Springfield District September 2021 Newsletter

Hello, Springfield District! 

I’m so hopeful that your students are having a good experience at school so far and that your family is able to spend some time enjoying the beautiful fall weather. In our family, the 6am wake up has definitely been an adjustment for my teenagers, but they are really excited to be back with friends and participate in school activities. We are all looking forward to picking pumpkins and homecoming!

In the past few weeks, the biggest concern that I continue to hear from families is around pausing and quarantining. Many families have not heard back from the health department, have been paused more than once, have negative test results and have not been allowed back into class, etc. They are frustrated and concerned that their children are missing valuable time in school.

In response, I have been working to improve protocols around COVID mitigation, including:

  • Asking for data regarding decreasing the 14-day quarantine and pause time (perhaps to 10 days as some counties have done), to allow COVID-free students to return to school rather than miss critical instructional days
  • Working with our local health department on how families can seek medical services related to COVID, and what FCPS and Fairfax County can do to best prepare for the distribution of the vaccine, when it becomes available for children 5-11 yrs. old
  • Advocating for implementation of COVID testing for students and staff to the Superintendent and County Health Department – something the Board requested in summer 2020
  • Working with County Board of Supervisor Pat Herrity and Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu to resolve constituent challenges with the lag time in contact tracing by the Health Department

FCPS does now have a streamlined process for helping vaccinated students return to school. However, the amount of public health work that our Principals and staff are required to do is ever-increasing. Please volunteer if you are able to help as a classroom or lunch monitor, or consider becoming a substitute teacher. Our school staff are stretched very thin right now.

Please continue to reach out to me if you are not hearing back from the health department in a timely fashion. I appreciate Supervisor Herrity and his staff for helping to hold the county health department accountable and trying to speed up the process of getting our paused students back in school.

As always, I am grateful to represent the amazing families of the Springfield District.

All my very best-

Laura Jane


This newsletter includes information on the following issues:

  • Upcoming School Board Meetings
  • School Board Work
  • Return to School
  • FCPS & Community News
  • Family Resources
  • Springfield District Scene

Picture of School Board

Upcoming School Board Meetings

  • October 5 at 3:30 pm - Work Session: Budget Priorities and Literacy Plan
  • October 7 at 7 pm - Regular Meeting: School Board Authorization to Refinance Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Revenue Bonds Originally Issued for School Facilities, Oak Hill Elementary Renovation, Glen Forest Elementary, and Poplar Tree Elementary Roof Replacements, etc.
  • October 19 at 11 am - Work Session: Return to School and Programs Review
  • October 21 at 7 pm - Regular Meeting: Division-wide Comprehensive Plan, Elementary School Language Arts and Middle School Basal Resources Committee Members, etc.
  • October 25 at 7 pm Fall Public Hearing

The work sessions and regular meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and the FCPS website. Both will be recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube page.

Visit the community participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting. Visit BoardDocs for more meeting logistics, agendas, and handouts.

School Board Updates graphic


School Board Approves $188 Million ESSER III Spending Plan

The Fairfax County School Board approved a $188.6 million spending plan for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) grant funds at its Board meeting on August 26. 

The funds will be used to address expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the safe reopening of schools and to sustain the safe operation of schools. The spending plan also outlines how the division will address the impact of COVID on students by addressing their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs.

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds graphic


Staff Bonus Added to FY21 Budget as Part of Final Review

The School Board also voted to approve revenue and expenditure adjustments to the FY21 budget, to include a one-time bonus for FCPS employees to recognize the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices that all FCPS employees made during the pandemic.

Due to complexities in job classifications and a desire to be equitable in bonus allocations, the proposed one-time bonuses will be provided to all employees who are currently employed by FCPS at the following rates:

  • $1,000 for all employees (both full-time employees (FTEs) and hourly contracted, to include bus drivers and food service employees)
  • $500 for temporary hourly employees

The total cost of the one-time bonus is $32.7 million and will be paid at the end of November.


Recognizing the 20th Anniversary of September 11

Graphic of In Memory September, 11, 2001

September 11, 2021, marked the 20-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, and United Airlines Flight 93 that went down in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Read the School Board's resolution recognizing the 20th anniversary of September 11.

May we never forget the brave lives lost that day.


Transportation Salary Scales

The Fairfax County School Board voted to accept the recommendation to apply a 2.5% market scale adjustment (MSA) to the schedule H transportation salary scale. The Board voted to reduce the fuel contingency reserve by $1.5m to fund the cost of the salary scale increase.

The 2.5% MSA will benefit any bus driver whose salaries were not increased when FCPS raised the hourly salary to $22.91 in August. The MSA approved by the School Board last night will be applied to the salary scale effective for the pay period from October 9 to October 22. 

This increase recognizes the amazing work of our transportation team during the pandemic and every day, and helps us to be competitive in the current market to recruit and retain staff. It follows actions in August that increased the starting hourly pay to $22.91 and provided a $3,000 recruitment bonus.

