virtual setting so that members of the public could participate safely and conveniently from their own homes. A recording of the meeting and the presentation slides and more information is available on the project website here.

Comments will be accepted until July 30, 2021. Submit comments to: parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov; McLeanCentralPark@PublicInput.com.

Funding Available for Tenants and Landlords Through Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Fairfax County is administering relief for renters experiencing a negative financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program. Through this program, tenants and landlords may receive funds to pay delinquent and prospective rent payments.

Tenant Checklists and Landlord Checklists are available in multiple languages including Arabic, Amharic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese. Each case is assessed individually, and assistance is provided based on eligibility requirements. For additional information regarding eligibility criteria, documentation and more, please visit Eviction Prevention Resources.

Fairfax Water Payment Assistance Options

Experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID19? You're not alone. Eligible residents can apply for assistance through the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program among other payment assistance options. For more information, visit the Fairfax Water website here.

McLean HS Stadium and Track Closure

Their stadium is currently going through a renovation and will be closed until early August. This does include the track as well. 

From Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Chairman McKay

Ending of the State of Emergency will not greatly impact state or County operations, however I want to note a few technical changes to be aware of:

1.You may have heard talk of masks now being illegal because of the end of the State of Emergency, however this is not the case. 

  • The Virginia Department of Health has assured: There is no legal barrier to wearing masks to protect oneself and others from the virus, nor should anyone be penalized for doing so. While the state law prohibits wearing a mask for the purpose of concealing one’s identity, it does not prohibit wearing a mask for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19. This is true even now that Virginia is no longer under a statewide declaration of emergency. You can read more on that here
    • Short and simple if you choose to wear a mask for comfort or because you are not yet vaccinated, you should continue to do so.

2.Fairfax County's State of Emergency remains.  

  • For example, the Board must act to allow restaurants the flexibility to continue outdoor dining with tents in parking lots for up to a year following the state of emergency. 
    • This requires a local ordinance change that the Board will act on this month, but we must remain in a "state of emergency" to do so.

Dranesville Volunteer Opportunity

FLECAC vacancy

  • The FLECAC advises on the Family Life Education standards of learning and curricula, including both the Human Growth and Development and the Social and Emotional Health units.
  • Vacancy for July 2021- June 2022:
    • If you are interested in serving as the Dranesville representative on the  FLEC Advisory Committee, please send your resume and a paragraph describing how your qualifications and experience will be an asset to the Dranesville community and FLECAC. This is usually a 2 year appointment. Please send your information to Wendy Biliter by July 20 at wmbiliter@fcps.edu

Face Mask

Mask use for students in school buildings 

Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver issued the order, which was effective July 1. It requires children ages 5 and over to wear masks while indoors at both public and private K-12 schools until July 25. 

FCPS has adopted the position that all faculty, staff, and visitors, even if fully vaccinated, wear face coverings/masks  while school is in session until more students aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated and until younger students become eligible for vaccination. See this website for more information under Face Masks.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

  • July 13th at 10 a.m.- All-Day Work Session:
    • Students' Rights and Responsibilities
    • FY 2022 Risk Assessment and Audit Plan
    • ESSR III Spending Plan
  • July 15th at 7 p.m.- Regular School Board Meeting

How to Watch Meetings- changed since lifting of the State of Emergency

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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