February 2022 Newsletter

Dear Mason District Community,

February brings us to the middle of the 3rd quarter of the school year and in the midst of a busy legislative session for the General Assembly. Most notably, the Governor has signed into law SB739 which provides parents with the option to decide whether their students wear masks in schools effective March 1. Until that time, FCPS continues to require adherence to all mitigation measures including universal masking. Please review the Superintendent’s message from February 18, 2022. More information will be provided by Dr. Brabrand to families and staff in the near term.

This month, we also celebrate Black History Month as marked by the wonderful programs occurring in our schools. The recognition of the contributions of African-Americans and of Africans across the diaspora serves as an important reminder that Black History is American History. 

The teaching and learning of a full and accurate history is imperative to the growth of our children and advancement of our society. Recognizing differences and advantages, whether social, educational, or economic, should not result in the perception of division, but rather, should be embraced as an opportunity to address long-standing obstacles and bigotries, increase understanding and expand access where none exists.  

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. written from the Birmingham, AL jail in 1963, “We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up, but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

Happy Black History Month!

I value the input I receive from the Mason Community and am happy to address questions or concerns via email or phone. You can reach me by email at rjanderson@fcps.edu. If you are interested in scheduling a phone call, please reach out to my assistant, Cristy Coffey, at cmcoffey@fcps.edu to arrange a time.


FY 2023 Budget

The School Board held a work session to discuss the Superintendent’s FY 2023 proposed budget on February 8th. 

The Board is scheduled to adopt the FY 2023 Advertised Budget at the regular business meeting on February 24, 2022.

Budget documents can be found on the budget webpage.


FY 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Program

The School board unanimously approved the proposed FCPS FY 2023-27 Capital Improvement Program at the February 10th Board meeting.

More information is available online


We encourage you to participate in a public engagement opportunity related to how FCPS is meeting ESSER III requirements for ensuring a safe return to in-person instruction and providing continuity of learning. As a reminder, last fall, FCPS received $188.8 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding to address the impacts of COVID-19 on students. Grant focus areas include:

  • Prevention and mitigation strategies to help keep schools open and safe for students and staff.
  • Academic intervention services, such as tutoring, after-school programs, and summer learning programs. 
  • Equity professional development to ensure our schools are welcoming and culturally responsive to all students and families.
  • Multilingual engagement to ensure information is accessible to all families.
  • Additional support for students’ social emotional needs, such as counselors, psychologists, social workers, and family liaisons.

All of these areas impact student success! Please provide input today via the online feedback form. For more information on the ESSER III grant, please watch this video and visit the FCPS website.

MiFi Devices

It was brought to my attention that some Mason District students were unable to secure needed MiFi devices in order to participate in the virtual learning day FCPS had last month. It seems that there was a rush of last-minute requests for additional MiFi devices beyond those that were already checked out to students for the school year. 

If your child does not have access to reliable internet service and you would like to request a MiFi device, please contact your school. You can enter this request at any time so that students who need it have access to reliable and consistent internet during the school year. If your school does not have current inventory, staff will be able to request a device for your student from central IT staff. 

The data for the MiFi devices is unlimited and can serve up to five device connections at once. For virtual learning purposes, if there is more than one FCPS student in a household without internet connection, FCPS can provide a device to each student in the household to better ensure adequate bandwidth for simultaneous virtual sessions. 


2022 Student Representative on the School Board

Each year, FCPS students have the opportunity to apply for the position of the student representative on the School Board. The student representative, a non-voting member of the School Board, serves to represent the interests of the students of Fairfax County Public Schools. To be considered for the position, a student must be currently in grades 9, 10 or 11 and a resident of Fairfax County or Fairfax City. The student Board member is selected during an annual election, held in April by a convention of the Student Advisory Council (SAC). I encourage the students of Mason District to engage to declare their candidacy for this position.

The deadline for the application is March 23, 2022. Visit the website to apply.

Magnet School Applications

Three elementary magnet schools, Bailey’s Elementary for the Arts and Sciences, Bailey’s Upper Elementary and Hunters Woods Elementary, provide programs that enhance and enrich the Program of Studies and permit a wide range of possibilities for expression of knowledge in science, technology, and performing arts. An integrated approach to learning, state-of-the-art technology, and collaboration with various government agencies and art institutions are some of the resources used throughout the program.

Registration for the elementary magnet school lottery program opens on March 1, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. and closes on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at 4 p.m. See the website for more information.

Kindergarten Dual Language Immersion Programs

Online registration for the county-wide lottery for the kindergarten Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program closes March 3rd at 4 p.m. Current Pre-K students may apply for the kindergarten immersion program for the 2022-2023 school year. 

The kindergarten DLI programs are available in Korean and Spanish. Korean is available at Powell Elementary School and Spanish is available at Bailey’s Primary, Fort Hunt, Lake Anne, Laurel Ridge, London Towne, and Rose Hill Elementary Schools.

Get more information on Dual Language Immersion programs.


