Summer Updates, Fall Preview

Dear Dranesville Families:

Planning for our August 23 opening of the 2021-22 academic year is in  full swing.  Schools are getting out specifics on sports, back to school meetings and activities so please be sure to check those newsletters.  With the ongoing preparations, I wanted to get a note out to you with updates on recent school board activities, summer resources and notes for fall.  

Please watch for news from FCPS soon regarding mask wearing and other items for our August start.  



Andrew Seliskar

Watch Andrew Seliskar,  McLean 2015 TJHSST graduate, in Men's Final 4x200m freestyle relay- tonight!

Watch the finals tonight at 11:25pm. Go Andrew and Team USA!

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.

Health and Safety Guidance

FCPS will continue to follow the guidance put forth by clinical researchers and medical providers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to ensure the safest schools and classrooms possible.

The FCPS Family Guide for Back to School provides an overview of FCPS's back-to-school plans. The Student Health and Safety Document is continually updated and includes detailed information on school policies and protocols related to COVID-19, such as adherence to layered mitigation strategies. 

Free Virtual Parent Town Hall with the US Department of Education

July 29 8-9 p.m.

After a year and a half of grappling with the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, students across the country are slated to return to school in-person this fall. During the event, panelists from the US Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will answer parents’ questions and address concerns around the return to in-person instruction. For many, especially parents, the return to in-person instruction has brought with it a variety of worries, hesitations, and questions:

  • Will my child(ren) be safe at school?
  • What COVID precautions should I look for in my child’s school?
  • How will schools take my child's social and emotional well-being into account?
  • Is the vaccine safe?
  • Should I get the vaccine?
  • Should my child(ren) get the vaccine?

For more information and to register please click here.

Fall Plans to Address Student Learning Loss

As FCPS prepares for a full return to five days of in-person learning this Fall, its top priority is to ensure there is an appropriate plan to bring students up to grade level or higher. Below is a brief snapshot of the key strategies FCPS will use to address student learning loss during the upcoming school year:

Reviewing and Reteaching

FCPS is updating its curriculum instruction guides to ensure that teachers are provided with effective information and strategies to review and/or reteach previous grade standards as they teach current year content. This is critical towards helping students master essential knowledge and fill any skill gaps. This approach will also allow FCPS to accelerate learning, as opposed to starting a cycle of remediation. For students who have more significant learning needs, FCPS anticipates providing a variety of interventions. Some examples are:

  • Built-in time during the school day for individualized or small group instruction by current teacher or specialist;

  • After school/Saturday “tutoring”, delivered at the school by paid staff; 

  • Online tutoring, delivered in the evenings.

Identifying Student Needs

During Fall 2021, assessments will play an important role in identifying gaps in learning, and determining next steps. Students at all levels will participate in classroom assessments based on grade level units to identify specific learning gaps that need to be addressed during its regularly scheduled grade-level instruction. 

  • Elementary students will participate in a VDOE Fall “SOL-like" assessment, as well as the iReady screener. These will serve as “initial indicators” for each student’s needs in literacy and mathematics;

  • Middle school students will participate in the new VDOE assessments, and mathematics/literacy inventories;

  • High school students who have risk indicators will participate in mathematics and literacy inventories. 

Preparing Teachers to Tackle Learning Loss

Upon return to school, teachers will engage in professional development so they are prepared to implement updated curriculum guides and effectively use data and strategies to support social emotional learning. Ongoing professional development will take place throughout the year with specific supports for teacher leaders/coaches at each school site. In addition, our resource teachers from Central Office will be deployed in our schools to support professional development, planning, and instructional delivery. 

lunch box

Summer Meal Program

Meal Kit Sites extended through August 16 

Summer Meal Kits, containing seven (7) days of breakfast and lunch items packed in bulk. will be offered on Mondays at the sites listed below.  Meal kits are available at no-cost to FCPS students and children eighteen (18) years of age and under.  Parents/caregivers may pick up for children and adults may purchase kits for $28.00.  Please wear a mask when picking up the meal kits.  

Meal kits will be available for pick up every Monday from 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. or until supplies are exhausted.

Remaining dates of distribution

  • August 2 at all sites listed here.
  • NEW August 6 at these sites: Centreville HS, Edison HS, Mount Vernon HS, South Lakes HS, West Springfield HS, and Woodson HS.
  • NEW August 9 at these sites:  Falls Church HS, Hayfield SS, Marshall HS, South County HS, and Westfield HS.

NEW August 16 at these sites:  Falls Church HS, Hayfield SS, Marshall HS, South County HS, and Westfield HS.

