RAVENS' NEST 09/08/2021

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Upcoming Events

Sept. 8th PTA Back to School Bash, Gazebo/Playground, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Sept 13th – General Membership PTA Meeting, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Cafeteria

Sept 16th – Yom Kippur – Religious or Cultural Observance Day

Sept. 30th – Back to School Family Literacy Night, virtual, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Oct 11th – Indigenous Peoples’ Day/Student Holiday - School Planning Day 

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Emergency Preparedness and Safety Drills

Keeping students and staff safe is a priority for all of us. We have a crisis management and emergency preparedness plan for our school that is reviewed and updated regularly. Our plan includes procedures on how to respond to incidents such as fires and tornadoes. Students and staff regularly practice these drills every school year. We also practice lockdown drills.

A new Virginia Law (22.1-137.2) requires schools to notify parents at least 24 hours before a school practices a lockdown drill. However, we are not required to share the exact date and time of the drill. We are required to practice lockdown drills two times a year. FCPS lockdown drills do not include any type of active shooter scenario training, they are instruction and classroom based.

We will conduct a lockdown drill at our school soon. Our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students are exempt from mandatory participation in lockdown drills during the first 60 days of the school year. They will participate in our second and final drill later this school year.

Additional information on our lockdown drill program to include parent tips and FAQs can be found on the Emergency Planning and Crisis Response web page. After reviewing this content, you should discuss the value of these safety drills with your child.

 

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Positivity Project Family Information

 

Beginning next week our students will be learning about the Positivity Project.

What is The Positivity Project?

The Positivity Project (P2) is dedicated to empowering America’s youth to build positive relationships by recognizing the character strengths in themselves and others. Their vision is to help schools and families cultivate citizens and leaders who will enhance our communities and country. Positive psychology’s scientifically validated 24 character strengths serve as its foundation. Positive psychology teaches that people have all 24 strengths within them – and that character is not just skills or behaviors, but rather an intrinsic part of each of us. 

P2 is not a program with strict guidelines. Instead, it educates teachers on the character strengths and relies on them to teach in a way that best meets their students’ needs. It is a school-wide endeavor, grounded in the consistency of daily classroom instruction. Their model is holistic; it incorporates students, educators, and parents through regular interaction with character strengths vocabulary and concepts. 

The project will help educators instill vocabulary and the meaning of the strengths through explicit teaching of each strength for 15 minutes per day. Schools will dedicate one week to each strength to help students understand them through definition, examples, discussions, and exercises. Schools and educators are encouraged to tailor the materials for their own best use, as they know their students and curriculum better than anyone else. 

What are the benefits of implementing The Positivity Project?

P2 ideals evolve throughout a student’s whole school career. The 24 character strengths develop and gain more meaning for students as they grow. Once students learn the meaning of each strength and what it looks like, they can then be embedded into the curriculum in every subject area. The character strengths become a part of a common vocabulary and they will see them in everything that they do. 

P2 empowers students by acknowledging that the 24 character strengths are already a part of who they are as people. It helps them to realize that each and every one of them have these strengths. There is no system in place to reward students who demonstrate “Good Character”. Rewards are fun to earn but they are finite because they are external. We want children to internalize the traits that society honors. Acknowledgement to oneself and realizing that you have the power to effect others in a positive way is much more meaningful and rewarding. 

Positive character strengths can and should be acknowledged in the classroom, as it gives students a richer understanding of what the character strength looks like in their peer group. Students understand that they have their own “Super Power” and they will be acknowledged and valued for their own character strengths. 

How can you help?

We would love for you to take an active role in your child’s character strength education. By using the character strengths vocabulary and having discussions about the concepts, you will help your child understand the character in themselves and others in a different light. You can follow our social media handles to see what we’re doing each day – and tap into P2 for Families here: https://posproject.org/p2-for-families/

 

Returning Strong: How Pausing, Quarantining, and Isolating Keeps Our Schools Safe

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. 

Pause

A pause to in-person instruction is a short-term safety measure used by FCPS and the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to allow time to investigate and determine the safest way to address a positive case within our school community. The pause will be initiated by the FCHD for anyone who interacted with an individual who reported a positive COVID-19 case.

