FCPS This Week e-newsletter - October 27, 2021

Returning Strong Graphic

UPDATE: COVID-19 Screening Testing for Student-Athletes Starts November 15

Student holding a COVID test

COVID-19 screening testing for students, including student-athletes, will now begin November 15. The adjustment will allow FCPS and its contractors time to ensure all components, including the portals are up and running and staff are fully trained.

We also know many student-athletes are currently in the middle of their two-dose cycle and additional time for testing to begin will allow those students to complete their vaccinations. Students are eligible to try out for their sport if they have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In order to streamline the process for families who have to register multiple students, we’ve moved the start date for all student screening testing. We will share information about how to pre-register and provide consent for COVID-19 testing through a secure online portal shortly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends school-based testing to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to keep schools open safely. FCPS will begin screening testing for staff on November 1 as originally scheduled. 

For more information, visit our COVID-19 Screening Testing webpage.

We Are Ready to VaxUp!

Vax Up graphic

This is one of the most important weeks of the pandemic. Tuesday, the FDA voted to recommend approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet next week to vote on its recommendation. Emergency Use Authorization may be announced soon (learn more about Emergency Use Authorization).Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our schools, and bring the pandemic to an end. 

Here at FCPS, thanks to our collaboration with our community health partners, we are ready. FCPS, the Fairfax County Health Department, Inova Health System, and the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics are collaborating to provide opportunities for vaccination throughout the community, in doctor’s offices and at schools.

Learn more and stay up to date with the latest news on our website.

School Bond Referendum Is on the November 2 General Election Ballot


School Bond Referendum graphic

A school bond referendum is on the general election ballot this year. Early voting continues through October 30 at sites throughout the county. Polls are open Election Day, Tuesday, November 2, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Residents of Fairfax County may vote if they are 18 years or older on Election Day and have registered to vote 22 days prior to the election (on or before October 12, at 5 p.m.). 

New and renovated schools provide safe and optimal spaces for teaching and learning. The building and renovation of schools is financed through bonds. Bonds sales must be approved by voters since they are a future obligation for taxpayers. As long as debt service costs do not increase significantly as a percentage of combined general fund disbursements, the county's bonded debt is not likely to be a contributing factor to any increase in local taxes.

Learn more about the 2021 Bond Referendum.

Share Your Feedback on the FCPS 2022-23 School Year Calendar

Calendar graphic

Families and staff received an email yesterday from fcpssurvey@fcps.edu with a link to the FCPS Calendar Survey. The survey will also be available in other languages.

If you did not see the survey in your in-box, check your spam or junk folders.

We encourage you to complete the survey at your earliest convenience. Employees and students in grades 7-12 will be invited to take a similar survey as well. The results will be used to inform and support FCPS staff as well as the Fairfax County School Board as they work to adopt the 2022-23 calendar. All responses are confidential. If you have any questions about the survey, please email FCPSsurvey@fcps.edu.  

Also, mark your calendars for a virtual Calendar Community Meeting on Monday, November 8, 7-8 p.m. Stay tuned for more details.  

This year, FCPS is using a different process to develop the calendar. Learn about the criteria being used in the development of the 2022-23 calendar.

Fairfax County School Board Selects Superintendent Search Firm

The Fairfax County School Board has contracted human resources recruitment firm GR Recruiting to conduct a nationwide search for the next Superintendent of Schools.

In July, Superintendent Scott Brabrand announced that the 2021-22 school year would be his last at FCPS. Dr. Brabrand has served the system for nearly 30 years, starting as an intern and ending as superintendent. “My goal in this school division has always been to meet the needs of every child, by name and by need,” Dr. Brabrand said, “I pledge to continue to serve through June 30, 2022, with the same love and passion for FCPS that I had when I started.”

Calendar Reminder: Two-Hour Early Release on October 29; Student Holidays November 1-2

Calendar Reminder

As a reminder, Friday, October 29, is the last day of the first quarter, and a two-hour early release for students. Also, schools are closed for students on Monday, November 1, and Tuesday, November 2, for teacher work days. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.

Go For Green: First Electric School Bus Fleet Rolled Out to Support FCPS Carbon Neutral Goal

Electric bus and chargers

Fairfax County Public Schools officially launched its first fleet of electric school buses last week as part of a commitment to providing carbon neutral student transportation by 2035. 

