Justice HS Expansion Survey Results

Dear Mason District Community,

I am pleased to update you on two topics that have been of great interest to the Mason District community. In this newsletter you will find a reminder of the Middle School Grade Level Configuration Survey which closes on April 15th and a summary of the Justice High School expansion project along with the results of the survey administered to parents, students, staff and the community in November. 

I have also included information about yesterday's federal appeals court decision in the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) admissions case and upcoming SAT testing information.

Enjoy Spring Break!


Middle School Grade Level Configuration Surveys

Five information sessions were held over the past few weeks to engage the Mason District community and provide answers to questions as part of a larger effort to obtain parental perspective on the placement of sixth grade students in middle school. Approximately 445 individuals registered to attend and 208 attended these sessions.  

The videos from these meetings, as well as the Q&A posted by staff are available on the Middle School Grade Level Configuration webpage.

Surveys were emailed in eight languages on Friday, March 25th to parents and caregivers of middle school students and elementary students who would attend, Poe, Holmes, and Glasgow Middle Schools. Parents and caregivers are urged to participate in order to contribute to a true and full picture of the Mason District community’s perspective on the current middle school grade level configuration. Your voice matters! The survey closes on April 15th.

A community engagement report is expected to be shared with the Board at the end of April.

Justice HS Expansion Parking Survey Results


School bond referendums from 2017 and 2019 funded planning and construction of a 46,000 square foot addition, including science labs at Justice High School. 

The most recently updated Capital Improvement Program shows Justice High School is currently at 110% capacity and is expected to reach 114% capacity in the next two years. Justice High School is currently budgeted  for 175-200 teachers and only has 126 classrooms which has created significant operational challenges for the staff. To relieve overcrowding, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) planned an expansion of the school which per county regulations, requires additional parking.

As on-site and street parking is limited, in Fall 2019, FCPS staff began working with the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) to procure space to meet the county’s requirements.  

FCPS reviewed the following options to secure the parking needed for the addition:

  • Onsite Surface Parking: Maximum parking achieved
  • Peace Valley Lane: Parallel parking achieved; Perpendicular/Angled head in parking infeasible due to traffic, speed and sight lines
  • Structured Parking Garage: Safety concerns; Cost prohibitive; Site impacts
  • Surface Parking Justice Park: Common partnership; Shared Use; Minimized / offset impacts

FCPS Proposals

Through continued collaboration with FCPA, FCPS proposed a plan to the Mason District Land Use Committee on October 27, 2020 as well as a plan to the community on December 8, 2020. This initial plan included the following:

  • Existing on-site parking
  • Proposed parking along Peace Valley Lane and Justice Park
  • 3-story classroom addition
  • 1-story cafeteria expansion
  • Relocated basketball court
  • Construction Schedule Fall 2021 – Fall 2023

December 8, 2020 Preliminary Concept Site Plan

After community feedback and additional work with FCPA, FCPS Facilities staff proposed a revised plan on May 6, 2021 which included the following:  

  • Walking Trail: Trail connections provide safe route to school and park
  • Outdoor classroom: Outdoor Classroom/Shelter: provides opportunity for school, improvement for park and community
  • Invasive Management: removal of invasive species to create more open play areas and improve woodland forest
  • Walkway along Peace Valley
  • Basketball Court replacement provides improvement in advance of FCPA funding for improvement
  • Replacement Trees will be planted
  • Parking provides access for park visitors and community members who cannot walk to the park
  • Improvements to stormwater management
  • Adjustment: Basketball Court – will be relocated
  • Construction Schedule Fall 2021 – Summer 2023

May 6, 2021 Concept Site Plan

Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) Decision

In July of 2021, the Fairfax County Park Authority officially rejected the FCPS proposal to utilize 1.1 acres of the 17+-acre site to expand parking into Justice Park. In their letter to FCPS staff, the following was stated: 

“The voice of the community as a collective sense of grievance and mistrust regarding the proposal and the process are clear. Several community members do not want this proposal to move forward. They value the open space and recreational opportunities provided by Justice Park as one of the few remaining green spaces in the community. Understanding the concerns of the community, the present FCPS proposal is simply not acceptable.”

As the Board was in recess until August, the FCPA decision, along with the details of an upcoming meeting to discuss next steps were communicated via my September 2021 News You Choose Newsletter and via a letter from Dr. Zuluaga, Assistant Superintendent for Region 2. Subsequently, the questions which were presented to me in emails, phone calls and during in-person encounters centered around who had the opportunity to provide feedback to inform FCPA’s decision and when that opportunity was presented. 