Meal Kit Buses - through August 5

Ten (10) buses per day will run weekly routes Monday - Thursday throughout the community distributing meal kits, containing seven (7) days of breakfast and lunch items packed in bulk.

NEW!  All bus routes will offer double meal kits August 2 through August 5. 

Activate Your Parent SIS Account 

Please activate your SIS Parent Account today! Your SIS Parent account will provide you with online access to update emergency contact information, connect with the school and teachers through Schoology, and review grades. If you do not yet have your SIS Parent account, request your activation key here:

Only one request is needed per family as your account will allow you access to all of your children’s information. If you are not sure if you have activated your account or have forgotten your password, click the Forgot Password link here and enter your email address to reset your password:


Fairfax County Public Schools’ contract with Blackboard ended on June 30. The new learning management system is Schoology (pronounced /SKOO-luh-jee/). Schoology is a learning space that enhances communication, collaboration, and personalized learning for students, teachers, and families. 

Schoology is a learning space that enhances communication, collaboration, and personalized learning for students, teachers, and families. As a parent or guardian, you will be able to use Schoology to view:

  • your child's class;
  • your child’s assignments and participation;
  • your child’s calendar;
  • teacher comments, scores, and feedback.

Here is what you need to know now:

  • We will no longer use Blackboard 24-7 Learning or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU);
  • Schoology has a connected web conferencing tool, Zoom;
  • Schoology works with Google Drive;
  • You need a SIS/ParentVUE account to login to Schoology (See above for more information.);
  • You can learn more about Schoology:;
  • Parent accounts will be available in mid-August;
    • Information about how to login to parent accounts will be shared with you closer to the start of the school year.
  • Enrolled students should have a Schoology account as of June 18, 2021, but they will not see any classes until the grading period starts;
  • Students use their FCPS student ID and password to login to Schoology: 
    • Look for the FCPS logo to make sure you are on the correct login page.

Mental Wellness Consultations 

The FCPS Office of Intervention and Prevention Services is offering virtual Mental Wellness Consultations through August 6. 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.


The FCPS Parent Resource Center provides access to information and resources to support all families, educators, and students, including those with special needs, learning challenges, and disabilities

They also have free webinars every month. Registration opens one month before each webinar. Sign up for our New You Choose newsletter to get an email when registration opens. Registrants will be provided a link by email on the morning of the webinar.

Parent to Parent: Managing Expectations for our Next Normal

TUESDAY, AUGUST 10 2021 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for Parent to Parent: Managing Expectations for our Next Normal

Are you dealing with big emotions as you get ready to start the school year?  Let's talk about what we can be doing now to help our kids, and ourselves, get ready for the start of school. Are you searching for peer support, advice, encouragement, and resources? This webinar will offer families opportunities to learn from each other as they grow in their parenting skills. Guided by Mary Beth Harrison-Cunningham, Manager of the Parent Resource Center, and Erika Deem, a Parent Resource Center Liaison, families will exchange ideas and strategies as we navigate our next normal. 

Discussion Highlights: 

  • End of the summer check-in
  • Share concerns, worries for transitioning back to in-person learning
  • Join us if you have any tips or resources that might be helpful for another family or if you want to get some ideas from others.

Summer School/Student News

Hutchison ES summer visit 7/21

Thank you to Principal Aiello and her wonderful staff for hosting me to visit the Hutchison ES summer programs.

Timber Lane Summer Garden Update

Timber Lane summer garden

Churchill Road Elementary School Garden Update

Remember a month ago, when we all were preparing for school to wrap up, and the garden was newly planted? The garden beds were mostly brown dirt, with little hints of green. What a difference a month makes! On July 3, the garden sent basil, dill, zucchini and peppers to the food bank! The Churchill garden is in the midst of its production season.

McLean HS stadium update

McLean HS Stadium and Track Closure

This week the pellets will be laid down on their turf field.  The field is close to being completed! MHS stadium and track will be closed until early August.

McLean HS Tennis Court Update

Work is expected to start on the tennis court repairs next week and, weather dependent, the work should take 3-4 weeks.

Kriesh Tivare  3M contest winner

Rising Cooper 7th grader wins Award in National Young Scientist Challenge

Kriesh Tivare from Great Falls earned the State Merit Award for Virginia in the national “3M Young Scientist Challenge” last month for an experiment that examined how to make contactless charging a reality using coils in a roadway to power a toy car.- so an electric car charges as it drives via Contactless charging. Competitors submit short videos explaining the science behind a possible solution to a problem they see in their community. See more in this Tyson Reporter piece including the above picture.

