Daniels Run Down-Family Edition-September 10, 2021

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From the desk of Mr. Smith!

Dear DRES Families,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend.  I continue to be amazed by the joy our students bring to the building each day.  I was able to visit our Kindergarten and 5th grade classes this week, as well as enjoy outdoor lunch with a 6th grade class and a 4th grade class.  We are working on hiring additional staff during lunch in order to expand outdoor lunch opportunities. I look forward to seeing all of our students and families at our Back to School Open House and Picnic on Monday.  Our open house will run from 5:30-6:30 and will give families a chance to visit their child's class and visit their specials teachers. We will also provide support in the library for parents who need help with Schoology.  The PTA picnic will start at 6:30.    

A huge thank you to our PTA who welcomed back our staff with a great lunch and stocked our staff lounge with snacks and sodas.  Please take a few minutes to join the PTA, attend our monthly meetings and volunteer any talents or time you may have.        

Always feel free to contact me directly at cmsmith@fcps.edu if you have any questions, concerns, or if there is anything our team can do to support you.  Thank you for your continued support, flexibility and patience.


Chris Smith

DRES Principal 

Return To School 



20th Anniversary of 9/11 Commemoration

In recognition of the 20th anniversary of September 11, FCPS and Daniels Run will commemorate and acknowledge the loss of life, the heroism of our first responders, and the resilience of our country.

Daniels Run had a special moment of silence on Friday, September 10th.


2021-22 Opt-Out Information

Annual Notice of Survey, Records, Curriculum, Privacy & Related Rights

Opt- Out Options (if applicable) :Opt-Out Forms (English)

If you wish to opt your child out of any of the activities mentioned, you must complete and return the appropriate forms to your child’s school.

Health Guidance for Parents

The health and safety of all students is paramount to everything we do. Here is some information from FCPS that gives tips on how to stop the spread, as well as explains the process we use when there is a positive case. 

FCPS Health and Safety Guidance Webpage

Our Health and Safety Guidance Webpage has the most current information about our layered prevention strategies, what happens if your child becomes ill at school, and the process when there is a pause in instruction or activities after a positive COVID case.

Flow Chart for Notification of a Positive Case

We know the pause process can be confusing for families. The flowchart below is posted to the FCPS website and explains the exact process Daniels Run, FCPS, and the Fairfax County Health Department use to identify and notify close contacts after a positive case.

Flowchart outlining process for students identified as a close contact

COVID Dashboard

All FCPS COVID-19 cases are reported via a dashboard posted to the FCPS website and updated daily. While this does not outline the number of students quarantining, it has tabs showing total number of cases, cases by school and cases by date.

FCPS Covid-19 Dashboard

Safety Tools & Scenarios

Since the beginning of August, the majority of COVID-19 cases have been acquired through community spread, outside of school buildings. 

FCPS’ layered prevention strategies are working to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Pausing, quarantining, and isolating are tools we use to keep schools safe when a positive COVID-19 case is reported. Understanding the difference between the three scenarios can help families be prepared.


A pause to in-person instruction is a short-term safety measure used by FCPS and the health department to allow time to investigate and determine the safest way to address a positive case within the school community.

To learn more about pausing in-person instruction, watch this video.

Close Contact

A close contact is any person, regardless of vaccination status, who is within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) K-12 Exception indicates that students will not be identified as close contacts if they are at least 3 feet apart and are consistently wearing masks in the classroom setting. Adults are not included in this exception.

To learn more about close contacts, watch this video.


When a student is identified as a close contact, there are two things that may occur as a result:

  • Not fully vaccinated students who are identified as a close contact with someone with COVID-19 must remain home for 14 days after their last exposure. FCPS will notify a student of their return date.
  • Fully vaccinated students must remain home until their vaccination status is verified. Upon verification of vaccination status by the FCHD, and if the student/staff is asymptomatic, they may return to in-person learning and activities once notified by FCPS of their return date.

To learn more about quarantines, watch this video


Isolation is the response when someone tests positive for COVID-19. Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, may not return until:

  • It has been at least ten (10) days since the student first had symptoms AND
  • The student must be fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication AND
  • The student’s symptoms are getting better

To learn more about isolation, watch this video


It is important to note that more than one case reported by a student, staff, or visitor to a particular school or building does not always mean there is an outbreak. An outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with onset within a 14-day period who are epidemiologically linked (a case in which the person has been exposed to a confirmed case in a way that a known transmission can occur), do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in a setting outside of school during the health department investigation. 

To learn more about outbreaks, watch this video


FCPS’ goal is to keep students learning in-person all year. We are doing our part by implementing layered prevention strategies and working with FCHD to address positive cases and potential exposures. Every FCPS student and family can do their part by wearing masks, getting vaccinated when they are eligible, practicing healthy hygiene, and staying home when sick. 

iReady Assessments

The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) School Board adopted iReady as an academic universal screener for use with all elementary school students in grades 1 through 6. The iReady assessment includes a reading test and a mathematics test.