Finally, the School Board also directed the Superintendent to examine salary scales to recognize years of service for existing transportation employees in steps 1-5 as a result of this change. They directed the Superintendent to return to them with a plan to include the necessary modifications, after consultation with key stakeholders, as a part of the market scale study findings scheduled for presentation in December.

A market review of bus driver and bus attendant salaries and benefits among Washington Area Board of Education (WABE) school divisions will be completed later this fall.

Health and Safety Guidance & Protocols- Keeping our Schools Safe

Picture of students reading outside while wearing masks



The CDC federal order requiring masks to be worn on public transportation remains in effect and applies to buses operated by Virginia public schools. I am hearing reports of students who refuse to wear masks on school buses. Please encourage your children to respect the health and safety of all students and staff, including our dedicated bus drivers. 

Concerns About Mask Compliance

Everyone should follow current FCPS mask requirements, unless specifically approved for an exemption, to keep our schools safe places for in-person learning. If you have concerns about mask compliance, speak with your principal or program manager.

If you feel your concerns have not been resolved, families and staff may reach out to the Region Office or make a confidential report to the Office of the Ombudsman by calling 571-423-4014, emailing ombudsman@fcps.edu, or submitting a question on the Ombudsman webpage.

Students who have concerns are encouraged to share with a teacher, assistant principal, or other trusted adult in the building. Students may also contact the Office of the Ombudsman.


Vaccine Requirements for Teachers and Staff

FCPS will require all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit routine negative COVID-19 tests by the end of October. To keep our students safe and our schools running smoothly, it is critical that everyone in our community who is eligible gets vaccinated — not only our educators and school employees. The vaccine and testing requirements reinforce existing layered prevention strategies and the school division’s commitment to the safety of students and staff. Read the August 20 FCPS news release.

Current data shows that 87% of contracted employees have completed the survey. 96.8% of respondents are vaccinated. This leaves roughly 4,300 employees subject to random testing. The substitute office is also conducting outreach to active substitutes to ensure compliance.


COVID Contact Vaccination Verification Form

Parents and guardians who have been notified by their child’s school that their child is a potential close contact will need to complete the COVID Contact Vaccination Verification form if their child is fully vaccinated. You will be able to access this form through a link that will be embedded in the pause letter sent to all parents and guardians whose child has been identified as a potential close contact to a positive case.  

In the COVID Contact Vaccination Verification form, parents and guardians will need to take two steps:

  1. First, you will provide proof of your child’s vaccination status by electronically uploading the vaccination record or card. 

  2. Then you will complete a Health Department survey to confirm the child is asymptomatic, if appropriate.

The Health Department will quickly verify the information provided and send a personalized student clearance letter to the parent/guardian who completed the survey.


Screening Testing

The FCPS administration is in the process of partnering with a third-party provider to provide access to screening testing among other health service supports for FCPS students and staff. We recognize that screening testing of individuals who are not fully vaccinated is important given the recent surge of the Delta variant. We look forward to sharing details regarding this emerging partnership soon. In addition to the emerging partnership for screening testing described above, we continue to partner with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to provide diagnostic testing for symptomatic, in-person students or staff who are unable to access testing independently. The partnership for diagnostic testing for in-person students and staff who need support was established during the 2020-21 school year and will continue as we start the 2021-22 school year.

Health Department Mobile COVID-19 Testing Sites

The Health Department’s mobile laboratory provides testing in locations throughout the county for individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Visit fairfaxcounty.gov for an up-to-date schedule of mobile testing sites and schedules.


Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing graphic

New Health Department Process to Expedite Communications for Students Awaiting COVID-19 Contact Interviews

The Fairfax County Health Department announced a change in their communication process for students waiting for COVID-19 contact interviews. You may read about these changes on the FCHD website. You may also wish you review the FCHD FAQs for parents of school-aged children. We appreciate the continued partnership between FCPS and FCHD.

Updated Virginia COVID-19 Close Contact Definition and K-12 Indoor/Outdoor Classroom Exceptions

The state of Virginia has updated the definition of a close contact for COVID-19 and provided a K-12 classroom close contact exception. 

If a COVID positive individual was on-site during their infectious period, the following individuals will be paused from in-person instruction/work until notified by FCPS that they can resume in-person activities.

  • Staff who were within 6 feet or less of a Staff Case for a cumulative amount of 15 minutes or more within 24 hours. 
  • Staff who were within 6 feet or less of a Student Case for a cumulative amount of 15 minutes or more within 24 hours. 
  • Students who were within 6 feet or less of a Staff Case for a cumulative amount of 15 minutes or more within 24 hours. 
  • Students wearing masks who were within 3 feet or less of a Student Case in the indoor or outdoor K-12 setting for a cumulative amount of 15 minutes or more within 24 hours. 

Indoor/Outdoor Classroom Exception

In the K-12 indoor/outdoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) wore well-fitting masks the entire time.

Note: The inclusion of “outdoor” in the K-12 exception was made at the state level (Virginia Department of Health). The federal exception continues to include only indoor settings.


