January Newsletter

End of First Semester

Dear Students, Families and Staff,

I want to thank all of our students, families and staff for all of their hard work during the first semester of the school year.  Our students are excelling in the classroom, on our sports fields and in live performances.  Perhaps the most touching thing to me is the care for each other that I see in the interactions between our students with each other and with our staff.  

I know that it has not always been easy with the challenges that we continue to face with this pandemic.  However, I know that our community is resilient and committed to returning to our pre-Covid operations as soon as possible.  I am optimistic that the current surge in cases is receding and we will be able to begin removing some of our layers of mitigation.  The School Board and the Superintendent have asked for the support of the state and local health department in establishing metrics for removing layers of mitigation protocols.  The Board of Supervisors has also asked for assistance. 

School Year (SY) 2022-23 Calendar

In March 2021 the School Board requested the superintendent provide clarity on the criteria and priorities used to establish annual calendars in the future. As a result, the calendar development process for 2022-23 was adjusted to include a revised staff and parent survey, the creation of a survey for high and middle school students, and an expanded Calendar Feedback Committee.

A draft calendar for School Year 2022-23 was presented by Dr. Brabrand during the Board’s January 18 Work Session.

After recommendations from the Board additional changes were made and the final calendar can be seen here . I continue to have concerns about the calendar process and the need for greater transparency in how we undertake community engagement and the ability of the community to respond to proposed changes.  My follow on motions address some of these concerns and I am optimistic that going forward we continue to have a continuous improvement mindset.

Superintendent Search

The School Board is committed to hiring the best possible candidate as the next superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools. With that in mind, the Board has contracted GR Recruiting to conduct a national search. The community’s voice is critical in helping define the leadership characteristics and qualifications of our next superintendent. We encourage you to visit the Superintendent Search webpage for additional information and to share your thoughts!

FY23 Budget

This year, I have the honor of chairing the Budget Committee and we have made some adjustments to our process.  Prior to the Superintendent developing the proposed budget, the School Board provided its priorities to the Superintendent and the Board of Supervisors.  These priorities focus on student achievement, addressing the impact of Covid and the systems ability to attract and retain the best and the brightest at a time that we are facing a national teacher shortage.  Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand has proposed a budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 inspired by the division’s tradition of academic excellence through public education.

After two years of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, FCPS is committed to moving forward into a bright future that places an emphasis on student achievement and recognition of world-class educators and operational support staff. 

Drawing on a history of academic success that has seen Fairfax County students from all backgrounds succeed at the highest levels, this budget maintains an investment in teacher pay increases, broadening opportunity and access for all students, and shoring up critical education gaps that widened during the pandemic. In total, 86% of the $3.3 billion Proposed School Operating Budget for FY23 is allocated to instruction. PreK-2 Devices

More information on the FY23 Proposed Budget is available online.

Next steps in the budget process:

  • February 8 Work Session
  • February 24 Adoption of FY23 Advertised Budget
  • May 26 Adoption of FY23 Approved Budget

A public hearing on the use of the ESSAR funds is scheduled for the 24th of February in advance of our regular meeting.

Capital Improvement Program Update

The School Board held a Work Session on January 11 to discuss the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The FCPS CIP is a planning and fiscal management tool used to coordinate the location, timing, and funding of capital projects over five years. The CIP is updated annually to reflect changing conditions within our schools and communities while building upon the previously approved program of capital expenditures. You can view the materials presented at that Work Session as well as a recording of the Work Session.  There will be a Public Hearing on January 27 at 6pm, and it is scheduled for an action item on February 10.

Kindergarten Registration for SY2022-23

Do you have a child at home who will be five by September 30th? Please start your registration now. If you have any neighbors with little ones, please send this information to them as well. Visit your local school website to learn how to arrange a registration appointment and learn when their Kindergarten Orientation is scheduled. Please go to our website to learn how to register your rising Kindergartener. 

Join Career and Transition Services (CTS) to learn about planning for life in and after high school!

It’s never too early or too late to start preparing for your future. We want to help you start planning for a successful transition from school to life as a young adult. 

Ensuring the postsecondary success of our students with disabilities is dependent on what is known as transition planning. Please join CTS and other support service personnel for a month of webinars focused on planning for the future. 

Each week, webinar sessions will cover a range of topics: CTS programming and services for students with disabilities, short and long-term postsecondary supports, employment and postsecondary education considerations, Supported Decision Making, and student self-determination as an evidence-based predictor of post-school success. 

This event also includes two evenings of student/parent panels where members describe their firsthand experiences as they navigated Fairfax County Public Schools and planning for their child’s future.

Wednesdays in February, 2022: 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, & 2/23 6:30-8:30 p.m.

My Journey - Part II: An FCPS Graduate Student and Parent Panel: Opportunity to hear from students and parents who navigated the transition process in FCPS. 

The panel for Part II will consist of individuals with disabilities who are pursuing supported employment, group supported employment, or day support opportunities, and working with the Community Services Board (CSB) for on-going support after exiting FCPS. 

Free Student Bus Pass Program

Students can sign up for the Free Student Bus Pass Program at all FCPS middle and high schools: Visit the Fairfax Connector website for more information and to download the application.

High School Athletics

While in-person attendance at FCPS high school sporting events is currently limited to coaches, athletes, and the parents of both the home and visiting teams until January 28 (subject to change).

Watch FCPS High School Sports Online While Attendance Is Limited

You can watch FCPS high school sporting events online. This service is free for the rest of this school year. Here’s how:

  1. Go to www.NFHSnetwork.com.
  2. Search for (school name) and go to its page.
  3. Subscribe and follow.

SEPTA Focus Groups on Family-School Partnerships  

Fairfax County Special Education PTA (SEPTA) is hosting virtual focus groups to discuss National PTA's Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Share your experiences and your perspectives on family-school partnerships.

  • What are some ways you enjoy engaging with your child’s school?
  • Describe the most important parts of a parent-educator relationship?

Your feedback will be used to make family-school partnerships more inclusive and impactful in FCPS. National PTA will also use your feedback to inform a set of National Standards for family-school partnerships nationwide.  Sessions last 1 hour and 15 minutes, are interactive, discussion-based, and open to all FCPS families. You do not need to be a PTA member to participate.  A small stipend will be given to the first 20 registrants per session who then attend and complete a brief survey.

Register by clicking on these links:

  • Upcoming Public Meetings & Topics to be Covered
  • Monday, January 31, 6pm: Work Session
    • Superintendent Search
  • Tuesday, February 8, 10am: Forum
    • Gun violence prevention
    • Title IX 
  • Tuesday, February 8, 11am: Work Session
    • Fiscal Year 23 Budget
  • Thursday, February 10, 7pm: Regular Meeting
    • CIP

Saturday, February 12, 7:45- 12:00 Mount Vernon's 35th Annual Town Meeting

Mount Vernon High School

  • Tuesday, February 22, 11am: Work Session
    • ESSER Update
    • Community Schools

Please note, times and topics are subject to change. 

Accessing Board Meetings

View this link for a comprehensive list of upcoming meetings and associated information.

Click here for meeting logistics, agendas and handouts (to view the slides and materials, scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Regular Meetings and Work Sessions are live-streamed on the FCPS website and televised on FCPS Cable Channel 99. Meeting recordings can be found on FCPS YouTube. For more information about signing up to speak at a regular meeting, click here.


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.

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