FCPS this Week e-newsletter - March 2, 2022

We Love Schools photo.

To the individuals who came out to our School Board meeting to show their love for our schools, thank you!

Masks Optional and Changes to Health and Safety Guidance

Photo collage of students with and without masks.

Tuesday marked the first day of masks being optional in our schools, nearly two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This milestone is met with mixed emotions and reactions from everyone in the FCPS community. The one thing that unites us is our commitment to providing a safe, supportive learning environment for all students. 

While masks are optional, we should all still be diligent in monitoring our health each day, staying home when sick, and practicing good hygiene habits like washing hands and covering coughs or sneezes. 

Our Health and Safety Guidance Document has been updated to reflect the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, and the work our health team is doing in collaboration with local health experts.

Mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. Embracing the FCPS caring culture builds a supportive community that promotes the wellbeing of every student.

Back-to-School Pediatric Immunization Clinic on March 12

Health is in our hands graphic.

The State of Virginia requires immunizations for entry into kindergarten, 7th grade, 12th grade, and when transferring into FCPS. The Fairfax County Health Department will be offering a special immunization clinic for Fairfax County students to complete their school vaccine requirements (the COVID-19 vaccine is not a required vaccine). 

The clinic will be held on Saturday, March 12, 8 a.m. to noon, at the Annandale District Office, 7611 Little River Turnpike, #400-E, Annandale, VA 22003. Appointments are required.

To make an appointment, call 703-246-7100.

ESSER III School Plans Are Available Online

Teacher and two students sitting at a table.

FCPS schools are receiving a portion of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funding to support unfinished learning and student wellness. Each school has submitted a plan, which has been reviewed and approved by the region and ESSER leadership teams. View the approved Fall 2021 school plans on FCPS’ website.

Please keep in mind that schools are currently revising their plans. Updated information will be available once the revision and approval processes are complete. Learn more about ESSER III.

Fairfax County School Board Adopts FY 2023 Advertised Budget Focused on Excellence in Public Education

Good News budget graphic

The Fairfax County School Board has adopted the FY 2023 (2022-23 school year) Advertised Budget focused on student achievement and recognition of world-class educators and operational staff. 

This budget prioritizes investments that ensure all students receive the rigorous instruction and comprehensive support they need to thrive. 86% of the $3.3 billion budget goes directly to instruction. The budget includes three main areas of focus — Compensation, Opportunity and Access, and Critical Operational Needs. Watch this video for a quick look at the budget highlights

Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill recommended fully funding FCPS’ budget request and FCPS will continue to work collaboratively with the Board of Supervisors and County Executive during the budget process. 

The School Board presents the Advertised FY 23 Budget to the County Board of Supervisors on April 12.

Learn more about the FY 2023 Advertised Budget.

Virtual Program Ends this Year

We believe two things–our schools are safe for all students and our students are more successful learning in person. 

COVID-19 community transmission rates continue to decline and vaccines are widely available for children ages 5 and older. Rates of in-school transmission have consistently remained incredibly low this school year.

Community health experts advise that exemptions to in-person instruction should return to pre-pandemic criteria now that school-age children are eligible for vaccination. Therefore, we will discontinue the Virtual Program after this school year. 

Homebound instruction will continue to be available for students with significant health risks that prevent them from attending school in-person as outlined in FCPS Regulation 2140

Families with concerns about returning to in-person instruction this fall should contact the Virtual Program administrators or your base school to discuss potential accommodations for your student.

“It feels like you made it.” Kevin Cruz Lovo Is Grateful for FCPS’ Trades for Tomorrow Program

Kevin Cruz Lovo video.

FCPS’ Trades for Tomorrow (T4T) courses offer current FCPS students opportunities to participate in apprenticeship, trade, and industrial education opportunities. Future development of our T4T program includes defined pathways for students to enter the workforce following successful completion of a course sequence, apprenticeship, and testing. 

Learn more about T4T from Kevin Cruz Lovo, a former student who now works for FCPS as a refrigeration technician.

We Are Bringing Our Inclusive Community Together at the March 26 Special Education Conference; Registration Now Open

2022 Special Education Conference graphic

FCPS’s 17th Annual Special Education Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, March 26, with a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) sessions supporting the conference's theme: Bringing our Inclusive Community Together: Affirming, Assessing, Advancing. Welcoming ceremonies, guest speakers, FCPS presentations, and an exhibit hall are included. Registration for this free conference is now open online.

  • Parents and community members will be able to register online.
  • FCPS educators, administrators, and preservice teachers will be able to register online and earn recertification points for attending the conference.
  • Individuals needing foreign language interpretation (Spanish, Ahmaric, Arabic, and Korean), American Sign Language (ASL), or Cued Language Transliterator (CLT) interpreters for the live sessions may request this on the registration form. 

For questions please contact specialedconf@fcps.edu

Visit the Special Education Conference webpage for more information and to register.

Supporting Fine Motor Skills One Loop at a Time; First Grade Shoelace Challenge

First grader with a shoelace game.

It’s a life skill we all need to master sooner or later but for our younger students, tying shoelaces became something of a lost art during the pandemic. Staying at home meant there was less need to focus on bunny ears and that has meant fewer than expected children were able to take care of this task as they returned to in-person schooling. Instead, the job of re-tying multiple sets of laces a day has fallen to school staff.

Now, first grade teachers at Stratford Landing Elementary School in Fort Hunt are getting students back on track with a weekly shoelace challenge.

March 23 Deadline to Apply for Student Representative to the School Board for 2022-23 School Year

School Board logo with gavel.

Each year, FCPS students can apply for the position of the student representative to the School Board. The student representative is not a member of the School Board but serves in a nonvoting, advisory capacity, representing the interests of the students of Fairfax County Public Schools. 

Students who are currently in grades 9, 10, and 11 are eligible to apply, and they do not need to be current members of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SAC). Applications are due by Wednesday, March 23

The application and more information are available online.

Follow Your Path to Becoming an Educator 

Virtual Instructional Job Fair - March 5

Fairfax County Public Schools is dedicated to building the future child by child. Our mission is to inspire and empower students to meet high academic standards, lead ethical lives, and be responsible and innovative global citizens. 

We are looking for outstanding educators and will be holding a Virtual Instructional Job Fair on Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. Learn more about the fair, as well as how to apply, prepare, register, and attend.

Tip Sheet for Parents: Ease Your Child's Transition Into Adolescence

Group of teenagers walking.

As children grow into adolescents, their craving for independence grows, too. This can lead to conflict with the adults around them.

You probably can't avoid having some stress and conflict with your child. But there are things you can do now to make the transition into the teen years smoother.

Copyright 2022, the Parent Institute, a Division of PaperClip Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Get more tips for parents and other family engagement resources.

Calendar Reminder: Two-Hour Early Release on March 3, Student Holiday on March 4

Calendar Reminder

As a reminder, students will be released two hours early on Thursday, March 3, and Friday, March 4, is a staff development day and a student holiday. 

Classes will resume on Monday, March 7. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.

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