Students in Pause, Quarantine, or Isolation

FCPS’ layered prevention strategies are working to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. See Dr. Brabrand’s update from the 9/9 School Board Regular meeting for the latest data and news. Pausing, quarantining, and isolating are tools we use to keep schools safe when a positive COVID-19 case is reported. FCPS’ goal is to keep students learning in-person all year. 

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.

The Fairfax County Health Department has a new website Guidance for Parents of School-aged Children. This site has many FAQs around schools, students, and COVID. 


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 defined as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes during a 24-hour period within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive. 


In a school setting, the close contact definition  excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student when:

  • Both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks, AND

  • Other K-12 prevention strategies were in place in the K-12 school setting.

This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting, nor does it apply to the student if their contact was one of these exempt groups.


Quarantine separates people who have been exposed to COVID-19 but are not yet sick. People who are in quarantine need to stay home for 14 days from the date of their last exposure to a sick individual and monitor for symptoms. The Health Department will notify them when they are released. It is important that schools, the staff, and the student body accept that person back into the school community without fear or stigma. 


Isolation separates those diagnosed with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. People who are in isolation should stay at home in a separate room in the house to prevent infecting others. Isolation can end when an individual has not had a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications AND has had improving symptoms AND it is 10 days from their onset of symptoms. For individuals who tested positive but never had symptoms, isolation can end 10 days after the positive test. At this point, the Health Department will notify them they are released. 

FCPS is exploring options to provide instructional support to students who are unable to attend school in person due to a COVID-19 infection or possible exposure. We will share more on this shortly.


COVID-19 Dashboard and Quarantine Data

All FCPS COVID-19 cases are reported via a dashboard posted to the FCPS website and updated daily. Click FCPS Covid-19 Dashboard for more information. 

Quarantine data provided by the health department indicates that 393 students and staff members were directed to quarantine in relation to closed COVID-19 cases from August 13 through September 8. This represents 0.19% of students and 0.19% of staff. FCPS is developing a database to capture the number of students who are paused and/or quarantined and give a better understanding of how COVID-19 exposures are impacting students.


Expanding Outdoor Learning Capacity 

FCPS continues to install flexible learning spaces outdoors in support of the instructional day across the division.  The Office of Facilities Management has received 250 requests for tents at 193 schools and is well on its way to completing installations by the end of next month.    Schools awaiting their first tent have installation priority.  In addition to the tents and sidewalls, some schools have inquired about additional materials for outdoor learning spaces (furniture, Wi-Fi, flooring, heating, etc.).  These components have not been included with the initial rollout due to the overall cost associated with power service distribution, code restrictions, division-wide information technology impacts, furniture, etc., and the fact that some schools use them for instruction while others for lunch and gathering space expansion.  Get2Green staff is now compiling school requests for outdoor materials to develop a comprehensive list that will be assessed for future availability.

The Centreville Elementary campus, which has 17 outdoor learning spaces, was recently featured in Education Week!


Picture of Lake Braddock Secondary School athlete

Updates to the Student-Athlete Vaccine Requirement

Students who are 16 years of age or older (age as of November 8 for the Winter season) and want to participate in athletics will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have either a medical or religious exemption. Unvaccinated students who are 12-15 years of age must provide a weekly negative COVID-19 test to be eligible to participate in team activities. 

Submitting Proof of Vaccination

Starting October 4, student-athletes can submit their proof of Covid-19 vaccination to their school. Students will need to either show their vaccination card to authorized school personnel or provide clear documentation via an electronic format of the vaccination card or photocopy to the authorized school personnel. Schools will provide specific details of submitting proof of vaccination information.

Religious Exemption

Starting October 4, student-athletes (both middle and high school) can submit the Religious Exemption form to their school. The form must be notarized and should be submitted directly to the Student Activities Office of their high school. Students who are not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine due to religious reasons will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test weekly. Please use the Commonwealth of Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption form.

Medical Exemption

Starting October 4, student-athletes can submit the medical exemption information to their school. They will need to provide documentation of a medical exemption from their physician. Students can do this through a letter from their doctor (on the doctor’s office letterhead) stating the student has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the Covid-19 Vaccine. Students who are not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine due to documented health or medical reasons will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test weekly.

Deadline for Medical and Religious Exemptions for Winter Sports Season

The Deadline for submitting medical and religious exemptions for the Winter season is Monday, November 1. The exemption must be received by the November 1 deadline for students to participate in winter tryouts. This will allow enough time for those students with a medical or religious exemption to provide proof of their negative Covid-19 test that week so that they may participate in tryouts. As a reminder, all students with a medical or religious exemption for receiving the Covid-19 vaccination must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test weekly. 

Students with a Religious or Medical Exemption and Unvaccinated Students Aged 12-15 (Age as of November 8 for the Winter Season)

Unvaccinated students who are 12-15, or students with a Religious or Medical exemption must provide a negative test weekly to participate in team activities. Currently, FCPS is working on securing a vendor to assist with providing access to weekly testing for athletes. We will share more information as it becomes available.  