Kindergarten Registration

Will your child turn five years old by September 30? If so, contact your local school to make arrangements for kindergarten enrollment. Most schools begin gathering information now for parents of incoming kindergartners, and many host an orientation or open house for potential students and their families. All kindergarten programs are full-day and located in FCPS elementary schools. 

Check your school’s web page or contact the school directly for specific enrollment information and dates of orientation that typically occur between mid-March and the end of June. 

Get more information about kindergarten registration.

Grocery Sales Tax

Earlier this week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors discussed the proposed removal of the grocery sales tax. Current sales tax on groceries in Fairfax County generates approximately $60 to $70 million per year. A significant portion of these funds support K-12 education. The revenue lost to K-12 education, localities and transportation would need to be replaced by state funding. These core services are already underfunded by the state, so the advocacy by the Supervisors is important to mitigate potentially significant local impacts.


Calendar Correction 

Date Change for Eid-al-Fitr for the 2021-2022 School Year Calendar

The current “O” (religious and cultural observance) day for Eid-al-Fitr on FCPS’ 2021-2022 School Year calendar was incorrectly listed as Tuesday, May 3rd. Please note that the correct date is Monday, May 2, 2022.

 View the updated 2021-22 School Year Calendar.

Career Pathways Study

FCPS has partnered with FourPoint Education Partners, a national consultancy based in Maryland, to assess current pathway elective courses and career pathway programs. In the upcoming months, FourPoint will be conducting one or more of the following virtual or in-person research activities:

  • Surveys (Feb): All middle and high school students and staff members will be given an opportunity to complete a brief survey (10-15 minutes) that will be emailed to them.
  • Student/ Teacher Feedback (March/April): A member of the research team at FourPoint will host focus groups, during the regular school day, to learn more about the perspectives of teachers around FCPS pathway elective programs. This same process will be implemented for students as well.
  • School Visits (Feb-April): If possible, a member of the research team at FourPoint may visit some of our schools in person.


K-6 Language Arts Basal Resource Community Review

Proposed K-6 Language Arts Basal Resources are available online and in person for public review and comment through February 28th. This is an opportunity for the public to participate in the selection of resources for our elementary classrooms. These reviews do not happen frequently, and the selected resources will be in classrooms for years and are a significant financial investment. 

Interested individuals can review and provide feedback on digital resources online. Physical texts can be reviewed at the Willow Oaks Administrative Center in the lobby. Please ask about the books at the reception desk from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday-Friday and 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. In-person review hours will be extended to 7 p.m. on February 24 & 28. 

You are encouraged to review both sets of resources for the full catalog of resources under review. Learn more about the elementary language arts resource review.

Vaccination Guidance Change

Staff and students over age 18 need a booster to be considered up-to-date.

Fairfax County Public Schools will follow new recommended guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Individuals over the age of 18 are considered up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination if they have:

  • Booster (3rd dose) with a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
  • 2nd Dose of the initial series of Pfizer is within the last 5 months.
  • 2nd Dose of the initial series of Moderna is within the last 5 months.
  • 1st Dose Johnson & Johnson is within the last 2 months.

View this list of community resources for information on vaccination opportunities, or visit the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) website which includes available locations throughout Virginia, a call center (assistance available in more than 100 languages) for questions and appointments, and information on how to retrieve a copy of your vaccination record.



As we wrap up Black History Month, I invite you to review a few projects and resources available throughout the division:


During the era of segregated public schools in Fairfax County, Luther Jackson High School (now Luther Jackson Middle School) served as the first, and only, high school in the county for African-American children. Alumni of Luther Jackson High School share their memories of the school, its teachers, and student life. Watch the video.


The Historical Marker Project-Based Learning Experience is an opportunity to research untold stories of impactful local Black and African American people and groups. Submissions are considered for a permanent marker in Fairfax County. Students can submit suggested topics featuring a person, place, or event from February 1-March 31. The Historical Marker Project is an optional activity; students will not be required to participate.

The Historical Marker Project is just one part of the Fairfax County Black/African American Experience project, a  collaboration between FCPS and the County. 

2022 FCPS Graduation Schedule



I was pleased to help recognize students from Mountain View during the Winter Commencement earlier this month. Congratulations to the first FCPS Class of 2022 graduates!


The complete graduation schedule for the Class of 2022 is available online.


Career and Technical Education Summer Enrichment

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) office has an engaging summer planned for your student!  Two enrichment camps are offered this summer - Tech Adventure Camp and CTE Summer Academy.

  • Tech Adventure Camp is a weekly exploratory camp designed for students in grades 2 - 6 to explore STEAM, culinary, health, trades, and computer science areas.
  • CTE Summer Academy is a weekly enrichment program that allows students in grades 7 - 11 to dive deeper into CTE program areas and encourages skill development and career exploration.

Register soon! Space is limited and registration is on a first-come basis until seats are filled. Scholarships are available for Free and Reduced Meal students.