  • A pause typically lasts between 24-48 hours while FCHD verifies vaccination status and completes contact tracing.
  • Vaccination status may reduce the time spent in a pause but must be verified every time an individual is put on a pause. 
  • The FCHD does not accept a negative COVID-19 test to release an individual from the pause. 
  • You will be contacted by the FCHD with a date they can return to school or work.
  •  This flowchart best explains what happens when there is a pause.

Close Contact

A close contact is any person, regardless of vaccination status, who is within six feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for equal to or greater than 15 minutes. 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 three feet apart and are consistently wearing masks in the classroom setting. Adults are not included in this exception.

Quarantine

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.

Isolation

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 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.

FCPS is committed to providing students with opportunities to remain engaged in learning when they are in a pause, quarantine, or isolation period. This chart outlines the ways students receive instruction and materials.

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. 

 

Health Information and Emergency Care Forms

The Health Information Form (HIF) (SS/SE -71) Health Information Form and the Emergency Care Information form (SS/SE-3) Emergency Care Information provide valuable information regarding student health conditions. These forms are critical in the early identification of students who may need healthcare support in the educational environment. Along with the development of Healthcare Plans (HCP) and Action Plans, the Public Health Nurses (PHNs) utilize the information contained in the HIF to develop teaching strategies for FCPS staff in order to meet the requirements of Regulation 2104 Health Services-School Health Related Needs.

For SY 21-22, these forms will be required for all students. Parents/guardians may submit these forms either through electronic submission accessed within the weCare@school (weCare) module; or through Back to School packets for those families without ParentVue accounts.

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Schoology

We are excited about Schoology (pronounced /SKOO-luh-jee/), FCPS' new learning management system. Schoology is a learning space that enhances communication, collaboration, and personalized learning for students, teachers, and families.

Through it families will have access to their student’s digital assignments and access to many of the virtual resources they will use. The following are some resources that will help you prepare to use Schoology this year:

Over the next few weeks your student’s homeroom teacher will begin posting information within Schoology. Stay tuned for updates!

 

FCPS is Seeking Individuals to Serve as Student Monitors!

Enjoy working with students?  FCPS is seeking individuals to serve as student monitors.  Student monitors provide supervision support in the classroom, lunchroom, and outside.  If you would like more information about the position, please review the job description and apply online. Please feel free to share information about this opportunity with anyone else you think may be interested.

 

FCPS is Seeking Individuals to Serve as Substitute Teachers!

Are you or somebody you know interested in substitute teaching with FCPS? Apply here or attend one of our Friday information sessions to learn more! To sign up for a session visit our substitute information page here.  Say Yes to FCPS! 

 

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Andrew Gause’s Martial Arts

Transported After School Program - Our After School Program (AMP) is the perfect alternative to SACC/Daycare.  Your child will get a daily Taekwondo class, snack, and quiet/homework time.  Your child should have gotten a good workout and their homework done when you pick up so you can enjoy the rest of your evening together.

https://www.rvtkd.com/after-school-martial-arts-program.html

Andrew Gause – Owner/Master Instructor

Andrew Gause's Martial Arts

5236 Port Royal Rd Springfield, VA 22151

(703) 321-0300 (office), (703) 321-3330 (fax)

 

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PTA News

Back to School Bash

Join us tonight, September 8 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm to celebrate returning to school. There will be food trucks available (From Tuscany with Love and Rockland’s BBQ), plus you’ll be able to join the PTA and purchase new Spirit Wear items for the 2021/22 school year. Come hang out with friends to kick off the school year!  

 

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New Spirit Wear Available

Check out the PTA MemberHub website at https://ravensworth.new.memberhub.store – you can join the PTA and purchase Spirit Wear all in one spot. We have exciting new Spirit Wear items (youth and adult sizes), with limited inventory of items from years past. Contact Dori Sophia at spiritwear@ravensworthpta.org if you have any questions. Show your school spirit today!  

 

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Follow Ravensworth on Social Media

Are you connected to Ravensworth Elementary School and the Ravensworth PTA on Social Media? The PTA’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/ravensworthelementarypta and the school’s accounts are https://www.facebook.com/RavensworthElementary and https://twitter.com/RavensworthES