FCPS and Community News

Students Keep Learning in Pause, Quarantine with StreamIN/CheckIN

StreamIN/CheckIN picture and graphic

FCPS students being paused, quarantined, or isolated due to COVID-19 will soon have a way to stay connected with their classes until they return to in-person learning.

StreamIN/CheckIN provides meaningful instructional support for students who are paused, quarantined, or isolated due to COVID-19. Participating in StreamIn/CheckIn offers these students the opportunity to stay engaged with their classes so when they return, they haven’t missed a beat.

Learn more about StreamIN/CheckIN on our website.


Superintendent’s Opening of Schools Report

The Superintendent presented the annual Opening of Schools Report at last night's School Board meeting.

The meeting was recorded and will be posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube page


Calendar graphic

FCPS Calendar Process

In its approval of the calendar for 2021-22, the School Board requested that FCPS establish a calendar development process before developing the calendar for 2022-23. This process should:

  • Establish the roles of staff, Board, and community members
  • Clarify the criteria and priorities used to establish annual calendars in the future, including recognition days for religious and cultural observances.

Staff has begun this work. A revised calendar committee is being formed. It is expected this committee will meet 3-4 times. In accordance with guidance from the state, this committee will have members from

  • Religious Organizations: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu
  • Student groups
  • Teacher, Operational, and Principal Associations
  • FCPS Personnel: HR, Equity, Family Engagement, Legal, DSS, ISD

An improved calendar survey is being crafted to be sent to staff and parents. The draft survey will be provided to the School Board in advance of dissemination. The questions will contain topics including:

  • Date preferences: school start, school end, winter break, spring break
  • Professional development days: early release, full day off
  • Holiday/Observation preferences
  • Feedback on overall approach to calendar for 2021-22
  • Length of winter and spring breaks

A general timeline for calendar development and approval is:

September: Invite calendar committee members, send calendar survey

October: Compile survey results, draft calendar recommendations, convene calendar committee meetings, conduct community engagement

November: Finalize committee recommendations

December: Present calendar drafts as New Business December 2 and discuss drafts during December 14 work session

January: Present final calendar drafts for vote on January 13


We're Hiring graphic

School Public Health/COVID Managers & Student Monitors Needed

FCPS is currently hiring for additional school staff to support the management of COVID cases as well as lunch monitors, so we can expand the ability of students to eat lunch outdoors. 

I encourage you to apply for these positions:

School Public Health/COVID Manager

Read more about the position.

Student Monitor

Read more about the position.


AVID is Hiring

AVID is hiring…AVID tutors work with the students in the AVID elective.  AVID Tutors may work 1 to 25 hours per week, depending on tutor availability and openings in select Fairfax County public schools.  They earn $17.71 per hour.  Candidates must be currently enrolled in college or be college graduates. They should be willing to serve as positive role models for middle and high school students.  Comfort with higher-level math is especially needed, though not required.

Tutors must have reliable transportation as most of our schools are not accessible using public transport.

Interested applicants should send a resume to Bridget Wright.

Join the AVID Team flyer


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

Picture of Elementary student outside wearing mask

Fairfax County Public Schools will participate in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 6, 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.


Graphic of people with American flag

Student Civic Engagement Activity Option

FCPS students in grades 7-12 are allowed one partial school day absence each school year to participate in civic engagement activities. Students and parents must complete the appropriate prearranged absence form and include documented evidence of participation in an organized event or activity. To learn more, please contact your school's administration.


World Languages Credit Exam

World languages graphic

The 2021 World Languages Credit Exam will be administered on November 16, 17, and 18, 2021.  Thirty languages will be included: American Sign Language, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin), Farsi, French, German, Greek*, Hebrew*, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Pashto, Portuguese*, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya, Turkish*, Twi, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

*Greek, Hebrew, Portuguese and Turkish will be offered by the Writing Proficiency Test by Language Testing International.  School counselors should register students for these exams by the same process as other languages.

Registration is now open and will close on Wednesday, October 13th at 4:00 p.m.  Late registrations will not be accepted.

School counselors will register students at their individual schools. 

Credit exam information can be accessed at: https://www.fcps.edu/academics/high-school-academics-9-12/world-languages/credit-exam-world-languages


National Hispanic Heritage Month Graphic

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15 to October 15 every year as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. Beginning in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson, but it was later extended to a month during President Ronald Reagan’s term in 1988.

Since then, the month has been celebrated nationwide through festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings, and much more. Additional information and resources can be found on the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics webpage..


Bullying Prevention Month graphic

October is Bullying Prevention Month

Childhood bullying is a significant problem nationwide. It can cause school absenteeism, mental and physical stress, poor school performance, poor self-esteem, and in some cases, school violence. Statistics show students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school. School board members, superintendents, teachers, and parents play a critical role in creating a climate where bullying is not tolerated. It has been proven when adults and children stand together, bullying ends.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Types of Bullying

There are three types of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to cause harm
  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Spreading rumors about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures


Stuff the Bus graphic

Stuff the Bus on October 9

On Saturday, October 9, Stuff the Bus will be collecting non-perishable food donations at West Springfield Government Center, Pohick Regional Library, and 19 other locations throughout Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. Help fight hunger and feed hope in our community by donating. For more information including donation locations, most requested food items, and more, visit the Stuff the Bus webpage.


