Westlawn Family Message - August 20, 2021

Westlawn Family Message

August 20, 2021

Keeping Families Connected!

Westlawn Welcome Picture

Hello Westlawn Families,

Thank you for the amazing turnout this past Thursday at our first annual Westlawn Welcome Event!  Westlawn staff members were excited to interact with  families and meet the children. It felt good to smile together again. 

Due to a backlog of shipments as a result of the global pandemic, the Westlawn gift bags that were originally intended for families at the event will be distributed to students once the contents have arrived. Thanks to the community organizations that joined us and the Sevatruck Foundation for their food donation.

  • August 23 - First Day of School 
  • September 3 & 6 - Labor Day Break
  • September 8 - Back to School Night (Virtual Event)

Monday marks the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year and, for the first time in 18 months, we welcome all students into the building. With this brings joy, excitement and understandable anxiety. Rest assured that we will strictly adhere to the layered prevention strategies outlined by FCHD in collaboration with the CDC. The safety of your children is our first priority.

Next week we take another step on the road to recovery.

Together, we are strong. Together, we unite.  Together, we soar. 

We are Westlawn.

In Proud Partnership,

Christoph Hill, Anaya Bryson and Stephanie Carpenter, Westlawn Principals

Community Conversation - August 25, 10:00AM

We will have a community conversation on Wednesday, August 25 at 10:00AM.  We will provide updates to health and safety protocols and procedures, but the majority of the time will be dedicated to questions from families. Access our virtual meeting here.

Cafeteria and Lunch Updates 

We took feedback from our August 18 Community Conversation and re-examined our procedures for lunch.  We are currently in the process of modifying our cafeteria protocols to reduce the number of students and increase distance between children.  We will utilize our outdoor canopy and courtyard to reduce the number of classes in the cafeteria simultaneously, and erect partitions on tables indoors.  On days weather prevents us from eating outdoors, certain classrooms will be used for eating.  We will provide more detailed information at our next Community Conversation on August 25.   

Health Screening Questionnaire

To keep our community safe and our children in school it is imperative that we carefully monitor our students for signs of illness, and keep kids home if they display possible symptoms of COVID-19.  We ask that each morning families self-assess their children using the Health Screening Questionnaire provided below.  


Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Walkers coming from Wesley Rd will enter and exit from door 10, while those from Oak Ridge Rd will enter and exit from door 6. Kiss and Ride will be dropped off and picked up outside door 10, and bus riders they will enter through door 1. Fifth and sixth grade bus riders will enter and exit through door 2 (not pictured) as it is closest to the upper grade classrooms. All doors will have Westlawn staff ready to greet children each morning and dismiss them each afternoon. 

Aerial Map of Campus

Mask Guidance

Masks are an essential tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting those unable to be vaccinated. To ensure a safe start to the school year, masks will be required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, inside FCPS school buildings.

Wearing a mask protects us all:

  • Children under 12 and the immunocompromised are not able to be vaccinated at this time. 
  • By wearing a mask, we all help create a safe environment for those who are unable to be vaccinated.
  • When recommended social distancing is a challenge, universal masking is an approved substitute - meaning more students can engage in learning in classrooms and other spaces within the school building.
  • Reducing the spread of COVID-19 also reduces student absences and missed extracurricular activities and athletic events.

Buses: The CDC federal order requiring masks be worn on public transportation remains in effect, and applies to buses and school transportation operated by Virginia public schools. 

Outdoors: Masks are strongly recommended for all adults and children while outside for recess, P.E., or other outdoor activities on school grounds during the school day. 

Mealtimes: Masks will be worn in between bites and reapplied after each meal.  

Locker rooms: Masks are required at all times.

Band: Band members will use covers/special masks inside the school.

Students with Disabilities: A small group of students with disabilities and staff who work with them will have access to clear masks (e.g. center-based students with hearing impairments, teachers of deaf/hard-of-hearing, speech language pathologists, and some students receiving speech services as needed).

Student Exemptions: Students can request an exemption from this requirement through the process outlined in Regulation 2109.

Staff: Vaccinated staff will wear masks at all times.  

Visitors: All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks in buildings.


Laptops and MiFi Devices

If you have not returned your child's laptop and/or MiFi device from the previous school year please do so immediately.  Devices must be properly updated and prepared for use during the upcoming school year.  

Bus Transportation

As we prepare for children to come to school and go home on buses this fall, we ask you to be aware of possible adjustments to routes and scheduling. A national bus driver shortage is impacting FCPS and some routes may be longer or occasionally delayed as we work through the situation. [SCHOOL] will keep you informed of changes as soon as information is available. Your patience and understanding as we make adjustments is appreciated. [SCHOOL] and FCPS is working hard to address the need for drivers and plan for transportation in a way that has the least impact on students. 

You may consider driving, walking, or biking to school while we work through the driver shortage and adjust routes. Car pools or group walks and bikes are also encouraged for those who are able to help relieve pressure on buses. If you plan to walk or bike to school, watch this short video on pedestrian safety with your child.

Find out more about bus routes on our website and download the Here Comes the Bus mobile app.

If you or someone you know has interest in becoming a bus driver for FCPS, now is a great time to come on board! FCPS is offering up to $2,000 in a signing bonus for new bus drivers who meet eligibility requirements and complete the new driver employment criteria. Find out more and apply today!


Vaccinate Requirement for FCPS Staff

FCPS will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October. Staff who choose not to, or are unable to be vaccinated, will be required to submit proof of a negative test on a regular basis. FCPS is planning divisionwide vaccination clinics, beginning in the next few weeks, to help staff and students get vaccinated and receive booster shots when eligible. More details will be shared over the coming weeks.


Students, families, and staff throughout FCPS and in our school community will use Schoology (pronounced /SKOO-luh-jee/) as our learning management system. 

Here is what you need to know now:

Girls on the Run 

We are proud to announce the initiation of the Girls on the Run program at Westlawn!  A GOTR team member joined our Westlawn Welcome Event and signed up our first members.  Westlawn is funding the program, so families will not need to pay registration fees.  We are on the lookout for an additional coach which would allow another group of girls to participate - click here for more information.  If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Christoph, Stephanie, and Anaya.  

Community Conversation Slides - August 18

Here is the slideshow from our Community Conversation on Wednesday, August 18.  Be advised that information provided at the time is current, and subject to future modification. 

Community Conversation Slides - August 18

Westlawn Band and Strings

Join the Westlawn Band & Strings for the 2021-2022 School Year!

Registration is now open! Sign up on one of the links below.

English Link - https://forms.gle/3ReY6eeHoDJbBbWx5

Spanish Link - https://forms.gle/ipP1ayPvWA8hP8Tz6


Contact –

Mr. Erickson – Band – pgerickson@fcps.edu

Ms. Emery – Strings – aremery@fcps.edu


Title I Parent Letter

Please read the attached letter for information regarding the Title I Federal Government Program Grant.

Westlawn Title I Parent Letter