The purpose of this assessment is to identify students who may have gaps in foundational literacy and mathematics skills. Based on iReady results, some students may require an additional assessment to further diagnose the specific learning areas that may need support. An example of an additional diagnostic assessment is the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA). The iReady reading test, together with any necessary follow-up diagnostic assessments, also fulfills state testing expectations for primary grade students.

iReady and any necessary follow-up assessments are given at the beginning of the school year. Depending on the grade level and previous screener performance, students may receive the assessment again in the winter and/or in the spring. Schools set the specific dates for testing in each class.

Additional information, including a short video, about the universal screener in FCPS can be found at the iReady Universal Screener webpage (https://www.fcps.edu/us). If you have further questions about this assessment, please contact your child’s teacher or our school’s test coordinators, Lauren Hein and Michael Parker. 

Virginia Growth Assessment

Virginia Growth Assessment (VGA) is a new test required for students in grades 3-8. The state legislature introduced this requirement to measure student growth and progress within the school year in reading and mathematics. 

For fall 2021, VGA will address content that was taught in the previous school year. The purpose of this fall’s VGA is to identify potential learning gaps resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no “passing” or “failing” outcome for the VGA. Results will provide a starting point to measure growth and will offer information about areas of strength and areas for growth in reading and mathematics.

Students enrolled in grades 3-8 will generally take an assessment in both reading and mathematics. However, elementary and middle school students enrolled in a high school credit-bearing math course, such as Algebra 1, will not take a VGA for mathematics. 

The following points may help you and your student better understand this assessment. 

  • VGA must be taken in-person at school. 
  • This online, computer-adaptive test is about half as long as the spring SOL test.
  • Questions use Standards of Learning (SOL)-like items to measure current knowledge and skills in the content area.
  • Student results will be used to help school staff plan for instruction and supports.  

Across Fairfax County, elementary and middle schools will give students the VGA in September or October.

If you have questions about this state assessment for your student, please contact Lauren Hein or Michael Parker

Music News!

🎵 5th & 6th Grade Chorus: All 5th – 6th grade students are welcome to rehearsals (during school: Wednesdays-5th grade; Thursdays – 6th grade.) Click here.   


🎵 September Musician of the Month: The Gypsy Kings. “The Gipsy Kings are a group of flamenco, salsa, and pop musicians from Arles and Montpellier in the south of France, who perform in a mixture of languages, mostly in Spanish” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gipsy_Kings)

Listen here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=RDEMA-sxamFr763FjBY9H6dYig&playnext=1

Volunteer Fairfax!

Join Volunteer Fairfax on Saturday, September 11, 2021 for a special VolunteerFest that will take place on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Together we will engage in good deeds as we remember those lost and honor the first responders who continue to serve the community.

Daniels Run is participating in this fantastic volunteer opportunity. This in-person event supports the environmental education program. You will be laying down mulch, planting native plants, and weeding the vegetable garden or other grounds beautification projects in the outdoor classroom habitats. Click here for more information!

Service projects are taking place across the county and there are many ways to participate. Whether you are interested in volunteering in-person, or from your homeVolunteerFest has a variety of ways to get the whole family involved!

Register Today!


PTA News!

Back to School Night PTA Picnic - Monday Night 5:30 - 7:30!

The PTA picnic will be Monday night as part of back to school night! Stop by your student's classroom and then come on out to the playground and fields. Bring a picnic or buy from one of our food trucks. Be sure to visit the PTA table where you can purchase our new Daniels Run Dragons t-shirt (available on-site in all youth sizes) and to get a treat for our students!

Join the PTA!

Join the PTA by September 15th and be entered into a raffle to win a $25 credit for our spirit wear store! Also, the class with the most memberships will win popsicles and a spirit wear item for their teacher! Join online at dres.memberhub.com

Dragon Spirit Wear Now Available!

Show your DRES Dragon spirit with our new spirit wear including youth and adult sizes in t-shirts, sweatshirts, bags and more! Our fall sale will run until September 15th. Order online at shop.burkesports.com and enter our group code DRES.


Important Dates 

September 13 Back To School Open House/Picnic - 5:30-7:30

September 16 Yom Kippur 

October 11 Indigenous Peoples' Day-Student Holiday

October 15-Field Day

November 1-2 Día de los Muertos

November 1-Teacher Workday-Student Holiday

November 2 Election Day-Student Holiday

November 4 Diwali

November 11 Veterans Day-Two Hour Early Release

November 24-26 Thanksgiving Break

November 29 Chanukah 

December 8 Bodhi Day

December 20 - 31 Winter Break

December 25 Christmas