Your Vote Counts graphic

Early Voting Began Sept. 17 for Nov. 2 General Election

In-person early voting for the Nov. 2 General Election begins at three locations in the county starting Friday, Sept. 17, including the North County Governmental Center, Reston; Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, and the Mount Vernon Governmental Center, Alexandria. Additional early voting locations will open on Oct. 21. Learn more.

View this helpful page with facts for 2021 voters.


2021 School Construction Bond Referendum

Picture of clip from 2021 School Construction Bond Referendum

Watch this video for information about the 2021 School Construction Bond Referendum

Students benefit from updated schools and better learning environments–and the entire community benefits too. FCPS designs and builds schools to meet current and future technology, safety and security, and capacity needs. And our schools are increasingly “green” saving everyone money. A School Bond Referendum is on the ballot on Tuesday, November 2. Watch the video

Learn more about the 2021 School Construction Bond Referendum.


Family Resources

National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Virtual College Fairs: Student Registration Now Open

Students can get an early start on college planning by signing up to attend free NACAC Virtual College Fairs. The eight fairs happening this fall offer students the chance to interact with hundreds of institutions as they pursue their college dreams. Visit the Virtual College Fairs webpage for more information and to register.


Paying for College Nights

Region 3 Paying for College Night flyer

Region 4 Paying for College Night flyer

Region 5 Paying for College Night


For more information contact College Access Fairfax or Karen Huffman.

Scholarship Guidance logo

Below you will find a list of 15 Scholarship Programs that will give out more than 558 Individual Scholarship Awards during the 2021-2022 school year. Students from your school district are eligible for all awards below.

*Weekly Scholarship Newsletter available here: https://scholarshipguidance.com/newsletter 


YDI Scholarship - $2,222 - 1 Award (Deadline: September 29, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a resident of any of the 50 United States, District of Columbia or US Territories.
  2. Be 16 years of age or older and be enrolled in college or registered in a high school.

Applications can be found by going to:


Be Bold Scholarship - $25,102 - 1 Award (Deadline: September 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be in Grade 12 and plan on enrolling in college by the fall of 2022.
  2. Have a GPA of at least 2.5.

Applications can be found by going to:


Cappex Scholarship - $1,000 - 1 Award (Deadline: September 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a high school sophomore, junior or senior.
  2. Be active in the community through volunteer or extracurricular activities.

Applications can be found by going to:


CollegeXpress Scholarship - $10,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: September 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be currently attending high school, college, vocational, or any other accredited post-secondary institution.
  2. Be a resident of the United States.

Applications can be found by going to:


Good Fortune Scholarship - $1,000 - 1 Award (Deadline: September 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a high school student planning to attend college in September 2022.
  2. Answer the Essay question on the company’s website.

Applications can be found by going to:


Nitro Scholarship - $2,000 - 12 Awards (Deadline: September 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be currently enrolled as a high school senior or a student enrolled at an accredited college or university located within the United States
  2. Have a GPA of at least 2.5.

Applications can be found by going to:


Primus Scholarship - $1,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: September 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a US citizen or legal permanent resident of the fifty United States or District of Columbia.
  2. Be currently attending (or planning to attend) a college located in the United States.

Applications can be found by going to:


SP High School Scholarship - $10,000 - 10 Awards (Deadline: September 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a high school student planning to attend college in September 2022.
  2. Answer the Essay question on the sponsors website.

Applications can be found by going to:


AmericanMuscle Student Scholarship Program - $2,500 - 2 Awards (Deadline: October 15, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be currently enrolled full-time in a college, trade school, technical institute, or high school.
  2. Be attending or planning to enrol in a college or post-secondary institution in the fall of 2022.

Applications can be found by going to:


Olin E Teague Scholarship - $4,000 - 1 Award (Deadline: October 15, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a senior year in an accredited U.S. high school with the intent of attending an accredited U.S. college or university in the fall.
  2. Plan to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies in an aerospace field.

Applications can be found by going to:


Pretty Actions Scholarship Program - $500 – 2 Awards (Deadline: October 15, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a senior in high school or be transitioning from high school to a college or university.
  2. Research and compose an essay style Adobe Photoshop tutorial of 800 to 1,000 words.

Applications can be found by going to:


Women's Ministries Scholarship Program - $20,000 – 49 Awards (Deadline: October 15, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a woman who would not be able to attend college without financial help.
  2. Be a woman who is committed to serving the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who would otherwise be unable to afford a college education.

Applications can be found by going to:


NACME Scholarships - $5,000 - 100 Awards (Deadline: October 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic-American or Native/American Indian.
  2. Be planning to study in the fields of engineering or computer science.

Applications can be found by going to:


Accountability and Morality Scholarship - $1,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a current high school senior, college student, or graduate student who is a legal resident of the US.
  2. Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good overall academic standing.