The eight electric buses, which are already operational, help to transport 140,000 eligible bus riders to and from school each day.

FCPS Named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year: Sustained Excellence for 2021

Energy Star logo

Fairfax County Public Schools has been named a 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year: Sustained Excellence, the highest honor among ENERGY STAR awards.

For the fifth year in a row, FCPS has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy for its continued efforts to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings and facilities. Find out why FCPS received this honor.  

Homecoming Returns: FCPS Uses Football Fields, Fire Pits, and Parking Lots to Encourage Outdoor Gathering

Students in masks wearing school spirit wear.

Football fields, parking lots and fire pits replaced the traditional Homecoming dance setting of school gymnasiums this fall, roughly 19 months after schools across the country were forced to shutter at the onset of the pandemic.

In Fairfax County Public Schools, it had been two years since the last Homecoming celebrations were held. Now, with students and staff back in school buildings five days a week, the FCPS community was ready to party. No matter where the celebrations occurred.

Watch this video for a glimpse of Woodson High School’s Homecoming festivities.

Applications for TJHSST Now Open; Deadline to Apply Is November 19

Sculpture outside Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Middle school students who have an aptitude and passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are encouraged to apply for admission to the Class of 2026 at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST). 

The application is now available on the TJHSST Admissions Office webpage. Applications must be started by 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 17, with a deadline to submit the application by Friday, November 19, at 4 p.m.

Congratulations to the FCPS CARES of the Month Winners for September

FCPS Cares

FCPS Cares is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. All FCPS Cares submissions were reviewed, and six winners were selected for the month of September—one for each region and the central office—to receive extra recognition for their work. They are:

  • Central Office: Celine Sinclair-Peebles, Interagency Alternative Schools, School Improvement and Supports.
  • Region 1: Jonathan Pruess, South Lakes High School.
  • Region 2: Lesli Bailey, Columbia Elementary School. 
  • Region 3: Lisa Schroeder, Gunston Elementary School.
  • Region 4: Christine Franco, Keene Mill Elementary School.
  • Region 5: Asmita Jadhav, Rocky Run Middle School. 

Get more information about the winners and how you can acknowledge an FCPS employee who has gone above and beyond.

Become a Substitute Teacher and Save the Day!

Substitute teacher ad

Want to make a difference in the life of a child? Fairfax County Public Schools is looking for enthusiastic, engaged, and dedicated substitute teachers

Substitutes help our students thrive when their teacher must be out of the classroom and are essential members of every school’s team. More information about the application process and requirements is available online.

From the Healthy Minds Blog: Managing Test Anxiety

Student taking a test.

Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety. This is a feeling we might have in a situation where performance really counts or the pressure is on to do well. Test anxiety involves severe distress before, during, and/or after the exam which limits a student’s ability to do their best work. Students may "blank" or "freeze" during tests. The anxiety can be so severe that students feel as though they may pass out or throw up. Test anxiety is often caused from a fear of failure, poor test history, or lack of test preparation.

Fortunately, test anxiety can be managed. Students who have test anxiety are eager to perform well, but need a little assistance. Parents and educators can work with students when they sense a problem with test anxiety, easing the strain and helping students cope with test time and reach success. Try these strategies from the Healthy Minds blog to relieve the stress.

FCPS Nondiscrimination-Americans With Disabilities Policy Notice

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment, Title IX, and pregnancy), marital status, religion, national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information in its programs and activities. These protections apply to students, employees, and other members of the public.

FCPS also provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. FCPS is committed to equal access and equal opportunity in all services and employment; to include its policies, complaint process, program accessibility, religious accommodations and other Equal Employment Opportunity matters. FCPS prohibits retaliation against individuals who report allegations of discrimination, file a formal complaint, or participate in the investigative process.

Compliance is coordinated by the directors of the following:

  • Office of Equity and Employee Relations, Department of Human Resources, 571-423-3070 or TTY 711, regarding equal employment opportunity, discrimination, and sexual harassment issues.
  • Office of Special Education Procedural Support, Department of Special Services, 571-423-4290, regarding programs and activities for students with disabilities.

For more information, go to http://www.fcps.edu/ada.shtml.

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