Consider Donating Blood at Nationals Park

Join INOVA Blood Donor Services at Nationals Park on August 21* to donate blood and save lives. Step Up To The Plate!  Make Your Appointment Today!

Click Here To Sign Up For August 21, 2021*

Nationals Park 1500 South Capitol Street SE Washington, DC 20003-1507

Free Parking for donors in the Geico Garage.

All blood donors will receive a Washington Nationals/Inova Blood Donor Services t-shirt** and a ticket** to an upcoming Nationals game!

Community Information and Resources

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. Much of the below community news is from his latest newsletter.

Temporary Expanded Child Care Eligibility Available Now

The Child Care Assistance and Referral Program (CCAR) may be able to help with your child care expenses. Child care assistance may be available to families that are income eligible and demonstrate a need for care (due to employment, enrollment in school or participation in training). CCAR provides assistance with the cost of child care of children from birth to age 12 in family child care homes, centers and school-aged child care. Additionally, families co-payment (family’s share of the child care fee) will be waived for a limited time.

Applications received through December 31, 2021 are eligible for the following expanded eligibility criteria:

  •     Families currently looking for work
  •     Expanded income

For more information, visit the Fairfax County Office for Children website here, call: 703-449-8484 or email:

COVID 19 Information

Fairfax County is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. Residents are strongly encouraged to utilize the resources listed below:

  • COVID-19 updates from Supervisor Foust:
  • County COVID-19 website:
  • Sign up for text message alerts­: text FFXCOVID to 888777
  • Email the Fairfax County Health Department at (monitored 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays)
  • Call the Health Department at 703-267-3511 (9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekends)

COVID 19 Vaccination

Walk in COVID 19 vaccination

All individuals in the Fairfax Health District who are 12 or older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are FREE of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. No health insurance is needed.

To schedule a vaccination appointment, go to or (Spanish) for the widest selection of vaccination locations or visit the Health Department’s website. If you need assistance in another language or are not able to schedule an appointment online at a Fairfax County Health Department clinic, contact our Vaccine Call Center at 703-324-7404. 

The Fairfax County Government Center COVID-19 vaccination clinic provides walk-in appointments. While appointments may still be scheduled ahead of time, the Government Center vaccination clinic offers first-come, first-served walk-in appointments during the following times:

Walk-in Hours:

Monday and Thursday: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Health Department, FCPS Host COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

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.

Second dose COVID vaccine clinics will be held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2-7 p.m., Herndon Elementary School, 630 Dranesville Rd., Herndon, VA  20170
  • Thursday, Aug. 5, 2-7 p.m., Justice High School, 3301 Peace Valley ln., Falls Church, VA  22044
  • Friday, Aug. 6,  2-7 p.m., Liberty Middle School, 6801 Union Mill Rd., Clifton, VA  20124

These clinics are intended for students to receive their second dose, however, anyone 12 and older who is seeking COVID-19 vaccine, either first or second dose, will be eligible to receive a FREE vaccine.  These events will be the last opportunity for students to be vaccinated at a school-based clinic before school starts.

Parental Consent for Vaccinating Adolescents Under 18

Parents who are unable to bring their child to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic during the work day, may send their child with a responsible adult who is over the age of 18 and can give permission for the vaccination on behalf of the parent. Many locations also offer evening and weekend hours. Parents can find locations that suit their schedule at

Climate, Sustainability Goals Set by School Board and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

On July 15, the School Board voted unanimously to adopt  recommendations of the Joint Environmental Task Force (JET) to achieve zero waste by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2040. Our Board's action followed the same commitment from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors just days earlier. For more information see this website.

I am sometimes asked why these kinds of efforts are important for schools.  Here are my comments on that from the school board meeting:   

  • Because all students deserve to attend sustainable schools that enhance their health and wellness, prepare them for 21st century careers, and support a thriving planet.
  • The Department of Energy’s EnergySmart Schools report shares that K–12 schools spend more than $8 billion annually on energy, making energy the second highest operating expenditure for schools after personnel costs. Green schools result in budget savings that can be reinvested into more efficient buildings, more inspiring learning environments, new technology, more resources for teachers or other priorities for the school.
  • By improving indoor air quality, green schools can improve the health of students, faculty and staff, potentially decreasing sick days. Beyond the positive impacts of keeping students and teachers in school, indoor air quality and access to outdoor spaces also has direct effects on student achievement. 
  • Not to be overlooked is the opportunity for green buildings to serve as teaching tools that provide real-life examples of concepts being learned in the classroom. Teachers at green schools can use their buildings as the basis for project-based, experiential learning. Green schools provide a clear opportunity to connect students with curricula in environmental and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and they can serve as tools for interactive lessons across all subjects.