Applications can be found by going to:


Aspiring Attorney Scholarship - $1,000 - 1 Award (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a current high school senior, college student or graduate student interested in studying law.
  2. Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good overall academic standing.

Applications can be found by going to:


Bold.org Community Scholarship - $5,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be 16 years of age or older and in good academic standing.
  2. Be enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States.

Applications can be found by going to:


Coca-Cola Scholars Program - $20,000 – 150 Awards (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a current high school (or home-schooled) student who will graduate in 2022.
  2. Be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, U.S. Permanent Resident, Refugee, Asylee, Cuban-Haitian Entrant, or Humanitarian Parolee - based on the guidelines utilized by U.S. Department of Education.

Applications can be found by going to:


Duckett Local Conservation Scholarship - $1,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be in good academic standing with their current educational institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  2. Be able to demonstrate a commitment to environmental conservation using past and present volunteer, professional or educational experiences.

Applications can be found by going to:


Encouraging Diversity Scholarship - $1,000 - 1 Award (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good overall academic standing.
  2. Submit a 750-1,000 word essay response to the prompt: Why do you want to become a lawyer? What type of law are you pursuing? What motivates you?

Applications can be found by going to:


Pursuing a Positive Impact Scholarship - $3,000 - 1 Award (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good overall academic standing.
  2. Submit a 1,000-word essay response to the prompt: In what ways do you try to activate positive change in your community, and what inspires you to do so?

Applications can be found by going to:


Stokes Educational Scholarship Program - $30,000 – 10 Awards (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a high school senior planning to major in computer science, computer/electrical engineering, or Chinese or Russian languages. Preference is given to minority students.

Applications can be found by going to:


Voice of Democracy Scholarship - $30,000 – 50 Awards (Deadline: October 31, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. A) Be enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States.
  2. B) Be active in the community through volunteer or extracurricular activities.

Applications can be found by going to:


Builders' Association Scholarships - $3,000 - 28 Awards (Deadline: November 1, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a full-time college student in the Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 semester studying in a construction-related program (construction management, engineering, or architecture).

Applications can be found by going to:


Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards - $3,500 – 180 Awards (Deadline: November 14, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be currently enrolled in high school and graduating in the spring of 2022.
  2. Have a minimum unweighted 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale or 7.5 on a 10.0 scale.

Applications can be found by going to:


Conerto High School Musicians Scholarship - $2,500 – 3 Awards (Deadline: November 15, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a high school musician (grades 9-12) enrolled during the 2021-2022 academic year. String, piano and harp players are eligible for this year's competition.

Applications can be found by going to:


James Alan Cox Photography Scholarships - $2,500 – 11 Awards (Deadline: November 15, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be a student that has completed one year at an accredited high school (student must therefore be a sophomore or older) and should have taken at least one photography or related art class.

Applications can be found by going to:


Overachievers Student Grant - $12,500 – 1 Award (Deadline: November 15, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. A) Be in middle school or high school and be a person who is making a difference in others' lives outside of the classroom.

Applications can be found by going to:


Scott Senft Scholarship Fund - $1,500 – 1 Award (Deadline: November 15, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be planning on studying any one of the following: Legal studies, Paralegal studies, Criminal Justice, Political Science, Criminology, Forensic Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence or any other undergraduate pre-law degrees.

Applications can be found by going to:


Dr Juan Andrade Jr. Scholarship - $1,000 – 20 Awards (Deadline: November 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. Be enrolled or accepted for early enrollment as full-time student, in an accredited institution in the U.S.
  2. Have at least one parent of Hispanic ancestry and demonstrate financial need.

Applications can be found by going to:


Generous Heart Scholarship - $1,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: November 30, 2021)

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must:

  1. A) Be a current high school senior, college student, or graduate student who is a legal resident of the United States who will be enrolled in a two to five-year post-secondary institution in 2022.

Applications can be found by going to:



From the Healthy Minds Blog: NCS Offers a Wide Variety of After-School Programs

With the new school year underway, it’s important to remember that not all learning takes place inside the classroom. Children also learn through socialization and mentoring opportunities outside regular school hours. 

Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) out-of-school-time programs cater to this need, providing a creative and safe learning environment where youth and teens can explore their own ideas, develop new skills, and build confidence in themselves. After-school activities take place at Community and Teen Centers as well as online. There are also full-day options when school is out of session during spring, summer, and winter breaks.


FCPS Virtual Mental Health and Wellness Conference Starts September 27

Mental Health and Wellness graphic

The 8th Annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference and Inova Act on Addiction presents Strategies for Today and Beyond. The conference will be virtual this year September 27-October 1. The conference will kick off on Monday, September 27, with a panel of esteemed guests, moderated by Jummy Olabanji from NBC4. 

On Tuesday, September 28, keynote speaker, Dr. Dan Siegel, will present The Resilient Brain: Cultivating Courage and Curiosity to Expand a Child’s Capacity to Build Inner Strength. Dr. Stacey Hardy-Chandler will be the featured keynote speaker. She will discuss how to embrace our strengths as a means of coping during uncertain times.