Fairfax County Park Authority 2022 Summer Camps 

Registration is open and camps are filling quickly! Last year more than 95% of Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) in-person camps filled up and had wait lists. With lower camp sizes still in place, plan now to guarantee a spot in your child’s favorite spring break or summer camp. Find camps for all your children in one place this summer! Visit the FCPA Camps website to register or find a camp job.


Multilingual Family Podcast

SY21, Episode 8: FCPS Parent Resource Center: Resources and Supports

In Episode 8 for this school year, hear how the Parent Resource Center provides resources and supports for all families and school staff in FCPS and the surrounding communities. The Center provides free library resources, confidential consultations, and informational webinars. Meet Mary Beth Harrison-Cunningham and Amal Elsayed. 

Reach the Parent Resource Center by calling us at 703-204-3941, by emailing at prc@fcps.edu or the Parent Resource Center website

Listen and subscribe:  


Save the Date! FCPS Special Education Conference 2022

FCPS’s 17th Annual Special Education Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, March 26th, with a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) sessions. Registration for this free conference will begin in March. 

More information on the Special Education Conference is available online.


Facilities Update

The following item was listed as new business at the February 10th School Board meeting and is slated for Board action at the March 10, 2022 School Board meeting.

  • Contract Award for Chiller Replacements Phase Two at Justice HS

Job Openings in FCPS

Make a difference in a child’s life—find your next job with FCPS! There are  openings for bus drivers, substitute teachers, and substitute instructional assistants.  More information and applications are available online:

If you want to earn money while making a difference in your community, say yes to FCPS!


Glasgow Middle School Spelling Bee

The Glasgow Spelling Bee will be held in two rounds. The preliminary round was held on February 24th and the final round will be held on March 4th. Visit the Glasgow Spelling Bee page to learn more and download study materials.


FCPS Student Artists Recognized in 2022 Regional Scholastic Art Awards

The 2022 Regional Scholastic Art Awards program has awarded Fairfax County Public Schools students in grades 7-12 a total of 497 awards for outstanding artwork, including 160 Gold Key awards, 160 Silver Key awards, and 177 Honorable Mention awards. Four works by FCPS students were nominated for the best-in-show American Visions Award. 

The Gold and Silver Award winners are on display until March 24th at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale. Gallery hours are provided by the NVCC.

Congratulations to the following award recipients from the Mason District:

Annandale High School

Samuel Ceballos Loaiza, Honorable Mention
Laura Escobar Chanez, Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Noah Hush, Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Abbie Lee, Silver Key
Richard Zheng, Silver Key

Falls Church High School

Ashley Guzman, Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Giann Macapagal, Honorable Mention
Katherine Ngheim, Silver Key
Camilo Orantes, Silver Key
James Pham, Silver Key
Jodi Tay, Honorable Mention
Nayeli Vallejos, Honorable Mention
Camila Vidal Lazarte, Honorable Mention

Justice High School

Cameron Clarke, Honorable Mention
Tracy Echais, Gold Key
Bruno Iannotti, Silver Key
Katherine Kearney, Silver Key
Maya Schneider, Silver Key, Honorable Mention
Thi Tran, Honorable Mention

Luther Jackson Middle School

Evelyn Kim, Silver Key

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Sanne Wu, Gold Key, Honorable Mention

See the full list of Regional Scholastic Art Award recipients.

Upcoming Mason District Theatre

Wolf Pack Theatre, Justice High School

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

March 10 - 12, 2022


Edison Theatre Company

Disney High School Musical: One Act Edition

March 3 - 5, 2022


FCPS Interesting Facts

FCPS is one of the largest school divisions in the U.S., with 198 schools and centers. It serves a diverse student population of more than 178,000 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12, speaking over 200 languages.  

Over 27% of the FCPS student population is Economically Disadvantaged. Nearly 15% are reported as Students with Disabilities, and more than 26% of students are English Learners.


Data collected from the Membership Trends Report SY 2021-22.

Nearly 94.6% of FCPS high school students graduate on time in four years; and more than 92% plan to pursue post-secondary education.

The FY 2022 Approved Budget of $3.4 billion is primarily funded by Fairfax County (64.3%) with contributions from Virginia (23.1%), federal government (9.4%), and other sources (0.7%). More than 86% of the budget directly supports instruction. The average cost per student is $16,505.

FCPS is one of the largest employers in Virginia, with 24,839 full-time employees, of whom 92.9% are school based.                    

The FCPS bus fleet is one of the largest in the U.S., transporting more than 141,000 students on over 1,600 buses each day. Electric buses are being added to the fleet.

FCPS has more than 27 million square feet of school buildings and office space, including 173 Energy Star certified buildings (more than any other school system in the country). Solar power is also being added to FCPS buildings.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Regular School Board Meetings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • February 24, 2022 at 7 p.m.
  • March 10, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Work Sessions (Gatehouse Administration Center)

  • March 8, 2022 at 11 a.m.

Public Hearings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • February 24, 2022 at 6 p.m. (ESSER)

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

Visit the citizen participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting or public hearing.

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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.

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