October 12, 2021 Community Meeting

The community meeting that took place on October 12, 2021 had two objectives:

  1. Communicate the FCPA decision
  2. Present a new proposal

The October 2021 proposal included the following updates:

  • FCPS will file a rezoning application to permit an increase in permitted gross floor area for the addition.
  • FCPS will file a request for parking modification to reduce the number of parking spaces required by the zoning ordinance.
  • No parking at Justice Park
  • Change in parking layout to include restriping of main parking lot, parallel parking along Peace Valley Lane, additional parking near entrance to lot
  • Construction Schedule Winter 2022/2023 – Fall 2024

October 12, 2021 Proposed Site Plan

Upon sharing the FCPA decision which rejected the May 6th proposal and the presentation of the new plan, attendees again expressed concerns about the lack of opportunity to provide feedback on the process and therefore, believed their views were not represented. 

As a result of the feedback, I indicated my intent to work with staff to find a way to gather input from a greater proportion of our community. Fairfax County Park Authority leadership was briefed of the outcomes of the meeting including the plans for an additional survey and were enthusiastic to review the data. 

Survey Results

As I have previously indicated, the Fairfax County Park Authority is the body with the authority to convey the land at Justice Park to FCPS. Therefore, the survey results will be shared with their leadership for consideration.  

In November 2021, a brief survey was sent to the Justice High School community regarding the two proposed options for the Justice High School addition project. Proposal #1 included parking and upgrades at Justice Park, adjacent to Justice High School. The Fairfax County Park Authority rejected Proposal #1 in late July. Proposal #2 included no changes to Justice Park or addition of parking spaces at the park. Respondents were able to independently evaluate each proposal: A respondent could be in favor of both proposals, one proposal, or neither proposal.  

Proposal #1, presented in May 2021

Proposal #2, presented in October 2021

Combined Survey Results

The Justice Expansion Survey was sent to Justice High School parents/guardians, staff and students. The survey link was also available to community members who requested a link to the survey. 

The FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations (OCCR) collected the survey data and presented the results and analysis below.  

The majority of the responses were from students and parents. 


The combined results of the Justice Expansion Survey showed considerable support for Proposal #1 from staff, students, and parents/guardians. The community was in favor of Proposal #2. Students and staff, however, were very opposed to Proposal #2 (71% were not in support).


Community Survey Results

The survey was sent to 108 recipients who requested the survey link through News You Choose and Microsoft Outlook. Total responses numbered 52, representing a 48.1% response rate. Four community members who responded reported residing outside of the Mason District. Those four were evenly split between supporting Proposal #1 (50%) and Proposal #2 (50%). No translated surveys received a response.

Parent/Guardian Survey Results

The survey was sent via News You Choose to 9,611 parents/guardians. Total responses numbered 153, a 1.6% response rate. In the survey, parents were asked which school their students attend. Results show the majority of respondents (47.7%) had students enrolled at Justice High School.


As shown in the combined survey results, the parents/guardians were more in favor of Proposal #1. 

The responses were further identified by school and proposal. The responses by school were not homogeneous; however, the small survey sample makes it difficult to interpret a trend at each school. Parents of students at Justice High School were almost as strongly in support of Proposal #1 as the students and staff at Justice High School.


Staff/Student Survey Results

The survey was sent to 279 Justice High School staff members and 2,217 students. Total responses for staff numbered 50, representing a 17.9% response rate. Total responses for students numbered 169, represent a 7.6% response rate.

When divided by role, students and staff were equally in favor of Proposal #1. Students were slightly more in favor of Proposal #2 than staff members.

Appeals Court Grants FCPS a Stay in Thomas Jefferson High School Admissions Case

A federal appeals court yesterday granted a stay, or a suspension, of the district court’s February 25 ruling that required the Fairfax County School Board (FCSB) to stop using its new admissions process for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ). 

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals order now allows FCSB to continue with the current TJ application process to select the Class of 2026 this spring. For the 2,500+ students in this application pool, this means the race blind process set out by the School Board in October 2020 will remain in place as an appeal challenging the February court decision plays out.

This process, approved by the School Board in December 2020, resulted in the freshman Class of 2025 being the most diverse in the school’s recent history. For the first time in at least 10 years, every FCPS middle school had students who were offered admission to TJHSST. The changes also resulted in a significant increase in access for groups who have faced barriers to entry, including students with disabilities, students eligible for free and/or reduced-price meals, and English Learners.

Upcoming SAT Testing 

Don’t miss the registration deadline for upcoming SAT testing. There is limited seating at each Test Center, so register early.

The deadline for registering for the May 7th SAT is April 8th.

The deadline for registering for the June 4th SAT is May 5th.

Search for a Test Center near you that has available seats for the May 7th or June 4th SAT.

Fee waivers are available for eligible students. Visit the College Board Fee Waiver webpage to learn more.

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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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