Our Minds Matter will host a student session on Tuesday, September 28. Students learn how to use journaling as a method to support their mental health and well-being. 

Registration information and the complete schedule and list of speakers are now available online.

Parent Resource Center headline

Register Now for New Webinars from the Parent Resource Center

Family Digital Wellness: What is our Next Normal: A Webinar for Families

Do you know a child, teen, or young adult in your life who is struggling with their media use? The Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders (CIMAID) is here to help!

The CIMAID team can help you address and reduce the negative consequences of Problematic Interactive Media Use (PIMU) while helping the children, adolescents, and young adults in your life adopt and sustain healthy lifestyles and behaviors.

Friday, October 1, 2021, 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for Family Digital Wellness: What is our Next Normal: A Webinar for Families

SIBSHOPS: An Exciting, Virtual Workshop for Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs!

The Sibshop workshops are for children in grades 2-6 enrolled in Fairfax County Public Schools who have siblings with special needs.

Registration is free, however, donations are accepted to support the cost of future Sibshops: Donate Here

Monday, October 11, 2021, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. *School Planning Day – students are not attending school 

Register for SIBSHOPS: An Exciting, Virtual Workshop for Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs!

Dyslexia Virtual Open House

In celebration of Dyslexia Awareness Month, FCPS will like to host our annual Open House. 

Friday, October 8, 2021, 10 - 11:00 a.m.

Register for the Dyslexia Open House

Virtual College Bootcamp for Students with Disabilities

Join Career and Transition Services online for a virtual College Bootcamp!  This virtual College Boot Camp is for students with an IEP that are graduating in 2021 and plan to attend college. Career and Transition Services staff will work with students on starting the application process.

*Please note parents are welcome to sit in on the workshop with their students, however, this event is for students.  

*If parents are interested in learning more about postsecondary options, we encourage parents to attend FCPS Virtual College Fair on October 19, 2021, or Postsecondary Education Options in November 2021.

Monday, October 11, 2021, 12:30-3 p.m. *School Planning Day– students are not attending school 

Register for College Bootcamp for Students with Disabilities

Rewriting Your Parenting Story: A Webinar for Families

No one's parenting journey goes the way they expect. But do you feel like your story has gotten away from you? Take back the narrative of your parenting.​

Presented by Mary Smith, a local Parenting Coach

Friday October 15, 2021, 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for Rewriting Your Parenting Story: A Webinar for Families

Moving onto Life in the Community Virtual Resource Fair

This resource fair assists parents, guardians, and caretakers with future planning for students with intellectual disabilities who may require ongoing supports after graduating from high school. Participants include representatives from vocational, residential, leisure, recreational, independent living, and advocacy programs.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Register for Moving onto Life in the Community Virtual Resource Fair

Considerations for Students with Disabilities in the College Search and Beyond

Career and Transition Services is offering a workshop highlighting issues to consider in the college search, application, and preparation process for students with disabilities on October 19, 2021, from 7-8 p.m.  (Part of the FCPS Virtual College Week)

Registration coming soon:  https://www.fcps.edu/resources/college-and-career-planning


Note: Previous webinars have been recorded and can be viewed on the PRC YouTube channel.


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Multilingual Parent Podcasts

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Listen and subscribe to a FCPS multilingual family podcast to hear timely, important information related to school news. The podcasts are produced in conjunction with the Office for English as a Second Language (ESOL) Services and the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement.

Fairfax Health Department Specialist Talks about COVID Safety Protocols (September 6, 2021)

In episode 2 for the 2021-2022 school year, meet Kirsten Buchner, a community health specialist at the Fairfax County Health Department. Buchner answered questions about wearing masks for COVID-19 safety protocols and COVID-19 vaccinations. For more information, the Fairfax Health Department COVID-19 phone line is 703-324-7404.

At the end of the podcast, the hosts offered families information on the FCPS Parent Resource Center’s newest resource, PRC Packs, which are pre-packaged tote bags with books for adults and children on important topics such as supporting children and teens with attention deficit disorder, anxiety, and motivation.

Listen and subscribe:

Connecting Parents and School with Schoology (September 20, 2021)

In episode 3 for this school year, hear Manuel Gomez Portillo, a FCPS ESOL Resource Teacher, answer questions about Schoology (pronounced SKOO-luh-jee). Schoology is the new FCPS learning management system. This system promotes communication, collaboration, and personalized learning for students. 

Parents who use Schoology can stay connected to their child’s schoolwork and participate in specialized groups like PTA, sports, and band. Teachers use Schoology to post their classroom materials online; provide a safe forum for students to discuss their ideas and collaborate on projects online; and assign and collect homework electronically. It helps students stay organized, and it keeps the class connected.

Listen and subscribe:  


FCPS Special Education Handbook Is Available to Families

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Picture of FCPS Special Education Handbook for Parents

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.


Picture of Assistive Technology use

Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference to Be Held on October 23


The 2021 Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference, sponsored by Assistive Technology Services, part of the Office of Special Education Instruction in the Department of Special Services, will be held on Saturday, October 23, from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

This year’s conference will be virtual with a keynote presentation and synchronous (live) sessions via Zoom. The RATE Conference is an educational conference that focuses on strategies for using assistive technology hardware, software, and peripherals to enhance learning for all students. 