As FCPS developed its Get2Green program, here is the vision that was crafted:

Our Mission 

Our mission is to promote student learning and action using the environment as a foundation. We will be model environmental stewards by investing in green infrastructure and resources, utilizing interdisciplinary environmental curriculum, and fostering community partnerships. 

Tonight we are taking another step toward fulfilling this mission.  And…. We are taking a step toward leaving behind a livable, viable earth for our most precious resource, our children.  

Chair and Vice Chair Elected for SY 2021-22

At the July 15 regular School Board meeting, the Board unanimously elected Stella Pekarsky (Sully District) as School Board chair and Rachna Sizemore Heizer (Member-at-Large), as vice chair for a one-year term.

Increasing Citizen Participation

Beginning in February of 2020, public input and discussion began around increasing opportunities for public comment at School Board meetings. The School Board, on July 15, approved adjustments to public participation, which will increase accessibility to the speaker slots and topics. Read more here. The adjustments include:

  • Increases speaker slots to 16.

  • Ends requirement for speakers to only speak to items on the meeting agenda. 

  • Eliminates spots set aside for organizations, and everyone is subject to the same time limit. 

  • Reserves three spots for current students and three spots for video submissions.

  • Selects speakers at random from those who register, making it accessible to those who cannot be online at 6 a.m.

  • Retains ability for community members to testify virtually, allowing for greater access and ease of participation.

  • Adds two public hearings each year without a preset number of speakers.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

The School Board unanimously voted to adopt Regulation 2601.35P, Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R). Improvements to the SR&R for the 2021-22 school year reflect FCPS’ commitment to ensuring students feel safe, supported, and respected in every one of our schools.  

Notable changes include:

  • Edited language throughout the document to reflect gender neutrality.

  • A new section entitled Notable Changes for Students and Parents that highlights changes in the SR&R from last school year.

  • Restructuring of the Rights and Responsibilities Chapter with student rights prominently featured.

  • Language that further defines interaction of law enforcement and students.

  • Additional terms in the glossary to increase understanding.

ESSER III Funding 

The School Board unanimously voted to authorize the superintendent to develop and submit a formal plan to the state in order to fully access all Federal ESSER III Grant Funds. Approval the official ESSER III Funding Plan will be at the August 26 School Board meeting. The FCPS Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding allocation is $188.6 million for expenses related to the pandemic to be spent over multiple years.

Superintendent's Departure Slated for July 2022

The School Board voted in December 2020, to extend Superintendent Scott Brabrand's contract by one year -- until June 30, 2022. Dr. Brabrand announced that he would be leaving the school division after the 2021-22 school year, consistent with his contract extension. Until then, he will continue serving as Superintendent and will work with the School Board to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition in leadership. To that end, at our July 15 meeting, the Board approved a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a search firm to help find a new superintendent. I will be sure to share additional details as they become available. 

Collect for Kids- School Supply Drive

Collect for Kids is an annual fundraising effort that helps provide kits of supplies for students in need.  A donation of just $50 provides 5 students in need with the basic supplies necessary for academic success. ​This year, building upon the successes of the 2020 virtual campaign, the Collect for Kids effort is continuing with virtual, online-only donations. Contributions can be made online through the Foundation for FCPS. Donations will be used to purchase bulk school supply kits at highly discounted pricing. For more information, visit the Collect for Kids website. Please help us ensure all of our students have the tools they need to be creative and successful in school. 

Summer at the Kennedy Center

Millennium Stage presents more free outdoor experiences ranging from live music and film screenings to dance lessons, yoga sessions, arts markets, and more. Join them as they ease back into community with art on the wide-open, riverside REACH campus—or watch along with us via livestream! Please go to their website for more information and to register.

Coming events include: 

  • Aug. 5-7 Raga at the REACH
    • Raga at the REACH is a three-day festival focused on presenting the vibrant culture and heritage of India through live music, dance, film, and local arts vendors.
  • Aug 12-14 Step Afrika!
    • Join the celebrated dance company along with amazing step teams and guest artists as they take over the REACH
  • Aug 26-28 On Deck: Women Shredding Through Boundaries
    • An all-inclusive festival featuring women in action sports and music. Join us as we carve out space in the unconventional arenas of jazz and skateboarding for a more equal future together.

Upcoming School Board Meeting

  • August 26 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.

© 2021 Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia