Daniels Run Down-Family Edition-September 17, 2021

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From the desk of Mr. Smith!

Dear DRES Families,

It was great to see all the students and families who joined us this past Monday for our Back to School Open House and Picnic.  Thank you to our staff for all their work preparing for the event and welcoming families to their classrooms. Thank you to the PTA for the wonderful additions of the balloon arch and our dragon mascot, as well as all the work that went into organizing the food trucks and music for the picnic.  We have done a number of things already to connect with all of our families including a welcome email from your child's teacher, Welcome Walk and open house.  All grade level teachers will be contacting families regarding conferences which will be held before November 23rd.  Families will have the option of an in-person or virtual conference.  Also, families will be receiving a weekly overview from grade level teachers of the academic focus in class now that we have settled into more of our routines.        

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 and enjoy your weekend.


Chris Smith

DRES Principal 

Return To School 


Field Day Volunteers!

Fall Field Day is Coming! Field Day is scheduled for Friday October 15th with a rain date of Monday October 18th. Grades kindergarten through second grade will have Field Day from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and grades third through sixth will have Field Day from 1:30-3:30 p.m. WE NEED PARENT VOLUNTEERS!! If you are interested in volunteering, please send an email to Tyler Murray at twmurray@fcps.edu by Friday October 1st, 2021. In the email please include the following:

  1. Name of volunteer (s)
  2. Time of day you are willing and available to volunteer: Morning, Afternoon, Both
  3. Whether you plan to volunteer on only October 15th or can volunteer on the rain date October 18th as well.

After signing up to volunteer, you will receive an email during the week of October 11th with details. Thank you in advance for your help to make Field Day a success for our DRES students!


Advanced Academic Program (AAP)   Information Sessions

The Advanced Academic Program (AAP) Fall Newsletter was sent home to families in this week’s Thursday folders.

Fairfax County Public Schools offers a continuum of advanced academic services for students in K-12 that builds upon students' individual strengths and skills and maximizes the academic potential for all learners.

Our Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART), Beth McCrodden, collaborates with the school staff to determine the appropriate level of advanced academic services. Ongoing observation and assessment ensures that student needs are being met.

Parents may refer their child for advanced academic services or get additional information on the screening process or advanced academic opportunities at our school by contacting Ms. McCrodden at bamccrodden@fcps.edu.

Additional information including parent presentations, AAP forms, and screening/identification timelines can be found at the FCPS AAP Website.


AAP K-6 Overview Parent Meeting

If you are interested in learning more about advanced services at Daniels Run, you are invited to attend one of our virtual AAP Parent Information Sessions on Tuesday, September 28 or Wednesday, September 29.

Ms. Beth McCrodden, our Advanced Academic Resource Teacher (AART), will provide information about the levels of AAP service in FCPS for K-6 students and give an overview of the referral/screening process.  All are welcome to attend.

We are offering a choice for an evening or morning virtual session. You can join either session using the Google Meet links below.

Evening Session: Tuesday, September 28 from 6:00–7:00 PM (AAP Meeting Link)


Morning Session: Wednesday, September 29 from 9:30–10:30 AM (AAP Meeting Link)


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

Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP)

The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) assessments provide actionable information that will assist teachers, school leaders, and parents/guardians in supporting student success in school and to better understand school readiness skills across the state of Virginia. This fall, your student will participate in the three assessment components of the VKRP, which measure literacy, mathematics, self-regulation, and social skills. More information about the assessment can be found on the FCPS Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program Parent Notification webpage.

For questions, please contact your child’s teacher.


Parenting Resources

Fairfax County Parenting Education Programs are offering virtual parenting classes for parents with children between the ages of 5-11. Parenting Education Programs are family centered sessions, proven to help parents and children develop healthy, nurturing relationships.  This program builds upon families’ strengths and positive values.   Due to COVID-19 social distancing recommendation, the class will be offered virtually via ZOOM which is a  free web-based conferencing tool that allows us to meet on line. Each week, the parent will receive a Zoom link with a password by email to access the class.  This class will be offered in English. 

Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions.   Thank you.


10/5/21 – 1/18/21

Tuesday 6:00-8:00 p.m.

5-11 Age Range Nurturing Parenting Curriculum

This class will be held virtually

Debi Hackney 703-324-7790 Natalie Bailey 703-324-3617


Music News!

🎵 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

Fairfax High School Homecoming Opportunity!

Fairfax High School Homecoming is Friday, October 1st. There will be a parade at 4:00 on Old Lee Highway in Fairfax City and a tailgate with food trucks at FHS in the parking lot starting at 4:30. The football team takes on Edison HS at 7:00. We have a special opportunity for our students, FHS is looking for elementary kids to participate in a “high five tunnel” as the players run out on the field! To sign up and for more information, please go to the City of Fairfax website at www.CityofFairfaxSchools.org. Sign up today as there are limited spots.


Students to Participate in International Walk to School Day on October 6

Fairfax County Public Schools will participate in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 6, in an effort to promote physical activity and reduce traffic congestion and pollution near schools.

Students and employees are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work where safe to do so on October 6. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school and PTA or PTO to assemble bike trains or walking groups for the event. Schools are encouraged to register online with Walk and Bike to School.

Get more information about Walk to School Day

FCPS Special Education Handbook Is Available to Families

The Special Education Handbook for Parents includes details of the special education process. This process occurs sequentially, over a period of time, with each step building upon the previous step(s).

It is important for families to understand how the special education process works, so they can effectively participate and collaborate with school staff members in making appropriate decisions regarding their child’s educational needs. Families are an integral part of the decision-making team.

Contact the Parent Resource Center (PRC) at 703-204-3941 or prc@fcps.edu with any questions including access to this document.

How Can I Receive Text Messages from FCPS?

Parents can receive text messages from FCPS for emergencies and essential information. How? Make sure your parent cell phone numbers are listed in the "cell telephone" fields in the parent/guardian contact information section on the emergency care information form for each of your children.

Parents and guardians can view and update emergency contact information online using weCare@school

Standard message and data charges may apply for text messages depending on your cell phone service plan. More about text messages is available online.


PTA News!

Back to School Night Fun!

A big thanks to all who joined us at the Back to School Night PTA picnic. We had a great time seeing so many families back together at Daniels Run! If you have pictures from the event (including some with our new Dragon mascot), please share them with us by emailing drepresident@gmail.com


Join the PTA

Join the PTA and help us support our students and staff. Join online at dres.memberhub.com. Becoming a member simply shows support for our projects and programs. How involved you get beyond that is up to you (though we would certainly love you to participate and volunteer with us)!  


Online Directory Opt-Out

The PTA will be publishing an online directory of our students this fall via our online platform, Memberhub. If you do not wish to be included in the directory, please email dresecretary@gmail.com.  


Important Dates 

September 28-Virtual AAP Information Session-6:00pm

September 29-Virtual AAP Information Session-9:30am

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