All FCPS staff and parents as well as out-of-county teachers, support staff, and parents are invited to attend. FCPS employees will receive five recertification points for attending the conference. Registration is now open. 

For more information, the conference schedule, registration, and session descriptions visit the conference website.


Tips for Families: Help Your Teen Turn Defeat Into Victory

At some point, most students hit a learning obstacle. They may bring home a bad report card, or fail a test. That's when they need to understand that a setback is an opportunity to practice solving problems.

To help your teen turn defeat into victory:

  • Change their language. Don't let them use the word “failure.” Instead, help them use words like “setback” which means their current situation is temporary. Point out that recognizing a problem is the first step in solving it.
  • Teach them to ask for help. It’s hard for many teens to ask for help. Let your teen know that recognizing that they need help and asking for it is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • Look for resources that may be available. Your teen’s teacher and school counselor may be able to suggest apps, websites, and organizations where your teen could find some extra help. They may also know of people available for after-school tutoring. Your teen's teacher may even be willing to spend extra time working with them.

Copyright 2021, the Parent Institute. Get more tips for parents and other family engagement resources


Stop all Harassment graphic

Sexual Harassment Prohibited in FCPS

Policy 4950, Sexual Harassment, states that no person in Fairfax County Public Schools shall be subjected to sexual harassment. The School Board intends to maintain an environment free from sexual harassment of any kind.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature amounting to or constituting harassment are prohibited. Students and parents of students should bring concerns to their school principals.

If for any reason, an individual prefers not to address their concerns directly with a principal, supervisor, or program manager, he or she may consult with, or file a complaint with, the Office of Equity and Employee Relations by calling 571-423-3070.

Springfield District Scene

Certificate graphic

Students Earn AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificates

Sixty-six (66) FCPS students earned the Advanced Placement (AP) ® Capstone Diploma and twenty-three (23) students earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™ during the 2020-2021 school year.

AP Capstone™ is a diploma program from the College Board based on two year-long AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research.  Both courses prepare students for college and career success through the development of critical thinking, academic research, collaboration, presentation, and time management skills.  Throughout the AP Capstone program, students study a variety of topics across multiple disciplines and have the flexibility to choose topics of personal interest to show mastery of critical thinking, research, and presentation skills.  Official AP Seminar and AP Research assessments include academic papers, multimedia presentations, and defense of findings.

AP Capstone Diploma Recipients

Chantilly High School: Sai Greeshma Gayam, Olivia Grindal, Lilian Haney, Kaitlin Molloy, and Sharon Santos Espino

Fairfax High School: Aashray Manchanda

Lake Braddock Secondary School: Grace Bradecamp, Ryan Cvik, and Maksym Jensen

West Springfield High School: Elizabeth Bruenjes, Daniel Kim, Lucas Kolva, Allyson Skahen, and Vincent Song

AP Seminar/Research Certificate

Lake Braddock Secondary School: Amelia Bradecamp, Rachael Li, and Maria Elayna Ponmakha

West Springfield High School: Lionel Lincoln and Sukriti Sharma

Read the full news release.


Fairfax County Public Schools 2022 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists graphic

Students from 16 FCPS High Schools Name National Merit Semifinalists

Two hundred fourteen students from 16 high schools from across Fairfax County Public Schools have been named semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for 2022.  

The number of students honored this year during the pandemic is higher than last year when qualifying test scores were taken in 2019 before COVID-19 hit. The increase serves to indicate consistently high levels of academic achievement remain despite the challenges of the pandemic.

All semifinalists are eligible to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards worth more than $30 million, to be awarded in spring 2022. Semifinalists advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and other requirements including a recommendation from their principal.

Congratulations to the following Springfield District students!

Chantilly High School: Jordan Elasfari

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Lauren Delwiche, William Jiang, Angelina Ly, Michelle Ru, Isra Satiar, Allison Seo, Erin Tran, Max Wang, and Keertana Yalamanchili

West Springfield High School: Sarah Kim

Read the full news release.


Sangster Elementary School logo

Sangster Elementary School Named 2021 National Blue Ribbon School

Congratulations to Sanger Elementary Principal Allison Jankovich and her staff for being named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education! They are among seven schools in Virginia receiving the honor this year.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors high-performing schools and schools making exemplary progress toward closing achievement gaps. Sangster was recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School based on its high achievement in reading and mathematics during the 2018-2019 school year. More specifically, Sangster was recognized for closing the achievement gap in math by 15% for students who receive special education services. 

“At Sangster, we believe that student success is a result of the shared partnership between school, parents, and the community,” said principal Allison Jankovich. “Sangster’s strength lies in the welcoming and celebratory environment it strives to create, where everyone who walks through its doors knows that they are valued and appreciated.”

More information about Sangster’s Blue Ribbon Award is available online.

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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.

© 2020 Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia